See How Microsoft Cloud Computing Saves your Company Money

Often times, companies don't require a large cache of servers to run applications and store data. In fact, this cost poses a prohibiting factor to many firms who otherwise could really use the benefits of electronic data integration.

To address this dilemma, Microsoft's Azure cloud computing system is a low-cost option for companies needing only small bits of space – not enough space to warrant an investment in on-site servers.

In a basic sense, cloud computing stores data and applications on off-site servers owned by Microsoft…you only pay for what you use. Cloud computing is essentially an IT delivery system based on the Internet – the National Institute of Standards and Technology in fact defines the term “cloud” as a metaphor for the Internet, similarly to what was used to describe the telephone network a long time ago.

Servers are located throughout the world and include two in North America, two in Europe and two in Asia. Your developers can control which data server your company uses. And they are accessible from anywhere you have an Internet connection.

On-demand access to data and applications directly from your computer – similar to the electric grid

That's one way to think about Microsoft cloud computing – like a light switch in your home. Just flip it on and voila, you've got light!!

Microsoft cloud computing provides on-demand, simple access to your applications and data…just turn on your computer from anywhere and access your stuff on one of Microsoft's worldwide servers.

Microsoft's Azure cloud computing system contains five general components, which include:

•  Compute – Runs a variety of applications on a Windows Server foundation. Applications can be developed through a wide variety of frameworks like .NET, PHP or WCF and languages like C#, Visual Basic and Java.

•  Storage – Provides storage for binary, large objects (blobs) and a way to communicate between various Windows Azure applications.

•  Fabric Controller – Since the Azure (Microsoft) cloud computing system runs on a large number of machines, the fabric controller combines these disparate machines into a cohesive, single data center. Azure's compute and storage components are built on top of this.

•  Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Makes accessing frequently used data quicker by ‘caching' blobs on sites throughout the world. Caching is a term used to describe the storage of data for quick access.

•  Connect – Some organizations find it useful to interact with cloud applications as if they were inside the organization's own firewall. This capability makes it easier for Windows Azure to access an on-premise database for example.

These components of the Microsoft cloud computing system provide many benefits to companies. Instead of purchasing, installing and managing complex servers, companies can use the cloud and pay for only the compute time and bandwidth they use…how companies charge internal users is up to them.

Not only does this save lots of money, it also allows businesses to focus on their core operations.

Using the system is easy too and doesn't require a PhD computer engineer.

Simple login with a Windows ID on any Internet browser is all that's required. From there, Azure customers can choose whether they want to create a hosting account to run applications, a storage account for storing data, or both.

And not only is it easy to access and use Microsoft's premier cloud computing system, it's also very useful in a wide variety of scenarios.

Say you own a retail shop that's really busy only around certain holidays like Christmas. Cloud computing allows the flexibility to use the system as you need it and not invest in high-cost servers. Azure also supports web-facing services as well as background processes exclusive to your organization.

Therefore, you can even use Azure to build applications for a dynamic website like Facebook or something like that.

These are just a couple of brief examples. To learn more and to see how Azure cloud computing services can help you more effectively manage your company, contact our experienced Microsoft consultants at Innovative Architects today.