What Is the Microsoft Cloud and What Are Its Benefits?

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What is the Microsoft cloud, and why should you use it? We've got the answers to all that and more in this handy guide. Read to learn more.

It's 2021. When we talk about "clouds" we know they're the white, fluffy wisps hovering high in the sky.

But when we talk about the cloud, we're talking about something quite different: something that permeates the internet and allows data accessibility from virtually anywhere.

So what is the Microsoft Cloud? And what differentiates it from the cloud computing competition? We'll cover all that in the article today.

What is the Microsoft Cloud?

The Microsoft Cloud (named "Microsoft Azure Cloud Services," or just "Microsoft® Azure") is a cloud-computing service that allows you and your teams to work anywhere, with data accessible everywhere.

In simple terms, it is a subscription-based service that allows your company a wealth of benefits, from safe data storage to content and application development support.

It's a powerful tool. And with flexible implementation options, it can be used in almost every business environment.

The Benefits of Using Microsoft Azure

First and foremost, there's the cost. Hosting your own servers can be expensive. With Microsoft Azure, you don't need to have the capital to cover hardware, software, and electricity to run your own servers.

And those costs add up. Servers require cooling, loads of power, and regular maintenance to ensure your network doesn't go down. Which leads to performance and reliability.

You don't want to have all your data suddenly inaccessible at a moment's notice. A larger company like Microsoft routinely updates and upgrades its systems to meet the increased demand.

Which leads to data access speed. Because Microsoft's platform is so large and its infrastructure is so sophisticated, it is lightning-fast. Large amounts of data can be loaded in seconds, from virtually anywhere.

And with improved speed, reliability, and scale, comes increased productivity. 

Microsoft Office 365

Gone are the days of loading in CD-ROMs with the latest version of Word or Excel. Today, Microsoft has implemented its popular Office Suite and put it into the cloud.

This makes your documents easier to access than ever. And the software is always updated to its most recent iteration.

Included in the Microsoft Office Suite are:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • Powerpoint
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • Publisher
  • InfoPath
  • Lync
  • Access

With Outlook, calendars can be shared and kept in sync across devices with ease. File sharing is equally simple, allowing collaboration across different projects and teams.

Excel spreadsheets and Word documents can be worked on in tandem. Or they can be isolated and organized based on different edits by different persons.

This helps in the event of backtracking and ensuring data security. 

Three Tiers of Cloud Accessibility

There are three tiers of cloud accessibility, designed for all different types of businesses out there.

The first is the "Public Cloud." Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud, as it is owned and operated by a third-party service provider. All of the infrastructure is owned and managed by Microsoft, the cloud provider.

The second type is a "Private Cloud." As the name suggests, all cloud computing resources are owned, operated on, and used exclusively for a single business entity.

This cloud could be located in a company's on-site data center, or they could rent these data centers from third parties. Regardless, the private cloud operates exclusively on a private network and requires upkeep.

Finally, there is the "Hybrid Cloud." This combines aspects of both public and private clouds, allowing data transfer between different cloud computing systems. 

An example of this is many college campuses utilize private clouds that work or stem off of public clouds, such as Microsoft or Google's infrastructure.

Hybrid clouds are popular because they allow greater flexibility for businesses. Security can be a concern, however, the multiple layers of infrastructure can keep sensitive information private.

Cloud Computing Uses

The first, and perhaps most essential application, is storing, backing up, and recovering data. Local hardware fails. Hard drives get cracked, computers get spills on them, buildings burn down or flood.

If your data is automatically scheduled to back up onto the cloud, then should your business face a disaster, its data will be secure. You'll still be able to access your data, regardless of the device, and work won't stop completely.

Data Analysis and Cloud Computing

The next most practical application is data analysis. If your teams are spread out, remote, or on different schedules, it can be difficult to analyze data succinctly.

By unifying everyone's data across teams or locations, you'll be able to use the cloud's machine learning to uncover hidden insights about your team, products, and more. 

You can use these intelligent models to further engage customers, build stronger networks, and make better-informed decisions.

Creation and Delivery of New Applications

For tech-centered companies, cloud services can quickly create, deploy, and scale web, mobile, and API applications.

Cloud services can decrease development time, with the services speed and accessibility to be shared across teams, worldwide. Additional benefits of cloud-native tech include:

  • Containers
  • Microservices Architecture
  • Kubernetes (K8s)
  • DevOps
  • API-Driven Communications

Add to that the capability of delivering software on demand, and you've got a speedy suite of tools at your disposal. Fast, on-demand updates can fix bugs quickly and reliably, no matter who the customer is, or where they live or work. 

Streaming

In addition to the wealth of capabilities listed above, the cloud makes it possible to share audio and video across the planet.

Audio and video can be streamed in high-definition and are steadily improving to be fully UHD-capable everywhere. Creating accessible content on the cloud helps businesses connect with their audiences anywhere.

Use Microsoft Cloud Services

What is the Microsoft Cloud? In a nutshell, it's an incredible suite of tools to provide accessibility for teams and customers around the globe. 

It is widely used by teams of all shapes and sizes, from those developing new applications and software to those looking for convenient, reliable data storage and backup systems.

Interested in IT services and using Microsoft Cloud? Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we're a team dedicated to improving local businesses' technical infrastructure.

Contact us today for more on what we can offer you and your team.

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