Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of cloud services for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services. It provides software, platform and infrastructure ‘as a service’. It is more flexible, scalable and cost-effective than traditional IT models and lets you add capacity or capabilities rapidly without investing in additional physical infrastructure.
It is the leading public cloud platform and is ideal for organisations with standard, mass access, non-critical applications requiring flexibility. What makes it an effective service?
- You can deploy anywhere with your choice of tools
Choose how you deploy Azure—connecting cloud and on-premises with hybrid cloud capabilities for maximum portability and value from your existing investments.
- You can build your apps, your way
Because Azure supports a range of operating systems, programming languages, frameworks, databases and devices you can use the tools and tech you know and trust.
- You can connect on-premises data and apps
Azure offers hybrid consistency everywhere: in application development, management and security, identity management, and across the data platform.
- You can extend the cloud on-premises
Extend Azure to your datacentre and build innovative hybrid apps across the cloud and on-premises. Use the same APIs, DevOps tools, portal, and Marketplace content.
We can support your business through cloud adoption
Our experience suggests it’s not just the functionality of the cloud that will deliver the return on investment and the potential benefits you require. What’s crucial is how the solution is designed and implemented, how migration is managed and how users are supported post set-up.
We are cloud design, connection, migration and management experts
Embracing the cloud can be more challenging than you may first think. Even the largest, best resourced organisations need support now and then. If you don’t have the time or resources then work with a partner who has done it all before. A partner who can help you realise the full benefits of the technology and has a proven methodology to manoeuvre you successfully through the adoption challenges.
We work with our clients to create a cloud roadmap that maximises value to their organisation and enables them to build and manage an infrastructure that makes their business truly agile. Acora can help support you in four ways:
- Market leading public cloud provider
- Software, platform and infrastructure ‘As a service’
- Flexible, reliable, scalable, secure
- Pay per use commercial model
- Consider the migrate and manage issues
Design your cloud
We start by understanding your existing IT model and develop a cloud strategy with you.
Issues to discuss
- Which are the right applications to move to the cloud?
- Which cloud is the right one and how much cloud do you really need?
- What are the security, regulatory or compliance issues?
- What should be your diversity/back-up plan?
- How do you plan to secure your cloud?
Connect to your cloud
Your applications now need to be accessed by your users and customers remotely in the cloud.
Issues to discuss
- Internet, dedicated or private cloud provider specific connections?
- How much capacity is needed?
- Will your existing network be enough?
- What is your back-up plan?
- Interoperability plan between on-premise and cloud environments?
Migrate to your cloud
With the correct design, we move onto planning and supporting your migration to the cloud.
Issues to discuss
- Which applications to move first?
- Redesign and optimise before migration?
- Parallel working required?
- Test plan model design?
- Use of migration software?
Manage your cloud
The cloud doesn’t run itself. Your users still need support. Your cloud needs to be maintained and enhanced.
Issues to discuss
- How do you want to maintain your cloud?
- How do you plan to manage upgrades/patches/maintenance etc?
- How will you support database migration and then administration?
- How to manage and monitor the new platform and application 24/7?
- Do you have the time, skills and knowledge it to manage it yourself?
Cloud design and management experts
Legacy migration expertise
Dual 24/7 UK-based operations centres
Strong pedigree ( 250+ clients, 200+ employees)
Through Acora we found a partner who could not only design and build our cloud platform in Azure, but also provide ongoing support of our environment. We now have a fully scalable, modern IT platform which enables us to focus on achieving further international expansion.
Frank Recruitment Group
We had no hesitation in extending our partnership with Acora for a further five years, trusting them to modernise our IT platform by leveraging Microsoft Azure and at the same time ensure the day to day running of our IT operation on a European wide basis.
Alpha Trains Group
Sign up for a Microsoft Azure workshop
Acora can help you create a plan to design, migrate and manage your cloud. Hear from our cloud experts about how Azure can create a flexible, resilient infrastructure that is easy to manage and easy to scale.
Location: Client site or Acora facility
Duration: 3-4 hours (30 min pre-call for client overview)
- Business challenges and opportunities
- Current productivity, collaboration & security models
- Azure transformation targets
- Azure functionality
- Current cost review
What is Microsoft Azure?
According to Microsoft, “Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—for moving faster, achieving more, and saving money.”
Why choose Microsoft Azure cloud?
Azure can be an extremely attractive service for any size business.
Microsoft Azure is the leading cloud solution of choice globally for 90% of Fortune 500 companies. Using deeply-integrated Azure cloud services, enterprises can rapidly build, deploy, and manage simple to complex applications with ease. Azure supports a wide range of programming languages, frameworks, operating systems, databases, and devices, allowing enterprises to leverage tools and technologies they trust. Finally, it is the most compliant and trusted public cloud platform in the world.
Other common reasons include:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities
- Security and compliance at its core
- Enhanced scalability
- Integrates well with Microsoft products and services – Outlook, Office 365 etc
- Analytics and Intelligence capabilities
- Identity & Access Management (IAM)
Microsoft Azure or AWS?
AWS is the provider most commonly chosen for strategic adoption; AWS is the most mature, enterprise-ready provider, with the strongest track record of customer success and the most useful partner ecosystem. However its extensive portfolio of services requires expertise to implement and may challenge even highly agile, expert IT organizations.
Azure has more comprehensive compliance coverage with more than 70 compliance offerings, and that it was the first major cloud provider to contractually commit to the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). To protect your organisation, Azure embeds security, privacy and compliance into its development methodology, and has been recognised as the most trusted cloud for US government institutions.
Azure has 50 global regions, more than any other cloud provider – offering the scale needed to bring apps closer to users around the world, preserving data residency and offering comprehensive compliance and resiliency options for customers.
Where are Microsoft Azure data centers?
Microsoft groups its Azure data center locations into regions. It is beginning to introduce availability zones (multiple data centers within a region). There are multiple Azure regions in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Australia, India, Japan and Korea, as well as regions in Ireland, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Brazil. Azure has more global regions than any other cloud provider – offering the scale needed to bring apps closer to users around the world, preserving data residency and offering comprehensive compliance and resiliency options for customers.
Here’s a map of the various Azure regions
How do I install Microsoft Azure?
There are many guides and resources available from Microsoft to guide you through the process. A word of caution though. If you are considering doing this in house, consider the technical capabilities of your team and the resource and time that you will need to commit to the project. Gartner recommends that customers shouldn’t underestimate the expertise required to properly implement Azure in a performant, reliable and secure fashion. Gartner clients with larger-scale implementations have reported significant challenges with Azure adoption; smaller customers may experience the same challenges, but with less severe impact. Garner goes on to recommend that customers should use an MSP to execute a more successful implementation.
Download the full Gartner report here.
Explore the cost savings and benefits enabled by Azure IaaS
Get in touch
The Acora team is ready and waiting to understand your challenges and see how we can help.