Azure presents an endless number of opportunities to boost the functionality, performance, security and ease maintenance of your application or service. Whether you’re considering migrating your application to the cloud, or simply leveraging the advanced capabilities of services, Azure offers a huge diversity of more than a hundred solutions that can unlock savings and realize the full potential of your application. It’s no surprise then that in a recent survey, 45% of respondents said they were already running applications on the Azure platform service.
However, with so many possibilities, and the services on offer constantly changing, selecting the correct solution for deploying and developing your application can present unique challenges. To take full advantage of the cloud, it’s crucial to choose the right solution for your specific needs. Therefore, this guide will outline how to take advantage of Azure to boost the potential of your application.
How to Boost Your App’s Potential With Specific Azure Solutions
To best utilize Azure to your advantage, you’ll need to first gain a profound understanding of your specific requirements. In order to narrow down the seemingly endless options of cloud-based and hybrid services on offer, developers must first ask themselves some key questions:
- How much control do I need?
A key factor when migrating to Azure is the level of control. This must always be balanced against accountability. A high level of control means you carry the full weight of responsibility for infrastructure maintenance and scaling, so be sure to select a solution that reflects your priorities, resources and personnel.
- What’s my usage model?
To leverage Azure to your benefit, you’ll need to determine how your app will be used, and therefore what the usage model looks like. If you’re building a web application for global users that needs to run continuously, your requirements will be drastically different to an application that only needs to run occasionally, or when a message enters the queue. You don’t want to pay for what you won’t use, so carefully consider your usage model before decision-making.
- Where will my app run?
The solution you select will depend on where you need your app to run. It’s important to determine whether you’ll need your application to run only within Azure public cloud, or externally too. Does it need to run locally for development, or in other clouds?
- What are my data needs?
Azure can optimize your data management, but you must first define what kind of data you’ll be collecting, and what you’ll be using it for. Will you be carrying out Online Transactional Processing (OTP), such as when storing customer data on your website? Will you be carrying out Online Analytical Processing (OAP) for reporting and data analysis? Is the data you’ll be storing relational or unstructured? Understanding your data needs is a vital step to effective utilization of the cloud.
- What’s my budget?
You don’t want to pay for excessive solutions you don’t use, or be hit with unexpected charges from your cloud services, so it’s crucial to determine the costs of your migration of integration in advance. Azure’s pricing calculator can help you estimate spending of various configurations for your application.
Now that you’ve clarified the individualized needs of your application, it’s time to look at the different solutions on offer and build your bespoke architecture. Azure solutions can loosely be grouped into three categories: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and software-as-a-service (SaaS).
Services in this category, such as Azure Virtual Machines, provide you with complete control over a cloud server, which is optimal for running multiple applications. However, this also comes with accountability over the maintenance, scaling and upkeep of your infrastructure as well as the application you run.
Services in this category, for instance Azure App Service Web Apps provide you with fully-managed services to execute your application. Azure takes care of OS maintenance, whilst you maintain flexibility and control over your application.
Services within this category, like the Azure Logic Apps, allocate responsibility for your application’s underlying infrastructure to Azure. This is proving a popular option, with a recent study indicating that 73% of organisation respondents say nearly all their apps will be Saas by 2020. This means you write your code, and Azure takes care of the rest. This may be a preferable option if you want to direct resources towards building the app itself and its business value, as opposed to its surrounding network.
Benefits of Azure
By taking the time to select a specific solution that reflects your needs, you’ll unlock a number of benefits for your application or service. These include:
- Cost-efficiency and savings. By only paying for the services you’ll actually use, you could reduce your costs substantially.
- Meet growing customer expectations. Modern users expect exceptional tailor-made experiences, and Azure services can support your application to leverage data to realize expectations. Studies show 80% of end users now prefer cloud-hosted and SaaS apps, in comparison to 51% in 2016.
- Optimize security. Leveraging the right cloud solution for your application can help optimize security through advanced monitoring and data recovery functionalities. A recent survey demonstrated that 94% of companies evaluate that migration to the cloud has resulted in better or consistent IT security performance.
- Add functionality. By choosing a tailored infrastructure for your application, you won’t miss out on key functions that add value to your application.
When building your solution from the sea of opportunities presented by Azure, a cloud service provider can help you make informed decisions on migration and integration that empower you to unleash the full potential of your application. Unsure how to leverage the public cloud in a way that benefits your business? You can read about the 5 real benefits here!