From nowhere a decade ago, the cloud is now gobbling up far more IT real estate than traditional deployments – and by some margin. A recent report by International Data Corp. (IDC) highlights a growth rate for the public cloud market of almost 25% in 2016 compared to the previous year. The analyst firm forecasts that this annual rate of growth will continue unabated worldwide for at least the next five years.
It is interesting to note that this is happening at the same time as overall enterprise storage revenue is trending down quarter after quarter. The cloud on Microsoft Azure is clearly taking business away from on-premises storage deployments.
“While the broader enterprise storage systems market has been impacted by headwinds, companies continue to increase their investments in several key areas, such as software-defined storage, cloud-based storage, all-flash storage systems, and converged systems,” said Liz Connor, an analyst at IDC.
With businesses of all sizes flocking to the cloud, let’s look at when it makes sense to move your business onto Microsoft Azure.
The move onto Microsoft Azure can be a smart move in many areas. Archiving of large volumes of data could be one such area. In cases where it becomes prohibitively expensive to retain massive archives in house, perhaps the public cloud is the way to go. Microsoft Azure offers very low rates for archived storage.
Other use cases include backup, email databases, and test environments. Carefully consider the fine points of security. Providers may offer plenty of layers of security at a premium, but you are still responsible for your own data.
But more and more companies are moving large sections of their business onto Azure. These days, many are using it successfully as the foundation for Microsoft .NET and SQL Server-based applications. In addition, Azure is the place where a good number of businesses run SharePoint Server for business process management document management and collaboration systems. Similarly, the Azure cloud works well with BizTalk Server for enterprise systems integration.
But there are perhaps a few cases where the cloud may not make sense. The regulatory environment may demand total organisational control of data. Geographic restrictions may prohibit firms from sending data outside certain national borders.
Whenever enterprise applications are being trusted to the cloud, they must be tailored to the needs of the organisation, must satisfy all regulatory requirements and must integrate completely with existing software and hardware assets.
Ballard Chalmers has long experience in bespoke cloud migration, development and integration. We build cloud applications that are secure, reliable, affordable, feature-rich, scalable and exactly tailored to your environment. We focus our expertise on Microsoft .NET and SQL Server-based applications, as well as the SharePoint Server platform and BizTalk Server. Once an Azure cloud environment is developed, we provide ongoing support services for all of our systems when required, and then ongoing future enhancements and upgrades as your technical partner for the long term.