If we are planning to start an entrepreneurial venture, having a system-specific software is imperative. Most businesses falter owing to the lack of dedicated applications which are often deemed as beneficial. Moreover, these apps work in cohesion with the software for communicating, planning, viewing and even sharing documents — all across the globe. However, the trickiest part would be to deploy solutions while making the best use of the software, if available.
The first approach could be the inclusion into premises infrastructure where an account needs to be created. For integrating a business app into a given premise, we need to purchase and configure servers. The next step would be to incorporate these servers into the datacenter. Subsequently, we need to work on quality, maintenance and even security of the concerned datacenter.
Based on government regulations and the urgency to keep the data safe, most datacenters have already been privatized. However, opting for a datacenter based on-premise architecture, purchasing servers and even safeguarding the same require a pretty hefty budget which is often a constraint for the startups. Moreover, the timeframe is also a major roadblock when it comes to configuring and delivering these new servers.
This is where the concept of cloud computing comes in handy.
Most startups can opt for this approach for fitting in their respective applications. The cloud offers a ‘pay-per-service’ model which reduces costs related to storage, networking, infrastructure and even computing. However, the flipside to a cloud-only approach has to be the security concerns and lack of compliance. Owing to this tradeoff many businesses are now opting for a hybrid cloud approach which presupposes the premise network to be connected to the cloud — allowing owners to use both, simultaneously.
Usage Scenarios: Microsoft Azure and the Business Apps
Microsoft offers Azure-based services to the businesses for deploying applications based on diverse usage scenarios. Azure comes with a wide-array of services for selective jobs and we will now be looking at the process of business app deployment provided the on-premise resources are already onboard.
Firstly, Microsoft uses the ‘Active Directory’ for access and user management over the cloud. Next in line is the ‘single sign-in experience’ which keeps the data private and doesn’t expose the same, over the internet.
Before initiating deployment, users need to connect on-premise infrastructure with the cloud— with a dedicated network. This can be achieved with a VNS or ‘Virtual Network Service’. The VNS allows us to create a network that has an IP address of its own. This isolated network eases out the process of connection— between cloud and on-premise infrastructure.
Upon initiation of this process, the datacenter needs to be connected to the cloud, via the VPN ‘Gateway’ service. However, direct connection, via fiber can also be initiated for better privatization and lower latency.
Now when we have connected on-premise infrastructure to cloud and even integrated the datacenter, the next step would be to integrate ‘Active Directory’ using any of the two specific approaches:
We can first opt for ‘Active Directory Services’ from Azure which comes with a managed directory, in sync with the one on our cloud.
The cloud works as a virtual machine and we can use it to connect to our own version of Active Directory.
Once, the Active Directory is integrated we can deploy the application. The VMS or ‘Virtual Machine Service’ can be used to procure the servers while the application, once deployed— can be configured to make use of the deployed Active Directory. This step also takes care of app testing and even continuous integration.
Advantages of Microsoft Azure
Based on the following scenario, Microsoft Azure comes with a few benefits when it comes to business apps.
This is one ‘pay-as-you-go’ model when it comes to pricing and allows us to move most expenses from capital expenditures to operational expenditures.
We can now rapidly access the computing model and network resources— minimizing the time to interact with the market. For example, if we are looking for adjustable bed reviews from a concerned company, having Azure will surely make it easier for us to look at the beds, via the application. We do not need to go the shop as the application makes use of the data in the cloud and premise infrastructure for enlightening us.
Azure comes with a host of network services which act as bridges between cloud and on-premise infrastructure. Some of these include ExpressRoute for Fiber-based assistance, VPN gateway, virtual private network and even the Virtual Machine.
Microsoft Azure comes with a host of managed services in the form of Active Directories which reduce the efforts concerning access management and even security integration. For example, the same company dealing in mattresses can remotely keep the data and newer innovations secure into specific directories. The application can be displayed to the public but the data remains private owing to the flexibilities offered by Microsoft Azure.
When it comes to operational infrastructure, Azure offers an extended scope via the Virtual Machines. The companies can easily get hold of virtual servers, desired number of CPUs, portions of RAM and even specific operational systems. This way any business can zero in on the preferred server configuration.
Cloud computing offers flexibility when it comes to decision making. The aspects of infrastructure are taken care of and one can shift the same over to a hybrid cloud while dealing with business-specific apps. Be it the decommissioning of old servers or adding extra servers to the hierarchy, Microsoft Azure or any concerned cloud-based service can offer out-of-the-box ideas for maintaining and deploying these applications. Just that, Azure is extremely intuitive and exceedingly cost-effective.
This flexibility transpires onto the business challenges and even business decisions — adding oomph to the entrepreneurial journey.