The need to implement cloud infrastructure is often associated with specific customer expectations, such as better scalability, competitive services and flexibility in terms of choosing licensing models. In today’s article, we’ll look at the Azure platform in this context. Azure solutions allow me to meet the requirements of most companies and create highly available and scalable solutions.

When to decide on the cloud

The most common reasons for moving infrastructure to the cloud are primarily the need to develop an application or a system using a solution that can be easily expanded, and which simplify maintenance-related aspects as much as possible. The ideal situation for a developer is building a cloud application from scratch. Unfortunately, I often come across cases in which an existing application, created in the client’s environment, cannot utilize the potential of the cloud and requires significant modifications to adapt to the cloud environment. This situation occurs especially while dealing with a monolithic application that does not have independent components required by the mechanisms of cloud platforms. In which situations should you consider moving existing applications or the environment to the cloud?

Cloud – when to consult?

If we want to focus on the development of the application itself, instead of constantly solving network or hardware problems, then the cloud will definitely be the best solution. However, migrating to the cloud on your own is not always the best idea. If we do not have experience in the cloud solutions field, it is worth considering the involvement of a partner who has experience in implementing these types of services, e.g. as part of IT outsourcing.

When to take advantage of consultations? 

  • We need an analysis of which solutions can be transferred to the cloud. It may turn out that the work associated with moving the application will require major modifications, which will impact costs.
  • We need help with cost estimation.
  • We need to define the scope of services for our solution.
  • We want to plan the use of the solution in terms of making it available in many locations.

The provider or partner will provide access to the service regardless of where the customers will use it. The Azure platform has 54 regions available in 154 countries. This is the greatest number among all cloud service providers.

Azure Cloud infrastructure

Currently, companies can choose from many solutions from global cloud service providers, such as Amazon, Microsoft or Google. In this article, we will take a closer look at Microsoft, an Azure service provider.

Azure platform – benefits:

  1. Possibility of using native cloud services

The implementation of cloud services completely eliminates the need for server maintenance in the case of choosing Platform as a Service. A customer who decides on Azure gains highly available, scalable services, and the supplier takes responsibility for their correct functioning.

  1. Possibilities of creating web application solutions

One option is to use the AppServices service, thanks to which the CI / CD (Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery) process is significantly simplified. This service offers the possibility of easy scaling and monitoring of the application. AKS (Azure Kubernetes Service) is another very useful solution, which uses docker containers to build architecture based on clusters. This allows for high scalability of the service.

Kubernetes AKS Microsoft Azure

  1. The possibility of choosing the SQL database depending on our requirements

In the case of the Azure SQL Database, we have the option of choosing the appropriate version of the database depending on our requirements. Standard and Premium packages are available. You can choose the model in which the base will scale depending on the load. To choose the suitable model and estimate the approximate price of the Azure SQL Database, it is worth consulting an outsourcing partner.

  1. Serverless approach

The serverless service allows you to host server code without having a physical server. Microsoft, for example, provides this service under the name AzureFunctions.  Thanks to this, there is no need to purchase access to the server in order to delegate the task to the cloud. Also, there is no need to invest in a virtual machine. The advantage of such a solution is that we pay only for usage, i.e. the time during which we use resources, because it is a service triggered by specific events (event-driven). This solution also ensures good integration with other cloud components, such as LogicApp. The use of this service is useful in the context of architecture – we use a standalone, scalable component by moving it to AzureFunctions.

 

  1. Better performance monitoring

Azure provides advanced monitoring of application performance and allows users to create operations statistics; it can also send alerts about critical situations, e.g. through the Application Insights service.  It allows you to measure how time-consuming operations are, which is a very useful feature for administrators and programmers. Application Insights monitors the condition of a given web application. Administrators also have the possibility of defining alerts sent in critical situations – e.g. email notification to a specific person regarding the functioning of the application on the Azure platform.

6. Safety

The available Azure services meet security requirements from the very beginning. We gain the possibility of encrypting our data, configuring a firewall, defining access limitations, e.g. via Azure Active Directory. Through the Security Center we can monitor the security status of the application, and thanks to the Advisor service we can receive information about unsecured areas of the application and any incidents.

7. Integration with external systems

Azure also enables integration with other applications by using the previously mentioned Logic App service, which works similarly to Microsoft Flow. Thanks to Logic App, you can connect applications that are important to your business. This allows you to automate workflows and thus saves employees time. For example, you can set notifications that will be automatically sent using Office 365 each time a specific event occurs in one of the systems or applications used.

Azure LogicApp

8. Central access to services

By choosing Azure, we gain access to a portal from which we can manage all services and servers. Regardless of whether we want to use the Internet of Things, blockchain or Active Directory solutions, we have access to all services from one place.

Check: Azure cloud glossary of terms

Summary

The Azure cloud is a scalable and flexible solution. In an accessible way, it allows you to tailor the service and costs to customer needs, thanks to services such as Platform as a Service, Azure Functions or Application Insights. Before deciding on specific services from the range offered, it is worth taking advantage of assistance from an experienced partner who will help you to carry out pre-implementation analysis and initially estimate the costs associated with moving the infrastructure to the cloud.

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Author:
Marcin Niesyn

Every day actively involved in the project implementation for JCommerce clients. He has been working in the profession for over 10 years. Specializes in solutions for web applications. After hours karate man, swimmer, dad.

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I hereby agree that JCommerce Sp. z o.o. shall process my personal data (hereinafter ‘personal data’), such as my name, surname, e-mail address, telephone number and company name, for commercial purposes.
I hereby agree that JCommerce Sp. z o.o. shall process my personal data (hereinafter ‘personal data’), such as my name, surname, e-mail address, telephone number and company name, for marketing purposes.
I hereby agree that JCommerce Sp. z o.o. shall process my personal data (hereinafter ‘personal data’), such as my name, surname, e-mail address, telephone number and company name, for recruitment purposes.
I hereby agree that JCommerce Sp. z o.o. shall process my personal data (hereinafter ‘personal data’), such as my name, surname, e-mail address, telephone number and company name, for future recruitment purposes.
I have been informed by JCommerce Sp. z o.o., 3 Ks. Piotra Sciegiennego St. 40-114 Katowice – the personal data controller – that: - The provision of the aforementioned personal data is voluntary but essential for commercial purposes if I have chosen a request for proposal, or recruitment purposes, if I have chosen the remaining options;
- I have the right to access the content of my data, including to receive copies of it and correct it, delete it and limit the processing of it, as well as the right to transfer it, the right to object to the processing of it, and the right to withdraw my consent at any time. However, the withdrawal of my consent shall not affect the lawfulness of processing carried out on the basis of the consent in question prior to its withdrawal;
- A statement of withdrawal of my consent to the processing of personal data should be submitted to the headquarters of JCommerce Sp. z o.o. or sent to the following e-mail address: zgody@jcommerce.pl. The withdrawal of consent to the processing of personal data shall result in the inability to fulfil the aforementioned processing purposes;
- The personal data provided shall be shared by JCommerce Sp. z o.o. with the company’s authorised employees and individuals collaborating with JC under civil-law contracts, who are involved in the implementation of the purpose of the processing;
- The data provided shall be processed on the basis of the relevant provisions of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), ‘GDPR’;
- Should you have any questions regarding the protection of your personal data, please contact us by e-mail: odo@jcommerce.pl;
- The personal data provided shall be processed for the purpose for which it was supplied, or until I express my objection in this regard. In the event of filing an objection, JCommerce Sp. z o.o. shall no longer process my personal data for the aforementioned purposes, unless it can demonstrate that there are valid and legally justified grounds overriding my interests, rights and freedoms or my data is necessary to establish, pursue or defend a claim, if any;
- I have the right to file a complaint to the supervisory authority if I consider that the processing of the aforementioned personal data violates the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation of 27 April 2016.