Microsoft’s Azure has been growing at a phenomenal rate as per the statistics revealed this year at the Build Conference. Compared to last year’s 100k new subscriptions per month, this year this figure has jumped to 120k customers every month. There are nearly 5 million organizations who are actively using the Azure directory with about 40% of Azure’s revenue generated from startups and ISVs.
Let us look at some of the reasons behind the popularity of Azure amongst startups.
- Easy to Use and Deploy
IT pros of small and medium organizations, especially the ones who are comfortable with Windows Admin, find Azure to be easy-to-use with its several out-of-the-box features. The interface is extremely intuitive with wizard-like features. Microsoft Azure provides complete freedom for companies to build and deploy anywhere, as per their needs and manage applications through a global network of data centers. Additionally, it allows them to use applications, tools, and frameworks of their choice. Azure supports a wide range of operating systems and programming languages, open source technologies, databases and devices.
Azure solutions can bring considerable savings for startups in terms of cost – with Azure, it is much cheaper, easier and quicker to enhance and scale their infrastructure, according to their needs. In case of an on-premises data center, organizations need to spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on hardware and software. Besides, there is a cost involved in terms of high IT payroll overhead for managing such equipment. By utilizing the enormous infrastructure and expertise of Microsoft, small companies relying on Azure can drastically cut down on their IT expenses by paying as per their need – on a pay-per-use basis.
Azure has BizSpark, which is a startup friendly program from Microsoft. Under this program, the (early stage) startups can get 5 free accounts for using Microsoft developer software. It also provides free Azure hosting credits. This is extremely beneficial for startups who generally work with constrained resources and budgets.
- Disaster Recovery
With its high speed and decentralized infrastructure, Azure offers unlimited possibilities for disaster recovery plans. This helps startups to run their critical applications and data through redundant sites during the recovery periods which can span across hours or even days. The work remains unaffected and there is less risk of losing business by having a solid disaster recovery system as offered by Azure.
- Wide Range of Applications
There is host of offerings available through Azure including Visual Studio Team Services, Visual Studio Application Insights along with on demand storage options for regularly used data. Besides, it’s possible to move an application right from test to production stage through a globally distributed network. Small companies can make huge savings through the massive licensing discounts that are offered for migrating their current applications to Azure. Under the BizSpark program, startups also get access to expensive enterprise software such as Oracle, SharePoint, SAP etc. for any integration or testing purposes – this allows them to test their applications without having to invest in expensive enterprise technology.
- Data Protection
With its decade long experience in creating enterprise software, Microsoft has been successful in creating solid security practices and a robust technology that safeguards Azure infrastructure against attacks. It helps in keeping the company’s customer data secure by managing and controlling user access with a more secure sign-in. Azure also provides many options to choose based on the business needs with its wide encryption possibilities. It offers protections against online threats with an anti-malware for virtual machines as well as cloud services. Startups don’t need to hire a team of IT engineers for protecting their data – Azure does that for them!
One of the key advantages for small companies of using Azure is the flexibility that it offers to scale the resources up or down depending on their needs. Vertical scaling allows businesses to scale the number and capability of the resources up or down. On the other hand, horizontal scaling enables them to scale out by increasing the number of resources or scale in by decreasing them based on the processing jobs. This helps companies to have a scalable architecture that can be automatically scaled up or down depending on their specific business requirements.
Microsoft offers extremely prompt and great support to any requests. Microsoft is also open to organizing workshops to help startups fully utilize the Azure power. It also offers prompt support via emails and calls.
Azure offers startups the key benefits and helps them accelerate their innovation. Azure’s global scale and easy to use services allow startups to build and run innovative and mission-critical applications in a cost effective way without compromising on security or privacy. Startups have the flexibility to build applications using their favorite technology and also have an option to build and deploy big data and IoT applications using machine learning and AI. Microsoft's BizSpark programs, which are focused on startups help them get started quickly with Azure.
To know how Azure can help your startup, talk to our Azure engineers for free!