The advent of cloud-based services provides many different capabilities for a customer’s environments, applications, requirements, and other variables. Whether trying to get a new product or service into the market, or if you need infrastructure to support your internal organization, Microsoft Azure enables you to do so quickly and efficiently in a variety of ways.
For example, you could have an application that utilizes a web front end and a SQL backend. The traditional way to build this would be to create two IIS servers and two SQL servers. They could be placed into availability sets and then you could leverage one of SQL’s data replication technologies to enable high availability and redundancy. In fact, this is the recommended path when utilizing VMs to take advantage of the SLAs that Azure boasts. You will also need these technologies to auto-scale and load-balance against VMs.
Alternatively, Microsoft provides the option to utilize Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings. Instead of spinning up VMs, configuring those VMs, patching and maintaining them and so on, you have the ability to be served up with a database or a Webapp. Microsoft will manage the infrastructure, the availability and the SLAs. All you need to worry about is your code and application, and Microsoft, almost magically, handles the rest. Need to scale? Scaling on PaaS offerings is as simple as moving a slide bar. It will almost infinitely scale out as the demand on the application grows, and then scale back down when those resources are no longer needed.
Both of these options are viable, and your application, its code, and the level of granularity or customization you need will dictate which is the right offering for you. Customers will typically start on infrastructure as a service (IaaS) since there is very little you need to do for compatibility. If your application will run in a virtual environment, it will likely run in Azure. PaaS is a great option for new applications you are developing or applications to which you are making changes. You can save yourself some management and even licensing costs by moving to the platform offerings. The key is that there are options.
Want to learn more about how you can simplify your infrastructure with Azure? Our Cloud Architects are here to answer all of your questions and to help you begin an assessment. Fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.
Written by Randall Crippen, Cloud Architect. Connect with him.