Whether you are migrating applications to a public Cloud, building a private cloud on premises, or creating a hybrid environment, you have numerous options today for your cloud platform. For a growing number of organizations, Microsoft Azure is a strong contender.
Why has Azure gained traction in the public cloud arena? Especially for organizations planning to manage their own private or public cloud, sticking with familiar software and hardware platforms makes sense. If your organization is using Microsoft Office 365 or Microsoft Outlook, you already have Active Directory in place and are familiar with managing those roles and responsibilities. You are probably also comfortable using Windows servers, and might have a strong relationship with an OEM vendor such as Dell or HPE, which has supplied your existing infrastructure and established a lifecycle management process for that equipment.
There are other reasons to adopt Azure. The ability to establish a single platform across on-premises and cloud environments, capitalize on a unique pricing model, and take advantage of transition assistance could make Azure the right platform for you.
Establish a Single Platform Across Environments
Microsoft Azure is more than a public cloud. It’s a set of services that lets you build, manage, and deploy applications where and how you want to. You could use Azure to run a homegrown application on premises, use a software-as-a-service (SaaS) application in the public cloud, or something in between.
One of the advantages of using Azure is that Microsoft offers a single, consistent software platform across multiple cloud environments: Azure Stack.
According to Microsoft, Azure Stack is an extension of its Azure cloud platform. It was designed to bring the agility of cloud computing to on-premises environments. You can apply a managed platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach or capitalize on serverless computing, distributed microservices, or containers—all on premises. By enabling you to use your own hardware with the same software platform used for the Azure cloud, Azure Stack can significantly reduce obstacles to the cloud.
Azure Stack can also help simplify application development and increase application portability. Using Azure Stack, your developers can create a single version of an application that will run on premises or in the cloud. There’s no need for time-consuming rework to prepare an application for the cloud. You can run applications where you want to, and have the confidence they will run reliably and consistently.
Azure Stack also lets you burst seamlessly into the cloud when necessary. Whether you have a short-term usage spike or want to create a disaster recovery strategy, you can extend your Azure Stack–based environment and tap into the Azure cloud easily.
Capitalize on an Alternative Cost Model
One of the key advantages of cloud computing is the ability to shift away from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operating expense (OpEx) model. It’s often easier to pay monthly fees than to periodically secure large sums of money for new infrastructure. Of course, with some OpEx models, you pay fixed monthly fees even if you consume less than what you anticipated. Microsoft offers more of a consumption-based model for Azure.
Simplify the Transition
No matter what type of cloud you are implementing, getting from point A to point B can be daunting. You might want to create a hybrid environment using your on-premises infrastructure, transition from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Azure, or move to Azure from another third-party cloud provider.
Fortunately, Microsoft has a robust partner ecosystem that can help simplify the transition. Service providers—including consultants from CenturyLink—can help you develop a strategy and execute the migration to Azure Stack or the Azure cloud.
Streamline Management with CenturyLink
CenturyLink has a strong partnership with Microsoft and offers a full range of solutions—from networking to managed private cloud services—that can help your organization make the most of Azure Stack and Azure. You maintain the same high level of security, visibility, and focused resources, co-branded with Microsoft, from the first mile to the last.
The CenturyLink Cloud Application Manager platform can help you efficiently manage your Azure-based cloud going forward. Cloud Application Manager offers extensive managed services for public, private, and hybrid cloud environments. You gain a single pane of glass for managing your Azure public cloud deployment or Azure Stack–based hybrid environment as well as other environments, such as more traditional VMware environments and those running on AWS or Google Cloud.
CenturyLink also provides access to specialized resources, available by phone 24/7, 365 days a year—because you shouldn’t have to wait 12 hours for an email response about your mission-critical application. Part of the Cloud Application Manager platform, CenturyLink Managed Services Anywhere offers administration by certified IT professionals plus fast access to IT expertise by phone through the CenturyLink Global Operations Support Center.
Start the Conversation
Ready to take the first steps toward an Azure-based solution that takes advantage of CenturyLink management tools and expertise? You can start the conversation with your Microsoft or CenturyLink representative.
In the meantime, learn more about CenturyLink services for Microsoft cloud technologies: www.centurylink.com/microsoft.
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