Make the Right Decisions for your Microsoft Azure Infrastructure
Cloud isn’t a single technology; it’s a way of accessing multiple kinds of technical resources. To use any cloud, like Microsoft Azure, effectively you need to make a series of decisions about which cloud resources you’ll use.
Azure Virtual Machines
Your servers in the cloud run in virtual machines called instances, so your first decision is which kind of virtual machine to use. Azure offers numerous different kinds of instances designed to support different kinds of computing. You’ll need to know which workloads you’ll be running on your instances to select the best fit.
You’ll also need to decide which Azure storage option you want to use. Again, you’ll need to know the kind of data you want to store in order to make the appropriate choice. In some cases, you’ll choose a database service Microsoft will handle the underlying storage solution. Otherwise, you should choose a storage type that provides the level of availability and performance the data you’re storing requires.
Networking is the third core infrastructure element in your cloud environment. All cloud usage depends on a reliable network connection with the necessary bandwidth and latency characteristics to support your data and applications. To avoid the security risks and performance variability of the public internet, consider using ExpressRoute or virtual private networks when establishing connections with Azure.
Azure User Management
Identity and access management remains an important consideration when using cloud. Federated identity allows you to integrate your on premises Active Directory with Azure Active Directory, simplifying user management. It also enables single sign-on, which simplifies cloud access for your users. Multi-factor authentication adds an additional level of security; consider combining that with conditional access to obtain tight control over remote and mobile usage of your Azure services.
Managing user access is only one aspect of securing your cloud. Appropriate configuration settings and encryption are also vital to information security in the cloud. You can let Microsoft manage your encryption keys or retain control for yourself. Tools such as Azure Advisor provide advice for protecting your resources. Consider using Azure Resource Manager to implement templates and ensure consistency and correctness of the security settings across your Azure instances.
You’ll need to continue monitoring your resources in Azure as you would resources in your data center. Microsoft provides a number of tools that provide visibility into your systems status and guidance in resolving problems. Numerous logs are available, along with tools to integrate them into a dashboard and analytics to aid in their interpretation. Don’t overlook the importance of designing a process for monitoring and supporting your Azure infrastructure.
Get help making these critical Azure decisions from the team at Prescient Solutions. Our Azure services enable businesses in Chicago and Schaumburg to design, implement, and manage productive, efficient cloud environments. Contact us to learn more about making the most of Microsoft Azure cloud.