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Strategic Sourcing Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
An absolutely stable solution that allows us to scale up and down as needed
Pros and Cons
  • "The ability to scale down is a big thing."
  • "It can be improved in terms of ease of billing or monitoring of the billing. That gets to be a little difficult."

What is our primary use case?

We have our data lake on it. In terms of deployment, I believe we have a hybrid deployment.

How has it helped my organization?

We can temporarily build out an environment for different scenarios, such as testing, and when testing is done, we can shut that environment down. So, we do not have an overhead in our own data center.

What is most valuable?

The ability to scale down is a big thing.

What needs improvement?

It can be improved in terms of ease of billing or monitoring of the billing. That gets to be a little difficult.
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Azure
May 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Azure. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2022.
598,634 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is absolutely stable. Microsoft doesn't want to sell something that isn't.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Its scalability is excellent. You just turn something on, and it is there. We have not made any reservations on it. We can scale up and scale down as needed. There is nothing that we have that is a commitment. We probably have about 500 users, and they are administrators, developers, BI folks who actually manipulate it and create reports, and then we have end-users for the data. They are the people that use those reports. In terms of the plans to increase its usage, right now, we're going through a merger, which will impact the data a little bit. So, we are in a holding pattern in terms of scaling up anything until that merger gets completed.

How are customer service and support?

We go through a third party for that, and their support is really good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were fully on-premise with some SaaS platforms, and we then moved to Azure for a part of that.

How was the initial setup?

It was complex, and that was mostly because of the security needs. We had to understand how things fit together. The original deployment, just for testing, took about half a day, but to really get it going and to be able to allow access to people, other than the administrators, took more time. We're a financial institution, so we had to have everything monitored and secure. It probably took about four months to get it functional on the production side.

What about the implementation team?

We used a consultant. They were excellent. They knew exactly what they were talking about. They were able to give us not only what was needed presently for our deployment but also the things to think about as we let the environment grow in the future. For its deployment and maintenance, I've got security folks who watch what's going on. They make sure that only the right people are getting the right data, and it is not being allowed to folks who shouldn't have access. I have nothing public-facing on it. I've got administrators. I've probably got three people in security and five people in the administration. We're a 24/7 business, so it is split across all of that time.

What was our ROI?

Originally, when we implemented it, it was basically in a like-for-like way, which is not the way the platform is designed. So, once we were able to really get in there and figure things out, we figured out that we could use a much smaller footprint. That helped us out quite a bit in terms of a return on investment. We are seeing probably about 75% of the regular data center cost in Azure, so there were 25% savings, but we could see that go down as testing was being eliminated over different platforms.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Currently, we do not have anything reserved. There are no reservations that we have built into the Azure environment, so all of our licensing is on a consumption basis. As things spin up, those licenses spin up. In terms of the additional costs incurred beyond the standard licensing fee, such as for operations, it's kind of tough for me to judge because I already had a fully-staffed operations team in a fully on-premise platform environment. So, we didn't spin up anybody extra for that. It just changed what they were doing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated other options. We decided to go with Azure because we understood the licensing and VMs and how all of that worked together. Prior to the merger, we were looking at bringing the platform onto AWS. It wasn't that we were necessarily exclusive; we just felt that this was our best first step.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise understanding what data you're going to be putting out there, and what your security requirements are for that. You should be ready to have a workshop so that everyone involved knows what's going on. Get a good understanding from the accounts payable team about how the payments are coming in and how to monitor them. I love the product. From a procurement standpoint, I don't have a lot of control over it. Unless we've got some contracting of what we plan on doing, I don't have a lot of control over licenses, etc. An administrator can just go out, do it, and put the licensing in place, and then it is like you've got to pay for it. It doesn't function well in a P2P type of environment. I would rate it an eight out of 10.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Deborah Gamelin - PeerSpot reviewer
Vice President at Asset Track for Cloud, LLC
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Flexible, easy to manage, and good training material is available
Pros and Cons
  • "In Azure, everything is pretty straightforward. Once you know it, the platform is very easy to use."
  • "It would be helpful if Azure provided more information on the various add-ons to give people an understanding of what they are used for, and how they're applied by other companies or businesses."

What is our primary use case?

We use Azure for a variety of services and we are in the process of configuring everything. We use GoDaddy to host our domain, and then we provision from GoDaddy for services such as email. This is one of the things that I just recently configured.

Right now, we're in the process of setting up the firewall. This provides us with security for the website. Firewalls are something that I have a lot of experience with because, in my previous organization, I dealt with audits and other similar tasks that depend on security.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Azure is the flexibility to pick and choose what you need, on the spot, and then be able to manage it yourself.

In Azure, everything is pretty straightforward. Once you know it, the platform is very easy to use.

The training material that they have is very good, and it's easy to understand.

What needs improvement?

Most of the problems that we've had are related to the DNS and the SSL certificate. Those two things have been a real pain. Sometimes, it happens because of GoDaddy and sometimes it happens because of Azure. Either we make a change in GoDaddy and the configuration is lost, or our developers make a change to the website and from there it gets lost.

It would be helpful if Azure provided more information on the various add-ons to give people an understanding of what they are used for, and how they're applied by other companies or businesses. One downside is that I find myself signing up and paying for things that I don't really need, and I have to call them to find out exactly what it is that I'm paying for. For example, I recently added the Azure Data Studio and I don't know what I need it for. I see that it can create a connection and run a query but I don't know if I'm going to be using it. That said, I will probably need it in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

My current organization has been using Microsoft Azure for the past two months. I have extensive past experience with it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, it has been fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Azure is a scalable platform.

How are customer service and support?

I have not been in contact with technical support myself. In fact, we have not had to reach out to them very often. We generally figure out things on our own but we also have an IT contract with personnel to work to resolve issues when they occur. Technical issues are something that you always want to try to resolve yourself.

Although we haven't had any problems that we couldn't resolve, we know that if we have to call technical support then we're going to be on hold for a while. This is something we don't want and can avoid by having our own IT support contract.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In my previous job, I worked for large telecom and we used a variety of products. These included AWS, as well as Azure, and we also had our own cloud that we leased to third parties.

I received training and certification on both Azure and AWS. However, I did not have much opportunity to use AWS.

In my current company, we migrated the business from AWS to Azure within the last two months.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for me was easy because I have experience with Azure, as well as AWS, and a private cloud in my previous organization. I was in the internal network group, and I had all of the operational responsibilities for that area.

We were able to set it up and get it working in a day.

Migrating to Azure from AWS was not a big deal.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of this solution is one of the things that attracted us to it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We considered both Azure and AWS for my current company. When we began, the company already had an existing website running with AWS, but I had more experience with Azure. We did extensive research to compare the two and we found that Azure was definitely the way to go.

We were already using several other Microsoft products, which means that our environment is more compatible using Azure.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing Azure is to look at the training materials that they have available. They are very easy to understand and I recommend running through the ones that pertain to your use cases. A lot of the time, it will have the additional information that is needed to understand the problem and help you to find the relevant information in other sources. For example, it contained information about GoDaddy that was relevant to our environment.

The biggest thing is that the information is all there and a lot of people don't like to look, but I suggest using the help and the instructional videos before calling somebody else. Everything is available.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Azure
May 2022
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Azure. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2022.
598,634 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AlanGulle - PeerSpot reviewer
Advisory Board Member at Codecon VR
Real User
Top 5
Highly secure, fully integrated, and helpful support
Pros and Cons
  • "The application services are the most valuable in Microsoft Azure. I'm not using them directly but I am using the function and the web applications. I don't need to pay a lot for the maintenance. I do not need to have a DevOps employee."
  • "The documentation can be outdated and is not as clear in Microsoft Azure as it is in AWS or Google."

What is our primary use case?

We deploy all of our projects in Microsoft Azure. We are a startup company. We have been since the beginning deploying our code in Azure cloud. We are actively using the full capabilities of two cloud services.

What is most valuable?

The application services are the most valuable in Microsoft Azure. I'm not using them directly but I am using the function and the web applications. I don't need to pay a lot for the maintenance. I do not need to have a DevOps employee. 

I am familiar with Google, and everything I was doing was in Google. I had to control my back proxies and do my own configuration files. With Microsoft Azure, it is all easy.

What needs improvement?

The documentation can be outdated and is not as clear in Microsoft Azure as it is in AWS or Google.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure for approximately four years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

It's easy to monitor, there's no problem with the code in their development. We had some stability issues, it was not the fault of Microsoft Azure, but it was the mistakes of the developers. It was easy to monitor it in Azure.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure is highly scalable.

On only one web application I created with one service plan I can connect 10  projects. Imagine one machine can run 10 projects at the same time because whatever the project has more requests or demands, it will scale its machines and auto-scale down. This is why it makes it affordable. I can control which project is demanding more computing power or storage power.

We have approximately 50 people using this solution in my organization. It is mainly back and front developers.

We are drastically increasing our usage because last year we were running 13 projects, and now 19 projects. In 2022 we are trying to double our team.

How are customer service and support?

The support could improve. For example, Python is needed for Microsoft Azure,  and the lack of documentation for the community is a problem. If you are a Python developer Microsoft Azure released an update to Python at the end of May 2021. Theoretically, I can use it with Python, but if I have a problem I need to call a Microsoft engineer to solve it. It takes some time. However, I did receive very good support from the Microsoft engineers to make my system production-ready, but language support for Python and other languages is coming late.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used other solutions, such as Google and AWS.

When comparing these solutions to Microsoft Azure, AWS has better documentation, Google's cognitive services, and predictions give better results, and Microsoft Azure has the best UI. If you want to reach the database of Google, there is no such SQL manager UI. Microsoft Azure UI is easy to use and has great tools.

How was the initial setup?

The deployment's easy and the pipelines are easy from the Azure DevOps, everything is integrated and it has good security. The overall setup is extremely easy.

What about the implementation team?

We have a team in London that is maintaining the solution. We have 450 backend developers at this site and approximately five people are looking after all the maintenance and admin roles. We have database and developers administrators that are giving access to the people for the production maintenance. 

What other advice do I have?

I am very happy with the solution.

Thanks to the training I have received from Microsoft Azure, which cost £60,000, I'm up-skilling all my team for the certification, databases, and machine learning tool. Every month I'm receiving approximately £1,000 from the training credit for the up-skilling.

It is simple to start with Microsoft Azure if you know the application life cycle. You can try so many things without any cost because of the serverless system. You will not be charged for any request at the beginning. For example, you are creating a function application in Azure the first 10,000 requests are free. It is great because you can anyone a developer to test anything.

They're not using very heavy machine learning systems, the system is generally cheap. For example, they are giving a free month trial and a developer can't finish it personally if they do not use a large computing machine.

At the moment they are adding new features faster than I expected. For example, they have Python support but five years ago there wasn't any Python support. They were slow at the beginning but now it updates very quickly. For example, the community services for the low code, no code power platforms, and the power platforms.

I spoke to my developers, machine learning engineer, data engineer, and data scientists and told them please use the auto ML or the community services better. As a London business user site team, we can create all the virtual agents and AI builders with the no code platform for the machine learning models for the power applications. The auto ML is very powerful and you don't need to be an expert in machine learning.

I rate Microsoft Azure a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Owner at a media company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Multiple tools available, updated often, and performs well
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature of Microsoft Azure is it has everything together in one place. It is one large tool with lots of small tools that are updated often."
  • "There is a need to be better on-premise solutions that are more helpful. However, I don't think that is the goal of Microsoft Azure. They want the solution to be secure cloud solutions with cloud applications. This is their main goal at the moment."

What is our primary use case?

We are using Microsoft Azure mainly for our test environment. Addiotanlly, we use it for our enterprise resource management as we have installed a SaaS solution.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Microsoft Azure is it has everything together in one place. It is one large tool with lots of small tools that are updated often.

What needs improvement?

I have found that if you not working with Microsoft Azure's GUI every day, it's not very user-friendly. It changes very often and fast. They are implementing new functionality. If you're not working with it every day, it always takes you additional time to get acquainted with the GUI. You always have to know all the tools because it's one software solution where you work with different kinds of tools to achieve results by implementing policies and other parameters. It would be better if they had everything in one place so that it is clear what type of operations we are doing, such as DLP. However, that's is how it is with all of the tools of Microsoft Azure at the moment.

There is a need to be better on-premise solutions that are more helpful. However, I don't think that is the goal of Microsoft Azure. They want the solution to be secure cloud solutions with cloud applications. This is their main goal at the moment.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure for approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The performance of Microsoft Azure depends on whether you have good bandwidth for your data connection, if the connection is strong then the performance is good. If you have a very poor connection, then it's can be a little slow, but has been okay.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have one administrator and one system engineer that are using the solution. They are doing the administration for our solution. We're not a big company, we have 19 employees.

We haven't tried to scale Microsoft Azure. It's not necessary for us to scale it at the moment. We have started out with one issue where we needed it and for very sensible documentation, now we are using it in different kinds of projects. For example, for many types of data classifications.

If it's necessary we will increase usage. Otherwise, we will keep the same amount of usage.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support of Microsoft Azure was helpful. They were very good because they spoke the same language as we did. We both spoke German. It worked very well, we have no complaints.

How was the initial setup?

Some of the aspects of the implementation of the solution are very easy if you know which tool you have to use. It's not too complicated if you know which tool you will be using but to find the right tool to do the necessary functions sometimes takes some time. I'm not doing the setup every day. I have one engineer that it is his job. But nevertheless, I also want to do the setup to know how it's working.

I am not sure how long the implementation took for our DLP project, once we started the implementation we started to use other tools and eventually returned to the main project.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation internally.

We have one engineer that is administrating and supporting Microsoft Azure.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

With every cloud solution, you have to know what you need and the cost can be fine. The price can be a little bit high depending on how you manage your costs, but overall it's still a bit cheaper than an on-premise solution but with the advantage of flexibility. You're always up to date with the software, you only need to use it. You no longer have to be concerned with the on-premise physical security. We do not need to create a data center, it's more convenient for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Some of our customers are looking for on-premise solutions other than Microsoft Azure which is cloud-based. We help them find the solutions they need.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others thinking about using this solution is to try it out. There are features which are very good and some other features where you should watch out but that's for every solution, you have pros and cons. When you're a small company, try everything out that is offered by Microsoft because they're one of the best. Microsoft is still the market leader in a lot of fields. I would suggest using Microsoft tools if they fit the relevant use case. If the solution does not fit the use case, or you need more security or other aspects, then you can look around for other tools. additionally, on the marketplace, Microsoft provides enough other tools you could use.

I rate Microsoft Azure an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Sr Solutions Architect at System Soft Technologies, LLC
Real User
Information protection is great as is the ability to provide temporary and secure access to vendors
Pros and Cons
  • "Good information protection feature."
  • "Could be more user friendly; initial setup is difficult to understand."

What is our primary use case?

The product is being used for document sharing and archiving. The company wants their customers to be able to pull certain documents that they put on file. The idea is that through active directory B2B, they will offer access to the different files and customers will be able to pull the files they need from the server. The company uses information protection to make sure that only the right people have access to the right files. We are integrators, mainly on the software side. We are partners with Microsoft Azure and I'm a senior solution architect. 

How has it helped my organization?

The company has different vendors that they bring in. This product has made it easier to onboard those individuals and to provide access to them when needed and then to basically cut them off when the time comes. The way they have it set up, documents can't be downloaded. They are only accessible online but can be accessed from anywhere so the company doesn't have to worry about setting up VPNs and the like. They provide a username, password, a two-factor authentication and that enables access.

What is most valuable?

Information protection is a good feature because you can label different documents and different files, and that allows them to put like NDA files in a specific bucket, as opposed to just regular, safe or confidential storage.

What needs improvement?

This solution is not user friendly to set up and it's difficult to understand, particularly with regard to information protection and the sort of licensing needed to utilize it. Simplification would go a long way. 

I'd like to see them improve on the watermarking. There's a feature that allows you to watermark documents that are checked out. Currently it watermarks a document with whoever publishes it. For example, if you wanted to watermark the email address, it doesn't watermark with the person checking out the file, but with the person publishing the document. It would be more valuable if the watermarking was related to the person checking out the document, in case it leaks out.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for several years and on my most recent project, for the past six months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability has been great. We haven't had any issues whatsoever with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

As far as I know, scalability is fine. Our current customer isn't huge so I can't speak to enterprise size customers. It's not infinite scalability, but it is Azure Cloud. If you need more storage, you buy more storage. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is fairly complex. There is a ton of documentation, but once you get through that it's really not difficult, it's just not intuitive. The product requires better documentation that explains things. I think a lot of it has to do with the licensing requirements. It's not obvious and so you can be following a step-by-step tutorial and still not get it right because the software requirements aren't right but it doesn't give you that in clear text. 

You can probably set this up within 30 minutes, realistically, as long as you know all the steps. Unfortunately, it took about four or five hours to troubleshoot the situation because we didn't understand what the license requirements were. We had to go and obtain those licenses and try it a second time. It'll be fine now because we understand it but there are certain things like having to be a security administrator within the roles and responsibility matrix, and that's not really outlined in the documentation.

What was our ROI?

The company wanted it to deploy rapidly. They didn't want to spend a lot on this project to buy storage, and clear that storage, ensuring that it was 100% secure. This was either going to be a very short-term project or it was going to blow up to something large and they weren't sure which direction it was going to go. Enabling them to use OPEX spend just to utilize what they need when they need it at a low cost, was super valuable to them.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend anyone wanting to implement this solution to carry out background homework on active directory, on information access management (IAM), and then understand the licensing before you deploy. That aside, it's pretty straightforward. I've learned that setting up secure documents doesn't have to be difficult as long as you take into account those caveats of understanding your licensing and active directory.

I would rate this solution an eight out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Information Technology Administrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Easy to add on services, relatively stable, and very scalable
Pros and Cons
  • "Microsoft offers free courses and an exam on their products. Many of my colleagues who use Microsoft Azure take advantage of those free courses to help them learn about the solution in depth."
  • "It would be nice if there was an on-premises version of the solution, and it wasn't just cloud-based."

What is our primary use case?

This solution is used to migrate data to the cloud. They have a few different ways that this can happen. You can use the public cloud or private cloud, for example. Or you can use a hybrid as well. 

If you want to add some services, they have that capability to do that. Even if you want to improve your network, and you want to add your storage, or you want to maybe improve the speed of your infrastructure, they have that capability. 

What is most valuable?

They own a SaaS model. They have applications such as Microsoft Office 365, which is a cloud service. When I was using Oracle Linux desktop, I was still able to use Microsoft Office 365 to do my daily work.

If I want to send a Word document, I don't have to install anything. I don't have to hassle with the installation of Microsoft Office in Linux. It's quite a process to do that. However, if we have the internet, we can do everything we need to without having to install anything. You can do all of the Office activities including PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook. It's very easy.

Microsoft offers free courses and an exam on their products. Many of my colleagues who use Microsoft Azure take advantage of those free courses to help them learn about the solution in depth.

What needs improvement?

It would be nice if there was an on-premises version of the solution, and it wasn't just cloud-based. Oracle, for example, has both capabilities. Some people don't understand the cloud, or are hesitant, and this might prevent them from adopting the product. Also, migrating to the cloud can bring a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of trouble to some companies. Some prefer that their data is not moved from the premises, or have requirements to that effect. If Microsoft could address these concerns, that would be ideal.

The solution has a lot of terms of services. These should be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I haven't been using the solution for very long. In fact, it has only been a few weeks at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's quite reliable for our organization.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have noticed that they have the capability to scale. Even you are not using some of the services, you can still scale. Let's say, you have bought large storage, and you notice that you no longer want to use it anymore. You have the chance to reduce that and not have to pay for more than you need. You pay as you go, therefore they have the capability to accommodate shifts in sizing. Most of the cloud providers do have that capability whereby you don't have to use something that you do not need.

We do plan to use the solution into the future as it does offer us good flexibility.

How are customer service and technical support?

I'm not really on the technical side of things, and therefore I don't generally deal with technical support. Therefore, I can't speak to their level of knowledge or their responsiveness.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, I've also used Oracle and IBM.

How was the initial setup?

I personally didn't have to do an installation.

All you need to do is read the documentation, and everything you need to know is right there. It's quite straightforward in that sense.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution offers a freemium model. There are some things that they can give for free, however, if you exceed certain levels in terms of what you were initially given, then they have to charge you for that. That's why, usually when you create the account, they want you to use your credit card so that when you exceed your limit, they will be able to charge you for that.

When you want to do the license, there is a certain amount that you need to pay. The pricing varies according to usage and differs in terms of the services and the models that you need. For those who need a platform as a service for developers, or infrastructure as a service, or software as a service, they provide for those scenarios. However, the pricing will depend on the service that you want.

What other advice do I have?

I'm a consultant. I work as a partner with Microsoft.

We're using the latest version of the solution at this time.

I would recommend the solution to others.

I'd rate it nine out of ten overall.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Sr.Consultant at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Very scalable, no upfront expenses, fast time to market, and maximum uptime for our services
Pros and Cons
  • "Its scalability is valuable. Depending on our requirements, we can add as many virtual machines as we want. We are able to get high availability for services. Services are always available, and they have the maximum uptime. If there is any issue with one of the services, another service is always available. It is pay-as-you-go. You don't have to spend any money upfront. You use the service and pay after one month or a couple of hours of use."
  • "For deploying multiple resources in a big number, such as in hundreds, we need a streamlined process and more user-friendly scrips. The scripts have to be more user-friendly, and they should also supply some standard templates to deploy multiple resources at a time. Currently, it is very easy to deploy a couple of resources, but if you want to deploy multiple resources, it becomes complex. The material that they provide for integration with an existing on-prem data center is complex. They have to make them user-friendly. The scripts related to resource management need to be simplified."

What is our primary use case?

The existing infrastructure of our customers is on-prem. We will be migrating or moving from on-prem to Microsoft Azure cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

We don't have to spend money to purchase the hardware, set up a data center, get people to work on it, and maintain security. We don't have to spend any money on these things. It is ready to use, and resources are available for us. We just create an account on Azure and start using the services. 

The time to market is very fast. We just supply the resources, virtual machines, and databases, and our applications are up and running. This helps our customers and us to be more future-ready and cloud-ready.

What is most valuable?

Its scalability is valuable. Depending on our requirements, we can add as many virtual machines as we want. We are able to get high availability for services. Services are always available, and they have the maximum uptime. If there is any issue with one of the services, another service is always available. 

It is pay-as-you-go. You don't have to spend any money upfront. You use the service and pay after one month or a couple of hours of use.

What needs improvement?

For deploying multiple resources in a big number, such as in hundreds, we need a streamlined process and more user-friendly scrips. The scripts have to be more user-friendly, and they should also supply some standard templates to deploy multiple resources at a time. Currently, it is very easy to deploy a couple of resources, but if you want to deploy multiple resources, it becomes complex.

The material that they provide for integration with an existing on-prem data center is complex. They have to make them user-friendly. The scripts related to resource management need to be simplified.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for one year. In our company, we have been using it for four to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has a very high uptime for services. They are able to provide as per Service Level Agreement (SLA). We are not seeing any downtime for our applications. Our users have not reported any issues. 

They have their internal redundancy for hardware and software. If there is an issue with any hardware, another hardware is ready to take the load.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is very scalable. We can add as many virtual machines as we want. We have 400 to 500 people who are using this solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not worked with support. We work in a design team where we have a dedicated Microsoft account partner to provide support. That support is fine. If there is an issue with running virtual machines or there are any infrastructure issues, another team takes care of that. I've not got any complaints from them that their support is not working.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously, we had the regular on-prem solution with our own data center. We had to deploy physical servers, networks, databases, and everything else. We needed flexibility and scalability for our customers and applications, and that's why we moved to the cloud.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was easy. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is operational expenditure (OPEX). There is no cost upfront. When you start using it, you have to pay the charges. Initially, the cost is less, but after you start using it more and more, the cost will go higher. It is a little bit costly, but that is okay because you get better resources. You also get better support in terms of how you create the resources. Documentation is available, and the SLAs are met. 

What other advice do I have?

Companies are now starting to switch over to Azure, and before doing any kind of migration, they need to plan each and everything from scratch. They should have a Microsoft consultant or somebody from Microsoft so that they can plan well before using Azure. Otherwise, they will not be aware of where they are spending and how they can reduce the spending. They would also not know whether their security compliances are being met and whether their network is being fully utilized or having some issues. Proper planning has to be done before using Azure. 

I would rate Microsoft Azure an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Owner at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Helpful online community, plenty of documentation, and simple setup
Pros and Cons
  • "Microsoft Azure has hundred of services that they offer on the platform."
  • "There are times when using a service in Microsoft Azure can be confusing because you have four or five options that do similar operations. It would be helpful if there was a clear decision tree around those features. Microsoft does provide a lot of decision trees around a lot of their services, but it's not for everything."

What is our primary use case?

We use Microsoft Azure for many different services. For example, we use the Azure Boards for work and issue tracking. The Azure Repos is a place we store code, it is similar to a Git repository for us. Microsoft Azure has pipelines for the deployment of your applications across environments. There are different cloud services for different use cases in Microsoft Azure that I interact with on a daily basis.

How has it helped my organization?

Microsoft Azure has benefited our organization mostly because we moved all our infrastructure to the cloud. That has helped with cost optimization. We don't have to worry about operational maintenance for things such as patching or updates for any of the servers because everything is handled by the cloud itself. We are always using the latest version.

What is most valuable?

Microsoft Azure has hundred of services that they offer on the platform.

The Microsoft Azure platform in itself is very good. The documentation that is available I find very handy and the community behind it is helpful. If you have any problems or anything, you can easily reach Microsoft's community, and then there would be someone who would be willing to help. That's a very good plus point for Microsoft Azure.

What needs improvement?

There are times when using a service in Microsoft Azure can be confusing because you have four or five options that do similar operations. It would be helpful if there was a clear decision tree around those features. Microsoft does provide a lot of decision trees around a lot of their services, but it's not for everything.

This would be helpful for the users because sometimes it gets confusing what to use, what not to use. Then you start with something, and then after two months, you think you should have used something else. There are approximately 200 services and I have found this issue with approximately 10 of them.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure for approximately seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure is stable, I did not encounter any issues or anything in the platform. The uptime is very good. 

When you design your solution, you can make sure that everything is accounted for in your design, such as all the options are there. Microsoft Azure in itself is rarely down. If there is a complete blackout it can happen, but normally no. It's very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability of Microsoft Azure is unlimited. You never have to be concerned with scalability. You only have to pay for it and then the scaling is available for you.

I have approximately 50 to 100 people using this solution in my organization. I use the solution on a daily basis.

How are customer service and support?

I have not needed to contact the technical to Microsoft in my current experience. In the past, I have contacted Microsoft once or twice, but the process is straightforward. You raise a ticket, and then Microsoft's people reach out to you.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Microsoft Azure is very straightforward. You don't have to do any setup. You only have to sign up on the Microsoft Portal, and then you can start using it.

What about the implementation team?

I did the implementation of Microsoft Azure myself.

There is not any maintenance required for this solution. If we build any solution on top of Microsoft Azure, then that's something that we have to take care of and maintain. The Microsoft Azure platform in itself does not need any maintenance from us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Microsoft Azure is not expensive. You pay for what you use. If you are using it everything could be expensive.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We choose Microsoft Azure after doing the proper comparisons and proof of concepts. We did a complete pros and cons list for our vendor selection process.

What other advice do I have?

I would highly recommend Microsoft Azure to others.

I would advise others that one of the most important points to make is to make sure that the security and governance of the platform have been thought of before you start building everything around it. Make sure you build your security framework and the governance framework around the platform that suits your company. Every company is different. Everyone will have different security and governance rules.

I rate Microsoft Azure a nine out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Buyer's Guide
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Updated: May 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Azure Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.