We changed our name from IT Central Station: Here's why
Software Engineer at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Offers secure network access, with excellent app services feature
Pros and Cons
  • "Offers many data security features including securing network access."
  • "The cost management and billing section features could be improved."

What is our primary use case?

The solution comes with multiple features, including managing resources and creating a virtual machine. We have the possibility to create a virtual machine depending on the type of storage we want and the hardware configuration we want. We also use it to manage our code base because it comes with all the ICT features to allow continuous integration and so on. We are customers of Microsoft Azure

What is most valuable?

The solution offers many data security features including securing network access, and the portal is user friendly with a dashboard that makes it easy to find what you're looking for. I'd say the app services feature is great, and they provide free training on how to use that. They provide highly detailed documentation. The dashboard comes with a monitoring section so you can set up alerts for your budget, for example, and it will provide you with some metrics on how it's performing. In general, it's very user friendly. 

What needs improvement?

I believe the cost management and billing section features could be improved because sometimes it may seem somewhat complicated to find certain settings to set up a threshold for resource consumption and track expenses in real-time.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for more than a year. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft is well known for its scalability and stability, and this solution provides both. We have more than 50 users in the company. As a software developer, I'm happy with where it's at right now, but if the company is planning to increase use, that would be a good idea. As a developer, whenever I need to create a virtual machine or make use of Azure resources, I can easily do that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very good and responsive.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward because it was linked to our Microsoft account and it's just a question of activating your subscription. They have some training videos and their help and support is very responsive. I've contacted them multiple times on some problems and they were very helpful. I've also used their chat-bot feature and if that doesn't help, you get passed to human support.

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

I think licensing is pay as you go because you have a monthly budget assigned to your account and depending on which services are running, it's consumed from that budget.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend Azure because it's an enterprise trade cloud platform and can provide valuable insights of your data and of metrics of data sources in real time. It's totally secure, comes with support and numerous code development languages enabling scaling as you go. 

I 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.
Flag as inappropriate
Market Tech Partner at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
An agile, scalable and stable solution with good tech support
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution has given us more agility, scalability and opportunity to optimize the cost."
  • "There should be be better support for microservices and containers."

What is our primary use case?

The solution does not have a specific version. We are talking more about a resource group. Whichever is the latest version is the one we use. 

The solution is used across the industry. Currently, I am working on something involving the education industry. My previous assignment focused more on clinical trials or medical data. These are two of the most recent and largest projects I have undertaken. 

How has it helped my organization?

The solution has given us more agility, scalability and opportunity to optimize the cost.

What needs improvement?

The solution should have better interface capabilities. 

There should be be better support for microservices and containers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure since 2010. I have used it within the past 12 months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution gives our organization scalability. 

We have plans to increase its usage. 

How are customer service and support?

Microsoft Azure's technical support is good.

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

We did not use another solution prior to Microsoft Azure. 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

The deployment does not take long. In fact, the deployment time is not really applicable. When it comes to Azure, we are talking more about a platform than a proper product. I'm more into migration. 

What about the implementation team?

In our case, it is we who are the consultants. As such, we are mostly into deployment at the moment and not maintenance. There are other providers who handle the latter. 

What was our ROI?

I am not in a position to comment on whether we have seen a return on our investment.

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

The licensing is pay per usage, so it can be both monthly and yearly. It supports all.

There are no additional costs beyond the standard licensing fees. There are various licensing programs, so the customer may choose the one which aligns with his needs. 

What other advice do I have?

The solution provides platform as a service and infrastructure service, both of which are good.

Since Microsoft Azure supports close to 200 or 300 products, we are not talking about a single product or solution and this makes it difficult for me to provide advice. Being a platform, there may be thousands of users who are making use of it. However, in my organization, we are talking about nearly 200. 

I don't have specific advice to give. This product lends good support when it comes to Microsoft tech. If the organization is a part of the overall Microsoft ecosystem, employing things such as O365 or M365, then Microsoft Azure does a better job than the competition. 

I rate Microsoft Azure as a nine out of ten. 

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.
Flag as inappropriate
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Azure. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: January 2022.
564,997 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Jose Barbosa
Managing Director at Finanblue
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Secure, useful with incredible customization and the support is good
Pros and Cons
  • "If you have large traffic amounts, Microsoft Azure will continue to provide our customers with the best storage experience."
  • "The initial setup can be improved."

What is our primary use case?

We use Microsoft Azure to host our software development solutions and solutions for reproduction.

We have many solutions running alongside Microsoft Azure that are mainly for the financial sector.

We use Microsoft Azure to host and develop.

What is most valuable?

It's great! It's very useful.

It has a separate environment for developers and developers' solutions. We have environments for PaaS and quality assurance, and we also have an environment where we can lend our solutions to our customers.

We like the Azure DevOps.

If you have large traffic amounts, Microsoft Azure will continue to provide our customers with the best storage experience.

It's very secure.

Microsoft Azure has incredible customization.

What needs improvement?

It's not user-friendly because it is made for developers. A normal user can't use it, but for a developer, it is a very friendly solution.

The initial setup can be improved. It should be simplified and made easier for developers to set it up.

I would like to see the use of Microsoft DevOps simplified. It's automation to develop and deploy software that is very difficult to use. It is so complicated and we need extra time to learn it. It is not easy. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Microsoft Azure since 2016.

We use the standard S3 applications.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure is very reliable. It's a highly stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure offers huge scalability. We can manage scalability automatically or manually. It is very fast and very reliable.

We have approximately 30 users in our organization who use Microsoft Azure.

How are customer service and technical support?

The service is very good. They are highly technical and provide answers to things that are not easy to apply. Before the pandemic, at least, the support was good and very fast. 

We had some issues with support after the pandemic, where the replies took a very long time. Technical support could improve their response time. They should respond faster.

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

We use many Microsoft tools, such as Microsoft Teams, also Skype, and Google Meet.

How was the initial setup?

The initials setup is difficult. It requires specialists. 

Similar to Google Cloud and Amazon Web Services, it is complex.

It can take six to twelve months to deploy this solution.

What about the implementation team?

We had help from specialists to help with the complex setup. It is not easy for everyone.

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest calling a specialist who is certified to help with the setup and the deployment, don't do it yourself. The specialists are reliable and can deploy the solution faster.

I would rate Microsoft Azure a ten out of ten.

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.
Flag as inappropriate
Management Executive at a security firm with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Great tool for analytics, storage and retention, but carries excessive licensing costs
Pros and Cons
  • "It is stable and collaborative."
  • "The biggest area needing improvement involves the licensing cost."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for analytics, storage and retention, for just about everything.

What is most valuable?

The solution is fantastic, with Teams, the works. It's just an amazing product.

It is stable and collaborative. It also helps that every person has Microsoft. So, the ease of use and the compatibility between users is fantastic for collaboration.

What needs improvement?

The biggest area needing improvement involves the licensing cost. The cost of actually acquiring the solution is of much significance to small to medium enterprises, especially in countries that have a negative currency. The biggest challenge we face in Africa is the lack of awareness among overseas, European and American vendors of the massive impact that the exchange rate has in the South African market. A cost of $20 for you can equal 300 rand for us. This is what most vendors neglect to realize, that a price affixed to something for the European or American market cannot be applied to the rest of the world or to a continent like Africa. The disregarding by vendors of the importance of the exchange rate amounts to ignorance or arrogance.

My issues are not with the product itself, which I think is great, including Microsoft's strategy concerning respecting it and the consolidation. The pricing, in terms of what can be referred to as traditional third world countries, needs to be addressed. 

The main takeaway that vendors should leave with is that they should not neglect the market in South Africa or in Africa. It is not enough for them to want to have a presence or sell a license. They should also show a desire to sell a value proposition.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure for the last two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is stable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is very scalable.

I have clients who use it and there are plans to increase its usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

In respect of technical support, Microsoft's skill level in the African market is great. There has been swinging about in terms of Microsoft's skill-set over the last three years and I think this boils down to the company having undertaken much training and education. McAfee can learn from Microsoft. 

How was the initial setup?

As it is a cloud-based solution, there is no installation involved. It is more about configuration.

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

We pay for the license on a monthly basis. 

What other advice do I have?

The solution is cloud-based.

I utilize it both for my personal use as well as that of my organization.

We have a group company and I think this amounts to around a thousand users.

I would absolutely recommend the solution to others.

Taking into account the usability of Microsoft Azure, I would rate it as a seven out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Flag as inappropriate
RahulSahay
Data Architect at Prolifics
Consultant
Top 20
The data factory is a valuable feature; ML component could be improved
Pros and Cons
  • "The data factory feature."
  • "Auto ML could be improved technically."

What is our primary use case?

My current project is to carry out a comparison between Azure, AWS, and GCP, the three variants of cloud in order to analyze the best possible solution. In terms of costing and services I've been carrying out a comparison between all three. We are currently building the machine learning pipeline. We're partners with Microsoft and I'm a data architect. 

What is most valuable?

The data factory is a valuable feature. I come from a hardcore Microsoft background so I was able to relate to the data factory best among all the components as it's close to my existing system. 

What needs improvement?

I think the pricing model could be improved. I have that clarity with AWS but with Azure it's not that easy. If I am building a solution on Azure, the first question that stakeholders will ask me is about the cost. If I'm using multiple services of Azure, then how do I figure that out given that it's all on cloud.

Technically, I would say there could definitely be improvement on the AutoML part, which is the machine learning component of Azure. I made a comparison between AutoML versus DataRobot, another vendor that provides machine learning. DataRobot is definitely ahead of Azure AutoML. Of course that could be because I'm using the licensed version of DataRobot versus the free version of AutoML but there does seem to be a gap. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about six months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I haven't had any issues with stability. I think it's more to do with the volume of data that I am playing with which for now is only 5GB of data. I don't expect any problems.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't see any issue with scalability. But here again, on the cloud platform, there won't be any issue with the scalability but you need to understand the pricing. Once you have that,  scaling will never be an issue. 

How was the initial setup?

The complexity or otherwise of the initial setup depends on the person who will be using it. If you take the AutoAI services from other vendors, those are more graphical, more eye pleasing versus what Microsoft offers and less complicated to implement. With Azure ML, values have to be manually fed into the columns and that's clearly going to be more time consuming. 

What other advice do I have?

There are multiple players in the market and this seems to be a good solution. It really depends on the use case and on the customer. I would personally choose AWS over Azure because that's where my experience is and I'm more familiar with AWS.

I would rate this solution a seven out of 10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Director at a non-profit with 51-200 employees
Real User
Responsive technical support with a good pricing model and useful disaster recover capabilities
Pros and Cons
  • "There is the potential to scale."
  • "In a month, there is a plan to increase pricing, which is something we are not looking forward to."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for backups and ASO.

What is most valuable?

The ASO is great.

We enjoy the disaster recovery aspect of the solution, which is very interesting, as we pay when it is on. When it's off we don't pay. 

There is no effort investment. We just pay what is being replicated, that's all.

There is the potential to scale.

The stability is good.

We've found the technical support to be responsive. 

What needs improvement?

In a month, there is a plan to increase pricing, which is something we are not looking forward to.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've worked with the solution since it was first released. We've used it for a while.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The product is very stable compared to if you are going to employ it in-house. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. t's reliable. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is good. If you need to expand it, you can.

We are in Mauritius. Mauritius is a very small country. We have about 1.2 million inhabitants. We are not that big of a country. I have about 25 clients using it.

How are customer service and support?

We are an indirect reseller. We do have the CSP, the cloud service provider, in Mauritius, with whom we purchase. When we have an issue, we deal with them. They do have engineers that provide support as well.

That said, if there are any big troubles then we contact Microsoft directly. So far, our experience has been very positive. The callback is within 20 minutes. It's fine.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not simple. You need to be trained. It's not like it's just ready to be implemented - you need to be trained in what you are doing.

The deployment is quick and only takes about one day.

What was our ROI?

We do get an ROI from the disaster recovery aspect of the solution. 

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

The pricing is great, as we only pay for what we use. 

That said, the prices are about to increase in the next month.

We do have some clients in South Africa and some clients in Germany, however, we've noticed that the pricing for Germany is less expensive than South Africa. South Africa has a new data center, which is likely why the price is a bit high.

What other advice do I have?

We implement the solution. We are silver resellers. 

We are using the latest version of the solution.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

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.
Flag as inappropriate
Executive Officer at UK export finance
Real User
Top 20
Hosts our whole data center and has a simple setup and very good support
Pros and Cons
  • "We've got multiple tools on Azure, which is a very good feature of Azure. Our Palo Alto firewall and other things are hosted in Azure. We're using Sentinel as well, which is a security tool that is being used by our SOC teams. I've also used AWS, and I find Azure to be more Windows-driven. Although Azure is newer as compared to AWS, it is growing fast. Microsoft is working towards the betterment of Azure."
  • "As compared to AWS, Azure can improve its functionality. In terms of the feature list, it is still lacking a bit as compared to AWS. AWS supports lots of types of operating systems, which Azure is still catching up with. Azure is mainly focused on the Windows system, and it is not yet there in terms of integration with other operating systems like Linux, Unix. Azure is slowly catching up."

What is our primary use case?

Our whole data center is on this basically. We are UK Export Finance, so we've got financial products there. All of our servers are hosted in Azure.

We are using an Azure subscription. We are on Azure Public Cloud, but we have got our own private subscription.

What is most valuable?

We've got multiple tools on Azure, which is a very good feature of Azure. Our Palo Alto firewall and other things are hosted in Azure. We're using Sentinel as well, which is a security tool that is being used by our SOC teams.

I've also used AWS, and I find Azure to be more Windows-driven. Although Azure is newer as compared to AWS, it is growing fast. Microsoft is working towards the betterment of Azure.

What needs improvement?

As compared to AWS, Azure can improve its functionality. In terms of the feature list, it is still lacking a bit as compared to AWS. AWS supports lots of types of operating systems, which Azure is still catching up with. Azure is mainly focused on the Windows system, and it is not yet there in terms of integration with other operating systems like Linux, Unix. Azure is slowly catching up.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with Azure for the last five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Lots of glitches are still there. Microsoft is constantly working to resolve those. It is a new product as compared to AWS, so, obviously, it would have some glitches. Three years ago, it was full of bugs. It is much better and stable now.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We've got around 450 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is very good. Their response is very good. At the end of the day, we're a business, and their business support is pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

The setup is quite straightforward. It is not at all hard.

We've got a third-party maintenance company that actually maintains our Azure space. 

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

It is not cheap. Its price could be a little bit less.

What other advice do I have?

It is a cloud solution at the end of the day. People can pick up any cloud solution, but Azure is renowned. Azure and AWS are the main competitors in the cloud market now. AWS comes first, and Azure comes after that. If your solution is predominantly in the Linux space, you should go for AWS. If you are primarily Windows-based, you should go for Azure.

I would rate Microsoft Azure an eight out of ten.

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.
IT Engineer at a real estate/law firm with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable and scalable cloud computing solution that enables you to work from anywhere
Pros and Cons
  • "The most important thing is we don't have to maintain any physical infrastructure. With typical conventional on-premise solutions, we have to maintain many things like the hardware, clusters, etc. With this cloud platform, you don't have to worry about all those things. We have the service always available, and this is the main advantage. I like that we use everything on our standard Active Directory on on-premises on Azure. The key advantage is that you can have the sole indication based on the cloud. This isn't possible with an on-premise Active Directory. This enables work from home and at the office because it's on the cloud."
  • "It could be more flexible. If you look at all Mircosoft products, they are not up to the mark. For example, Azure Ready doesn't provide the same kind of access a domain administrator has and the kind of flexibility that they have when using Active Directory. Microsoft support could be better. Their service could also be better. For example, specific policies for templates suddenly become unavailable. When I checked, they said that certain things might be withdrawn based on customer feedback. This happened once or twice, and it wasn't available at all for five days, it just went down."

What is our primary use case?

I have been using Microsoft Azure for Infrastructure as a Service in the cloud. We're using it to get the devices registered and be Azure Ready at home or the office.

What is most valuable?

The most important thing is we don't have to maintain any physical infrastructure. With typical conventional on-premise solutions, we have to maintain many things like the hardware, clusters, etc. With this cloud platform, you don't have to worry about all those things. We have the service always available, and this is the main advantage.

I like that we use everything on our standard Active Directory on on-premises on Azure. The key advantage is that you can have the sole indication based on the cloud. This isn't possible with an on-premise Active Directory. This enables work from home and at the office because it's on the cloud.

What needs improvement?

It could be more flexible. If you look at all Mircosoft products, they are not up to the mark. For example, Azure Ready doesn't provide the same kind of access a domain administrator has and the kind of flexibility that they have when using Active Directory. 

Microsoft support could be better. Their service could also be better. For example, specific policies for templates suddenly become unavailable. When I checked, they said that certain things might be withdrawn based on customer feedback. This happened once or twice, and it wasn't available at all for five days, it just went down.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure for about ten months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Microsoft Azure is a scalable solution. We have close to 1,200 people using this solution at our organization.

How are customer service and support?

I have used Microsoft support before. I would give them a six out of ten. This is because we had certain glitches happen that could have been avoided. For example, they say that this is because it's a new product or the new architecture. They say things like, "it will be more stable after some time, maybe a year or two." 

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and deployment were straightforward. 

What about the implementation team?

Our in-house team implemented this solution. We have about 15 to 20 people to install and maintain this solution.

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

We pay yearly for the license. 

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this cloud computing service to new users.

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Microsoft Azure a nine.

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.
Flag as inappropriate
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Microsoft Azure Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.