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Microsoft® Azure Cloud Migration Consulting

Expert Cloud Consultancy & Migration Services for Microsoft Azure in Dubai, UAE

Build a secure and flexible deployment + scaling options for any size web application
Increase speed of delivering applications on any platform and framework
Build a disaster recovery solution and pay for the infrastructure when required

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Build Your Cloud Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure

See How Microsoft Azure Cloud Services Can Help Grow Your Business

CALL US TODAY AT +971 4 334 8478    |    EMAIL:  sales@burhani.co

Your Microsoft Azure Cloud Experts in Dubai, UAE

Qusai Poonawalla, CEO, Burhani Managed IT Services

From The Desk Of:

Qusai Poonawalla

CEO, Burhani Managed IT Services

Dear Fellow Business Owner,

Everybody in IT is talking about cloud computing, and it can get a little confusing. It seems every IT executive, IT professional, vendor, pundit, marketer, and journalist has their own definition of cloud computing. And if you go up to C-level executives, there is still a broader lack of understanding.

In our customer engagements with Burhani we see a steadily increasing interest in moving key IT scenarios to the cloud. At the same time, there is still a reluctance to trust cloud solutions for core scenarios and, for example, a lack of confidence in security and privacy requirements. Thankfully, the advancement of cloud solutions is progressing at a rapid pace.

CLOUD FIRST, MOBILE FIRST BUSINESS WORLD

Many concerns about the cloud are no longer valid and, with the right kind of guidance, transitioning to the cloud has become significantly easier. When we look at the evolution of cloud computing, not only is it in the process of transforming how IT is managed in the enterprise, it also transforms the vendors delivering technology solutions to the enterprise.

Microsoft is certainly the most prominent technology company changing from a traditional software vendor to a leader in what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella calls the “cloud-first, mobile-first business world”. Azure is a cloud platform and a cloud operating system that empowers enterprises looking to move some or all of their business to the cloud.

ARE YOU READY TO MOVE TO A CLOUD-FIRST BUSINESS?

As we’ve shown, cloud computing and Infrastructure as a Service provide great benefits which will further accelerate adoption. So where are we going with cloud computing? Let’s look at how Satya Nadella describes a cloud-first world: “We are moving from a world where computing power was scarce to a place where it now is almost limitless.”

The “holy grail” will be treating the cloud as a total utility. Cloud-first means we will be moving towards cloud as the default option for IT, not just an afterthought or potential consideration. I don’t like much of the marketing hype around cloud computing but I do believe in the promise and advantages of cloud computing, especially because we have seen a similar evolution only a few years ago with virtualization.

At the time a lot of training and education was needed to get businesses to buy into the promise of virtualization technologies. But then things started to click and adoption started to accelerate quickly. Today, virtualization is a default IT strategy with large enterprises virtualizing over 75% of their x86 server infrastructure. I’m confident cloud computing will take the same path.

Cloud-first is coming too because it’s both an IT and a business strategy – one that provides much better ways to manage IT and control costs at a time where IT is getting squeezed like never before. Your CFO will love a cloud-first business world because the direct view of cost allows you to better understand and slice-and-dice IT spend. Your CEO will love the increased business agility.

You get visibility into which units or departments spend what on their IT needs. Depending on your perspective, this is an advantage or disadvantage. It forces IT, professionals, to think more like business managers and will alter job descriptions, skill sets and specializations needed. But this change also offers more opportunities for the IT team to move “up the stack” from a support function to a strategic business driver. In this cloud-first world, there will be IT teams who do the in-depth stuff as a business – for example offering cloud infrastructure management as a service; but the in-house IT team will be focused on delivering business value and solving business problems.

COST ANALYSIS: On-Premise and Microsoft Azure Cloud

A cost evaluation of two IT scenarios is never a simple apple to apple comparison. Costs change: for an on-premise scenario we have to look at factors including capital expenditures, depreciation, licensing, cooling and power. In the cloud, it’s about variable factors such as costs for usage based on a gigabyte or a compute hour. But it is definitely possible to establish trends and get pretty detailed.

Here is a cost comparison of a typical IT infrastructure scenario with a focus on provisioning of virtual machines.

For an on-premise scenario, we have to consider: 

  • Annual expense for Storage, including disks, host adapters, backup, tape, offsite storage
  • Annual expense for Network, including fiber channel, Ethernet, KVM switch, cabling
  • Annual expense for Infrastructure, including circuits, floor space, direct-current power, redundant power
  • Annual capital costs, including depreciation, cooling, maintenance, and hidden costs
Costs of running an on-premise infrastructure

For a comparable Cloud IaaS scenario with Microsoft Azure, we have to consider:

  • Annual expense for Azure Virtual Machines
  • Annual expense for Azure Storage
  • Annual egress expense
  • Annual administration costs
Microsoft Azure Annual Running Costs

Using IaaS provides the opportunity to further decrease cost by de-allocating Virtual Machines and only pay for what is provisioned. If your finance department is putting pressure on you to limit capital expenditure, IaaS is a great way of moving some of the IT cost to operating expenditure and reducing “hidden costs”. The difference in pricing can be staggering.

BUSINESS BENEFITS OF MICROSOFT AZURE CLOUD SERVICES

Microsoft Azure can help businesses of all sizes and verticals achieve unparalleled scalability, business agility and drive major cost efficiencies. This effectively enables organizations to adopt cloud services as a public or hybrid model.

With Azure, you own your data and have control over where it is stored and how it is accessed. The privacy of customer data is protected through the adoption of the cloud privacy code of practice ISO 27018.

Significantly reduce the cost of building and managing infrastructure
Build a disaster recovery solution and pay for the infrastructure when required
Increase speed of delivering applications on any platform and framework
Build a secure and flexible deployment and scaling options for any size web application
Pay for what you use model

Microsoft Azure Cloud Computing Services can provide enormous advantages over pureplay on-premise infrastructure because of the ability to provision and scale quickly and dynamically. Cloud infrastructure is sold as a variable cost, utility pricing model. You pay only for what you use, while you are using it. The pricing model and the total cost is attractive, but the real value is the agility cloud affords an organization. Simply put, with IaaS you can do stuff quickly that you couldn’t do in your own IT environment.

WHY CHOOSE BURHANI AS YOUR MICROSOFT AZURE CLOUD MIGRATION CONSULTING PARTNER IN DUBAI?

As one of Dubai’s leading Microsoft Azure Cloud Migration Consultation Companies, Burhani’s experienced & certified team of cloud experts can help you develop a customized cloud strategy that aligns with your business growth potential.

EXPERT SUPPORT : Our award winning team provides you with the support you need throughout your Microsoft Azure migration and long-term
FOCUS ON CLOUD SECURITY: Ensuring your Microsoft Azure solution provides you with the best experience and most appropriate levels of data security
SUBJECT MATTER EXPERIENCE : Ensure a successful cloud migration with our experience in transforming businesses with cloud solutions.
MAXIMIZE CLOUD ROI : Helping you get the most out of Microsoft Azure, from architecture design, performance optimization and cost analysis.
STRATEGY-FIRST APPROACH : Analyzing your existing services to ensure your Azure migration is smooth and has measurable success.

GET STARTED

Achieving cost efficiencies and IT infrastructure optimizations through cloud solutions are no longer a high-risk proposal, and services for cloud management and governance help remove a lot of potential complexities. It’s easy to try things out in the cloud, and no other enterprise platform makes it easier to get started than Azure. 

At Burhani, we will guide you through each area of Microsoft Azure to provide knowledge transfer around identity and access management, virtual machines, development, data storage and recovery and pricing, as well as long-term Microsoft Azure, managed services.

CONTACT US TODAY TO INQUIRE ABOUT OUR EXPERT AZURE MIGRATION CONSULTATION & MANAGED SUPPORT SERVICES

CALL US TODAY AT +971 4 334 8478    |    EMAIL:  sales@burhani.co

Microsoft Azure Infographic

A birds-eye view of Microsoft Azure Services & Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The cloud can be a pretty ‘cloudy’ subject for most people – and with good reason. Here are some of the most common questions that we encounter from potential clients who want to make the move to the cloud

What Exactly Is The Cloud?

Our Answer: As per the U.S. National Institute for Standards and Technology: “Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

What is the difference between SaaS, PaaS and IaaS?

Our Answer:

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS): Applications delivered to end users running from the provider’s infrastructure. SaaS is used by business users for email, office automation, customer relationship management, business intelligence, enterprise resource planning and other related scenarios.
  2. Platform as a Service (PaaS): Used by developers and application providers as a computing platform that typically includes the operating system, programming language execution environment, database and web services.
  3. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS is the foundational cloud platform layer. It is used by IT administrators for the provisioning of processing, storage, networks or other fundamental computing resources where users can run arbitrary software.

Why should I move my IT Infrastructure to the cloud?

Our Answer: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can provide enormous advantages over on-premise infrastructure because of the ability to provision and scale quickly and dynamically. Cloud infrastructure is sold as a variable cost, utility pricing model. You pay only for what you use, while you are using it. The pricing model and the total cost is attractive, but the real value is the agility cloud affords an organization. Simply put, with IaaS you can do stuff quickly that you couldn’t do in your own IT environment. 

What is Microsoft Azure?

Our Answer: Azure is Microsoft’s open and flexible cloud platform for business that allows you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications and services. Azure comes with many associated services, including those for compute, storage, data, networking, and apps. In a slightly simplified view, Azure provides services for applications, data, compute and network.

A more detailed breakdown by “Azure Components” can be found on the Microsoft Azure Documentation webpage, which gives an overview of services by similar function and important sub-services. 

According to the above handy Microsoft’s info-graphic, Azure can help you “quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters”.

You can also build and run applications using any language, tool, or framework within four primary models: 1) Virtual Machines, 2) Cloud Services, 3) Web Sites, and 4) Mobile Services.

Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services to help your organization meet your business challenges. It’s the freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive, global network using your favorite tools and frameworks.

How is Microsoft Azure different from Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Platform?

Our Answer: Amazon and Google are the only two other companies with cloud solutions and the ability to execute at the same global scale, Microsoft is the only one of the three with similar enterprise infrastructure and expertise at its core.

A huge advantage of Azure is the ability to integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment. You don’t have to choose between one or the other, it allows you to run a hybrid environment.

Azure also allows you take advantage of existing enterprise license agreements you may have if you already have Microsoft technology in your IT infrastructure.

How do I get started on my cloud journey with Microsoft Azure?

Our Answer: In addition to the technical planning, making the right business case is critical. Consider which scenarios lend themselves the most to getting started with a journey to the cloud. Here are two types of scenarios you could look at first:

Scenarios that are needed but not needed all the time:

If your organization has a seasonal need for high-performance computing or additional virtual machine capacity, think of the possibilities of using Azure to temporarily switch on a massive amount of virtual machines. Why buy the hardware if you can just switch it on for as long as you need it? You only pay for what you use. These types of scenarios are the low-hanging fruit when choosing a workload to move.

 

Scenarios when new expensive infrastructure is needed:

If your organization is growing or embarking on new long-term, IT-intensive projects, or some of your existing IT infrastructures will be reaching the end of its lifecycle soon, you may be looking at the considerable cost for new hardware in the near future. As outlined in the IaaS cloud vs. on-premise cost comparison in a previous chapter, a move to the cloud may offer a great way of limiting IT spending. That said, the benefits will only materialize with proper planning of all aspects. In addition to using Microsoft’s toolkit, you may want to work with a Microsoft consulting partner for detailed planning. For example, to move from testing cloud solutions to making them run in your production environment, you need to have the tools and systems in place that give you the confidence that IT health and performance are being monitored, issues can be addressed quickly, and costs are closely managed.

What Are The Different Types Of Cloud Deployments?

Our Answer: One of the reasons why Microsoft Azure is such a compelling cloud platform is that it easily enables all three options and integrates with your existing on-premise IT infrastructure. The three types of cloud are :

  1. Public Cloud: Shared services or resources provided by a third party and available to many participants or tenants.
  2. Private Cloud: Cloud computing resources open to just the owner. Can be hosted on-premise or off.
  3. Hybrid Cloud: Cloud computing resources spread between your own systems and a third party’s resources.

What are the various Microsoft Azure Services?

Our Answer: 

Azure offers many services in its cloud computing platform. These services include the following.

Compute services

Services for hosting and running application workload:

  • Azure Virtual Machines—both Linux and Windows
  • App Services (Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Logic Apps, API Apps, and Function Apps)
  • Azure Batch (for large-scale parallel and batch compute jobs)
  • Azure RemoteApp
  • Azure Service Fabric
  • Azure Container Service

Data services

Services for storing and managing data:

  • Azure Storage (comprises the Azure Blob, Queue, Table, and File services)
  • Azure SQL Database
  • Azure DocumentDB
  • Microsoft Azure StorSimple
  • Azure Redis Cache

 

Application services

Services for building and operating applications:

  • Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
  • Azure Service Bus for connecting distributed systems
  • Azure HDInsight for processing big data
  • Azure Scheduler
  • Azure Media Services

 

Network services

Services for networking both within Azure and between Azure and on-premises datacenters:

  • Azure Virtual Network
  • Azure ExpressRoute
  • Azure-provided DNS
  • Azure Traffic Manager
  • Azure Content Delivery Network

For detailed documentation on each of these services, as well as other Azure services, see Azure service documentation.

What are some scenarios where the cloud makes sense?

Our Answer: Think of “unpredictable bursting”, an unplanned peak in demand or sudden spike that impacts performance. Or consider “on and off workloads” or “predictable bursting”, when you have recurring peaks due to periodic increasing demands. With on-premise equipment, you can’t over-provision for these extreme peaks unless you want to have a massive, complex and expensive IT infrastructure sit idle for long periods of time. For example, if your organization is in need of high-performance computing power once a quarter, it is much easier to turn on several hundred servers temporarily through IaaS. Other scenarios could include transient or short-term environments required for development or testing.

If you are part of an organization with rapid growth, IaaS is especially relevant. Successful services need to grow and scale. If money is no object, you can certainly over-provision by investing in your own hardware at an early stage and overpay until you reach capacity. But if you grow faster than expected, you may still be in a situation where you can’t provision hardware fast enough. With IaaS you can scale your infrastructure on demand in the cloud, and pay more as you use more.

Another relevant cloud scenario example is “tier” upgrades for compute and storage. For a traditional infrastructure organization to increase a server’s processing power or memory requires an expensive upgrade or even a new server. This would usually take days and even weeks to complete. Storage I/O improvement would typically involve a SAN re-configuration or, in some cases, a new SAN. Local storage I/O improvements would require the introduction of additional spindles for a RAID setup, faster disks, or SSDs. All of these scenarios are time-consuming and expensive. With IaaS, these types of upgrades take seconds to minutes to complete with a modest increase in cost. You get tremendous business agility, something that is not possible with traditional on-premise infrastructure.

Even if your IT infrastructure needs are entirely predictable and consistent, IaaS is a good option because of the ongoing reduction in cloud storage and compute costs. The usage of a highly-available, enterprise-grade infrastructure to run virtual machines is very competitive using cloud solutions. And based on predictions by industry observers, the price is only going down.

How does Microsoft Azure enable a 'Cloud-First' Business World?

Our Answer: Microsoft Azure provides a great entry and transition strategy for organizations that want to extend their data center to the cloud, and the momentum for Azure has been steadily building over the past years. 

At the Build 2015 conference, Microsoft provided some numbers around Azure usage:

  • More than 90,000 new Azure customer subscriptions per month
  • 1.4 million SQL databases in Azure
  • More than 50 trillion storage objects in Azure
  • 425 million Azure Active Directory users
  • 3 million developers registered with Visual Studio Online 
  • More than 40% of Azure revenue from start-ups and ISVs
  • 19 Azure Compute Regions open

How do I choose which workloads to move to Microsoft Azure?

Our Answer: Using Azure to integrate Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) into your IT environment is a great way of getting started, and paves the way for Platform as a Service (PaaS) as a logical next step.

However, using Azure to enable IaaS in your organization requires the consideration of many options with many benefits, so it is definitely advisable to include a thorough assessment and capacity planning process.

At the very basic level, you need to inventory your tech infrastructure, and be sure to be able to answer these questions:

  • What do I have in my current IT infrastructure?
  • Where is it?
  • What are my performance metrics?

Microsoft provides resources to help with this process. For example, the Microsoft Assessment and Planning (MAP) Toolkit for Azure “gets your cloud migration planning process going with automated discovery and detailed inventory reporting of web applications, application portfolios, and database readiness for Azure platform”.

It helps you catalog all of the applications in your IT environment, and provides a readiness and capacity assessment.

Azure Readiness Assessment & Capacity Assessment:

  • Estimate the needed capacity to run your applications on the Azure Platform
  • Evaluate applications based on migration difficulty
  • Stack rank applications in terms of migration suitability
  • Obtain a TCO-ROI analysis for the application
  • Helps you to plan for the migration of on-premises workloads to Azure

Where can I learn more about Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft is putting enormous efforts into building out Azure, its cloud platform for business. Both the amount and the pace of updates to Azure are astonishing. It’s not easy to keep up with all the developments, especially if you are just getting started with Azure. Microsoft provides guidance and information on its cloud platform in a few places online.

Here are just a few of the key ones:

  • Azure Service Updates: This page is the home of all service updates to Azure. There are new posting several times each week, and you can also subscribe by RSS feed.
  • Cloud Platform Roadmap: The roadmap page provides a snapshot of what Microsoft is working on in the Cloud Platform business. It includes an overview of what’s become available recently, public previews, projects in development, and canceled projects.
  • Microsoft Azure Blog: The official blog combines posts from many different members of the Azure team; it’s a good place to start before digging into some of the other resources on TechNet and MSDN
  • Azure on Twitter: If you are using Twitter, the Azure account is a great way of following the latest and greatest from the Azure team.
  • Azure on Facebook: For those who prefer Facebook, the Azure team posts its updates here too.
  • Azure tag on MSDN Blogs: If you are looking at Azure from the dev/test side, there are almost daily posts about Azure here
  • TechNet – In the Cloud Blog: Brad Anderson, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Enterprise Client & Mobility blogs about Cloud here. While his focus is more on mobility, he does mention Azure frequently
  • TechNet – Building Clouds Blog: This TechNet blog focuses on “…building hybrid clouds that can support any device from anywhere”. It features a great overview of topics by track at the top of the blog, which makes it easy to dive into anything from Application Management to Disaster Recovery or VM Migration.
  • TechNet – Server & Cloud Blog: This blog aggregates posts from Microsoft’s Server & Cloud Platform team.
  • Microsoft Cloud Platform on Facebook: In addition to the Azure page on Facebook, the Server & Cloud Platform team has a presence too.
  • TechNet – Azure Forum: There are several Azure topic threads in the TechNet Forums. Just click on the drop-down menu in the left sidebar and select one of the topics.
  • Microsoft Azure eBooks: Microsoft offers a number of eBooks about Azure on the Virtual Academy website.

These links are only some of the “official” resources from Microsoft. Of course, there is also a large community of Azure users out there sharing perspectives on Redmond’s cloud platform efforts, including The Azure Group: Infrastructure Focus

CALL US TODAY AT +971 4 334 8478    |    EMAIL:  sales@burhani.co

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Microsoft Azure Cloud Consulting Company in Dubai, UAE

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, providing a wide variety of services you can use without purchasing and provisioning your own hardware. Azure enables the rapid development of solutions and provides the resources to accomplish tasks that may not be feasible in an on-premises environment. Azure’s compute, storage, network, and application services allow you to focus on building great solutions without the need to worry about how the physical infrastructure is assembled.

As one of Dubai’s premier Microsoft Azure Cloud Partners, Burhani has the experience and expertise to help you begin your journey to the cloud and transform your business in a cloud-first & mobile-first world.

Call Burhani today for a free Microsoft Azure Cloud Consultation.

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