This article is part 4 of a series of articles that focus on the Business Value of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure provides a variety of cloud based technologies that can enable organizations in a number of ways. Rather than focusing on the technical aspects of Microsoft Azure (there’s plenty of that content out there) this series will focus on business situations and how Microsoft Azure services can benefit.
In our last article we focused on data loss from the standpoint of system failure, corruption or other disasters that requires access to a backup. Today, and I’m surprised it took me to part 4 to get to it, we’re going to focus on Virtualization. One of the simplest and most common Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions is virtualization, or the creation of virtual machines in a cloud infrastructure.
Take, for example, the story of a local town. They have an ERP system that is currently running on Windows Server 2003. The nature of the application is such that it runs best through Remote Desktop (RDP) and is how both their local and remote users access the system. Like many towns they were wrestling with the best path forward for their infrastructure. Here are a few characteristics that defined them:
After an initial assessment it was determined that their existing infrastructure would not be able to support the new environment. A local IT vendor quoted them approximately $50,000 in hardware and software to create a new virtual server environment on-premise. Were it not for the ERP upgrade requirements, their existing hardware/software would continue to be sufficient for a number of years. $50,000 is a significant amount given that the town isn’t sure it is going to stick with the ERP system. What else could this town do?
In order to give the town some breathing room on making a switch to a different ERP system and ease their need to upgrade their on-premise infrastructure, the town turned to Microsoft Azure. Using the virtualization capabilities of the Azure platform the town created a new RDP environment along with the ERP system server and database. This solution, which the town connected to their existing environment with the site-to-site VPN capabilities of Azure, provided the town with a secure, reliable and easily expandable environment to meet their needs.
Before your town or business elects to go down the traditional path of investing 10s of thousands of dollars in a new on-premise infrastructure, take a look at Microsoft Azure for your virtualization needs.