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The pandemic accelerated many changes. Not least of these was pushing companies worldwide to migrate their workloads to cloud-based systems in order to facilitate remote work.

While many opted for Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), the evolving nature of remote and hybrid work calls for regular upgrades. As such, Microsoft recently announced a rebrand: WVD is now AVD (Azure Virtual Desktop). Spoiler: it’s even better.

What is cloud infrastructure?

Cloud computing infrastructure is the combination of hardware and software elements required to make cloud computing possible. It can include computing power, networking, and storage, as well as an interface for users to access virtualized resources. These may include servers, network switches, or memory and storage clusters.

Available cloud infrastructure aaS (as a service) options include the following:

  • SaaS (Software as a Service): SaaS delivers cloud-based applications and software which are hosted and therefore used online. Typically, people can use them by buying a subscription. All applications offered by the SaaS cloud platform (i.e., Google Docs) can be accessed via a browser or software, and through any device, anywhere in the world. When using SaaS, there’s no need to install any software, as everything is situated on the web.
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): IaaS is a cloud computing solution that offers provisioning, managing, and compute service resources over the Internet. It renders the technologies and capabilities of quality data centers (i.e., Windows and Linux) accessible without any significant investment in infrastructure. IaaS users can access this infrastructure with a simple dashboard or API. Meanwhile, all management responsibilities fall to the cloud service provider.
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service): PaaS cloud platforms involve using a virtual version of a computing resource rather than the actual version. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating. Appealingly, it allows you to avoid the expenses and the complexity of buying and managing software licenses. And it offers ready-to-use development environments, designed to create highly customized applications. Bonus: there’s no need to worry about storage space, OS, or software updates.

Enter Microsoft Azure PaaS

In short, Microsoft Azure PaaS is a deployment and development environment that delivers simple cloud-based apps to complex, cloud-enabled applications. Harnessing the power of Azure PaaS allows you to maximize productivity and security for your workforce. From DevOps to IoT to AI, Azure offers an array of trusted elements that can help facilitate building your cloud-enabled services or custom apps. The possibilities really are endless, as Azure is meant to fulfill many needs from just one platform.

The Azure platform helps businesses manage day-to-day challenges while continually working to meet their goals. It offers tools that support all industries—including but not limited to e-commerce and finance, and a range of Fortune 500 companies. Bonus: it also happens to be compatible with open source technologies. Users looking for the flexibility to use all their preferred tools and technologies have come to the right place.

How to use Azure

Azure offers five main PaaS service elements: Web apps, Mobile apps, Logic apps, Functions, and Web jobs.

In addition to empowering any office employee to perform simple integrations (i.e., an approval process) without going through developers or IT, Logic Apps also enable advanced integrations (i.e., B2B processes) where enterprise-level practices and protocols are required. Both Azure Functions and Logic Apps are services which enable serverless work: Functions is a serverless compute service, while Logic Apps offers serverless workflows. Much like Functions, Azure WebJobs is a code-first integration service designed specifically for developers.

Real-life scenarios for PaaS use include the following:

  • PaaS provides a framework that developers can build on to develop or customize a variety of cloud-based applications.
  • Analytics or business intelligence. The tools provided allow organizations to analyze and mine their data, uncover insights and patterns, and predict outcomes to improve forecasting, decision-making, and investment returns—to name just a few.
  • Additional services. Providers can also offer services geared at enhancing applications. These might include workflow, directory, security, and scheduling.

Why use Microsoft Azure?

The advantages of PaaS are many. You might harness its powers to accomplish any of the following:

  • Enhance and implement backup and disaster recovery

We’re talking extra-easy infrastructure backup and replication—for seamless business continuity and operational efficiency.

  • Host and develop web and mobile apps

PaaS can host a set of configurations for your web and mobile apps, with the ability to pick and choose from a range of specific features and functions.

  • Distribute and supplement active directory

Azure Active Directory Domain Services (Azure AD DS) provides a cost-effective, efficient, and easy-to-use solution which offers users and employees single sign-on access.

  • Innovate with IoT industry solutions

Microsoft Azure is a big player in the ISV solution space. Anything from Azure IoT Hub, to Azure IoT Edge, Azure Event Grid—and many more—are all potential contenders on which to base your solutions.

Still not convinced? To tie it all together, the overall benefits of choosing Microsoft Azure are as follows:

  • Feel free to shift computing resources up or down as needed.
  • Take advantage of support for almost any OS, language, tool, or framework.
  • This means 99.95% SLA availability and 24-7 tech support.
  • Your data is housed in geosynchronous data centers, which means high intensity and secure computing.
  • Perhaps best of all, you only pay for what you use.

Most of our partners like to think of our team as an extension of their own. Tired of spending your valuable time struggling to tackle tech support, sales, marketing and HR all at once? Consider allowing us to monitor, secure, and maintain your cloud servers. You know, so you can focus on the factors most vital to growing your business.

Join our partner program for the opportunity to take advantage of personalized guidance as you navigate the Microsoft partner ecosystem!

Written by The Sherweb Team Collaborators @ Sherweb