Microsoft Azure is a set of cloud services that helps organizations operate applications on the cloud. This makes it possible for these organizations to operate on a global scale, using frameworks and tools that best support their business goals. “Okay, great,” you say, “but how much has Microsoft Azure really caught on?” Well, 80% of Fortune 500 companies are now on the Microsoft Cloud. In addition:

  • Azure’s share of the cloud market is 31%
  • 40% of Azure revenue comes from ISVs and startups
  • There are 6 million government Azure users
  • 300,000 developers use Azure

Clearly, Azure is catching on and there’s a good reason for that. Azure offers a number of benefits that include:

  • Full compliance, including HIPAA, ISO 27001, SOC 1, SOC 2, and FedRAMP
  • Enhanced security thanks to multi-factor identification when signing in, full data encryption, and full network security
  • Data center redundancy using Microsoft’s infrastructure
  • Full privacy regardless of where or when you are accessing your data

However, migrating to Azure and maintaining operations can be a daunting task that consumes a lot of time and resources. This is especially the case for managed service providers (MSPs) that are in turn managing their many customers’ IT environments. This is why automating the migration process and the operation of Azure is critical for MSPs, particularly those that are small- and medium-sized, to thrive in the cloud environment. This is where Nerdio for Azure comes in.

Azure Automation

The Azure automation allows the creation of a fully cloud-based IT environment within just two hours. No engineers are required, and Azure can be customized to suit the needs of the customer. This gives MSPs a lot more power to ensure their customers get what they need in the most cost effective way, not matter how big or small they are.

However, the automation of Azure does so much more than simplify the setup process. Let’s take a look:

Centralized Management – When an MSP manages dozens or hundreds of customers, each of which has dozens or hundreds of computers, users, mailboxes, servers, VPNs, and backups, it can become a tangled web of management that is difficult to navigate.  Azure automation takes away that complication, leaving a clear path to follow. With full Azure automation, MSPs can easily manage tasks that were once incredibly complicated. This includes:

  • Password management and changes
  • Unlocking users
  • Resetting desktops
  • Changing group memberships

Performance Monitoring – The performance monitoring feature of Azure is automated to keep track of user activities in an easy-to-understand manner. This takes what has traditionally been a confusing array of system metrics and made them relatable and easy to monitor.

Automation of Backups – Never worry about backups again with Azure. It’s all automated so that every single night all desktops and servers are backed up. Even individual desktops and severs can be backed up at any time with just a few clicks of the mouse button.

Intelligent Autoscaling – With the automation of Azure, scaling your use of Azure up or down is no longer a nightmare scenario. Azure will automatically scale up or down RDS session hosts and will shut down VDI desktop VMs whenever they aren’t being used.

Tools for Onboarding – Onboarding and customization have never been easier, thanks to the automated tools for Azure. With automation it is simple to add custom domains, import existing users from an older Active Directory (AD) to a new one, and do a number of other tedious onboarding tasks with ease. You can even integrate your on-premise AD with the cloud AD.

A New Way to Deliver Services

Through Azure automation comes specific use cases that make it easier than ever to find the right cloud service for your organization or MSP. These use cases include:

Desktop-as-a-Service – DaaS allows MSPs to easily migrate desktops to the cloud, getting rid of the need for local device management. All virtual desktops can be integrated with Office 365 and connected to SaaS and client/server apps. Plus, users, licenses, shared mailboxes, and security groups can be managed from a user-friendly management portal, with always-on Windows desktop access from any internet-connected device.

Blog: How to Make Sense of Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS)

Hosted Remote Desktop Server – With the hosted RDS, it is easy to migrate an existing RDS deployment to Azure. Plus, it is just as easy to set up a new RDS deployment.

Blog: 6 Benefits of Using Microsoft Azure Remote Desktop Services

Line of Business Servers – LOB servers make it easy to:

  • Extend an existing network and AD into Azure
  • Migrate LOB business apps and database servers to Azure
  • Manage server infrastructure and all backups in Azure

IT-as-a-Service – The entire IT stack for an MSP can be migrated to Azure with ease and set up as ITaaS. This migration will make it completely unnecessary to run an on-premises infrastructure. All desktops, servers, security, and backups can be run completely within Azure and it’s simple to integrate with email, file storage, and collaboration within Office 365.

It’s All-Inclusive

Everything you need to manage your desktop and IT migrations to and operations on the cloud is completely built into the automated Azure environment. This makes automated Azure a cost-effective way for small- and medium-sized MSPs to help their customers migrate to the cloud and adequately serve their needs without costing a fortune. And since they can easily scale their use of Azure as they grow, there is no more efficient way to make the cloud work for them.

Azure automation is completely changing the cloud IT game, making access and migration to the cloud easier than ever before. Now, SherWeb is simplifying Azure through its partnership with Nerdio, using Nerdio for Azure to make the leap to easy-access cloud IT without all the complications that once came with it.

Written by Sophie Furnival Content Specialist @ SherWeb

Sophie is SherWeb's Marketing Communications Strategist.