Microsoft has made some pretty impressive advances in their Azure platform the past few weeks. From Federated Active Directory Services to SQL Server Sync, they are making it easier and safer to get your data from behind your firewall to the cloud securely.
With the addition of Federated Active Directory services, Microsoft Azure customers now
have the opportunity to manage the security of their data in a central location, on their Active Directory servers. This opens up the opportunity to put your custom, or out of the box, applications and the data that supports them in the cloud without the need to develop an entire authentication mechanism. This is extremely important in a bring your own device (BYOD) environment where ex-employees can be quickly secured by locking down their active directory account.
SQL Synchronization has been tested by this author and is very reliable and expedient. By tying a synchronized SQL database to Azure’s new mobile services, applications can be quickly developed and deployed on Windows Mobile, Android, and iOS. Gone are the days of expensive cloud based SQL servers through an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider.
For publicly available applications, or applications for sale/download in the various mobile markets, this dramatically cuts back your bandwidth costs at the cloud provider level. For instance, in a typical setup, a hosted database is collecting your users’ data. This data must be queried by your back end portal to give the user stats and analytics of their data. Using the Azure sync service, data can be sync’d back to your in-house server in real time, portal data can be manipulated locally and sent back up to a smaller hosted database to provide your user portal with the data it needs. This reduces the amount of queries made to your hosted service and can save on valuable bandwidth costs.
We are excited to see the new services available from Azure and are in the process of building out our in-house applications to mobile to allow our employees the ability to be just as productive on mobile as they can be on a laptop or pc. The value Microsoft is bringing to mobility is just starting and is already proving to be quite worthy of a look at.
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If you are interested in speaking with someone about getting your in-house applications to the Azure Cloud, feel free to contact us for more information.