Hello Visitors! It seems that you are looking for some healthy guidance to find the best cloud platform to host your web applications or websites on and that’s why you are on this page. Alright, I’ll make it easy for you.
Today, there are unlimited companies offering you the web space via various hosting solutions. But hosting your application on a standalone hosting solution is a risky thing as your application may face down time in case of infrastructure failure or maintenance. So more and more people are moving to ‘Cloud Solutions’ where your application won’t go down, but choosing the cloud provider may be a big and confusing question.
Let me clear the cloudy confusion for you. 🙂
There are three major players who provide Cloud websites and Web Apps- Google, Amazon and Microsoft Azure.
Google provides websites and Web Apps but they are more focused on Infrastructure level. They have very few features. Amazon and Microsoft both provide almost same features but their major differentiating factor is that AWS is technologically very different from other familiar technologies, so user has to learn AWS functionalities first to make and run his applications while it is not the case with Microsoft as its technologies have been around with us for many years now.
This puts it in a favored position over AWS and Google. But if this is not enough reason for you to opt for Microsoft Azure cloud, then let me explain what makes it more important and different from consumer’s viewpoint:
- Use your same development skills: Use your current development skills to code your website with your favorite language, framework or IDE and run them as it is on Microsoft Azure Websites without much hassle. You just need to do few clicks and your application is ready to go live. It provides integration services with Visual Studio, SQL Server with your local environment.
- Web Apps Templates Gallery: You can use existing Web Apps gallery templates for WordPress, Joomla, Django, Drupal etc. and other CMS from WebApp gallery.
- Use your programming Language: Azure Website and Web Apps provide you various platforms to run your website on, irrespective of your programming language. It provides you Java, PHP, C#.NET, HTML, Node.js, Python platforms to run your code on.
- Fast Performance: Microsoft uses highly scalable, best performing and well tested hardware which gives you very good performance.
- Very nice database combinations: You can get combinations of your web apps with latest versions of databases like MS SQL, MySQL, and Oracle.
If you’re still not convinced and are thinking that you can get these features from any cloud provider, let me take you in deep detail as to what makes Microsoft Azure different all others:
- High Availability:
Very first worry of any business- website should not be down in any case. Azure Websites and Web Apps services run on a Very Highly Available Infrastructure which never lets your website go down. So, your website will be always available.
- Auto Scaling:
Now what is this? Depending on the type of your business, your website gets traffic. There are certain time period when you get high volume of traffic. We call it peak time traffic. Rest of the time, you get normal traffic. So how does your website handle peak time traffic? In normal cases, websites get crashed.
Remember Flipkart’s ‘Mega Sale Day’ in 2014? Their website got crashed so many times on that day as it was not designed to handle huge traffic. The loss they had at that time is unimaginable and their CEO had to apologize from their customers too. So, if you don’t want to face this, use Microsoft Azure Website and Web Apps as it gives you a feature to automatically scale-up or out your servers to handle load. Isn’t that awesome?
- Integrations with DevOps:
You can get continued integration with GitHub, TeamCity, VSTS, Hudsone or BitBucket to test, debug, check integrations and deploy your web applications before you live them.
- Staged Deployment:
Traditionally, changing your code and uploading it from FTP involve lots of hassles- website downtime, removing old code, uploading latest code and finally debugging to make live environment perfect. But why bother with all this when with Microsoft Azure, you can perform upgradation of your code in live production without any down time. You can test, debug your code first and just swap your code with new one and you will not face any down time.
- Live Testing:
With Azure web services, while you perform staged deployment, you can test code in live production and verify its integrity.
- Schedule Jobs:
You can schedule and run your web jobs by integrating them with cloud storage and service bus. WebJobs SDK is an important tool with which you can perform tasks like image processing, queue processing, file maintenance and sending mails.
- Better performance via CDN:
If your business is targeting global customers, then you must be really concerned about your website’s speed and load time and that it must open within fraction of seconds at any geo location, irrespective of whether you’ve published images, audio or video. You can use CDN service of Microsoft Azure additionally to fulfill this requirement.
You can even restrict any country where you don’t want to publish your website. CDN also protects your website from DDOS attacks. You can even restrict particular content in any geo location. Is it not WOW?
If your concern is that your website should not be hacked and your data should not be lost then, don’t worry! Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform is compliant with ISO information security standard. Also, Microsoft follows multiple compliances CDSA, CJIS, CSA CCM, and DIACAP, just to name a few. For data safety, there are many options to replicate your data at different locations by opting backup services.
- Hybrid Deployment:
Microsoft has this unique feature for its customers where websites can be hosted on Microsoft Azure website services and they can be connected with on-premises resources like MySQL, MSSQL from TCP port over HTTP. And this can also be done using private network over VPN tunnel.
Which means, you can keep your websites public facing and protect your database in back ground at your on-premises and keep full control over it. Hence you don’t need to buy additional storage if your DB size grows. You can keep its backup locally. You don’t need to download or upload every time so no need to consume local bandwidth too.
In addition to above features, Microsoft is committed to provide new unique features and keeps on updating its technologies. Thus, Microsoft’s hybrid solutions are the best, unique and easy to deploy among all other cloud providers.
Hope this has cleared all your doubts. Good luck in your search and let me know your feedback through the comments section 🙂
Ravi Kumar Atrey
Ravi Kumar Atrey, the Sr. System Admin is an Azure Cloud pro. With an extensive experience of over a decade in the field of IT, Ravi has worked in various managerial capacities, including being the technical lead in Cloud infrastructure enablement. He juggles multiple technical tasks – providing high end technical support......