Web Hosting through Microsoft's Cloud platform, Azure

23 May 2014

Over the past few months we have been scratching the surface of Microsoft's Cloud platform, Azure. For years we have used and still successfully use dedicated servers to provide web hosting, but have recently found we can offer our clients a much more sophisticated infrastructure as well as transparent pricing through Azure, at a fraction of the cost.

No longer is hosting a site just putting files on a server and linking to a database, we now manage and develop a number of applications that take advantage of Azure's many features.

Why we like Azure:

Scalability and flexibility
One question we always get asked is "Are you able to cope with a large volume of users"; well Azure has this very capability. You can easily scale up or down based on specific requirements and even schedule this accordingly for times of high volumes, which gives a much more cost effective platform.

High availability and durability
This was a crucial aspect of Azure, knowing our clients’ data was always available and safe. With features such as storage replication, which stores data to at least three different servers in different geo locations, you can rest assured your data is protected.

Server maintenance elimination
Azure offers a fast way to build, provision and deploy to the cloud, but it's making sure the servers they sit on are always up-to-date that takes time and ultimately costs the client in support fees. Running software updates, fixing hardware problems and monitoring activity, is now eradicated, leaving the team at Rocca. to focus on being creative.

Development enhancement
Azure seamlessly integrates with Visual Studio - Microsoft’s development toolset and service environment. Allowing our solutions to be production-ready as we develop them. Azure also offers a rich Software Development Kit (SDK) that provides us with the tools to manage applications that require an elastic scale.

Cost benefits and pricing model
Now to the important bit, how much is this move to enhance the development and reliability going to cost?
Not as much as you think! Dynamically scaling the cost of hosting your site to mirror its popularity means while you grow, your costs are reduced – meaning you can instead invest in pushing your new site / service through online marketing e.g. Email, SEO and Social Media campaigns.

As many of our applications are built using Microsoft technologies it was a natural choice to utilise Azure over many of the other cloud platforms, including Amazon, Rackspace or Google.

For those interested, keep your eyes open for a more in-depth look at Azure, including screenshots and a quick overview on how we are successfully using the service and how we looking to fully maximise the service.

Please contact us if you would like more information on Azures pricing structure or helping you utilise your savings on giving your site or service a strategic push.