Editor’s note: For startups, swift market entry and user base expansion are the key goals, and the choice of a cloud platform is one of the key decisions to achieve them. Is Azure a viable option? Below, Boris outlines why he considers Microsoft Azure an advantageous cloud platform for startups. And if you already have a good stance on Azure, you can check what extra benefits your startup will get with ScienceSoft’s Azure managed services.
In 2018, Microsoft launched their Microsoft for Startups program crediting B2B startups worldwide with Azure-based services and providing support in selling their products to Microsoft partners. Microsoft offers extensive SaaS and PaaS functionality accelerating startups’ market entry and reducing their upfront investments. That’s why I consider Azure to be a highly suitable cloud provider for startups, and below I’ll explain what exactly Azure has to offer in this respect. And if you’re interested in Azure in general, you are welcome to explore its major benefits as reviewed by my colleague Andy Lipnitsky.
Cloud resource consumption is a considerable item of expense for startups. If not optimized, it can evoke extra costs for redundant cloud resources or degrade the performance of your app. To avoid this in our Azure projects (like this one, where our team re-implemented our customer’s payroll and accounting product on Azure), we, at ScienceSoft, use:
- Scheduled resource scaling. If you expect performance load surges at specific periods, you may reserve extra resources to your cloud instances prior to load spikes.
- Scaling by custom metrics. You can automate resource orchestration bound to CPU, RAM and GPU demand thresholds or define scaling triggers by any custom metrics.
Azure building blocks for advanced functionality
Azure offers various ready-to-go architecture patterns and services that can cut down on your development efforts and enrich your product with the following advanced features.
Big data analytics and AI
Should your project use stream or batch data analytics, including the analysis of big data, you can take the upper hand with Azure’s dedicated Stream Analytics and Data Lake Analytics or integrate open-source Apache techs like Hadoop and Spark via HDInsight. Moreover, you can make it all coupled with Azure’s AI models by choosing the optimal architecture from a range of suggested patterns. Azure features native Machine Learning Studio (predictive analytics technology) to train your AI model, which can be easily reproduced if multiple deployments are needed.
Internet of Things
Azure already features a full spectrum of IoT PaaS and SaaS solutions to deliver IoT apps and infrastructures of any complexity, such as: Azure IoT Central core IoT workbench, Azure IoT Hub secured IoT communication service, Azure Event Grid event handling tool, Azure Time Series Insights advanced IoT analytics service and a lot more.
Virtual, augmented and mixed reality
You can use Azure’s pre-built components for mixed, augmented and virtual reality and couple them with machine learning, sync and storage services if needed. Moreover, Microsoft Azure can be easily integrated with Microsoft’s proprietary client hardware, such as PC peripherals and headsets, which means that you can get an “oven-ready” hardware + software solution and cut your time to market.
Integration with Microsoft SaaS products
You can step up your development by opting for seamless integration with other SaaS solutions by Microsoft. For example, you can embed Power BI dashboards and reports into your Azure app to deliver insightful analytics for users or augment your Azure-native solution with the capabilities of Office 365 apps using the same common WOPI REST-based protocol.
Win the market with an Azure-native application!
Microsoft cares about helping their cloud resource consumers grow. They provide tools and services sufficient to deploy your cloud-native app in Azure and accelerate you entry to market. It all may not be as easy as it sounds, and you should mind a couple of things when planning your cloud operations:
- Enormous diversity of tools and services to get caught in.
- Costs incurred as a result of poor resource consumption optimization.
- Overlooked security measures that inflict damage upon your users and your startup.
If you want to avoid these pitfalls on the way to your Azure-powered app, just let us know to get our knowledge and experience we are always eager to share.
Want to stay technologically advanced and still focused on your core business activities? We are ready to help you manage your complex IT environment.