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Many businesses are taking advantage of cloud technologies (Microsoft Azure in particular). No longer are 3 to 5-year IT refresh cycles adequate to keep up with the pace of change. Businesses need greater flexibility to adapt to changing requirements, reduced costs, ability to scale and improved security. These, and others, are some of the core tenets of the Microsoft Azure Cloud.
Microsoft Azure is a wide range of different Cloud services (currently 90+) that work seamlessly together in order to solve a wide range of business challenges.
Security is built-into Azure from the ground up ensuring Azure meets the very toughest security accreditations.
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Defence in Depth
Azure Data Centres utilise unmarked and discreet buildings with perimeter fencing, video cameras, security personnel, secure entrances, real-time communications and monitoring networks. All this to protect the physical assets and data contained within which are maintained to conform to the highest regulatory frameworks.
The hyper-scale Cloud providers such as Microsoft have invested to create some of the best connected networks in the world, Microsoft peers with over two thousand ISP’s globally to reduce latency and ensure a fast and reliable experience for customers, creating one of the world’s largest fibre backbones, providing 3 terabytes per second connectivity between its data centres and peers.
Power and efficacy
Microsoft has developed a proprietary tool called SCRY that tracks power usage, server utilisation and carbon output along with environmental conditions inside and outside the datacentre.
Operating the datacentres at a wider temperature range allows power and cooling to be approached differently, with only a few select locations still running conventional cooling systems at all; using air, water, and humidity to keep servers cool results in extremely low energy consumption, enabling reduced cost of services and a better environmental footprint.
The DC teams work hard to increase the temperature and humidity range that the servers can tolerate while still operating within optimum reliability and performance.
Microsoft have recently committed to carbon neutrality for all internal operations across more than 100 countries associated with their data centres, software development labs, offices, and air travel.
Massive generators provide backup power in the event of power grid failure, but increasingly Cloud services and data centre design improvements reduce dependency on expensive redundancies, as well as exploring ways to provide backup power through environment means to remove reliance on diesel generation.
The operational teams always work on a follow the sun around the clock model to provide operational capability.
As Microsoft services have scaled, services have become geo-redundant. There are many active nodes in the network, and software automates the failover, now if we lose an active node or even an entire data centre, the customers will still have service.
To become more independent of the power grid, Microsoft are exploring ways to generate power cleanly for use within the data centres the latest modular data centres use about 50% less power than the traditional data centres.
Microsoft have invested some $15 billion in globally distributed Cloud infrastructure that is secure, scalable, reliable, and efficient. $9.5 billion is being invested in Research and Development to grow capacity while continually improving operational processes. Every day Microsoft run more than 200 global Cloud services and process trillions of transactions for billions of people.
Robust policies and procedures keep customers data and sites secure from attack, while protecting privacy of personally identifiable information.
Azure is continuously investing in the latest infrastructure technologies, with a focus on high reliability, operational excellence, cost-effectiveness, environmental sustainability, and a trustworthy online experience for customers and partners worldwide.
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