The legal IT community tends to wade slowly into the waters of new technologies, leaving other verticals to dive into the deep end. The move to the cloud has been a perfect example. Law firms kept the cloud at arm’s length, deploying new versions of On Premises Exchange, while huge Fortune 500 companies were rushing ahead with Exchange Online. Over the years, adoption has increased and a law firm moving to Exchange Online is becoming the norm. Law firms are increasingly turning to Microsoft cloud services not only for productivity, but for the security to safeguard identities and data. This blog series will explore stages of the journey, as an introduction to Azure. As a starting point we’ll answer the question, what is Azure IaaS?
As law firms migrate to the cloud, Azure IaaS is increasing in adoption. What is IaaS? IaaS stands for “Infrastructure as a Service”, which means replacing server-based workloads with the cloud. Think of IaaS as being to VMware what Exchange Online is to On-Prem Exchange.
For those who find the naming confusing, you’re not alone. Microsoft uses the Names “Azure” and “Office 365” on a number of products that can make you scratch your head. For the purposes of this article, and all subsequent entries in this series, the term Azure, unless otherwise noted, will refer to Microsoft’s IaaS platform.
VMware has worked admirably for firms over the past 10 to 20 years, so why are we looking to upset the apple cart and make changes? I will return to the Exchange Online example. Why did email infrastructure move to the cloud? Because Microsoft provided high availability and all the bells and whistles of On-Prem Exchange (and a few more) in a neatly packaged solution that left a lot less to worry about… No need to buy more storage. No need to configure load balancers. No need to worry about performing a DAG failover because your building is conducting a power down.
The IaaS solution is not without it’s complexities, but a major benefit is the opportunity to remove practically all of the physical infrastructure from the list of IT worries that keep you up at night. In addition to the the flexibility and scalability, you are spared from the challenges sourcing and maintaining local hardware.
Motivating firms to consider Azure IaaS is the important benefit to budget. The ability to power down unnecessary workloads and only pay for what you use allows you to reduce unnecessary spending.
Azure is a mammoth topic– comprised of more services and components than any single organization will ever use. The entries in this series will focus on the different components of Microsoft Azure’s IaaS solution that law firms can leverage to the meet their business goals.
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Read on to the next in this series for a technical deep dive into Azure Virtual Machines.