What to Do with Your Unused Azure Hours?
Do you have a heap of unused Microsoft Azure hours starting to pile up and collect dust? If so, you’re not alone. Often, when the time comes to renew a contract, Microsoft hits customers with a bunch of free Azure hours. Many customers end up drawing a blank on ways to utilize those freebies and so they turn to a partner like Arraya for help.
When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter where the extra hours are coming from. Failing to leverage them is essentially leaving money on the table. There are plenty of ways to spend those Azure hours, it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.
Get the best value from Azure
Here are four recommendations straight from Arraya’s team of Microsoft experts on how to ensure you’re getting the most out of your Azure hours:
- Transfer some of your VM work into Azure. One of the best ways to use up those extra hours is to put your virtualized environments into Azure and leave only the essentials on-premises. For example, you could migrate your development and QA-type workloads into Azure and only keep your production on-premises. Another benefit is that most companies don’t allocate the same level of resources to their non-production environments as they do to production. Azure gives IT the ability to match on-premises capabilities across environments without worrying about hardware resources.
- Leverage Azure for backups. If you have an enterprise backup solution, like Microsoft Data Protection Manager (DPM), deployed, you can use it in conjunction with Azure to ensure the security and availability of your company’s data. Also, if your SQL backups are taking up too much space locally, you can use the SQL Server backup agent to back up right into Azure Blob Storage. These options can increase the security of backups and save you money in terms of your storage needs.
- Move hosting needs to Azure. Does your company have its website or any of its line of business apps hosted elsewhere? Say through a third party provider or co-lo? Good news, those can be migrated into Azure, which supports a number of different web platforms. With your website or mission-critical apps stored securely in Microsoft’s Cloud, you’ll be able to cut out those third party hosting fees while making use of the Azure hours you already have at your disposal.
- Leave Server 2003 behind. We’ve written plenty about the importance of getting off of Windows Server 2003. The workhorse operating system is set to hit end-of-life on July 14, 2015. Anyone who sticks with it after that date runs the risk of security and compliance issues. If you have any workloads still running on Windows Server 2003 and don’t have the on-premises resources to support migrating them, Azure can help. Azure VMs can be used to catch those workloads, helping to ease the transition off of Windows Server 2003.
Those are just some of the options that you have to ensure your Azure hours aren’t going to waste. Knowing your options is one thing. The other half of the battle is finding a partner who can help you explore and take advantage of one or more of them.
Arraya Solutions’ Microsoft team has the knowledge and skills necessary to help you identify the right solution to meet your needs. But we go beyond that. We’ll walk you through roll out and offer support throughout the product lifecycle. Partnering with Arraya and our team of experts can make sure you’re getting the most value from all of your Microsoft deployments. To find out more, please visit www.ArrayaSolutions.com or speak to an Arraya Account Executive today!
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