Microsoft Azure logo

Azure is a modern day platform that brings enormous benefits, and it is something that is evolving very smartly all the time. We have known and worked with the Azure family for a long time in EastPoint. We have watched it grow and improve year on year. Adapting to the demands of modern business, whilst envisioning future demands with their family of products, services and platforms. Microsoft's dedication to providing a scaleable, compatible and likeable platform for developers and innovators has altered the landscape, and helped shape it. EastPoint has enjoyed working with Azure in its many manifestations delivering what clients need now, with a solution that will grow and innovate as they themselves do. The Azure ecosystem makes everyone's lives easier.

Here we talk about what Azure is, what it means to us and our clients, how we have enjoyed the last ten years and are looking forward to the next ten. 

EastPoint has been designing, developing and deploying business solutions that leverage Azure for many years, since the very beginning in fact; over ten years ago. Microsoft Azure is a superb platform constantly evolving and improving. We enjoy working with it, creating solutions for our clients that deliver real value in whatever guise. Microsoft’s development of these in tandem, enables our clients and us to develop with already established technologies that were designed to be compatible with each other. This frees our developers up to create and solve our client’s issues, or simply to develop and integrate new systems seamlessly. Azure makes it easier for us to improve our clients profitability and performance, which is all you can ask. We get you there, you get the benefit, and projects no longer have to drain the life out of people.  

Microsoft Azure has put an end to siloed data, redefining boundaries and ultimately destroying them. Total interconnectedness allowing us as creators and innovators to integrate your data throughout your business, with the opportunities that gives you. Build, deploy and manage applications with Azure’s state of the art virtualisation, giving you the power to run the world. 

So, Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud-based application platform. It supports the deployment of applications in the Cloud, or the development of hybrid applications where on-premise or mobile applications can leverage the features of Windows Azure such as storage, identity and authentication, media services, database and reporting. Or at least that is what we used to do, now we have IoT, and the additional layers of AI and Machine Learning, diffusing and infusing the data, into educated improving automations of process and analytics. Learning and teaching our businesses, our clients and us, how to achieve better results. EastPoint listens to the you the client, your data and your business, Azure makes that easier for all of us. 

on premise - in cloud - on mobile

With the advent of IoT, AI and Machine Learning we are now onto a new stage, but it would be a mistake to attribute any sense of end game, this is only the beginning. At EastPoint we are thinking and talking about something beyond that. We no longer live in a world of static reports on a monthly basis, we need access to realtime data, but again that in and of itself is no longer enough. We need to be embedding AI and Machine Learning into the process, systems and education, to take automations and efficiencies to the next level, truly releasing the power of people’s data. Data remains the king, and we love working with it.  

The main advantages of Windows Azure are that it provides great scalability and resilience with a pay-as-you-go model.

Companies developing a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering can have it up and running on a reliable and scalable platform quickly and with minimal up-front costs and fuss. Our clients are now availing of the erosion of previously rock solid tenets of data, silos, lack of speed, ageing hardware, difficulties with compatability. Gone. Now we can see, feel and learn from our clients’ data, and all the benefits and learnings therein, and so can they.  

Companies that temporarily need an application or infrastructure can use Azure and then turn it off when finished.

Azure is the de facto standard for deploying .NET applications on the Cloud.

ISO certified, no more racing and chasing around, retrospectively patching up, security patches, maintenance patches, you remember. Now Microsoft looks after all that for us. Evergreen.

The beauty, the majesty of Azure in all its splendour (see below).

the azure services breakdown

20 years ago technologies were quite siloed. In terms of system and data integration they were not quite there. Microsoft have done a fantastic job genuinely in the last 10 years, bringing them together, making them less siloed.

the data journey from data to database to media

Microsoft SQL Azure

So basically, it's the same as any system you build, no matter what you build, you have to have data. Industry 4.0 is all about data and system integrations, which means we need a powerful and resilient database platform. That database platform has to be performant, scalable, and extensible, and genuinely so. SQL Azure is all these things.

Exponential growth phase is now upon us. The sheer volume generated from IoT will place, already is placing, an extraordinary strain on systems, serious scaleability is vital, Azure has that scaleability.

High performance, reliable and stable database, that grows with your business and can handle the small stuff as well as the big stuff. SQL databases enable us to use any language and not to worry about the structure as it is already there, it is inherent and compatible from inception. Almost too good to be true. One of the many great things about SQL Azure is the ease with which we can create a database to handle your data, and then the further ease with which it can grow as your data grows. 

As you and your data grow, Business Intelligence with Artificial Intelligence can be brought to bear. SQL Azure provides you with a managed compatible resource. The amount of data generated by connected internet of things (IoT) devices, forecast to grow to 41.6 billion by 2025, is expected to generate 79.4 zettabytes (ZB) of data. FutureIoT

The virtue of Sql Azure in its physical form is that, one, it is a great database technology, it means from a client perspective they can scale it, they can grow it, they can stretch it, without much fuss. Two, the magic sauce is when it can be integrated seamlessly into the other activities. And that is what Azure has brought together.

“The top three benefits of SQL Azure; it has the RDBMS in spades, the extensibility, the scaleability and of course the tight integration into the rest of the Azure family.”

The benefit of all this integration is that the data flows, and is aggregated onto one single glass, your screen.

Azure SQL Database is the intelligent, scalable, cloud database service that provides the broadest SQL Server engine compatibility and up to a 212% return on investment. Migrate existing apps or build new apps on Azure – the best cloud destination for your mission-critical SQL Server workloads.

  • Smooth database migration, no code changes and superb, industry leading TCO – Total Cost of Ownership (ROI)
  • Optimized performance and security through built in machine learning 
  • Unmatched scale and high availability for compute and storage without sacrificing performance
  • Advanced data security including data discovery and classification, vulnerability assessment, and advanced threat detection all in a single pane of glass 
  • Scale your application when and how you want, with upwards of 99% availability
  • Identify and monitor any vulnerabilities from a single screen
  • Azure SQL Database is a fully managed relational database with built-in intelligence supporting self-driving features such as performance tuning and threat alerts.
interconnectedness in city internet of things
azure IoT hub in Ireland

Microsoft Azure IoT Hub

So, we've already integrated Azure and SQL Azure, they'll chat away to each other, now there's a perfectly secure platform that wraps all those things together. The difference here with the IoT HUB, by name and nature is that the hub is like a gateway. Hub or gateway use whatever variants of those definitions, but it acts like a traffic cop in many ways. So on one hand it's looking outward. And another way it's looking inward.

Azure IoT Hub by Microsoft Azure enables managed bidirectional communication between Azure and your IoT devices.
For your business and EastPoint there are no limits, seamless integration between multiple platforms and devices. Azure enables us to relentlessly push the boundaries of your business way out. Microsoft has solved many of the greatest issues IoT faces. Why build it again and again? Now, we don’t have to. 

With Microsoft Azure IoT Hub you can link all your business’s IoT platforms together, right into the very lifeblood of your company. The ability to connect smart assets, collect data and enable new insights for your business are hugely simplified by the Azure IoT Hub.  Azure IoT enables your business to quickly start and scale, to project, capture and analyse disparate data and integrate existing systems and data sources, to enable new insights and business models, to drive business direction and innovation and do it securely.  Sound good? That’s because it is.  

20 years ago the world was a different place, these types of platforms and ambitions were the preserve of the rich and famous, with their armies of developers. Extremely complex and achievable by only a few. Microsoft Azure has opened it all up to the masses, the rest of us. The ability to do it is available to all, now the question is what to do with it, what’s best? 

Here at EastPoint we know the answer. Ask us, come in and talk to us, seek a demonstration of what we can offer you, and we can achieve together. Microsoft have built the machines, EastPoint knows where to put them. Read Moving the Machines

Now, we have no more excuses, neither do you. 

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Eastpoint web logo 500pxIncorporated in April 2009 and fully Irish-owned, the team at EastPoint Solutions has designed, developed and implemented IT solutions and services for over two decades both in Ireland and abroad.

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