While most business owners acknowledge the need for security, the reality for many is to put it on the back burner. Day to day operations can be more pressing than figuring out ways to deal with future potential threats or failures.
We wrote a fair bit about security last month, not least because it’s so easy to neglect and put off investing in a system that will give you the best security available.
Microsoft Azure provides robust security and disaster recovery options for businesses of all sizes. And it’s a scalable service, so you don’t have to make huge capital investments to operate amongst world players.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. In reality, it makes just about anything you need to do with computers possible. From data storage to app development, Azure provides tools with which to do it.
Typical applications include but are not limited to:
- Hyper-V Virtual Machine Hosting
- SQL Database and Application Hosting
- Backup and Disaster Recovery
Its flexibility allows you to use multiple frameworks and languages for custom application creation. It’s infinitely scalable, offering unlimited storage and servers and is, by design, one of the most secure cloud platforms for businesses of all sizes.
How Does Azure Keep Data Safe?
Microsoft maintains a network of data centres around the world in locations it calls ‘geographies’. To you and me, that more or less means countries or even continents in some cases. Within each geography, Microsoft defines ‘regions’ and into those regions it places its datacentres. Physically, the distance between the regions is around 300 miles whenever possible.
Microsoft pairs regions together, sharing and replicating information and resources. If anything happens to a datacentre in one region, for instance, the paired region is not affected but can take over data management so no information gets lost.
As another precautionary measure, Microsoft updates regions sequentially rather than together. For your business, it means you have replication of your data in various places. The chances that everything will fail all at once are very slim.
Why Should You Care?
Failures are not only caused by external threats and attacks, they can also come from right inside your organisation either through deliberate sabotage, user error, data corruption or other events. It matters, in the long term, what provoked the failure but in the short term the most important thing is getting your system operational again.
It’s not really enough to simply have a backup of your data tucked away somewhere safe, although doing only that is better than doing nothing. Ideally, you’ll have a disaster recovery plan that allows you to carry on working regardless.
A good plan should:
- Be easy to put into practise and follow, so anyone can start the process not just your IT experts.
- Have built in redundancy. Store information in different places and in different ways. And have backups of backups because they can fail too.
- Always be available. Disasters are never planned. Can your plan be implemented 24/7?
Building operational procedures into your IT infrastructure is hard enough. Figuring out security, storage, data access and what you’ll do when things go wrong is a step further. There’s also the question of cost as maintaining your own separate datacentres for security purposes would be beyond the reach of most small businesses.
Our team of infrastructure specialists can help you find an ideal solution for most situations, as well as offer advice on disaster recovery. As a business owner, or even a busy IT leader, staying on top of technology advances often requires a few more than 24 hours in a day.
We’re here to help, throughout Yorkshire and beyond. Give us a call and ask us how we can boost your security AND prevent it costing an arm and both legs.