What I Like About Azure

The world of technology is a big space. There are literally thousands of technical topics to choose from, to find something you can be interested in. Some topics are big, and some small. Some with a large community, and some with a small one. You don’t ever have to settle for working on something that bores you or that you hate. The world is so large, that you can choose to work on something that you actually like.

I like Azure.

Which is a good thing, because I have to think about it every single day. But why do I like it?

The Power At My Fingertips

The first reason may sound a bit strange. However, I can’t think of any suitable analogy outside of cloud computing for the sheer amount of things you can choose to do.

Do you need a server? How big – you have 200 sizes to choose from? Here you go. A database? Which one? Here you go. More storage? Check. Networking in dozens of global locations? Check. Machine Learning models? Check. Firewall? Here you go. And so on, and so on.

I could probably list 100+ distinct services that you can create within an Azure environment, but there are probably 1000. Literally, every computing service you can imagine is available to you. And every month, more are being imagined and invented.

The Price

How much would you pay for a powerful Linux server? Thousands? Hundreds? How about pennies per hour. Pennies per hour.

Any company of any size can afford to run a small server in the cloud. They can experiment with some idea, or develop a new app, without wasting tens of thousands of dollars.

Think of the innovation that is happening in small and solo-founder businesses! The things that are being created that were never going to be created if servers were not cheap.

The User Interface

I actually like the Azure Portal. Compared to what I have seen of AWS, I think Microsoft has done a better UI design of their platform that Amazon has. Not everything has to be “command line”. Having a pretty UI that makes it easy to do what you want to do counts for something, to me.

The Community

Microsoft has always done an amazing job at developer and community relations. Azure is fully part of the Microsoft culture in that respect. Microsoft has their online events (Build and Ignite), a community of MCTs, a community of MVPs, employees who are active in the community, and all sorts of friendly, helpful people that aim to help.

I am not here to bash other platforms, but I have not seen those communities. I am not aware of them, and they seem to be smaller. I am willing to bet that the Azure (and Microsoft) communities are working at a scale and quality that the other competitors can only dream about.

Innovation

This probably shouldn’t be last, but if you watch some of the announcements coming out of Azure, you’ll notice that they are coming out with things that are not always playing it safe.

For instance, I haven’t yet had a chance to play with Azure Quantum, but the idea of being able to run my computing workloads in a Quantum Computing environment is interesting.

Microsoft is also pushing cloud services down to the “edge”, so that you can have Azure Machine Learning models processed on Azure devices in your own datacenter even.

And not to mention the way they are using Azure Arc to intergrate Azure environments, with hardware you own, and hardware in other cloud computing providers.

These are just three examples of innovation, but there are many more. Azure seems to be inventing new technology all the time. Instead of just being complacent with the platform that they have.

Conclusion

Well that’s it. These are the reasons I like Azure.

I’m not saying you need to like it too, or that there are not great things about other platforms.