Thursday, 6 April 2017

Microsoft Azure Deployment Made Easy

By Martin Smith

In today’s world, the term Microsoft Cloud or Microsoft Azure fills people’s minds with exciting prospects. However, when it comes down to the pricing, configuration and implementation, people tend to switch off and/or let Azure fade out of their plans.

The reason for this is not always their fault. This can be a problem with something as simple as terminology and messaging. It could even be a problem with a certain topic, which most people don’t want to start a conversation about, called licensing. Which can be absolutely baffling.

Luckily, when we steer away from the complex areas, such as directly licensing through Microsoft, we find ourselves with the Cloud Solution Provider option (or CSP as it is commonly known). Microsoft listened to the channel demands a few years ago, which was to have monthly billing for Microsoft services, including Azure. Not only has this simplified licensing, but it has also simplified deployment of Azure for your environment.

The important thing to understand is that there is old Microsoft Azure (Non-CSP Licensing) and new Microsoft Azure (CSP Licensing). The two different models also have two different portals. The old one is known as the ‘Azure Service Manager’ (ASM) Portal. The new portal is called the ‘Azure Resource Manager’ (ARM) Portal.

The ARM portal now has a way for you to deploy a packaged service within Azure: this is a huge step forward. By contrast, with Virtual Machines you used to be required to manually provision the components needed for the VM, including the virtual network (along with subnets), IP address, any storage, and so on. With the ARM Portal, you can now deploy a Virtual Machine and Azure will automatically provision the basic services needed for that VM. Perfect – no more little details that complicate matters and can be forgotten about.

This is a tiny example of how easy it is to utilise the new CSP Licensing model for Microsoft Azure. Let’s continue to keep Azure and Microsoft services simple and easy to deploy. We’re always thinking of new ways to deploy services with ease of use, and we will continue to do so.

For any further information around Azure, or CSP services, get in touch with the Westcoast Cloud Team on 0333 003 1701 or email For more Azure news and updates check out MS Mix.

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