As a dependable supplier of quality software and IT solutions, Microsoft has become the first choice of many companies since its founding in 1975. In this article, we examine some of the current online confusion surrounding Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365 to provide clarification between these two cloud services.
By moving its solutions to the cloud, Microsoft has enabled companies and individuals to access its software without having to physically go out to make a purchase or to perform regular updates, since these are automatically done in the cloud.
Are Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure the same?
The simple answer is, “no”. When used together, Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Azure complement each other by providing businesses with the powerful IT infrastructure and software that they need to run their business applications from the cloud.
What is Microsoft 365?
Microsoft 365, previously known as Office 365, is software as a service (SaaS), which allows you to access cloud-based software or applications through the Internet, without having to upload them to a PC from a disk or manually update them. This is a subscription-based service, and users can log in from any device and any location. Microsoft 365 provides the full Microsoft Office suite of applications, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and the rest of the software family that we are all familiar with.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure, previously known as Windows Azure, is a public cloud computing platform, which is made up of hardware and software components, allowing users to access the cloud computing model through the Internet. Azure replaces or enhances on-site servers and provides, among other services, virtual computing, analytics, networking and data storage.
Azure is both an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and a platform as a service (PaaS), which allows companies more control over the configuration of their IT hardware and software. Developers can now better manage their IT infrastructure to create and distribute as much cloud computing power as they need.
Microsoft Azure allows companies to select from either public or private clouds, as well as presenting a hybrid option. Azure is best suited to companies that want to connect their existing data centres to the cloud and it is proving to be stiff competition for similar services provided by Google and Amazon.
In terms of Azure’s benefits, it is an excellent means of backup and recovery due to its flexibility and site recovery abilities. Azure also provides a platform for businesses to host or develop applications for either mobile or website use. Azure allows automatic patch updates to be streamed to ensure that companies can focus on their core business, with the distraction of IT issues. Devices can be connected to the cloud and integrate with current infrastructure through Azure. Its enhanced security is also a major draw card to its popularity.
The Azure Active Directory is used by Microsoft 365 to create and manage user identities and can also manage other integrated applications to customise existing Microsoft 365 subscriptions.
As IT changes rapidly, companies are able to reduce their dependence on ageing and inflexible hardware by moving their IT infrastructure and software into the cloud. This has the added benefit of reducing costly maintenance as well as providing businesses with flexible IT solutions that can quickly be scaled according to a company’s business strategy.
As a paid subscriber to Microsoft 365, users automatically have access to a free Azure AD subscription, which is activated by simply completing and submitting an online registration form.