About how the cloud makes life easier for startups
A beginner, or even an experienced startup, often faces the challenges of choosing a hosting, restrictions on the purchase of equipment, insufficient human resources to maintain the system. In addition, significantly reduces the enthusiasm of a startup, the level of material investments at the start and with further scaling of its service.
A cloud platform will help overcome all these difficulties, the use of which will allow a startup to quickly launch its own solution, provide infrastructure and manage resources.
Microsoft Azure is a full-featured cloud platform that is available to start-ups for free under the BizSpark program .
With BizSpark, startup gets MSDN Ultimate package (equivalent to $ 15,000), which allows, in addition to cloud services up to $ 9000 a year, to get free licensed Microsoft software for the development, testing and launch of their applications.
Many beginner IT startups are not familiar with BizSpark, and are unaware of what startup tasks can be solved using the cloud platform.
In order to take advantage of the cloud platform, it was convenient for any IT specialist who was not even familiar with the Microsoft ecosystem, the Microsoft Azure cloud service offers full support for a large number of programming languages (NET, PHP, Python, Java, Node.js), development tools, frameworks , storages and other tools.
Microsoft offers startups access to the capabilities of cloud services through the BizSpark program.
BizSpark Terms and Features
Startups participating in the Microsoft BizSpark program are provided with a monthly balance of $ 150 per account and additional discounts for using Microsoft Azure services in order to develop, test and host your services.
The startup team can register up to 5 accounts and receive $ 750 per month for the use of cloud power. And thus, the team will have the opportunity to build a complete IT project infrastructure in Azure using existing accounts, for example as follows:
- 1 account - Placement of the project site
- 2 account - Software Development and everything related to it
- 3 account - Internal software version testing
- 4 account - Environment for the final check of the software before launching without prejudice to current users
- 5 account - Tools for managing the team
Participation in BizSpark is free, and you only need to register your startup in the program.
Azure features for startup needs
When a startup receives a BizSpark subscription, it independently chooses how to spend the balance provided on Azure. Microsoft provides the full functionality of its cloud-based startup platform, without any restrictions.
You can use your $ 750 for any Azure service, depending only on the needs of the startup - for example, for virtual machines, websites, cloud services, mobile services, storage, SQL databases, content delivery network, HDInsight, multimedia services and much more .
There are many scenarios for using Azure services for startup needs.
Scenarios for using virtual machines:
- Using prebuilt images, you can easily deploy SQL Server in minutes. You can create virtual machines for rapid development and testing , or deploy complex production applications that span many Azure regions.
- You can deploy the full range of open and community-supported OSs as well as software solutions in Azure. In Azure, you can choose the full range of Linux distributions, such as Ubuntu and SUSE, community-supported solutions, such as Chef, Puppet, and Docker, along with other products such as Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server.
- Using virtual networks, we can monitor and configure all aspects of your work with the network, defining subnets and preferred DNS IP addresses. You can securely connect to virtual machines in Azure over a secure VPN connection over the Internet
- You can leverage D-Series virtual machines to meet your needs. These VMs are faster and store more data: they have faster processors, more memory and there is a temporary drive based on SSD storage, which significantly increases the speed of temporary storage of your VMs
- Run your HPC applications on high-performance A8 and A9 computing instances in Azure, and take advantage of the background network with an MPI delay of less than 3 ms and 32 GB / s non-blocking bandwidth. This background network uses RDMA technology, which allows you to scale parallel applications across thousands of cores. Azure provides large amounts of memory and HPC class CPUs for maximum performance. Scale your resources and pay only for what you use.
Or scenarios for using websites with SQL databases:
- Use ASP.NET, Java, PHP, Node.js or Python. Run popular web applications and CMS solutions , including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Umbraco and DotNetNuke
- Azure makes it easy to create data processing solutions and use them with your web applications. Microsoft SQL, MySQL, Document DB, Search, MongoDB, Redis, and Azure Table Storage are supported. Test your applications with SQL and MySQL databases for free
- Run web applications in a high-availability environment using automatic fix . Web applications deployed through Azure websites are standalone and hosted on virtual machines dedicated to your applications
- Azure lets you quickly zoom in or out to handle any incoming client load. Manually select the number and size of virtual machines or set autoscaling for servers
by load or by schedule
- The Azure platform allows you to create websites that use data from your own data center. Hybrid connections and VNET make it easy to securely access data from local data centers or anywhere in the world. Use Azure Active Directory to provide access only to your employees or partners
- Configure continuous deployment workflows using VSO, GitHub, TeamCity, Hudson, or BitBucket to automatically create, test, and deploy a web application
- Integration with Visual Studio allows you to centrally implement a complete application management cycle. Through integration with Azure VS, you can create and continuously publish your web application. With VS, you can debug in the cloud and use live log data.
- Create several private test and middleware environments for your web applications. Use them for testing before deployment. You can go into the work environment without any delays. Web applications are preloaded to ensure maximum efficiency for the client.
As well as scenarios for using mobile services with databases:
- A highly scalable push notification subsystem capable of quickly sending millions of messages to iOS, Android, Windows or Kindle devices. Using the notification hub, you can send notifications to specific users or entire groups of users with a few lines of code, regardless of the platform used.
- Integration with social networks Facebook, Twitter, Google. Mobile services allow you to configure user verification using accounts with just a few clicks.
- Simplified customization of built-in auto-scaling for mobile services and notification hubs according to the needs of your application. Automatic scaling allows you to expand or collapse resources depending on their actual use.
- Create a server part in C # or NodeJS for any mobile application on iOS, Android, Windows, HTML5.
- Integration with SQL, MongoDB, DocumentDB, Search Service
- Implement offline data synchronization in your application. Do not limit the application to only areas with Internet access. Save data locally and sync it when reconnecting.
And this is only part of the capabilities of the Microsoft cloud platform, which, by the way, is developing rapidly and provides new services to developers almost every month.
Additional resources, useful links, and resources on the topic of "Microsoft Azure for Startups."
Successful Cloud Startups
The BizSpark program for startups in Russia has existed for several years and has its own history, accumulated experience and prominent graduates.
BizSpark alumni are startups that, within the framework of the program, using all the advantages of the cloud platform, built a profitable business and won large audience of users by offering them high-quality solutions:
News360 - a popular news service on all platforms.
The solution includes a tool that allows processing and linguistic analysis of more than 150,000 articles daily in real time. It analyzes more than 700,000 objects: companies, people, brands and locations; analyzes the place and topics that each article covers; collects articles in clusters of stories; picks up visual elements for stories.
When it became necessary to expand the server infrastructure, News360 received help and additional resources through the Microsoft BizSpark program.
The Azure platform allowed News360 to avoid the complication of IT infrastructure and additional costs for it. News360 works with a wide international audience. Therefore, it is beneficial for the company that Microsoft has numerous Azure data centers around the world.
Read more about the company case.
LinguaLeo - an online service for learning and learning English
Based on the capabilities of the Azure cloud platform, the LinguaLeo team was able to quickly create the first version of the product and bring it to the market in 2-3 months. This was facilitated by the technical support services provided to startups as part of the Microsoft BizSpark program. Microsoft not only provided the LinguaLeo service with free software and resources for processing and storing data, but also provided support for launching and promoting the solution.
Details of the case can be found here.
FreshOffice - an ecosystem for managing sales and business processes
Now the average size of FreshOffice databases is 1-5 GB, while this is enough for customers. Azure has about 1000 databases at the same time, and when a FreshOffice client requests a new database for themselves, it is instantly created.
Within one or two minutes, the client receives an absolutely ready site with an application that works with its database, account, the database itself, the database immediately has backup copies, i.e. it starts almost instantly. Thanks to Azure, the service is provided as quickly as possible.
Detailed description of the case. Acumatica
Company, whose development office is located in Russia, and sales are currently focused on the US market, it is developing an integrated set of ERP applications designed to increase the productivity of medium-sized enterprises.
Acumatica's ERP system is available to customers over the Internet using a web browser.
To develop such a solution, the company chose the Azure cloud platform, which made it possible to provide ERP and accounting software in the cloud as a service (SaaS), offering customers a low-cost solution that does not require customers to purchase, configure and support their own computer infrastructure, including at least one application server with Internet Information Services (IIS) and one Microsoft SQL Server database server.
Full description of the case.
And the list of successful startups and companies developing their business with Microsoft Azure is constantly growing.
As part of the BizSpark program , Microsoft provides startups with an excellent opportunity to build their solutions using modern technologies without spending huge resources of time and money on the purchase of equipment, tools, licenses.
The capabilities of the Microsoft Azure cloud platform are not limited only to infrastructure, and the technologies supported by the Azure cloud go far beyond the ecosystem of Microsoft products.
A startup using a Linux server will feel as good in a Microsoft Azure cloud as a startup with a solution on Windows Server.
Already existing solutions can be migrated to the cloud by consultations of Microsoft Russia specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org
Microsoft Azure - This is an opportunity to become a high-tech startup, quickly responding to changing audience, creating cross-platform solutions and competitive applications through the introduction of unique functions.
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