The cloud computing arm of Professional Advantage has been given a boost with the launch last month of Microsoft's two Australian Azure cloud computing data centres.

The new cloud data centres - one in New South Wales, the other in Victoria - means that Australian businesses no longer have to store their data offshore in order to take advantage of the Azure platform. For organisations concerned about data security and data sovereignty, this is a major plus as Hilton Kelly, Practice Manager Infrastructure and Services at Professional Advantage, explains.

"Until now, Australian Azure customers had no choice but to store their data in Asia or the United States", he said. "While this is not a major concern for most Azure users, there are plenty of organisations that are eager to keep their data safe from the prying eyes of foreign governments. The opening of Microsoft's Australian data centres eliminates this concern by allowing Azure customers to store all their data within Australia's shores."

Professional Advantage is able to hit the ground running with its Azure cloud services, having already established a track record with Microsoft's cloud computing platform.

"For the past 12 months we have been piloting Azure‑based applications for our Australian and international customers, so we're particularly well‑placed to take on new Azure customers", said Kelly.

For Australian businesses that are exploring the option of an Azure‑based cloud computing platform, there are many benefits to choosing Azure. These include:

Improved latency
With the opening of Australia's two new data centres, Azure customers can expect to experience improved latency (the time it takes for data to reach its destination point). For organisations requiring fast response times this is an attractive benefit.

With Azure you can scale your IT infrastructure and applications up or down depending on the needs of your business. For organisations that rely more heavily on their IT resources during peak times Azure provides the flexibility to scale server and storage capacity to accommodate periods of increased demand.

ExpressRoute Connections
Azure ExpressRoute enables Azure users to create private connections between the Australian Azure data centres and your on‑premise infrastructure. ExpressRoute connections do not go over the internet and deliver greater speeds, enhanced reliability, better performance and higher security than other connections over the internet.

Cost Savings
With Azure you only pay for what you use. Without the need to make a sizeable up‑front investment in IT infrastructure and applications, and without the need to invest time and money maintaining the system, the cost‑savings are immediate and significant. In fact I would estimate that the infrastructure costs with Azure amount to 20 to 40 percent of the expenditure that could be expected with on‑premise infrastructure.

Microsoft Integration
With Microsoft Azure you can integrate your various applications, data and devices both on‑premise and in the cloud. Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics, Microsoft SharePoint and other Microsoft business management tools can all be integrated with Azure.

With Microsoft Azure your data is isolated and secure. Privacy of data is assured through Microsoft's secure servers - there is no need to be concerned that your data will be accessed by anyone who is not authorised. Your responsibility is simply to set your security policies and parameters in accordance with your organisation's requirements.

Every day the arguments in favour of moving a business's IT infrastructure to the cloud become more compelling. Professional Advantage is focused on delivering a high‑performance, cost‑efficient Azure offering to our customers. 

For more information contact Professional Advantage on 1800 126 499.

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