Microsoft Azure Updates Help Enterprises Move to the Cloud

During its annual TechEd IT conference in Houston, Texas, Microsoft announced a slew of new features and updates for its cloud service, Microsoft Azure. Since many businesses find upgrading to cloud services intimidating, the updates to Azure are meant to expedite the process and provide a hybrid cloud.

Microsoft highlighted two major features during the conference, Azure ExpressRoute and Azure Files. ExpressRoute is the result of Microsoft's partnership with Internet service providers (ISPs) that will provide a faster connection between on-premise and off-site services. Azure Files is Microsoft's cloud-based file-sharing service that will reportedly replace traditional local sharing.

Azure Upgrades

ExpressRoute is perhaps one of the most important cloud services that Microsoft will provide in the coming years. Traditionally, on-premise connections have been viewed as the most effective when it comes to speed -- not such good news for cloud companies. It is difficult for businesses to establish a fast and secure connection between on-premise environments and cloud services but ExpressRoute is part of Microsoft's effort to make it easier to do so.

The tech giant is working with BT, Equinix, Level 3, AT&T, Verizon, and others to provide a way for businesses to create private connections between Azure and their on-premise systems. The private connections skirt around regular Internet traffic, meaning that the connection is much faster and also more secure.

Azure Files is another service that Microsoft is building up that is aimed at providing a hybrid cloud platform for enterprises. Files effectively replaces the local file-sharing system that a business typically rely on. By using Files, IT professionals can set up multiple virtual machines to share a single file through Azure.

Security Enhancements

There is usually a slight hesitation when a business decides to move some of its services to the cloud. Since the enterprise is no longer in complete control...

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