Azure Portal - Learn how to manage your servers

Saturday, April 25, 2020
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Server management is a fundamental activity that must be done for applications to run effectively. However, for businesses that have previously had physical servers, there can be a big difference when moving over to cloud operations. This article will discuss Microsoft's Azure Portal and what services it offers to help administrators with cloud server management.

What is Azure Portal?

Azure is Microsoft's Cloud Service Provider. The Azure Portal is a single place of entry for a user to manage all web applications within one location.Inside the portal, a user can build, manage, monitor, and store everything that is needed in the web application process. This ranges across builds of all sizes, from simple web apps to enterprise sized cloud applications and beyond.


For years now, Microsoft has been funding their Azure public cloud architecture significantly. It is more than capable of competing with the other big names in the industry, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Read on below to find out how you can get started and make use of the provider’s services. Despite being a product of Windows, the platform integrates very well with Linux. You can run multiple different distributors including Ubuntu, SUSE and CentOS, amongst others.

Within the Azure Portal, there are specific server management tools and services that can be used to help with the administration of a company’s servers. The tasks these help with include:

  • Migrate
  • Secure
  • Protect
  • Monitor
  • Configure
  • Govern

But before we define how Azure helps in each of these areas, let’s first explain:

What is server management?

This is a term that is used quite broadly within the industry and depending on the company, can be used in slightly different ways. In its simplest form, server management is the tasks and activities needed to keep a server running effectively. These include monitoring a server’s status, uptime and issues. As well as updating the server and installing new software. Setup and configuration is also needed, alongside any other tasks that without doing, the server would not function correctly.

Luckily, Azure has these inbuilt services which can help with server management.

Migrate

With the migration services, workloads can be moved over onto Azure with minimal hassle. The process begins with an analysis of on-site servers and their performance, then assessing the requirements for a migration.

Secure

The security of your server is one of the highest priorities and should always be thought about carefully and pragmatically. The Azure Security Center is an application that totally deals with the security of your server. Utilising Security Center will provide you with a security assessment as well as a regulatory compliance status for the environment you have built.

Protect

A properly secure environment means that data is protected. This means there must be a contingency for backups, high availability, encryption, authorization, as well as other problems that will be encountered during operation. With Azure Portal, the focus is on creating a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.

Monitor

To keep on top of the multiple parts that are all needed for a server to function properly, administrators must have complete oversight of an environment. Azure Monitor allows for a viewpoint into multiple resources including applications, containers, and virtual machines.

Configure

Configuration is a large area, which has multiple parts within it. These services include the automation of operational tasks, the management of server configurations, measuring compliance and updating where needed, the scheduling of updates and installation, detecting changes to the servers. Azure has services to address all of these areas of work.

Govern

Migrating to the cloud and adopting new technologies will naturally create new challenges in managing server operations. A shift in approach is needed that changes from operational management towards monitoring and governance. With Azure, the framework for adopting the cloud begins with solid governance principles. Azure has The Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure  that will guide a business as it makes the transition and outline the journey ahead of them.

If you are already well versed with Windows Server and are a business that operates mainly within the Windows ecosystem, Azure makes a lot of sense for you to utilise for cloud services. With data centers around the world, factors around location and latency is minimised. With the services outlined above, the management of servers can be efficient and easy, letting you concentrate on growing a business and providing value to your client base.