Microsoft Azure customer priorities: How one MVP balances security, privacy, and cost requirements of his cloud clients

June 13 2019

Organizations planning to move IT resources to the public cloud begin with different concerns, often depending on their industry. While the resulting solutions may look similar, typical top priorities like security, privacy, and cost can steer a project in very different directions.

Microsoft Azure MVP Deepak Kaushik, co-founder of business and IT consultancy Azure IoT Coast 2 Coast, knows that the customer journey, including planning for their top concerns, is critical to a successful Azure deployment. Based in Saskatchewan, Deepak works with a variety of public sector and private sector customers. His partner, who focuses heavily on IoT, is based in Toronto and works with clients in Canada's east, while he supports customers throughout central and western Canada with a stronger focus on Azure data platform and security.

His customers are mostly public sector agencies working to migrate from on-premises to the cloud, although some are also from the industry sectors like energy, power, and oil and gas. He talked to MSDW about typical customer priorities on Azure-based projects and how they influence his guidance.

Security and privacy compliance

In one local schools division, his work focused on Canada's legal requirements for data residency within its borders. He explained:

The first requirement is that we can't move our data outside of Canadian datacenters. I'm dealing with kids' demographics like where they're born, their grades, and some students who may be on social support. There is a lot of emphasis on data security.

Comparatively, public sector is more focused on the security side, whereas [private sector organizations are also] considering security but are not so opposed to using non-Canadian or US data centers.

For my migrations for public schools … I had all my disaster recovery into Canadian data center locations…with Availability Zones defined.

In the four years he has spent working with Azure, Deepak says he has observed Microsoft make significant strides in security capabilities. He is particularly happy about Azure Advisor.

Azure Advisor has helped a lot of my customers. [It] has recommendations on availability, security, performance, and cost. With Advisor, customers know in advance how much it will cost. Earlier we used cost calculator, but now Azure Advisor is great help.

In Azure Security Center you can focus on high, medium and low severity recommendations from Compute & App, Networking and Data Storage [interfaces]. You could also focus on the Top Recommendation that is impacting you the most.  

If I miss anything from an availability perspective I will get recommendations. For example, when I was working on-prem, implementations of disaster recovery were really challenging. But now, it's quite easy. If you miss it, you will get notifications. "Hey, you missed the backup and disaster recovery."

Controlling costs

About Eamon McCarthy Earls

As the assistant editor of MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon helps to oversee editorial content on the site and supports site management and strategy. He can be reached at eearls@msdynamicsworld.com.

Before joining MSDynamicsWorld.com, Eamon was editor for SearchNetworking.com at TechTarget, where he covered networking technology, IoT, and cybersecurity. He is also the author of multiple books and previously contributed to publications such as the Boston Globe, Milford Daily News, and DefenceWeb.

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