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E-books on the cloud and Azure


Deepen your understanding of cloud computing with these resources for business leaders and technical professionals.

Analytics Lessons Learned: How Four Companies Drove Business Agility

See how four real-world companies used their data to make timely, informed business decisions that boosted operational efficiency, improved fraud detection, predicted necessary maintenance, and drove customer satisfaction.

A Developer’s Guide to Building AI Applications, Second Edition

Begin creating powerful, intelligent apps in the cloud using AI. Learn to build a conversational virtual assistant that understands language, perceives vast amounts of information, and responds intelligently.

Modernise Web Apps: Five Stories of Creating Better Customer Experiences

Find out how five leading organisations improved online customer experiences by migrating their on-premises web apps and databases to Azure. Plus, learn how to quickly begin moving your own apps to Azure.

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Azure Synapse Analytics cookbook

Build the skills and confidence to implement Azure Synapse Analytics. Explore how to use it to reduce costs, get industry-leading security and gain analytics efficiencies with guidance from the e-book, Azure Synapse Analytics cookbook

Simplify migrating to Azure Synapse using this e-book that’s filled with clear recipes for tasks such as: 

  • Choosing the optimal path to load data into Azure Synapse. 
  • Managing billions of rows of complex data.
  • Modelling and visualising data using machine learning and AI.
  • Combining your existing services with Azure Synapse.
  • Providing comprehensive data governance and embedded data discovery and classification.

Forrester report: Architect Enterprise Applications and Services for Impact

Discover how to make your business more adaptive by evolving how you work with strategic IT service partners. Read this Forrester report to get architectural and governance guidance to successfully select and manage enterprise applications, platforms and services.

Learn strategies to:

  • Use modularity and prioritize composability to be able to reconfigure business processes quickly and to proactively forecast change.
  • Cultivate new, democratised work styles by expanding knowledge workers’ skill sets and increasing the growth of citizen developers. 
  • Prioritize adoption of cloud- and service-based architectures – especially software as a service (SaaS) platforms for better scalability and user experience, as well as faster time to value.

Modernise your applications with Azure Spring Apps

Find out how to optimise your app management, product development and IT costs with Azure Spring Apps – a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) solution. Get this e-book for step-by-step guidance on preparing for the cloud, migrating and optimising your apps after the move.

Read Modernise your applications with Azure Spring Apps to:

  • Empower your people to spend more time innovating and less time managing workloads.
  • Efficiently manage increased network traffic and help strengthen security – while reducing costs.
  • Choose the right services for your needs, including PaaS solutions, API management services and container support.
  • Discover best practices for hosting, deploying and monitoring your apps on Azure Spring Apps.

Cloud migration and modernisation: Trends for 2023

Learn key insights about the global trajectory of cloud migration and modernisation. In this report by Emerald Research group commissioned by Microsoft – based on a survey of over 1,200 IT decision makers – you’ll learn how enterprises are thinking about cloud adoption as part of their digital strategy.  

You’ll also learn why: 

  • Organisations are turning to migration and modernisation to support growth, future-proof their businesses and reduce costs.
  • Optimising workloads, consolidating vendors and simultaneously adopting hybrid and multicloud architectures are becoming common strategies. 
  • 82 per cent of enterprises view migration as a stepping stone to digital transformation. 

The path to ISV Success: Build, scale and grow faster with the ISV Success Programme

Demand for cloud solutions continues to grow, creating opportunities for independent software vendors (ISVs) to accelerate business growth and innovation. 

In this infographic, learn how you can build solutions more efficiently, go to market faster, reach more customers and unlock additional rewards with the ISV Success Programme.  

Save on costs and optimize performance with Azure SQL

Migrate and modernize your data estate to lower your total cost of ownership, achieve productivity gains, and accelerate time to market with faster app development cycles. Learn more about the Azure SQL family of services—and find out how to save on costs, achieve flexibility at scale, and meet peaks in demand with an end-to-end solution.

Explore these independent research reports to compare costs and workloads and see why Azure SQL is a market leader.

Azure SQL Managed Instance leads in price-performance for mission-critical workloads

Find out how Azure SQL Managed Instance outperformed Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) in testing done by Principled Technologies. Read the full report for details on how Azure SQL Managed Instance offers up to five times faster performance at a 93 percent lower cost when compared to SQL Server on AWS RDS.1

Read the Principled Technologies report

SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines leads SQL Server on Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2)

Explore this report from GigaOm and see why SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines came out on top in overall speed and price-performance when compared to SQL Server on Amazon EC2. Read how SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines meets mission-critical requirements up to 42 percent faster and costs up to 31 percent less than SQL Server on AWS EC2.2

Read the GigaOm report

For a full breakdown of the benefits and economic value of migrating your on-premises SQL server to Azure SQL, download the infographic, The Economic Value of Azure SQL.

1Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Principled Technologies in April 2022. The study compared performance and price performance between a 16 vCore, 64 vCore and 80 vCore Azure SQL Managed Instance using premium-series hardware on the business-critical service tier and the db.m6i.32xlarge, db.r5b.4xlarge and db.r5b.16xlarge offerings for Amazon Web Services Relational Database Service (AWS RDS) on SQL Server. Benchmark data is taken from a Principled Technologies report using recognized standards, HammerDB TPROC-C, HammerDB TPROC-H and Microsoft MSOLTPE, a workload derived from TPC-E. The MSOLTPE is derived from the TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to published TPC-E results, as MSOLTPE results do not comply with the TPC-E Specification. The results are based on a mixture of read-only and update intensive transactions that simulate activities found in complex OLTP and analytics application environments. Price-performance is calculated by Principled Technologies as the cost of running the cloud platform continuously divided by transactions per minute or per second throughput, based upon the standard. Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in South Central US for Azure SQL Managed Instance and US East for AWS RDS as of April 2022 and incorporates Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Performance and price-performance results are based upon the configurations detailed in the Principled Technologies report. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region.

2Price-performance claims based on data from a study commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by GigaOm in April 2022. The study compared price performance between SQL Server 2019 Enterprise edition on Windows Server 2022 in Azure E32bds_v5 instance type with P30 Premium SSD disks and SQL Server 2019 Enterprise Edition on Windows Server 2022 in Amazon Web Services Elastic Cloud Compute instance type r5b.8xlarge with General Purpose (gp3) volumes. Benchmark data is taken from two tests:

  • The GigaOm Transactional Field Test derived from a recognized industry standard, TPC Benchmark™ E (TPC-E). The Field Test does not implement the full TPC-E benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC-E benchmarks.
  • The GigaOm Analytics Field test derived from the TPC-H Benchmark. The field test does not implement the full TPC-H benchmark and as such is not comparable to any published TPC_H benchmarks.

Prices are based on publicly available US pricing in North Central US for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines and Oregon for AWS EC2 as of April 2022. The pricing incorporates three-year reservations for Azure and AWS compute pricing, and Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and Windows Server, and License Mobility for SQL Server in AWS, excluding Software Assurance and support costs. Actual results and prices may vary based on configuration and region. 

The top 10 guiding principles for cloud migration in 2022

Learn how the focus of cloud migration has evolved in recent years – away from “lift-and-shift” migration toward modernisation. In this Forrester report, you’ll learn how migration strategies have shifted substantially as enterprises have developed modern best practices for moving to the cloud and getting the most value from their investment. 

Some key principles include how: 

  • Moving datacentres to the cloud has become a more common strategy than moving individual apps to the cloud.
  • Cloud adoption has become essential to improving security and enabling accessibility across distributed teams. 
  • Enterprises are increasingly recognising the value of the cloud for reducing downtime and implementing new, cost-effective capabilities.

The road to Azure cost governance

Learn how to gain full control of your Azure costs by creating a continuous cost governance and optimisation process. This comprehensive Packt e-book covers essential topics, such as cloud cost management and sustainable modelling of cloud expenses. 

You’ll come away with: 

  • A thorough understanding of how your cloud costs work, illustrated by detailed examples.
  • Insights and examples of how to optimise cloud costs using the Azure portal. 
  • A variety of proven cost-savings techniques used by companies worldwide. 
  • An understanding of your cloud infrastructure’s carbon impact. 

A playbook for monolith decomposition

This playbook has been written for C-suite executives in non-technical roles, of organisations with monolith applications that require decomposition. It gives a holistic view of why monolith decomposition is important, how to build the business case and the implementation options available. This paper has been written to try and help structure the thinking which needs to go into a monolith decomposition programme.


For folks who are not in the Private Equity world, this playbook could still be of interest to you, as the principles, business case creation, patterns and strategy would largely remain the same.

Five Reasons to Dive into Azure Data Explorer

This e-book focuses on the five reasons that make ADX a good fit for businesses: Scale from gigabytes to petabytes, Interactive queries on billions of records in seconds, Ingest data and query it within seconds, A query language specialized in time series and telemetry, and Efficiently query semi-structured and unstructured data.