This post was co-authored by Ajai Peddapanga, Principal Cloud Solution Architect.
If you have been working with Azure for any period, you might have grappled with the question—which Azure service is best to run my apps on? This is an important decision because the services you choose will dictate your resource planning, budget, timelines, and, ultimately, the time to market for your business. It impacts the cost of not only the initial delivery, but also the ongoing maintenance of your applications.
Traditionally, organizations have thought that they must choose between two platforms, technologies, or competing solutions to build and run their software applications. For example, they ask questions like: Do we use Web Logic or WebSphere for hosting our Java Enterprise applications?, Should Docker Swarm be the enterprise-wide container platform or Kubernetes?, or Do we adopt containers or just stick with virtual machines (VMs)? They try to fit all their applications on platform A or B. This A or B mindset stems from outdated practices that were based on the constraints of the on-premises world, such as packaged software delivery models, significant upfront investments in infrastructure and software licensing, and long lead times required to build and deploy any application platform. With that history, it’s easy to bring the same mindset to Azure and spend a lot of time building a single platform based on a single Azure service that can host as many of their applications as possible—if not all. Then companies try to force-fit all their applications into this single platform, introducing delays and roadblocks that could have been avoided.
There's a better approach possible in Azure that yields higher returns on investment (ROI). As you transition to Azure, where you provision and deprovision resources on an as-needed basis, you don't have to choose between A or B. Azure makes it easy and cost-effective to take a different—and better—approach: the A+B approach. An A+B mindset simply means instead of limiting yourself to a predetermined service, you choose the service(s) that best meet your application needs; you choose the right tool for the right job.
Figure 1: Azure enables you to shift your thinking from an A or B to an A+B mindset, which has many benefits.
With A+B thinking, you can:
- Select the right tool for the right job instead of force-fitting use cases to a predetermined solution.
- Innovate and go to market faster with the greater agility afforded by the A+B approach.
- Accelerate your app modernizations and build new cloud-native apps by taking a modular approach to picking the right Azure services for running your applications.
- Achieve greater process and cost efficiencies, and operational excellence.
- Build best-in-class applications tailored fit for your business
As organizations expand their decision-making process and technical strategy from an A or B mindset to encompass the possibilities and new opportunities offered with an A+B mindset, there are many new considerations. In our new book, we introduce the principles of the A+B mindset that you can use to choose the right Azure services for your applications. We have illustrated the A+B approach using two Azure services as examples in our book; however, you can apply these principles to evaluate any number of Azure Services for hosting your applications–Azure Spring Apps, Azure App Service, Azure Container Apps, Azure Kubernetes Service, and Virtual Machines are commonly used Azure Services for application hosting. A+B mindset applies to any application, written in any language.
Asir and Ajai are the authors of a new Microsoft e-book that helps you transition to an A+B mindset and answer the question: “What is the right service for my applications?” Get the Microsoft e-book to learn more about how to transition to an A+B mindset to choose the right Azure services for your applications.