My love/hate relationship with Azure – What has been your experience?

rollercoasterHave you worked with Microsoft Azure?  What was your experience?  So, I relate most of  my experience with ServiceNow.  I was involved in a few ServiceNow implementation projects and often found myself on a rollercoaster ride of confidence, enjoyment, confusion and disappointment.  I find the same with Azure and it has nothing to do with the massive amount of work they have done and the great opportunities we have with it.

Like ServiceNow, one of the negatives with Azure, is that there is so much you can do that it becomes overwhelming where to begin, how to build that foundation and maintain you are not over subscribing and creating lost expense.

Another problem I am having is that enhancements and releases are happening so quickly that online documentation and partner experience/support has not kept up.  Again, this is the price for what I love about the product, but these are painful points for implementations.

As an example as I was building the ability to migrate one of our SQL databases to SQL Managed Instance, it required hours of research and several published procedure instructions to formulate one process that worked for me.  Is it situational?  Does it all depend on your environment?  I don’t think so.  I started with only AADConnect and I have a SQL database on premise.

But as I completed the setup and migration, I stumbled around and decided online help wasn’t working so I clicked on the dreaded request support link right in my configuration took. To my surprise the support from Microsoft was top shelf.  In fact, I have never had a better experience than I received with this project.  I got stuck in 2 or 3 spots during the process and each experience was as solid and fruitful as the other.  At one point I had spoken to three different engineers on a call residing  across the globe.  I can understand them all clearly, they were interested in my issue and worked with me toward a solution. Wow what an experience. Don’t see this much anymore.

So at this point I have a connected AD, a virtual network, SQL Managed instance and a virtual server I plan to use for our product app. I am about to work on a connection string to connect that database to our working product as if it was located on-premise.  Its an adventure with highs and lows, but I feel the experiences are worth it and comforted by the support being provided along the way.

What has your experience been with Azure?  Are you doing it yourself? Using a business partner?  Are they knowledgeable or finding their way through?

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