Microsoft Azure is Enable’s chosen hosting provider. We host our web applications, processing services, databases, and file storage in dedicated resources and services to ensure Enable is as performant, available and secure as possible.
What is Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a popular cloud service for hosting applications through a globally available network of Microsoft managed data centres. There are a number of benefits that we can provide to our customers through our use of Azure.
Insights and analytics
We utilize Azure’s powerful Application Insights tool to monitor our product. This lets us track performance in real-time and gives us tools to identify and resolve issues quickly.
We leverage Azure’s geo-replication functionality for our data storage, using zone-redundant storage. This means data is always replicated multiple times across different physical locations in the primary region, such as the US West Coast. This offers at least 99.9999999999% durability over a year and means that your data is always accessible when you need it.
Azure offers several options to allow different resources to be automatically scaled to meet demand.
We have the ability to seamlessly scale up and scale out our web servers. Scaling up is providing more resource to a web server by moving it to a more powerful physical server and scaling out is creating multiple copies of the web server and using a load balancer to distribute traffic between them.
We can also scale our database resources to increase the available capacity and ensure that we are always able to manage increased load when it is required.
Azure gives us the ability to manage this scaling manually, in preparation for increased load or in response to certain parameters, and automatically. We utilize automatic scaling to regularly increase and reduce our hosting power to ensure that Enable always has appropriate resources to at the most demanding times of the day while ensuring that resource is not wasted at less demanding times. This makes sure that our hosting is efficient and cost-effective.
All our database and system data is encrypted at rest. This ensures that even in the extremely unlikely event that an attacker had physical access to the hard drive on which data was stored, they would not be able to access and read the unencrypted data.
Data in Azure is always encrypted in transit, meaning that it is always private when it is transferred from one location to another, such as from the database to the web server. Networks in Azure are also isolated to ensure your confidential data remains confidential.
The Azure network also has a number of built-in mechanisms to protect against common attacks, such as DDoS attacks.
Our main web applications are hosted with a guaranteed 99.95% uptime SLA with Azure. This equates to an absolute maximum of a few minutes of possible downtime a month and allows us to guarantee that Enable stays running.