You’ve moved your data center to Azure, and you’re pleased with its reliability, security, performance and cost. Your team is able to access their files anytime and anywhere, which is great since they’re working from home. Because of Azure, you have a backup and recovery plan, and your data center is now safe with robust cybersecurity. Now it’s time to start thinking about maintenance, and Azure Support looks to be the best option.
But, and this is a big but, how are you going to keep it running? You’ve looked at the Azure Support Center resources, and it all looks so complicated – so many documents, videos and facts to learn. You don’t have enough hours in the day to run your business and learn how to keep your data center running. Not to worry, Nortec’s team is here to help you. To get you started in understanding Azure Support, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions.
Azure Support FAQ
What Is Azure Support?
Offered by Microsoft, Azure Support is a free or subscription-based support plan that will help you keep your data center running efficiently. You can access Azure Support by working with a managed IT provider like Nortec.
Is Azure Support Free?
Azure Support Basic Plan is free for all Azure customers. Included in this plan are:
- Subscriptions and billing support
- Self-help resources including:
- Azure how-to videos
- Microsoft Learn
- Community support
- Unlimited Support tickets
- Azure Advisor
- Azure health status notifications
What Are Azure Support Plans?
Microsoft has a free basic support plan and tiered-pricing subscription plans for businesses, so you can have as much or as little help as you and your IT team need. Here’s a brief overview of each of the plans.
As stated above, all Azure customers benefit from the basic support plan. You’ll have
• 24/7 self-help resources
• Community support
• Unlimited support tickets
With the basic plan you also have access to Azure Advisor. This system assesses your performance and recommends how to optimize your workloads.
Azure Service Health
As part of the basic service, Azure Service Health helps you mitigate downtime by staying informed of when service incidents or planned maintenance happens. With customized cloud alerts and a personalized dashboard, you’ll be able to monitor your cloud resources.
The Basic Support plan does not allow for phone or email technical support.
The Azure Developer Support subscription plan is for trial and non-production environments. For $29 per month, you’ll get everything in the basic plan and have access to unlimited technical support during business hours. You’ll also get:
- Assistance with non-Microsoft technologies issues
- 24/7 support by phone and email
- General guidance in architecture support
- Initial response time within 8 business hours
Through the Azure portal, you’ll be able to submit your support tickets. And, should you need, you’ll have access to two online forums and Twitter support. Initial response time for this support is within 8 business hours.
The third Azure support plan, available for production workload environments, is $100 per month. You’ll receive all of the above support and be able to set the severity of your issues. Initial response times vary from 1 to 8 business hours, depending on the assigned severity of the incident.
The fourth Azure support plan is available for business-critical dependence environments and costs $1000 per month. The plan is best for mid-sized to large companies where uptime is critical to business operations. This plan includes:
- Escalation management for priority problems
- ProDirect Managers
- Deployment and migration planning
- Improvements to performance, reliability and recoverability
- Support API
- Advisory Consultation
Initial response times vary from 1 to 4 business hours, depending on the severity of the impact event. When you have Nortec’s managed virtual machines and managed backups and data recovery, Professional Direct Support is included.
How to change your Azure Support plan
If you decide to change your Azure Support plan, you can cancel it in the Azure portal or the Microsoft Customer Agreement portal, depending on where you have signed up. Then, you’ll be able to purchase a higher-tier plan or use the Basic Support plan.
Does Azure support cybersecurity?
As Microsoft says, security is the foundation of Azure. From physical infrastructure to operations, cybersecurity experts protect your business data and assets with multi-layered security. Azure offers more proactive and comprehensive coverage to safeguard your data than any other cloud service provider.
How to Contact Azure Support
To contact Azure Support, you must use the Azure portal and select “Support” from the menu bar to create a support ticket. The plan you have and the severity of your issue will determine the response time for this support request.
How to Get Azure Support
Because your data center is now cloud-based, you’ll need a different level of support than an on-site data center. Your internal IT team members may not understand the changes and trends that are associated with a cloud-based system, and their lack of knowledge could put your business at risk for increased downtime and cyberthreats.
Using Azure Support In-House
Going with the basic level of support will get you the answers you need. But, you’ll have to find the answers online, and the simplest data backup and recovery could take hours. Depending on the size of your business, you can opt to select one of the subscription support plans above, but again, you’ll be working within the Azure system and may not be able to talk to someone for hours.
Nortec Is Your Azure Support Partner
As a Microsoft Certified Gold Partner, Nortec has the expertise to manage your cloud-based data center and keep your costs to a minimum. When you buy Azure services from nortec in a managed services plan, Azure support is included. Our experts continually monitor and test your backups, and we are always looking for ways to improve your reliability, security and performance. We build Azure Support into our managed services, and interface with Azure support so you don’t have to. Contact Nortec today to see how we can make Azure Support work for you.