What is Microsoft Azure cloud services?

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform, just like Google has it’s Google Cloud and Amazon has it’s Amazon Web Service or AWS.

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Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform, just like Google has it’s Google Cloud and Amazon has it’s Amazon Web Service or AWS. Generally, it is a platform through which we can use Microsoft’s resource. For example, to set up a huge server, we will require huge investment, effort, physical space and so on. In such situations, Microsoft Azure comes to our rescue. It will provide us with virtual machines, fast processing of data, analytical and monitoring tools and so on to make our work simpler. The pricing of Azure is also simpler and cost-effective. Popularly termed as “Pay As You Go”, which means how much you use, pay only for that.

Azure History

Microsoft unveiled Windows Azure in early October 2008 but it went to live after February 2010. Later in 2014, Microsoft changed its name from Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. Azure provided a service platform for .NET services, SQL Services, and many Live Services. Many people were still very skeptical about “the cloud”. As an industry, we were entering a brave new world with many possibilities. Microsoft Azure is getting bigger and better in coming days. More tools and more functionalities are getting added. It has two releases as of now. It’s famous version Micorosft Azure v1 and later Microsoft Azure v2. Microsoft Azure v1 was more like JSON script driven then the new version v2, which has interactive UI for simplification and easy learning. Microsoft Azure v2 is still in the preview version.

How Azure can help in business?

Azure can help in our business in the following ways-

  • Capitaless: We don’t have to worry about the capital as Azure cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that’s kind to your cash flow. Also, to set up an Azure account is very easy. You simply register in Azure Portal and select your required subscription and get going.
  • Less Operational Cost: Azure has low operational cost because it runs on its own servers whose only job is to make the cloud functional and bug-free, it’s usually a whole lot more reliable than your own, on-location server.
  • Cost Effective: If we set up a server on our own, we need to hire a tech support team to monitor them and make sure things are working fine. Also, there might be a situation where the tech support team is taking too much time to solve the issue incurred in the server. So, in this regard is way too pocket-friendly.
  • Easy Back Up and Recovery options: Azure keep backups of all your valuable data. In disaster situations, you can recover all your data in a single click without your business getting affected. Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.
  • Easy to implement: It is very easy to implement your business models in Azure. With a couple of on-click activities, you are good to go. Even there are several tutorials to make you learn and deploy faster.
  • Better Security: Azure provides more security than local servers. Be carefree about your critical data and business applications. As it stays safe in the Azure Cloud. Even, in natural disasters, where the resources can be harmed, Azure is a rescue. The cloud is always on.
  • Work from anywhere: Azure gives you the freedom to work from anywhere and everywhere. It just requires a network connection and credentials. And with most serious Azure cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted to which device you’ve got to hand.
  • Increased collaboration: With Azure, teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere. They can work and achieve future goals hand in hand. Another advantage of the Azure is that it preserves records of activity and data. Timestamps are one example of the Azure’s record keeping. Timestamps improve team collaboration by establishing transparency and increasing accountability.

 

What is Microsoft Azure? What are the various cloud services provided by Microsoft Azure? This article will answer all your queries about Microsoft azure cloud services.

In this post, we’ll be covering the following topics:

  • What is cloud computing?
  • What is Microsoft Azure?
  • Microsoft Azure Cloud – Domains & Services
  • Microsoft Azure Benefits
  • Azure Price Calculator

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing is about providing various computing resources over the internet. You can find the detail on cloud computing here.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform (set of cloud computing services provided by Microsoft), just like Google has its Google Cloud Platform and Amazon has it’s Amazon Web Service.

Microsoft Azure cloud services can be used for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools, and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.

Microsoft Azure Cloud- Domains & Services

Domains are a set of services that can be categorized as per different business usage. The following is the list of the most commonly used domains in Azure.

Microsoft Azure Cloud- Domains & Services

You can roughly segment Azure into three layers—the data center infrastructure, infrastructure services, and platform services. Microsoft lists over 600 Azure services that fall under different domains listed above. Some of the most commonly used services are discussed below:

Microsoft Azure Platform Services

Azure Compute Services

These services enable a user to deploy and manage virtual machines (VMs), containers and batch processing, as well as support remote application access.

Azure Compute Services

  • Virtual Machine: Its Infrastructure as a Service provided by Azure, using which we can create servers like Windows, Linux, etc.
  • VM Scale Sets: Used to create a number of VMs at the same time and auto-scaling.
  • Cloud Services: These services are used to deploy the app on the created hardware.
  • Service Fabric: Used to deploy applications that are based on microservice-based architecture.
  • Batch: Used to schedule a compute-intensive workload parallelly on the number of VMs.
  • Functions: Azure’s serverless architecture, using which we can deploy a piece of code without worrying about the underlying architecture.

Azure Storage Services

Services under this domain provide scalable cloud storage for any structured and unstructured data and also supports big data scenarios required by Scientific, Financial Analysis, Media applications.

Azure Storage Services

  • Blob: Used to store unstructured data like media files, installations, documents, etc.
  • Disk: Persistent, secured disk options supporting virtual machines.
  • Queue: Used to create queue into the cloud. You can post and read messages from the queue.
  • File: Offers file shares in the cloud using the standard server message block protocol.
  • Sort Simple: Hybrid cloud storage solution which enables us to store inactive data into the cloud.
  • Data Lake Store: Used for big data storage and scalability.

Azure Networking Services

Azure provides a variety of networking services for traffic management and diagnostics, load balancing, domain hosting, and network protection.

Azure Networking Services

  • Virtual Network: In Azure, you can create your private virtual network, which is basically a logical dedicated space for you in Azure with your own IP address.
  • Load Balancer: Balance your incoming internet traffic on Virtual Machines.
  • Application Gateway: It’s a dedicated virtual appliance providing the Application delivery controller as a service. It allows you to build secure highly scalable and available web fronts.
  • Traffic Manager: Helps you to route your traffic to different Data Centers.
  • Express Route: Lets you connect your data centers to a cloud on private connections facilitated by a connectivity provider.
  • VPN Gateway: A type of virtual network gateway that sends encrypted traffic across a public connection.
  • Content Delivery Network(CDN): It’s a global CDN solution for delivering high-bandwidth content. CDN caches static web content at strategically placed locations.
  • Azure DNS: A hosting service for DNS domains.

Azure Mobile Services

These products help a developer build cloud applications for mobile devices, providing notification services, support for back-end tasks, tools for building APIs and the ability to couple geospatial (location) context with data.

Azure Mobile Services

  • Mobile Apps can be used to build native and cross-development apps, sign-in to enterprise systems, build offline-ready apps with data sync and push notifications to customers.
  • Notification Hubs is used to send push notifications to any platform from any back-end.
  • Azure Maps are geospatial APIs to add maps, spatial analytics and mobility solutions to your apps.
  • API Apps service is used to quickly build and consume APIs in the cloud using any programming language.

Azure Security & Identity Services

These products provide capabilities to identify and respond to cloud security threats, as well as manage encryption keys and other sensitive assets.

Azure Security & Identity Services

 

  • Key Vault: Azure Key Vault helps safeguard cryptographic keys and secrets used by cloud applications and services and streamlines the key management process.
  • Azure Active Directory(AD): It is Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud-based directory and identity management service. You can sync your on-premise active directories with Azure Active Directory.
  • Azure AD B2C: it is a comprehensive cloud identity management solution for your consumer-facing web and mobile applications.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: It is Microsoft’s two-step verification solution that helps safeguard access to data and applications while meeting user demand for a simple sign-in process.

Azure Web Services

These services support the development and deployment of web applications, and also offer features for search, content delivery, application programming interface (API) management, notification, and reporting.

Azure IoT Services

These services help users capture, monitor and analyze IoT data from sensors and other devices. Services include notifications, analytics, monitoring and support for coding and execution.

Microsoft Azure Benefits

Why should someone select Microsoft Azure for cloud services?

Well, there are a lot of reasons for that, some of them are as follows:

Microsoft Azure Benefits

  • Security, It comprises security at its core and private data & services stay safe and secure on Azure Cloud. Microsoft Azure offers the best compliance coverage of over 90 compliance offerings.
  • Scalability, By changing simple settings you can add more processors to your application and scale from 10 to 10 million users can be created without any additional coding by using Azure.
  • Hybrid Cloud, Azure provides a broader range of hybrid connections including virtual private networks (VPNs), caches, content delivery networks (CDNs), and ExpressRoute connections to improve usability and performance.
  • Flexibility, As it gives you the option to have functionality as required. You can pay as you consume, switch to Azure, accommodate the business fluctuations and, etc.
  • Analytics Support, As it has built-in support to analyze data and derive insights that help in managed SQL services, Machine Learning, Stream and Cortana Analytics.

As a result of these benefits, Azure is playing as a game-changer in Cloud Computing.

Microsoft Azure Market Position

Azure Price Calculator

As with other public cloud providers, Azure primarily uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model that charges based on usage. However, if a single application uses multiple Azure services, each service might involve multiple pricing tiers. In addition, if a user makes a long-term commitment to certain services, such as compute instances, Microsoft offers a discounted rate.

There is a free trial available for Azure services.

And you won’t be charged until you choose to upgrade. Go ahead, enjoy your free trial. Hope this article was helpful. Please write your suggestions below.

 

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