What is Microsoft Azure? | Cloud Computing
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service from Microsoft. It is a platform that provides virtualized infrastructure.
Microsoft has designed the platform to allow users to quickly deploy and manage applications in the cloud without requiring them to worry about the underlying infrastructure.
Building, managing, and deploying apps on a huge global network using your favourite tools and frameworks are made possible by Azure.
Azure is a cloud platform hosted on-premises, in contrast to hosted solutions that are hosted by a third party. Because of this, many features from the hosted solutions are missing, but the solution is far more cost-effective than a hosted solution. All the on-premises features for Azure include the security of the on-premises security model, as well as the scalability and elasticity of an on-premises solution.
Microsoft Azure is designed to make it easy for businesses to create applications that can be published and deployed as a service.
The Azure platform consists of two major parts:
- App Services – which is a PaaS
- Azure Virtual Machine – a VPS.
The Azure App Service is a component of the Azure platform that provides web-based application services. It is part of the Azure family of services. The Azure App Service is based on the cloud-optimized version of Microsoft’s web technologies. The Azure App Service is designed to be easy to use for developers and easy to use for non-developers.
The App Service allows users to create and manage their own applications, services, and websites. It offers the following features:
- The users can upload applications, services, and websites.
- The users can add features to applications and services.
- The users can test their applications.
- The users can publish their applications to Microsoft Azure for others to use.
- The users can access their applications and services remotely and access them through any device.
Azure Virtual Machine
Azure Virtual Machine (VM) is one of the most popular Virtualization Platforms provided by Microsoft Azure. This platform provides various services such as Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Virtual Machine Images, Virtual Machines, Virtual Network Services etc. Azure Virtual Machine (VM) allows to easily provision and manage VMs.
Azure provides various services to create, provision, manage, monitor, configure, etc. Virtual Machine scale sets (VMSS) is a group of virtual machines running on Virtual Machines scale sets. VMSS is provisioned by Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets.
How Azure Charges Work
It is the distribution of computing services over the Internet utilising a pay-per-use pricing mechanism that is known as cloud computing. It may also be described as an arrangement for renting computing power and storage from someone else’s data centre.
Instead of keeping CPUs and storage in your data centre, you rent them out for the duration of the time that you require them to be available. The cloud provider will take care of the upkeep of the underlying infrastructure on your behalf.
The cloud helps you move faster and innovate in ways that were once nearly impossible.
In our ever-changing digital world, two trends emerge:
- Teams are delivering new features to their users at record speeds.
- End users expect an increasingly rich and immersive experience with their devices and with software.
Software releases were once scheduled in terms of months or even years. Today, teams are releasing features in smaller batches. Releases are now often scheduled in terms of days or weeks. Some teams even deliver software updates continuously – sometimes with multiple releases within the same day.
Think of all the ways you interact with devices that you couldn’t do just a few years ago. Many devices can recognize your face and respond to voice commands. Augmented reality changes the way you interact with the physical world. Household appliances are even beginning to act intelligently. These are just a few examples, many of which are powered by the cloud.
To power your services and deliver innovative and novel user experiences more quickly, the cloud provides on-demand access to:
- A nearly limitless pool of raw compute, storage, and networking components.
- Speech recognition and other cognitive services that help make your application stand out from the crowd.
- Analytics services that enable you to make sense of telemetry data coming back from your software and devices.
Services offered by Azure
Azure provides over 100 services that allow you to do everything from running your existing applications on virtual machines to exploring new software paradigms such as intelligent bots and mixed reality.
Many teams begin their exploration of the cloud by migrating their existing applications to virtual machines that operate on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Migration of existing applications to virtual machines is an excellent starting point; however, the cloud is much more than just “another location to host your virtual machines.”
For example, Azure delivers artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities that can organically communicate with your users through vision, hearing, and speech, among other means. It also offers storage solutions that can scale up and down in response to the amount of data that is being stored.
Azure services make it possible to implement solutions that would otherwise be impossible to implement without the use of cloud computing resources.
What are alternatives to Microsoft Azure?
With one of the most recognizable logos in computing, Microsoft Azure has long been the go-to cloud platform for anyone seeking to build, deploy and manage their applications and services. But that might be starting to change, as the company continues to face increasing competition from rivals like Google, IBM and Amazon.
The emergence of Azure as a legitimate challenger to public cloud services like Amazon Web Services, Google App Engine and the many others that compete for customer dollars today is based, to a large degree, on its new, flexible server and storage infrastructure, as well as its commitment to open standards like OpenStack and Linux. While not exactly a knock-out blow to Microsoft’s current leadership, the move is likely to hurt the company’s enterprise software business, where many of its crown jewels still reside.
If you’re just getting started with cloud services, then, if you’re building something that’s web-based, you’re probably using Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google App Engine or the other so-called platform as a service (PaaS) providers out there. These services offer the developer community the ability to build scalable web applications that are easy to install, easy to manage and offer complete operational management. They all use a very similar set of tools and API.