Once known as Windows Azure, Microsoft Azure is a public Cloud computing platform of Microsoft and Azure Cloud Services is an example of a Platform as a Service (PaaS). Providing a wide range of services, that includes networking, analytics and storage, the technology has the potential to support applications which are inexpensive, scalable and reliable in their operations. The users can choose and pick services as per their requirements and run an existing application or develop and scale new applications, in the public cloud.
The goal of Azure as a platform is to help in the management of the challenges the businesses face while meeting their goals as an organization. Azure Cloud Services offers services which are supportive in all industries, including finance and E-commerce. Open Source Technologies also find compatible and extensive use of Azure Cloud Services. There are four different forms of cloud computing of Azure, including Platform as a Service (PaaS). The other cloud computing platforms are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS) and Serverless.
Purpose of Azure
With numerous service offerings, the use cases of Microsoft Azure are diversified. One of the most popular uses for Microsoft Azure is running Virtual Machines or containers in the cloud. The computing resources of Azure can potentially host infrastructure components like domain name system (DNS), Windows Server Services like Internet Information Services (IIS) and even third-party applications. A third-party application like Linux is also compatible with Microsoft as Microsoft supports Linux.
Microsoft Azure a platform finds its extensive use for disaster recovery and backup, additionally to the other services that it offers. There are nearly two dozen Azure cloud services, sorted by Microsoft.
Azure Products and services
- Mobile– Azure helps in creating cloud applications for the cellular devices which offer services like notification, APIs or tools for building Application Program Interfaces, supporting back-end tasks, along with the ability to combine geospatial context with data.
- Networking– The particular group for networking includes virtual networking, gateways, dedicated connections along with services like managing and diagnosing traffic, DNS Hosting, network protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and load balancing.
- Identity– The product offers to help the protection of the encryption keys and other sensitive information by only authoring users who have access to Azure Cloud Services.
- Web– The Azure Cloud Services for Web offers services supporting the development and deployment of web applications. The Web services also have additional features like content delivery, notifications, API Management, reporting and search.
- Analytics– The Azure Analytics services include distribution of analytics and storage, along with additional features for the real-time analytics, machine learning (ML), Internet of Things (IoT), data lakes, data streams, big data analytics, data warehousing, and Business Intelligence (BI).
- Media and Content Delivery Network (CDN)– The CDN services of Azure includes encoding, digital rights protection, indexing and media playback, and streaming.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning– Azure for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning includes a wide range of services which the developers can potentially use to fuse with machine learning, artificial intelligence and computing cognitive capabilities to data sets and applications.
- Internet of Things– The Azure services for the Internet of Things include helping its users in monitoring, analyzing and capturing IoT data from the sensors and other various devices. The services additionally also include monitoring and support for coding, notifications, execution and analytics.
- DevOps– The Azure group for DevOps is for the projection and collaboration of tools like Azure DevOps, formerly Visual Studio Team Services which helps in facilitating DevOps Software development processes. The group also offers additional features for diagnosing applications, DevOps tool integrations, experimentation along with test labs built specifically for tests and further experimentation.
These are only a few handfuls of the wide range of products and services which Microsoft Azure offers and each tool, product and service are powerful due to the intricate applications. And Azure bills its users as per their usages, hence a very cost-effective and inexpensive tool.
Summing it all up
Azure is a massive collection of servers and hardware networking that successfully runs a set of complex applications, for the configuration to orchestrate and operate the visualized hardware and software on those particular servers. It is this aspect and automation systematization which gives Azure the power, as users no longer have to devote time or are responsible for the maintenance or up-gradation of the hardware, as Azure is capable of performing these tasks behind the scenes.