What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing platform by Microsoft like Google has Google Cloud and Amazon has Amazon Web Services. If you want to set up a huge server/server infrastructure you would require a huge investment, physical space, and effort. This is where cloud computing and in this case Microsoft Azure comes to the rescue. Azure offers virtual machines, fast data processing, monitoring and analytical tools to make our tasks much more simpler. Pricing of Azure is cost effective and simple termed as ‘Pay As You Use”, which means you only pay for what you use.
The history of Azure
Azure was unveiled as Windows Azure in the early days of October 2008 and went live after February 2010. In 2014, Microsoft changed the name Windows Azure to Microsoft Azure. Azure provided services such as .net services, SQL services, and many more live services. At that time many people were still skeptical about cloud computing. We entered a whole new world with many opportunities known as cloud computing. Microsoft Azure is growing by the day with partnerships all over the globe which includes many fortune 500 companies as well. More functionalities and tools are added and one of them was when they introduced Linux on Azure.
How can Microsoft Azure help with your business?
No need to worry about high costs for hardware and hardware maintenance. The pay as you use model works for everyone and is kind to your cash flow. To set up an Azure account you simply register on the Azure portal and select your required subscription.
Less Operational Costs:
No need to spend money on server infrastructure. Azure has low operational costs as they run their own data centers that do the job of keeping the Azure cloud fully functional and bug-free. Usually much more reliable than in-house infrastructure.
No need to set up a tech team to build your own servers. No physical maintenance and monitoring of infrastructure. Troubleshooting physical infrastructure issues can be time consuming and expensive. Microsoft Azure has you covered in that regard.
Easy Back Up and Recovery options:
Microsoft has you covered once again. They back up all valuable data. You can recover all your data with one click in a disastrous situation with your business being affected. Cloud backups and recovery solutions save us plenty of time.
Easy to implement:
Implementing Azure into your business model is very simple. With a couple of clicks, you are good to go. There are also tutorials available in order for you to learn and deploy faster.
The Azure platform provides more security than local servers. All your critical data stays safe in the Azure cloud. The cloud is always on even during natural disasters.
Work from anywhere:
You have the freedom to work from anywhere you please. All you require is a network connection and credentials. Most Azure services offer mobile applications so you are not restricted to only one device.
With Azure workgroups and teams can access, edit and share documents from anywhere at any time. Another advantage of Azure is that is preserves records of activity and data. Timestamp is a perfect example of record keeping within Azure.
Microsoft Azure Services:
- Compute: Includes Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Functions for serverless computing, Batch for containerized batch workloads, Service Fabric for microservices and container orchestration, and Cloud Services for building cloud-based apps and APIs.
- Networking: With Azure, you can use variety of networking tools, like the Virtual Network, which can connect to on-premise data centers; Load Balancer; Application Gateway; VPN Gateway; Azure DNS for domain hosting, Content Delivery Network, Traffic Manager, ExpressRoute dedicated private network fiber connections; and Network Watcher monitoring and diagnostics
- Storage: Includes Blob, Queue, File and Disk Storage, as well as a Data Lake Store, Backup and Site Recovery, among others.
- Web + Mobile: Creating Web + Mobile applications is very easy as it includes several services for building and deploying applications.
- Containers: Azure has a property which includes Container Service, which supports Kubernetes, DC/OS or Docker Swarm, and Container Registry, as well as tools for microservices.
- Databases: Azure has also included several SQL-based databases and related tools.
- Data + Analytics: Azure has some big data tools like HDInsight for Hadoop Spark, R Server, HBase and Storm clusters
- AI + Cognitive Services: With Azure developing applications with artificial intelligence capabilities, like the Computer Vision API, Face API, Bing Web Search, Video Indexer, Language Understanding Intelligent.
- Internet of Things: Includes IoT Hub and IoT Edge services that can be combined with a variety of machine learning, analytics, and communications services.
- Security + Identity: Includes Security Center, Azure Active Directory, Key Vault and Multi-Factor Authentication Services.
- Developer Tools: Includes cloud development services like Visual Studio Team Services, Azure DevTest Labs, HockeyApp mobile app deployment and monitoring, Xamarin cross-platform mobile development and more.
The difference between Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure:
Diagram source: https://www.geeksforgeeks.org
Check out Microsoft Azure
Chad is an experienced systems administrator with exposure to various technologies and enterprise ICT environments. He has a huge passion for technologies, specifically Linux, open source software, electronics, and IoT technologies.
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