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What is Microsoft Azure? A Complete Introduction to Microsoft Azure

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft or Windows Azure platform is used to build and host Web applications. These applications can be managed through Microsoft data centers and are scalable. Initially, it was called Windows Cloud and codenamed “Red Dog”. A number of frameworks, programming languages, devices, databases and operating systems are supported by Azure.             Image Source: microsoft.com

Microsoft Azure Has Following Qualities:

  • It can deliver and innovate high-quality apps.
  • It can support all major mobile platforms and can provide cross-device experience as well.
  • The user can use and run any stack on either Windows or Linux based and can even use advanced capabilities such as Azure Container Service or Kubernetes cluster.

Microsoft Azure Features & Components

This article discusses the features and components of Microsoft Azure and what it can do?

  • Azure Capabilities
  • How to Use Azure?
  • Purpose of Windows Azure
  • Components of Windows or Microsoft Azure
  • Services Offered by Azure
  • Benefits of Azure
  • Technical Details of Azure Platform

Azure Capabilities

Microsoft Azure can provide a number of services for web and mobile apps like file storing, virtual machine, backups, and databases. Initially, it was launched with the name Windows Azure but today it can handle many services so it is known as Microsoft Azure. It can host Linux or Windows machines which may again host much software.

The user can host Linux or Window-based desktop remotely on a virtual machine and connect to it as well. Google and Amazon are also competing for Azure-like services. Among all of these providers of cloud services, Azure is ahead of all. Azure Active Directory or AD is also being used by the organizations through which they can manage their central directories.

How to Use Azure?

Anyone who will sign up can use Microsoft Azure. Each new registration or account comes with a credit of $200, which can be used for 30 days. Through this account, you can learn Azure and see its capabilities or services.

For the first year, certain services are offered at no costs by Microsoft, they may include free access to Windows virtual machines, free access to Linux Virtual Machines and free databases, file storage and bandwidth.

These free services of Microsoft Azure are useful for organizations and people especially those which want to develop applications or want to host services. Windows user or any other platform user may need not to use this stuff but the application developers who create and host the application may require such services. Company owners can also save some money through these services.

Read: Microsoft Azure Interview Questions and Answers for Experienced Developer

Purpose of Windows Azure

Microsoft Azure was designed and developed to make IT management easier and the main purpose is to minimize overhead and personnel expenses done in creation, distribution, and updating web applications. It is basically a PaaS (Platform as a service) framework and an imperative component of the cloud computing platform.

The applications and services which are developed through Azure platform can run on Windows operating system, where they can get the runtime environment and extensive set of services to build, host, and manage the applications which require maintenance for onsite resources.

Microsoft Azure can support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft based applications. It has basically three layers or components for this: Storage Layer, Compute Layer, and the Fabric Layer. What is Microsoft Azure? Through service management feature, Azure can automate application updates. A number of features and language like Ruby, Python, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), REST and PHP.

How does Windows Azure work?

Here in Azure, the operating system which is behind this technology is called Microsoft Azure, which helps in running its fabric layer (a cluster hosted in Microsoft data centers and it is responsible to manage storage and computing process of various applications). Here, Microsoft Fabric controller controls the scalability and reliability features and helps in avoiding the service crash and managing web apps.

Components of Windows or Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure has the following listed three main components: Windows Azure, SQL Database, and the Windows Azure App Fabric. What is Microsoft Azure? These components of Azure are present at the data center of Microsoft, situated in Europe, Asia, and the USA. Technically, the Windows Azure platform and Windows Azure are different. Windows Azure basically offer a number of services like SQL Azure, Windows Azure, and App Fabric while Windows Azure is the cloud OS of Microsoft and is a part of the Azure platform. What is Microsoft Azure? Windows Azure component is responsible to run applications and store data. It contains the following listed five services:

  1. Processor Compute
  2. Storage
  3. Virtual Network
  4. CDN
  5. Fabric Controller

SQL database is the relational storage service which is offered to store data in the cloud. SQL database is available as a service, it contains all SQL features like tables, stored procedures, primary keys and functions and can manage transactions and concurrency control like issues. Various data access technologies like ADO.NET, EF, and WCF Data Services are also available in the SQL database. Windows Azure App Fabric also has two services and it resides on top of the OS. The services offered by App Fabric are Service Bus and Access Control.

Services Offered by Azure

However, Microsoft Azure, offer more than 600 services but a few of the commonly used and major services are listed below:

Read: C# Interview Questions and Answers
  1. Computational Services
  2. Storage Services
  3. Mobile Services
  4. Data Management
  5. Media Services
  6. Management Service
  7. Developer Services

Apart from the above services, there are many other beneficial services offered by Azure. Azure service also provides reliability, security, and performance optimization facility to the applications hosted on the Azure platform.

Benefits of Azure

Microsoft Azure has provided a platform to the developers through which they can create and deploy an application compatible with many platforms. It lets the organizations perform large-scale computing and perform predictive analysis.

Users can also leverage IoT services through the Azure platform. Azure applications can be operated in the global network. It provides the following benefits:

  • Free start and scale as per your need
  • Infrastructure as per need
  • Cloud platform of enterprise level
  • Valuable data insights
  • Encode, Protect, Stream and Ingesting facility for applications

Above listed benefits are not limited even there are many organizational benefits offered by Azure. The organizations can leverage the benefits and optimize their performance.

Technical Details of Azure Platform

Technically, any user of Azure can leverage the following technical abilities of this platform: Supported Operating System

  • Windows
  • Linux

Supported Languages

  • English
  • India
  • Japan
  • China
  • Germany

Pricing Model

Read: Advanced WCF Interview Questions & Answers for Experienced, Fresher
  • Free
  • Quote Based

Organization Sizes

  • Small Organizations
  • Medium Organizations
  • Large Organizations

Technically Azure can support almost every platform and can provide technical support to all applications which are meant for various platforms. Including Linux and Windows Azure-based applications can support these operating systems and can enhance their capabilities. The applications can be easily accessed from any location on any platform and the user can leverage it.

Final Words:

Microsoft Azure can increase the productivity and efficiency of the applications and IT professionals or developers. Due to a massive set of features and functionalities. Azure has made the Microsoft platform easier that can build or manage enterprise, web, mobile and IoT apps without putting any extra efforts. Most important features of Azure are its compatibility with Windows and Linux.

Microsoft Azure is an ideal app which is standardized for all platforms. There are many benefits of this platform and the user can easily develop the Azure applications and access them from anywhere due to cloud presence.

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