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Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.

Instead of buying new servers or add more servers for your application/service and set up an infrastructure on-premise, you can simply deploy your whole infrastructure directly on the cloud, so that you don’t have to worry about scaling in or scaling out servers for your application, azure does it for you. It is a similar service to AWS and Google Cloud (We will cover this in upcoming article)

They provide a wide range of services which comes under the domains such as Storage, compute, networking, security, monitoring, developer tools, etc.

In this article we will cover below points;
  • Cloud Service Providers
  • What Is Azure ?
  • Service Domains In Azure
  • What Can Microsoft Azure Do ?
  • How Anyone Can Use Azure  ?
Cloud Service Providers

Some companies are offered Cloud services, these companies are called Cloud Service Providers. In the image shown below, we have listed some of the top cloud providers. AWS being the largest Cloud Provider.

What Is Azure ?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform created by Microsoft which developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy and manage applications through their global network of data centers.

Microsoft Azure is a collection of coordinated cloud services which designers, developers, and IT experts use to build, develop, and oversee applications through a worldwide system of datacenters. With Azure, you get the opportunity to assemble and send the data wherever you need, utilizing the devices and great tools, applications and frameworks of your decision and by connecting cloud and on-premises with consistent hybrid cloud capabilities and using open source technologies.

Azure is an associate degree internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft knowledge centers, that provides associate degree software and a group of developer services which can be used one by one or together. Azure’s versatile and practical platform may be accustomed to build new applications to run from the cloud or enhance existing applications with cloud-based capabilities. Its open design offers developers the selection to make .NET applications, applications running on connected devices, PCs, servers, or hybrid solutions giving the simplest of online and on-premises.

Azure reduces the necessity for upfront technology purchases, and it permits developers to quickly and simply produce applications running within the cloud by the utilization of their existing skills with the Microsoft Visual Studio development atmosphere and also the Microsoft .NET Framework. Additionally, to manage the code languages supported by .NET, Azure can support additional programming languages and development environments within the close future. Azure simplifies maintaining of in-operation applications by providing on-demand cipher and storage to host, scale, and manage internet and connected applications. Infrastructure management is machine-driven with a platform that’s designed for prime accessibility and dynamic scaling to match usage wants with the choice of a pay-as-you-go evaluation model. Azure provides an open, standards-based and practical atmosphere with support for multiple net protocols, as well as HTTP, REST, SOAP, and XML.

Service Domains In Azure

Compute : It is used to process data on the cloud by making use of powerful processors which serve multiple instances at a time.

       (1) Virtual Machines   (2) VM Scale Sets      (3) Azure Container       (4)Container Registry
       (5) Functions               (6) Batch                     (7)Service Fabric             (8)Cloud Services

Storage Services: The storage as the name suggests, is used to store data in the cloud with the ability to scale as and when required. This data can be stored anywhere.

       (1)   Blob Storage    (2) Queue Storage          (3)File Storage                (4) Table Storage

Database : The database domain is used to provide reliable relational and non relational database instances managed by Azure.

         (1)  SQL Databases          (2) DocumentDB                      (3)   Redis Cache
Networking: It includes services which provide a variety of networking features such as security, faster access etc.

(1)  Virtual Network     (2) Load Balancer      (3) Application Gateway   (4)   Azure DNS
(5)  VPN Gateway        (6)Traffic Manager     (7) Express Route              (8) Content Delivery Network

Developer Tools:It includes services which provides services that ease the ability to code for an organization. For example: it eases the teams to share code, track work and ship software.

(1)  Visual Studio Team Services     (2) Application Insights     (3) API Management

Management and Monitoring Tools: It includes services which can be used to manage and monitor your Azure instances.

 (1)   Microsoft Azure Portal    (2)  Azure Resource Manager    (3)  Automation
Enterprise Integration : Services that bring functionalities like seamlessly integrating the enterprise and the cloud.

          (1) Service Bus        (2)   SQL Server Stretch Database
Security and Identity: It includes services for user authentication or limiting access to a certain set of audience on your Azure resources.

(1)   Key Vault                                (2)  Azure Active Directory                (3)   Azure AD B2C
(4)   Azure AD Domain Services   (5) Multi Factor Authentication
Web and Mobile Apps:  These are mainly used to create web apps or mobile apps for any platform and any device.

(1)  Web Apps                (2) Mobile Apps       (3)  API Apps          (4) Logic Apps
(5)  Notification Hubs    (6) Event Hubs         (7)  Azure Search

What Can Microsoft Azure Do ?

The Microsoft Azure website provides a directory of hundreds of different services you can use, including full virtual machines, databases, file storage, backups, and services for mobile and web apps.

This service was originally named “Windows Azure”, but transitioned to “Microsoft Azure” because it can handle much more than just Windows. You can run either Windows or Linux virtual machines on Azure, for example—whichever you prefer.

Digging through these hundreds of services, you’ll see that you can do practically anything. And for anything Azure doesn’t offer in an easy service, you can set up a Windows or Linux virtual machine that hosts whatever software you want to use. You could even host a Windows or Linux desktop in the cloud on a virtual machine and connect to it remotely. It’s just another way to use remote computing resources.

Much of what Azure does isn’t exclusive to Azure. Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are competing. Amazon Web Services, for example, is the leader in the field—ahead of both Microsoft and Google offerings.

How Anyone Can Use Azure  ?

Anyone can use Microsoft Azure. Just head to the Azure website and you’ll can sign up for a new account. Each account comes with a free trail for 1 year. You also get a certain number of free services for the first year, including access to Linux virtual machines, Windows virtual machines, file storage, databases, and bandwidth.

Of course, all of this is really useful to people and organizations who want to host services or develop applications. If you’re just a Windows user—or a user of any other platform—you don’t need to use this stuff. But the developers who create and host your applications often use services like Azure. And if you own a company, you might be able to save some money (and some headaches) by letting Azure handle your infrastructure.

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