In this article, I will describe an introduction to Microsoft Azure which is a very popular cloud computing service platform. Previously I have described what is cloud computing with examples and types of cloud computing. Here I will discuss Microsoft Azure Platform, Benefits of Microsoft Azure, and Microsoft Azure Services.
Introduction to Microsoft Azure Platform
Microsoft Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that serves as the development, data storing, service hosting and service management environment. Microsoft Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft data centers.
You can build applications using any language, tool, or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
Microsoft Azure Open Source Support
Microsoft Azure helps you to build and manage enterprise-level web, mobile, IoT apps faster using your existing skills and technologies you know. Even it supports all the most popular open-source available around the world.
Benefits of Microsoft Azure
Here are the Microsoft azure advantages below:-
- Reduce the effort and costs of IT management.
- Reduce the cost of building and extending on-premises resources.
- Respond quickly to changes in your business & customer needs.
- Choose on-premises or off-premises deployment model that suits you.
- Scale your IT resources up and down based on your needs.
- Consume computing resources ONLY when the needs arise.
- Remove the need to manage hardware.
- Use your existing development skills to build cloud applications.
Microsoft Azure Services
Microsoft Azure offers so many services through its cloud computing platform. Some of them are listed in the fig.
Compute services are used for cloud computing operations like app building, hosting and deployment in Azure Platform.
- Virtual Machine
Virtual Machine allows you to deploy any app, language and any operating system (Windows, Linux, and Ubuntu) virtually on a machine.
- Virtual Machine Scale Sets
Virtual Machine Scale Sets allows you to create thousands of identical, auto-scaling Windows or Linux virtual machines in minutes.
- Azure Container Service
Azure Container Service allows you to create a container hosting solution optimized for Azure. It can be used to scale and orchestrate applications using DC/OS, Docker Swarm or Kube Azure Compute Services.
- Azure Container Registry
Store and manage container images across all types of Azure deployments.
Batch allows you to run large-scale parallel and high-performance computing applications efficiently in the cloud. It can be Scale to tens, hundreds or thousands of virtual machines.
Azure Functions is a serverless compute service that allows you to run code on-demand regardless of infrastructure and provisioning of servers. Use Azure Functions to run a script or piece of code in response to a variety of events.
- Service Fabric
Service Fabric simplifies microservice-based application development and lifecycle management. It delivers low-latency performance and efficiency at a massive scale.
- Cloud Services
Cloud Services allows you to deploy highly-available, massively-scalable applications and APIs. Cloud Services support the deployment of Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, .NET and Ruby.
Azure Networking allows you to connect privately and securely to Cloud with Azure ExpressRoute and distribute user traffic to specific endpoints with Azure Traffic Manager.
- Virtual Network
Perform Network isolation and segmentation. Filter and Route network traffic.
- Load Balancer
Delivers high availability and network performance to your applications. Load balance incoming Internet traffic to Virtual Machines. Forward external traffic to a specific virtual machine.
- Application Gateway
It is a dedicated virtual appliance providing Application Delivery Controller (ADC) as a service. Comprised of multiple worker instances for scalability and high availability Azure Networking Services.
- VPN Gateway
A type of virtual network gateway that sends encrypted traffic across a public connection. Use VPN gateways to send traffic between Azure virtual networks over the Microsoft network.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)
CDN caches static web content at strategically placed locations to provide maximum throughput for delivering content to users.
- Azure DNS
DNS is responsible for translating a website or service name to its IP address. Azure DNS is a hosting service for DNS domains, providing name resolution using Microsoft Azure infrastructure Azure Networking Services.
- Traffic Manager
It allows you to control the distribution of user traffic for service endpoints such as Azure VMs, Web Apps, and cloud services in different Datacenters.
- Express Route
Lets you extend your on-premises networks into the Microsoft cloud over a dedicated private connection facilitated by a connectivity provider. Establish connections to Microsoft cloud services, such as Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and CRM Online Azure Networking Services.
Azure Storage Services
Azure Storage Services provides a cloud storage solution for modern applications that rely on durability, availability, and scalability to meet the needs of their customers.
- Blob Storage
Azure Blob storage is a service that stores unstructured data in the cloud as objects/blobs. It can store any type of text or binary data, such as a document, media file, or application installer.
- Queue Storage
Azure Queue storage provides cloud messaging between application components. Queue storage delivers asynchronous messaging for communication between application components.
- Table Storage
Azure Table storage is a service that stores semi-structured NoSQL data in the cloud, providing a key/attribute store with a schema-less design.
- File Storage
Offers file shares in the cloud using the standard Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol. With Azure File storage, you can migrate legacy applications that rely on file shares to Azure quickly and without costly rewrites Azure Storage Services.
Web + Mobile Services
- Web Apps
Azure Web Apps enables you to build and host websites in the programming language of your choice without managing infrastructure.
- Mobile Apps
Mobile Apps in Azure App Service offer a highly scalable, globally available mobile application development platform for Enterprise Developers and System Integrators.
- API Apps
API apps in Azure App Service offer features that make it easier to develop, host and consume APIs in the cloud and on-premises Web + Mobile Services.
- Notification Hubs
Azure Notification Hubs provide an easy-to-use, multi-platform, scaled-out push engine.
- Logic Apps
Logic Apps provide a way to simplify and implement scalable integrations and workflows in the cloud. It provides a visual designer to model and automates your process as a series of steps known as a workflow.
- Azure Search
Azure Search is a cloud search-as-a-service solution that delegates server and infrastructure management to Microsoft. It leaves you with a ready-to-use service that you can populate with your data and then use to add search to your web or mobile application.
- Event Hubs
Azure Event Hubs is a highly scalable data streaming platform capable of ingesting millions of events per second. Data sent to an event hub can be transformed and stored using any real-time analytics provider or batching/storage adapters Web + Mobile Services.
Azure Database Services
- SQL Database
SQL Database is a relational database service in the Microsoft cloud based on the market-leading Microsoft SQL Server engine.
DocumentDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service built for fast and predictable performance, high availability, elastic scaling, global distribution, and ease of development.
- Redis Cache
Managed by Microsoft. It is a secure and dedicated Redis cache, which is an advanced key-value store, where keys can contain data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, and sorted sets.
Enterprise Integration Services
- Service Bus
Microsoft Azure Service Bus is a reliable information delivery service that is a brokered or third-party communication mechanism. The Service Relay service supports traditional one-way messaging, request/response messaging, and peer-to-peer messaging.
- SQL Server Stretch Database
Stretch Database migrates your cold data transparently and securely to the Microsoft Azure cloud. Stretch Database targets transactional databases with large amounts of cold data, typically stored in a small number of tables.
Security + Identity Services
- Key Vault
Azure Key Vault helps safeguard cryptographic keys and secrets used by cloud applications and services and streamlines the key management process.
- Azure Active Directory
Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud-based directory and identity management service including multi-factor authentication, device registration, etc.
- Azure AD B2C
Azure Active Directory B2C is a comprehensive cloud identity management solution for your consumer-facing web and mobile applications. It is a highly available global service that scales to hundreds of millions of consumer identities.
- Azure AD Domain Services
Azure AD Domain Services provides managed domain services such as, domain join, group policy, LDAP, Kerberos/NTLM authentication that is fully compatible with Windows Server Active Directory.
- Multi-Factor Authentication
Azure Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is Microsoft’s two-step verification solution which helps safeguard access to data and applications while meeting user demand for a simple sign-in process.
Monitoring + Management Services
- Microsoft Azure Portal
Build, manage, and monitor everything from simple web apps to complex cloud applications in a single, unified console.
- Azure Resource Manager
Azure Resource Manager enables you to repeatedly deploy your app and have confidence your resources are deployed in a consistent state. Azure Resource Manager makes it easy for you to manage and visualize resources in your app. With Azure Resource Manager, you can control who in your organization can perform actions on the resources.
Microsoft Azure Automation provides a way to automate the manual, long-running, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks that are commonly performed in a cloud and enterprise environment. You can automate processes using runbooks or automate configuration management using the Desired State Configuration.
References: Microsoft Azure Portal
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