The Ultimate Guide to Microsoft Azure and How Does It Work?

Table of contents:

  • What is Microsoft Azure?
  • Various Azure services
  • Why use Azure?
  • How companies use Microsoft Azure?
  • Conclusion

What Is Microsoft Azure?

Azure is a cloud computing platform that allows businesses to use cloud services and resources offered by Microsoft. Businesses can use these services and resources to store and transform their data, according to their needs. You require an active internet connection to connect to the Azure portal to get access to these resources and services.

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  • Cloud data centers will process 94% of workloads in 2021 (Cisco)
  • As of February 2021, the worldwide cloud market grew 32% this quarter to $39.9 billion and Azure has 20% of the market (canalys.com)
  • Azure is the vendor of choice for 41% of cloud beginners (RightScale)
  • The global cloud computing market is expected to reach $623.3 billion by 2023 (Report Linker)

Various Azure Services:

The major services provided by Azure include computing, networking, and storage:

  • Compute Services
    Virtual Machine: It allows you to form a virtual machine in Windows, Linux, or any other configuration in no time.
    Cloud Service: It allows you to develop scalable applications within the cloud.
    Service Fabric: It simplifies the process of developing a microservice – an application that contains other bundled smaller applications.
    Functions: It allows you to develop applications in any programming language. You just need to give the code and the rest of the hardware requirements are fulfilled by Azure.

  • Networking
    Azure CDN: Azure CDN (Content Delivery Network) uses a high bandwidth, and content can be delivered to users worldwide.
    Express Route: It connects your on-premise network to the Microsoft cloud or any other services of your choice, via a private connection, so that the interaction remains between the enterprise network and the service.
    Virtual network: It makes communication between any of the Azure services private and secure.
    Azure DNS: You can host your DNS domains or system domains on Azure with the help of this service

  • Storage
    Disk Storage: It allows you to choose HDD (Hard Disk Drive) or SSD (Solid State Drive) as your storage option with your virtual machine.
    Blob Storage: It allows storage of huge unstructured data, including text and even binary data.
    File Storage: This managed file storage service can be accessed through industry SMB (server message block) protocol.
    Queue Storage: You can access this service from anywhere and it allows stable message queuing for a huge workload.

Why Use Azure?

The following are some of the uses of Azure:

  • Application development: It allows you to develop any web application.
  • Testing: Once you develop an application, you can also test it.
  • Application hosting: After testing you can host the application with the help of Azure.
  • Create virtual machines: Azure enables you to develop virtual machines in your desired configuration.
  • Integrate and sync features: It allows you to integrate and sync virtual devices and directories.
  • Collect and store metrics: You can gather and store metrics that will help you to know what works.
  • Virtual hard drives: You can get a vast amount of data storage using these virtual hard drives, which are essentially the extensions of the virtual machines.

How Companies Use Microsoft Azure?

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Different businesses use Azure in different ways. You can determine how best to use Azure depending on the specific needs of your company.

Microsoft Azure: Fundamentals Of Cloud Service Models

  • Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS):
    The IaaS cloud computing model is among the set of services that are becoming popular rapidly.
    With traditional on-premises data centers, you have to handle each aspect of the datacenter including business applications, virtual machines as well as networking.


    On the other hand:

    • Azure allows you to put data on a server in the cloud that you have complete control over.
    • The servers are taken care of by Microsoft which means you don’t have to maintain the physical hardware.
    • The expenses related to failing hard drives and hardware maintenance are also saved.

You just have to monitor, manage and patch your virtual machines and their operating functions. IaaS is the cloud service model that feels like a regular on-premises setup but allows you to run your desired applications.

Examples of IaaS include Amazon EC2, Windows Azure, Rackspace, Google Compute Engine.

  • Platform As A Service (PaaS):
    The next step in the cloud service models is PaaS. You can use this platform to launch your applications. The users have to manage applications and the database, while the other services needed to run the application such as middleware, the operating system, VMs, servers, storage, and networking are taken care of by Microsoft. With PaaS, you can give more time to create your application instead of spending it on maintaining the operational functions that support your application.

Examples of PaaS include Windows Azure, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Force.com, Heroku, Magento Commerce Cloud.

  • Software As A Service (SaaS)
    All infrastructure and IT functions are managed by a SaaS arrangement with Azure. Your SaaS application runs in the cloud on top of Azure. It’s not a platform but an actual application like Office 365 or Salesforce. Whatever is underneath the application is automated.

    If you want to be entirely hands-off, then you can shift your company from PaaS to SaaS. Shifting to SaaS might be ideal if your application is:

    • Highly automated
    • Accessible over the internet
    • Doesn’t have any persistent dependencies on a particular underlying operating system (OS) or a specific kind of middleware

Examples of SaaS include Google’s apps such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Play or website builders like WiX and Squarespace.

Conclusion:

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Microsoft Azure provides over 200 services and various benefits. It is one of the growing cloud computing platforms that businesses are adopting. This increase in the adoption of Azure by businesses is creating many opportunities for professionals who know this technology.

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