What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing platform and online portal that allows you to access and manage cloud services and resources provided by Microsoft. These services and resources include storing your data and transforming it according to your needs. To access these resources and services, all you need is an active internet connection and the ability to connect to the Azure portal.
What you should know about Azure:
- It was launched on February 1, 2010, long after its main competitor AWS.
- It’s free to get started and follows a pay-as-you-go model, meaning you only pay for the services you choose.
- Interestingly, 80% of Fortune 500 companies use Azure services for their cloud computing needs.
- Azure supports several programming languages, including Java, Node Js and C#.
- Another benefit of Azure is the number of data centers around the world. There are 42 Azure data centers around the world, the most data centers for any cloud platform. Additionally, Azure plans to acquire 12 more data centers, which will soon increase the number of data centers to 54.
Let’s now discuss what the various Microsoft Azure services are in the article What is Azure.
What is Microsoft Azure? Microsoft Azure is a collection of different cloud computing services, including hosted and remotely managed versions of proprietary Microsoft technologies, as well as open technologies such as various Linux distributions deployed inside a virtual machine.
Why is Microsoft Azure important? With Azure, there is no upfront cost or significant latency in provisioning resources – capacity is delivered on demand. With a usage-based billing formula, Azure is an attractive option for businesses migrating from on-premises Windows servers to the cloud.
Who is affected by Microsoft Azure? Azure can be used at any scale, from a garage startup to a Fortune 500 company. Due to the ease of transition, organizations with an existing Windows Server deployment may find that Azure is the best fit for their needs.
When was Microsoft Azure released? Azure went public in February 2010, and more regional data centers and services have been added continuously since launch.
How to get Microsoft Azure? New users receive service credit for 30 days when they sign up for Microsoft Azure; the credit can be applied to any service provided by Microsoft. Additional discounts and credits are available to startups, nonprofits, and universities.
Microsoft Azure is an interoperable cloud computing services platform that includes standards-based open source technologies and proprietary solutions from Microsoft and other companies. Instead of building an on-premises server installation or renting physical servers in traditional data centers, Azure’s billing structure is based on resource consumption rather than reserved capacity. Pricing varies based on different service types, storage types, and the physical location hosting your Azure instances.
Azure is also working on a new service called CloudPC, which ZDNet contributor Mary Jo Foley describes as “an option for customers who want to use their Windows PCs from Microsoft and/or other PC manufacturers as thin clients running Windows, Office, and potentially other software. Software is virtually provided by Microsoft. The release date of the new service is unknown but could be as early as spring 2021.
Microsoft has partnered with hardware vendors such as Lenovo, Dell EMC, HP Enterprise, Cisco, and Huawei to offer Azure Stack Appliances for use in hybrid cloud deployments. Azure Stack-certified hardware enables organizations to run Azure applications from the Azure public cloud using data hosted on premises, as well as run the same services from the Azure public cloud on the Azure Stack platform.
Why is Microsoft Azure important?
Azure, like other cloud providers, offers the ability to instantly provision computing resources on demand. Compared to the onerous task of planning and building an on-site data center, along with the necessary hardware upgrades, maintenance costs, server cooling requirements, energy costs and space utilization, especially for offices with associated real estate costs, the savings they can add up very quickly.
However, the benefits of Azure go beyond cost control. The task of administering certain technologies such as Windows Server, Active Directory and SharePoint can be greatly simplified by combining Azure and Office 365. This allows IT staff to work on new projects instead of spending time on general system maintenance.