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Azure – Microsoft’s vision of cloud computing

Mon, 03/06/2017 - 12:36 -- admin

Comparing to cloud computing, on-premises computing can be expensive. You need to buy the right hardware and the software, have the people to maintain and keep everything up to date and there are also other expenses, like electric power, real estate costs etc.  Comparing to that, Cloud solutions are accessed online and usually hosted by a third-party vendor. The second difference between them is the “pay as you go” or on-demand usage service model comparing to the traditional upfront capital expenditure, as it is the case with on-premises computing.

In 2010, Microsoft launched one of the biggest (if not the biggest - powered by a worldwide network of Microsoft data centers across 22 regions) commercial cloud platform - Azure. In addition to traditional cloud offerings like virtual machines, object storage, and content delivery networks, Azure offers services that leverage proprietary Microsoft solutions. Azure is a collection of various cloud services, including remotely hosted and managed versions of Microsoft solutions, and open technologies, like various Linux distributions easily deployable on a virtual machine.

Microsoft Azure offers a growing collection of integrated cloud services and functionalities – analytics, computing, database, mobile, storage, and web – which seamlessly integrate with your local environment for ultimate flexibility, efficiency, and scalability. Users can choose from these services to develop new applications, or run existing applications, in the cloud, for use on any device type.

Other than this, Azure can be used for data backup and disaster recovery. Also, some organizations use Azure as an alternative to their own data center. Instead of investing resources in local servers and storage, these organizations choose to run some, or all, of their business applications in Microsoft Azure platform.

Azure's billing system is based on resource consumption, not reserved capacity, like it is the case with a traditional data center providers. Pricing varies across different types of services, storage types, and the physical hosting locations of Azure servers.

Microsoft Azure offerings fall into three main categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).

To learn more about Azure, check out the following short tour video from Microsoft:

 

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