What is Microsoft Azure Cloud Services?
Microsoft Azure Cloud Services is one of the wide, ever-expanding set of cloud-based computing services at present days available to businesses, developers, government agencies, and individuals to build and deploy applications over an enterprise via the Internet without managing the hardware. Microsoft Azure Cloud Services has been marked as the fastest-growing business segment in the past years and is expected to take the cloud computing market by storm within a few years.
Giving tough competition to its strong cloud contenders such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platforms, and Alibaba Cloud, Microsoft Azure Services is extending all the services to reach the customers with great ease and agility.
Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Platform
Microsoft Azure computing model is based on Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) model where a physical server is replaced with a virtual server that runs on Azure’s data center. This eliminates the need for maintaining the hardware resources making IaaS the most preferred choice.
The virtual server can then run on any supported desktop or server version of Windows operating system, including Windows Server 2019 as well. The users can also choose from a wide range of Linux distros that support the virtual server including Ubuntu Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, FreeBSD, and Oracle Linux.
The enormous Azure Marketplace includes a wide range of ready-to-run virtual servers for handling any workload that might include SQL Server, Docker, SAP Hana, and Oracle Database. Users can, in fact, build an entire virtual desktop infrastructure in Azure’s cloud and manage it all with third-party tools.
Azure’s cloud-based computing infrastructure comes with built-in load balancing capabilities and on-the-go hardware upgrades. This incorporates some very striking security features such as just-in-time VM access to lock down the VMs at the network level and blocking inbound traffic.
Microsoft Azure Capabilities
Microsoft Azure services come with a full range of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) along with IaaS that offers organizations with access to cloud-based services without managing the server. Some of the major capabilities of Azure are discussed below.
Azure Storage and Databases
Storing huge volumes of structured and unstructured data is the basic capability of Azure Storage services that include:
- Azure blobs (for unstructured data such as images, documents, and video streams directly to a browser)
- Cloud-based files shares known as Azure Files, accessible using Standard Massage Blocks (SMB) protocols.
- Azure Queues that are used for messaging between application components and Azure Tables, and treated as a NoSQL store for structured data.
- Azure SQL Database is again a fully managed service that migrates the databases built on SQL Server and is used as Managed Instances to migrate the on-premises workloads.
- Azure Cosmos DB, which is a fully-managed globally-distributed and horizontally scalable multi-model database service supported by a comprehensive range of SLAs.
App Development Tools and Services
Microsoft Azure introduces Visual Studio development environment to develop and deploy the apps using a full set of tools on desktop and mobile platforms. Azure also includes a broad selection of third-party DevOps tools for sharing code, managing workflows, deploying software and monitor the performance usage along with Azure DevOps.
Containers and Container Services
Containers refer to the standard, encapsulated environments that run applications securely with high availability and capability to scale quickly. Deploying and scaling container images are quick with azure marketplaces. One such standard for managing container workloads is Kubernetes container orchestration service specifically known as Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS).
Introduction to Machine Learning
Microsoft Azure has come up with the most recent additions of a set of tools that performs predictive analytics and identifies useful algorithms. The Azure Machine Learning service makes it possible to build, train and deploy machine learning in typical hybrid environments.
Managing Azure Services
The Microsoft Azure portal is the primary interface that manages Azure subscriptions and resources of the users. It incorporates a customizable dashboard that offers information about running services in a single glance, and a point-and-click interface for adding, configuring, and deploying new Azure resources.
The Azure portal help users to deploy, manage, and monitor resources in groups through Azure Resource Manager.
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