What is Microsoft Azure? - An Introduction to Azure

What is Microsoft Azure? - An Introduction to Azure

18 Apr 2024
27 min read
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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 centres. You can also consider doing our Azure Certification from Dot Net Tricks to upskill your career.

Microsoft Azure Portals

  1. Classic Portal

    Microsoft has started the cloud services offering through its classic portal which is also known as ASM (Azure Service Management) portal. Using this portal you can see, manage and buy the cloud services offered by Microsoft Azure.

    Microsoft Azure Classic Portal
  2. New Azure Portal

    The new portal was released by Microsoft Azure team in 2014 which is also known as the Azure Resource Manager (ARM) portal. The new portal enables you to build, manage and monitor your cloud services in a single, unified console. This is especially useful for enterprise level applications that have complex deployments with resources in multiple subscriptions.

    Microsoft Azure New Portal

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.

Microsoft Azure Open Source Support

Microsoft Azure Momentum

Now a days, Microsoft Azure is a first choice of various organization as their public cloud provider over Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Microsoft Azure Momentum

Microsoft Azure Services

Microsoft Azure offers so many services through its cloud computing platform. Some of them are listed in the fig.

Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

Compute Services

Compute services are used for cloud computing operations like app building, hosting and deployment in Azure Platform.

  1. Virtual Machine

    Virtual Machine allows you to deploy any app, language and any operating system (windows,linux and ubuntu) virtually on a machine.

  2. Virtual Machine Scale Sets

    Virtual Machine Scale Sets allows you to create thousands of identical, auto-scaling Windows or Linux virtual machines in minutes.

  3. 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.

  4. Azure Container Registry

    Store and manage container images across all types of Azure deployments.

  5. Batch

    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.

  6. Functions

    Azure Functions is a serverless compute service which 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.

  7. Service Fabric

    Service Fabric simplify microservice-based application development and lifecycle management. It delivers low-latency performance and efficiency at massive scale.

  8. Cloud Services

    Cloud Services allows you to deploy highly-available, massively-scalable applications and APIs. Cloud Services support deployment of Java, Node.js, PHP, Python, .NET and Ruby.

Azure Networking

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.

  1. Virtual Network

    Perform Network isolation and segmentation. Filter and Route network traffic.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    CDN caches static web content at strategically placed locations to provide maximum throughput for delivering content to users.

  6. 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.

  7. Traffic Manager

    Allows you to control the distribution of user traffic for service endpoints such as, Azure VMs, Web Apps, and cloud services in different Data centers.

  8. 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 cloud storage solution for modern applications that rely on durability, availability, and scalability to meet the needs of their customers.

  1. 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.

  2. Queue Storage

    Azure Queue storage provides cloud messaging between application components. Queue storage delivers asynchronous messaging for communication between application components.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  1. Web Apps

    Azure Web Apps enables you to build and host websites in the programming language of your choice without managing infrastructure.

  2. Mobile Apps

    Mobile Apps in Azure App Service offer a highly scalable, globally available mobile application development platform for Enterprise Developers and System Integrators.

  3. 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.

  4. Notification Hubs

    Azure Notification Hubs provide an easy-to-use, multi-platform, scaled-out push engine.

  5. 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 automate your process as a series of steps known as a workflow.

  6. Azure Search

    Azure Search is a cloud search-as-a-service solution that delegates server and infrastructure management to Microsoft. 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.

  7. 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

  1. SQL Database

    SQL Database is a relational database service in the Microsoft cloud based on the market-leading Microsoft SQL Server engine.

  2. DocumentDB

    DocumentDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service built for fast and predictable performance, high availability, elastic scaling, global distribution, and ease of development.

  3. 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.

  4. SQL Database

    SQL Database is a relational database service in the Microsoft cloud based on the market-leading Microsoft SQL Server engine.

Enterprise Integration Services

  1. Service Bus

    Microsoft Azure Service Bus is a reliable information delivery service which 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.

  2. 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

  1. Key Vault

    Azure Key Vault helps safeguard cryptographic keys and secrets used by cloud applications and services and streamlines the key management process.

  2. Azure Active Directory

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is Microsoft’s multi-tenant cloud based directory and identity management service including including multi-factor authentication, device registration, etc.

  3. 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.

  4. Azure AD Domain Services

    Azure AD Domain Services provides managed domain services such as, domain join, group policy, LDAP, Kerberos/NTLM authentication that are fully compatible with Windows Server Active Directory.

  5. 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

  1. Microsoft Azure Portal

    Build, manage, and monitor everything from simple web apps to complex cloud applications in a single, unified console.

  2. 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.

  3. Automation

    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 Desired State Configuration.

What do you think?

Thank you for your time, I hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful. Please add your comments and questions below. I would like to have feedback from my blog readers. Your valuable feedback, question, or comments about this article are always welcome.

If you want to learn more about Azure cloud by implementing step-by-step Azure services you can choose an unlimited Azure online training program to enhance your skills by 10x to earn azure certification.

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About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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