What Is Windows Azure

Microsoft Azure, previously known as Windows Azure, is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform. It provides a range of cloud services, including those for compute, analytics, storage, and networking. Users can top choice from these services to develop and scale new applications, or run existing applications, in the public cloud.

The Windows Azure platform is deliberated as platform as a service, which is an authoritative component of a cloud computing platform. It consists of various on-demand services hosted in Microsoft’s data centres and is commoditized through three product brands.

The services and apps developed using the Azure platform run on the Windows Azure operating system, which provides a runtime environment for Web applications along with a wide set of services that facilitate the building, hosting, and management of applications without requiring maintenance to expensive onsite resources.

Windows Azure is designed to support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft platforms. The three main components that constitute Windows Azure are:

  • Compute layer
  • Storage layer
  • Fabric layer

Compute Layer: These services provide virtual machines, containers, batch processing, and remote application access.

Storage Layer: This category includes Database as a service offering for SQL and NoSQL, as-well-as unstructured and cached cloud storage.

Fabric Layer: It is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering designed to enable the development, deployment, and management of extremely scalable and customizable applications for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

The complete list of Azure services is constantly subject to change. The users should view the Microsoft Azure website for recent updates.

Some organizations use Azure for data backup and disaster recovery. In addition to that, some organizations use Azure as a substitute to their own data centre. Rather than capitalizing in local servers and storage, these organizations choose to run some, or all, of their industry applications in Azure.

Windows Azure also includes an automated service management feature that enables the upgrading of applications without affecting their performance. Windows Azure is aimed to support a number of platforms and programming languages. Some of the languages supported are extensible mark-up language (XML), representational state transfer (REST), Ruby, Eclipse, Python, and PHP.

As with other public cloud providers, Azure mainly uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model that charges based on usage. However, a single application may use multiple Azure services, so users should do analysis and manage usage to reduce costs.

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