Many may have heard about Azure cloud services but only a few are aware of what it really means to use Azure cloud solutions. That’s why it’s worth discussing a few important details about them. These details should help acquaint those who are new to Azure services or cloud services in general in the current cloud industry.
1. Advertised Azure services are not necessarily from Microsoft
There are many companies that claim to offer Azure services but are not actually offering Microsoft’s Azure range of cloud solutions. Azure, by the way, is a brand of cloud computing service owned by Microsoft. Initially released on February 1, 2010, it was intended to serve as a platform for the building, testing, deployment, and management of online applications and services. Microsoft’s Azure services were developed to support varying programming languages and frameworks.
Companies that offer Azure services are generally only offering Azure-based solutions, not actual Azure services from Microsoft. They are not offering something as affiliates of Microsoft. They offer their own systems or services backed by their own equipment and expertise but based on Azure standards. This does not mean, though, that they are not reliable. There are many of them that provide truly dependable high-quality cloud services as well as cloud business intelligence and Azure-based data storage.
2. Azure is a platform as a service (PaaS) solution
Being a platform as a service (PaaS), Azure cloud is designed to be scalable, reliable, and affordable. It is not just a simple service like an Azure archive storage or Office 365 email archiving service. It is a full-blown platform that makes it possible for users to develop, run, and manage applications on it. It simplifies the complexities typically involved in the development and maintenance of infrastructure needed in the development of an app or web service.
PaaS is different from IaaS (infrastructure as a service) because it provides a ready environment wherein applications or web services can be readily deployed and patched. In IaaS, there is a lot more to do as you have to take responsibility for the creation and configuration of the environment wherein an application or web services operate.
3. Azure services encompass hundreds of services
Again, Azure services are not just a single type of service. In fact, there are more than 600 Azure cloud services at present. These services cover computing, mobile, storage, data management, messaging, media, content delivery network, development, automation, machine learning, and internet of things needs.
When it comes to data management, Azure provides numerous solutions including SQL Database, SQL Data Warehouse, StorSimple, Cosmos DB, Azure Search, and Azure Stream Analytics. For messaging, Azure supports various communication mechanisms such as queueing, event hubs, relays, and topics. For storage services, Azure provides REST and SDK APIs for the storage and access of cloud data. It also provides table, blog, and file services.
Azure services provide numerous advantages for businesses and organizations. It’s important, however, to be properly acquainted with it before deciding to make use of it. It’s not for IT neophytes who are still learning the ropes.
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