What Is Microsoft Azure? How Does It Work?


Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created and run by Microsoft. Azure provides a lot of cloud and related services. Azure is a closed source platform like most of the Microsoft products but the client SDK is open source. Azure provides “Software As a Service (SAAS)”, “Platform As a Service (PaaS)” and “Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS)” architectures for cloud computing.

Even Azure was announced in October 2008, it, Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, launched in February 2010. When launched it is named “Windows Azure” but later named “Microsoft Azure” on March 25, 2014. At the start provided services were very basic and little but in time the new services are added to the Azure platform and existing services are extended.

What Is Azure?

Azure provides a collection of cloud services that are heavily used in daily enterprise operations. Azure mostly provides Microsoft related product services but also Linux related services are provided too. Azure can run Email Server, Web Server, Applications, Active Directory, Virtual Machines, Remote Desktop Management, CDN, Messaging services, Data Management and Big Data Tools, etc. without installing any software locally by just using related Azure services.

Azure Timeline/History

Azure created as a basic platform where during time new features are added. Below we will list important updates and events for the Azure history.

  • October 2008 – At the PDC event, the Windows Azure Platform is announced.
  • March 2009 – SQLAzure Relational Database is announced.
  • November 2009 – PHP, Java, CDN features added.
  • February 2010 – Windows Azure Platform is available commercially.
  • December 2011 – Traffic Manager, SQLAzure Reporting, HPC scheduler added.
  • June 2012 – Websites, VM for Windows, and Linux, Python SDK added.
  • April 2014 Windows Azure named to Microsoft Azure and ARM Portal introduced.
  • July 2014 – Azure Machine Learning public preview.
  • September 2015 – Azure Cloud Switch Linux distributions introduced.
  • December 2015 – Azure ARM Portal released.
  • March 2016 – Azure Service Fabric is available.
  • September 2017 – Microsoft Azure gets a new logo and manifesto.
  • September 2018 – Microsoft Azure IoT is available.
  • April 2019 Azure Front Door Service is available.
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Azure Services

Azure provides a lot of different services for enterprise-level operations. We can categorize them as below.

  • AI + Machine Learning Services
  • Analytics Services
  • Blockchain Services
  • Compute Services
  • Container Services
  • Database Services
  • Developer Tools Services
  • DevOps Services
  • Hybrid Services
  • Identity Services
  • Integration Services
  • IoT Services
  • Management and Governance Services
  • Media Services
  • Migration Services
  • Mixed Reality Services
  • Mobile Services
  • Networking Services
  • Storage Services
  • Web Services
  • Windows Virtual Desktop Services

Microsoft Azure Services Facts

Microsoft Azure provides a lot of services in different architectures like IAAS, PAAS, SAAS. These services provide some features or facts which are important for the cloud platform.

Flexible : Microsoft Azure is flexible where new resources or services can be created easily and moved to other locations without a problem.

Open: Microsoft Azure supports wide range of operating systems, programming languages, tools, frameworks and services which makes it open.

Reliable: Microsoft Azure provides 99.95% availability SLA and 24×7 tech support provided by the Azure support engineers in case of a problem.

Global: Microsoft Azure is global because it can be accessed anywhere in the world and provides data centers from different continents and countries.

Economic : Microsoft Azure is economic because you will only pay what you use with best prices.

Microsoft Azure Service Status

Microsoft Azure provides a lot of services from different locations and continents. These services statuses can be tracked from the following link.

https://status.azure.com/en-us/status

Microsoft Azure Service Status

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