Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure created by Microsoft for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers.
It provides both PaaS and IaaS services and supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
Azure was announced in October 2008 and released on 1 February 2010 as Windows Azure, before being renamed to Microsoft Azure on 25 March 2014. Along with Amazon Web Services, Azure is considered a leader in the IaaS field.
Biztalk services :
- Cloud services, a platform as a service (PaaS) environment and can be used to create scalable applications and services. It supports multi-tier architectures and automated deployments. Previously named “Hosted Services”, the Cloud Services for Microsoft Azure comprise one aspect of the PaaS offerings from the Microsoft Azure Platform. The Cloud Services are containers of hosted applications. These applications can be Internet-facing public web applications (such as web sites and e-commerce solutions) named “Web Roles”, or they can be private processing engines for other work, such as processing orders or analyzing data named “Worker Roles”. Developers can write code for Cloud Services in a variety of different programming languages. There are specific software development kits (SDKs) provided by Microsoft for Python, Java, Node.js and .NET. Other languages may have support through Open Source projects. Microsoft published the source code for their client libraries on GitHub.
- Virtual machines, constitute the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering from Microsoft for their public cloud. Virtual machines enable developers to migrate applications and infrastructure without changing existing code and can run both Windows Server and Linux virtual machines. It was announced in preview form at the Meet Windows Azure event in June 2012. Customers can create virtual machines, of which they have complete control, to run in Microsoft’s data centers. The General Availability version of Virtual Machine was released in May 2013. As of December 2015, Azure supports Windows Server 2008 and 2012 operating systems, as well as Linux distributions including Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, openSUSE, Oracle Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and CoreOS.
Big compute :
- Batch helps run large parallel and high performance computing workloads in the cloud.
- HPC Pack lets developers implement parallel processing.
- Scheduler automatically runs previously declared recurring and one-off tasks.
- Remote App delivers Windows apps from Azure to run on a variety of devices – Windows, Mac OS X, iOS or Android. Remote applications are run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud, where they’re easier to scale and update. Application users install Remote Desktop clients on their Internet-connected laptop, tablet or phone, and can access applications as if they were running locally
Storage services :
- Storage Services provides REST and SDK APIs for storing and accessing data on the cloud.
- Table Service lets programs store structured text in partitioned collections of entities that are accessed by partition key and primary key. It’s a NoSQL non-relational database.
- Blob Service allows programs to store unstructured text and binary data as blobs that can be accessed by a HTTP(S) path. Blob service also provides security mechanisms to control access to data.
- Queue Service lets programs communicate asynchronously by message using queues.
- File Service allows storing and access of data on the cloud using the SMB protocol.
Data management :
- SQL Database, formerly known as SQL Azure Database, works to create, scale and extend applications into the cloud using Microsoft SQL Server technology. It also integrates with Active Directory and Microsoft System Center and Hadoop.
- Azure Search provides text search and a subset of OData’s structured filters using REST or SDK APIs.
- DocumentDB is a NoSQL database service that implements a subset of the SQL SELECT statement on JSON documents.
- Redis Cache is a managed implementation of Redis.
- StorSimple manages storage tasks between on-premises devices and cloud storage.
Business Analytics :
- HDInsight is Microsoft’s cloud based Hadoop distribution.
- Azure Machine Learning is cloud-based predictive analytics and publishing of APIs on the cloud.
- Stream Analytics service provides low latency, highly available, scalable complex event processing over streaming data in the cloud.
- Data Catalogue service is a system of registration and system of discovery for enterprise data sources.
- Data Factory allows developers to build data-driven workflows between their local, cloud-based and internet services with complex data processing logic and little programming.
- Azure Active Directory.
- Rights Management.
- Access Control Service.
- Multi-Factor Authentication.
Microsoft Azure Service Bus, allows applications running on azure premise or off premise devices to communicate with azure. This helps to build scalable and reliable applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Azure service bus supports four different types of communication mechanisms.
- Queues, which allow one-directional communication. Sender application would send the message to the service bus queue, and receiver would read from the queue. Though there can be multiple readers for the queue only one would process a single message.
- Topics, which provide one-directional communication using a subscriber pattern. It’s similar to queue, however each subscriber will receive a copy of the message send to a Topic. Optionally the subscriber can filter down messages based on specific criteria defined by the subscriber.
- Relays, which provide bi-directional communication. Unlike queues and topics, a relay doesn’t store in-flight messages in to its own memory. Instead, it just passes them on to the destination application.
- Event Hubs, which provide event and telemetry ingress to the cloud at massive scale, with low latency and high reliability. For example an event hub can be used to track data from cell phones such as a GPS location coordinate in real time.
Media services :
A PaaS offering that can be used for encoding, content protection, streaming, and/or analytics.
A global content delivery network (CDN) for audio, video, applications, images, and other static files. Can be used to cache static assets of websites geographically closer to users to increase performance. The network can be managed by a REST based HTTP API.
- Virtual Network, a hosted virtual private network (VPN)
- Azure DNS, a DNS domain hosting service. It provides domain name resolution services using the cloud infrastructure of Microsoft Azure. The Azure DNS services are integrated with other Azure services in terms of APIs, billing, credentials. The Azure DNS service is built up on the highly scalable cloud infrastructure provided by Microsoft Azure. The deployment is Anycast based and the service has a high global footprint to provide faster network resolution. Azure DNS is currently open for public preview.
- Express Route allows creation of private connections between Azure datacenters and infrastructure that’s on your premises or in a colocation environment. ExpressRoute connections don’t go over the public Internet (sometimes called “dark fiber”) and offer more reliability, faster speeds (it’s like a leased line), lower latencies (one hop to Azure), and may offer higher security than typical Internet connections. In some cases, using ExpressRoute connections to transfer data between on-premises systems and Azure can also yield significant cost benefits.
- Azure load balancing allows balancing of load to multiple instances of same application such as a website running on same data center location.
- Traffic Manager is used to load balance azure services such as an azure website located on different geographic locations. This is separate from load balancing done with multiple instances of same service located in same data center. Azure traffic manager works on DNS level for example by resolving a DNS query to the nearest data center location where the website is hosted.
- Site Recovery.
- Visual Studio Online.
- Application Insights.
- Azure Automation, provides a way for users to automate the manual, long-running, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks that are commonly performed in a cloud and enterprise environment. It saves time and increases the reliability of regular administrative tasks and even schedules them to be automatically performed at regular intervals. You can automate processes using runbooks or automate configuration management using Desired State Configuration.
- Microsoft SMA (software)