Simply put, Windows Azure platform is Microsoft’s cloud platform.
We all know that applications such as an on-premise applications should be built and run on some kind of a platform. At a minimum, a platform should consists of an operating system to run the applications, store application’s data, and maybe a few more essential services.
Similarly, for cloud applications, we need a platform to build and run applications. Windows Azure provides this platform.
Azure platform provides wide range of Cloud technologies each containing a set of services.
1. Services can be accessed via the internet.
2. Services are available on-demand meaning anytime from anyplace.
3. Services are used to build, deploy, run and manage applications. Such Applications are hosted on Azure managed Datacenters.
4. Applications built using these services are highly available and highly scalable.
5. Azure services run across the Microsoft datacenters all over the world.
6. Azure managed data centers which serve Azure services are located in many places of North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Japan. As of now, located in 30 regions around the world.
Refer the above Figure. You will see an outline of the cloud representation. This representation is widely used in IT terminology. It represents the internet to dipict the conecept that internet is available to everybody on the earth without geographical boundaries.
Microsoft has grouped its Azure services into categories and under each category there are many services.
Understanding these services in a broad perspective is very important to use this platform to its full capability.
Services offered appear in the Azure Management Portal under their respective categories. The following are the main categories of services in the Azure platform.
2. Web and Mobile
3. Data and storage
4. Internet of things
7. Identity and Access management
8. Developer services
You will observe in the Figure that we have mentioned various services under Azure platform. We will discuss these in the upcoming questions.
Cloud in computer parlance means the technology which enables a vendor to deliver software and hardware infrastructure over the internet. This software and software infrastructure is consumed by clients working on or using devices such as desktops, pads, mobile phones and gaming devices. These devices should be connected to the internet.
Cloud computing is closely related to the internet. Simply put, there is no cloud computing without the internet. While the internet refers to concept of interconnecting with various entities, cloud computing refers to installing and running softwares on data centers which work in a highly specialized manner, and accessing the software via the internet.
With respect to the question we are learning on this page, Windows Azure platform is a combination of software which runs in data centers and enables us to build, install and run software and access them via the internet.
If you have used a computer you will know that you will have to install a software application on your own infrastructure to use it. Such a software application is referred to as an On-premise application. Traditionally, we are used to using our own resources like hardware, software, O.S in our premises.
We know that data is the raw form of information. For example, the number of smart phones used in each country is increasing day to day is information while the actual numbers of each type of smart phone being used in every country is the raw data. A software application is typically used to record this data, which is referred to as application data.
An Operating system is a piece of software which is itself an assemble of many software each with a specific purpose. One common feature of all OS is to run the computer and enable the user to install and run specific application software.
The other Cloud platforms available in the market as on date are:
Amazon Web services