Q6. Briefly state the purpose of each of the services offered by Azure platform?
Azure services can be categorized as follows.
Windows Azure Compute services
Compute services are core services and these services are part of Windows Azure OS of the Windows Azure platform. These services execute the applications deployed on the Microsoft cloud infrastructure.
Data management services
Data management Services are used to manage different kinds of data. These services support storing of both relational and non-relational data, Blob storage and Table storage. Applications which are running on Cloud or on on-premise can use any of these data services to store data. Choosing the right Windows Azure Data management services depends on how your application interacts with data.
Windows Azure Network services are for building hybrid cloud solutions. These Network services enable you to connect your local on-premises infrastructure to Azure cloud infrastructure.
Developer services are the tools offered in Azure to create cloud applications. Separate SDKs are offered for languages such as .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, Ruby, and Python. Each SDK include libraries using which a developer can develop applications. Azure Platform provides an API which is built on REST using which developer will be able to interact with Azure services.
Microsoft also provides client libraries which encapsulates the functions of API. That means, client libraries uses the REST API under the hood and makes our development work easy and fast.
Identity and Access
Identity and Access services enable clients to mange user identity and allow applications to interact. The service which provides these features is known as the Windows Azure Active Directory and it derives its name as it is cloud based Identity Service. Popular Windows services which are based on the cloud use Windows Azure Active Directory to mange user identity.
As the name indicates, these services enable a developer to develop mobile application for any platform including Windows phone, Android and Apple iOS. A developer can incorporate a feature to authenticate visitors through Active Directory, Facebook or Twitter. Client libraries are available for multiple mobile platforms thus enabling application development also design a user interface which is similar across those platforms.
Backup services helps to periodically backup applications and data. Clients can opt for different types of backups depending on their requirements.
Messaging and integration
Messaging and integration refers to communication between applications or different components of the same applications. Azure provides multiple communication options for messaging and integration.
In cloud applications it may be necessary to run jobs at a specific time using Azure Scheduler, developers can Schedule jobs and run them at a specific time. This helps a client to save money and how this happens we will see in the upcoming questions.
Big Data and Big Compute services
There are some data in the real world which cannot or may not be suitable for storage in relational databases. A common example is a ‘server log’. This data is usually huge in volume and cannot be handled the way we handle relational data. A different approach is needed to solve this problem. To analyze this data, there are many technologies available and one among them is Hadoop.
(Big Compute)High-Performance Computing.
Big compute refers to the activity of using many machines at the same time to run a software program. As the machines are run at the same time, this necessaries a requirement of scheduling the software programs. In other words, it becomes necessary to organize the software program and specify which part of the program runs in which machine.
Azure platform offers services to perform big compute operations. An on-premise application can also use Azure’s compute and infrastructure services to perform big compute operations.
Till now we have discussed the Azure technologies which are used to handle data. Media services are azure’s answer to handle applications that work with media such as video and audio. Let us note that images and Videos occupy a major part of internet traffic today. Displaying video in a browser requires technology to handle display settings of end users devices such as mobile, pad and desktop. A sudden spike in delivery of particular video is a common occurrence. Aspects such as these require media services.
Data management refers to the activity of managing data which residing in a database server, processing this data and displaying on a screen of a device.
Hybrid Cloud solution
A Hybrid Cloud solution is one in which an organization uses the cloud infrastructure and on-premise infrastructure to run applications.
An API is an Application Programming interface which enables a developer to develop an application by following a set of rules specified by the API.
A server log is the data of all the visitors and associated details to a web site.
Hadoop is a name given to the technology to handle large volumes of data spread over many machines. Hadoop is the name of the elephant play toy used by the inventor’s son. You will observe that the names of the associated technologies are derived from names of animals or surrounding entities. For example, Ambari is a technology developed to handle management of Hadoop clusters. Ambari means a throne place on a back of an elephant, common in southern part of India. Apache Pig is another associated technology.
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