Windows Azure, now known as Microsoft Azure, is a Microsoft maintained public cloud computing platform first announced in 2008 and was released in 2010. It graduated to being called Microsoft Azure in March 2014, instead of Windows Azure, because it provides services to other platforms as well apart from Windows, like, Linux. It mainly provides directory services to its user. However, it is in not only limited to provide directory services. It enables us to do practically anything over the cloud, and it there is anything that we can not do, Azure provides the option of setting up virtual machines which can in turn run the desired application or software.
Anyone can use Azure. You just have to open the Microsoft Azure website and sign-up for the services. Once you sign up you get $200 store credit to be used over a period of 30 days. Moreover, a few services come with a free to use option for one year. Azure basically helps us save money by saving us from the hassle of buying expensive hardware and spend money and resources in setting them up. Instead, we just need an Azure account and we can set up and configure any hardware as per our need. It provides all the cloud services, namely – software as a service (Saas), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS) with compatibility for numerous languages, tools, and frameworks. Azure works under two models – the classic model, and the Azure Resource Manager. In the classic model, we can configure and operate each machine individually, whereas in the Azure Resource Manager model we can create groups based on the configuration or usage and can manage the machine together. Windows Azure offers reliability to a network by making sure the services are available to the user even if one or more server fails. Azure also offers disaster recovery potentiality. On top of that, security and privacy are the built-in capabilities of the Azure environment, and it ensures transparency is maintained throughout the network.
Windows Azure is the world leader in the cloud computing industry because of the flexibility it offers to increase or decrease the number of resources used, due to its open platform, which caters to users using any operating system platform, security, reliability and worldwide presence of its data centers. Above all, it is very easy to use and saves time as compared to traditional options.
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