Microsoft Azure is a flexible cloud-computing platform that allows you to shift your focus from managing and maintaining physical servers to solving business problems and addressing customer needs online. With Azure, you get the freedom to build and deploy wherever you want, using the tools, applications and frameworks of your choice.
Today we’re highlighting the three main features IT professionals need to know before using Microsoft Azure.
With support for Linux, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM and SAP, Azure Virtual Machines gives you the flexibility of virtualisation for a wide range of computing solutions – development and testing, running applications and extending your data centre. It’s the freedom of open-source software configured the way you need it. Consider this as another rack in your data centre in your data centre, giving you the power to deploy an application in seconds instead of weeks.
It’s all about choice for your virtual machines. Choose Linux or Windows. Choose to be on premise, in the cloud or both. Choose your own virtual machine image or download a certified pre-configured image in the Azure Marketplace. With Virtual Machines, you’re in control.
You can combine the performance of a supercomputer with the scalability of the cloud. Scale from one to thousands of virtual machine instances. With the growing number of regional Azure data centres, easily scale globally so that you’re closer to your customers.
There is also an option to encrypt sensitive data, protect virtual machines from viruses and malware, secure network traffic and meet regulatory and compliance requirements.
Azure Cloud Services allows you to develop, package and deploy powerful applications and services to the cloud with the click of a button. Scale from 1 to 1000 in minutes. Once your application has been deployed, that’s it – from provisioning and load balancing, to health monitoring, Azure handles the rest. Your application is backed by an industry-leading 99.95% monthly SLA.
Azure Cloud Services also gives you a staging environment for testing a new release, without affecting the existing release, which reduces the chances of customer downtime. When you’re ready to deploy the new release to production, just swap the staging environment into production.
By using the Azure SDK, you can integrate seamlessly with Visual Studio. Deploy applications using any language you like, including .NET, Java, Node.js, PHP, Python or Ruby. However, in order to bring the platform’s key functionality directly to your development computer you need to test your application before deploying it to the cloud by using Azure Emulator.
By using Azure Cloud Services, you don’t have to worry about patching, faulty hardware or network issues. To deploy your application, keep it continuously available during crashes and failures, and redirecting traffic from troubled instances to ones that are running smoothly. Automatic operating system updates mean that your application is always highly secure, without maintenance windows or downtime.
Another offering of Microsoft Azure is the App Service which is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) created for web and mobile apps for any platform or device. Through this you can integrate your apps with SaaS solutions, connect with on premise applications, and automate your business processes. Azure runs your apps on fully managed virtual machines (VMs), with your choice of shared VM resources or dedicated VMs.
App Service also includes the web and mobile capabilities that were previously delivered separately as Azure Websites and Azure Mobile Services. It also includes new capabilities for automating business processes and hosting cloud APIs. As a single integrated service, App Service lets you compose various components - websites, mobile app back ends, RESTful APIs, and business processes - into a single solution.
As a whole, App Service capabilities enable developers to focus on their code and quickly reach a stable and highly scalable production state. With the API Apps and Logic Apps features, developers can build real-world enterprise applications that bridge barriers between business solutions and on-premises to cloud integration.
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