What is Microsoft Azure?

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform, which means it is a service that allows customers to use Microsoft-owned cloud-connected servers instead of buying or renting physical servers in a data center or run their own servers on site.


Azure offers a long list of cloud services, including data backup, content delivery, and virtual machines. The main reason people use Azure is that it offers more flexibility and much lower upfront costs compared to traditional servers.



What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure was originally known as Windows Azure, and it serves as an umbrella for all of Microsoft’s cloud computing services and other offerings. It is similar to other cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud Platform.


The purpose of cloud computing services such as Microsoft Azure is to provide on-demand access to various computing system resources, such as data storage and computing power, known as “computing”. Azure also offers hundreds of apps, products, and other cloud services.



What is cloud computing?

The cloud is often thought of in terms of cloud storage, as this is the aspect that most people encounter in their daily lives. For example, if you take a photo with your iPhone and later access it on your Mac without having to do anything special, that’s enabled by cloud storage, specifically in the form of iCloud.


Cloud computing is much broader than just cloud storage and provides users with remote access to a variety of computing resources. This includes storage, and many businesses use cloud services to back up data, deliver content, and for other purposes. Software developers also use cloud services to develop and deploy software, and cloud services can host applications, websites, and various other services.



How does Azure work?

When you create an account with Microsoft Azure, you have access to a variety of cloud services through Microsoft’s Azure portal. Through this portal, you can access cloud-based resources such as virtual machines, databases, and applications. For example, a software developer can log in to the portal, configure a virtual machine, and use it to develop or deploy a new application.


While cloud resources are the main service offered by Azure, the portal also provides access to a variety of other applications and services from Microsoft, as well as software from third-party vendors that can be accessed and used through the cloud.


Signing up for Azure is free, but there are charges associated with accessing cloud services and third-party software. When you sign up for Azure, Microsoft gives you a credit that you can spend on services within the first 30 days. You also get free access to some services for a limited time, and other services are always free.



What is Azure for?

Microsoft Azure provides many different services, so it can be used for many tasks. Common uses include running virtual machines, hosting databases, backing up data, and streaming content.


By taking just one of these options, Azure VMs can be used for a variety of purposes. A virtual machine can host a website, DNS servers, applications, Windows Server services, etc. Virtual machines can also be used for development and deployment as an alternative to running everything on local hardware.


For data storage, Azure provides secure offsite data backup. Cloud storage is generally cheaper and more redundant than local storage, which makes it well suited for backing up data. Cloud storage can also be used for streaming content. The Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) is capable of streaming media and providing access to large files, which can take some of the load off web servers.


This is just a small sample of the ways Azure can be used. It offers analytical services, can host and back up databases, and migrate workloads from an on-premises data center to the cloud. It can also ease development by helping developers share code, test apps, and track bugs, and has a robust set of project and collaboration tools in the form of Azure DevOps. It even provides access to a range of artificial intelligence and machine learning features.



What is Azure Stack?

Azure is a cloud computing platform, but it also offers on-premises and hybrid services in the form of Azure Stack. This gives businesses access to the full range of Azure services and applications with the ability to run everything on on-premises servers for increased security, or in a hybrid between on-premises and cloud for increased flexibility.


FAQs

  • How much does Microsoft Azure cost?

    The price for using Azure depends entirely on the services you want to sign up for and can range from around $10 to several thousand dollars per month. The best way to figure out how much Azure would cost you, specifically, is to use the price calculator.

  • Can I sign up for a free trial of Microsoft Azure?

    You can create a free trial account directly through Microsoft. Free accounts will get free access to over 40 different Azure services (such as Azure Functions and Azure Event Grid), with access to other popular services (such as Windows Virtual Machines) for 12 months.

  • When was Microsoft Azure first launched?

    Microsoft first launched Azure on February 1, 2010.


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