Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.

Traditional on-premises

The end user is managing all the components from his datacenter or infrastructure

IaaS model

The end user is managing only the apps, data and operating system, while the vendor is taking care of the infrastructure [in Azure – Storage, Networking and compute]

PaaS model

End user is taking care only of the apps and data, the rest is with the vendor
Like IaaS, PaaS includes infrastructure — servers, storage and networking — but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing and updating.

SaaS model

End user is free to concentrate on content for his website and his marketing initiatives, and don’t have to worry about patches, security, and maintenance upgrades. Here Microsoft has solutions like Office 365, Enterprise Mobility and Security or Dynamics 365.

Microsoft lists over 600 Azure services, most common being the following:

  • Virtual machines, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allowing users to launch general-purpose Microsoft Windows and Linux virtual machines, as well as preconfigured machine images for popular software packages.
  • App services, platform as a service (PaaS) environment letting developers easily publish and manage websites.
  • Websites, high density hosting of websites allows developers to build sites using ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, or Python and can be deployed using FTP, Git, Mercurial, Team Foundation Server or uploaded through the user portal. Customers can create websites in PHP, ASP.NET, Node.js, or Python, or select from several open source applications from a gallery to deploy. This comprises one aspect of the platform as a service (PaaS) offerings for the Microsoft Azure Platform. It was renamed to Web Apps in April 2015.
  • WebJobs, applications that can be deployed to an App Service environment to implement background processing that can be invoked on a schedule, on demand, or run continuously. The Blob, Table and Queue services can be used to communicate between WebApps and WebJobs and to provide state.
  • Storage Services provides REST and SDK APIs for storing and accessingdata on the cloud.
  • Table Service lets programs store structured text in partitioned collections of entities that are accessed by partition key and primary key. It’s a NoSQL non-relational database.
  • Blob Service allows programs to store unstructured text and binary data as blobs that can be accessed by a HTTP(S) path. Blob service also provides security mechanisms to control access to data.
  • Queue Service lets programs communicate asynchronously by message using queues.
  • File Service allows storing and access of data on the cloud using the REST APIs or the SMB protocol.

An Azure Virtual Network (VNet) is a representation of your own network in the cloud. It is a logical isolation of the Azure cloud dedicated to your subscription. You can use VNets to provision and manage virtual private networks (VPNs) in Azure and, optionally, link the VNets with other VNets in Azure, or with your on-premises IT infrastructure to create hybrid or cross-premises solutions.
You also have control of DNS server settings for VNets, and segmentation of the VNet into subnets.

Deploy your advanced networking infrastructure using a highly available global Azure DNS with your Azure Virtual Network resources. Optimize applications across Azure Availability Zones and multiple regions with Azure Load Balancer. Build scalable, secure, and highly available web front-ends in Azure with Azure Application Gateway. Accelerate performance and availability of your content to customers worldwide with Azure Content Delivery Network.

Azure Automation delivers a cloud-based automation and configuration service that provides consistent management across your Azure and non-Azure environments. It consists of process automation, update management, and configuration features. Azure Automation provides complete control during deployment, operations, and decommissioning of workloads and resources.

  • Azure Search provides text search and a subset of OData’s structured filters using REST or SDK APIs.
  • Cosmos DB is a NoSQL database service that implements a subset of the SQL SELECT statement on JSON documents.
  • Redis Cache is a managed implementation of Redis.
  • StorSimple manages storage tasks between on-premises devices and cloud storage.
  • SQL Database, formerly known as SQL Azure Database, works to create, scale and extend applications into the cloud using Microsoft SQL Server technology. It also integrates with Active Directory and Microsoft System Center and Hadoop.
  • Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fully managed cloud data warehouse for enterprises of any size that combines lightning-fast query performance with industry-leading data security.
  • Azure Data Factory, is a data integration service that allows creation of data-driven workflows in the cloud for orchestrating and automating data movement and data transformation.
  • Azure Data Lake is a scalable data storage and analytic service for big data analytics workloads that require developers to run massively parallel queries.
  • Azure HDInsight is a big data relevant service, that deploys Hortonworks Hadoop on Microsoft Azure, and supports the creation of Hadoop clusters using Linux with Ubuntu.
  • Azure Stream Analytics is a Serverless scalable event processing engine that enables users to develop and run real-time analytics on multiple streams of data from sources such as devices, sensors, web sites, social media, and other applications
  • A PaaS offering that can be used for encoding, content protection, streaming, or analytics.

Azure Media Services enables you to securely upload, store, encode, and package video or audio content for both on-demand and live streaming delivery to various clients (for example, TV, PC, and mobile devices).
AMS operates in multiple datacenters around the world. These datacenters are grouped into geographic regions, giving you flexibility in choosing where to build your applications

  • A global content delivery network (CDN) for audio, video, applications, images, and other static files. It can be used to cache static assets of websites geographically closer to users to increase performance.
  • With Azure CDN, you can cache static objects loaded from Azure Blob storage, a web application, or any publicly accessible web server, by using the closest point of presence (POP) server. Azure CDN can also accelerate dynamic content, which cannot be cached, by leveraging various network and routing optimizations.

Machine learning is a data science technique that allows computers to use existing data to forecast future behaviors, outcomes, and trends. By using machine learning, computers learn without being explicitly programmed.
Machine learning solutions are built iteratively, and have distinct phases:

    • Preparing data
    • Experimenting and training models
    • Deploying trained models
    • Managing deployed models
    • Microsoft provides a variety of product options to prep, build, deploy, and manage your machine learning models

Cognitive Services

Azure Cognitive Services are APIs, SDKs, and services available to help developers build intelligent applications without having direct AI or data science skills or knowledge. Azure Cognitive Services enable developers to easily add cognitive features into their applications. The goal of Azure Cognitive Services is to help developers create applications that can see, hear, speak, understand, and even begin to reason. The catalog of services within Azure Cognitive Services can be categorized into five main pillars – Vision, Speech, Language, Web Search, and Decision

The Azure Internet of Things (IoT) is a collection of Microsoft-managed cloud services that connect, monitor, and control billions of IoT assets. In simpler terms, an IoT solution is made up of one or more IoT devices and one or more back-end services running in the cloud that communicate with each other.

Devices are generally made up of a circuit board with sensors attached that connect to the internet. Many devices communicate via a Wi-Fi chip. Here are some examples of IoT devices:

  • pressure sensors on a remote oil pump
  • temperature and humidity sensors in an air-conditioning unit
  • accelerometers in an elevator
  • presence sensors in a room

Azure IoT Hub lets you connect, monitor, and manage billions of IoT assets..
Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service built on IoT Hub that allows for cloud intelligence deployed locally on IoT edge devices.
Azure IoT Central is a fully managed SaaS app that makes it easy to connect, monitor, and manage IoT assets at scale

Azure Blockchain Workbench is a collection of Azure services and capabilities designed to help you create and deploy blockchain applications to share business processes and data with other organizations. Azure Blockchain Workbench provides the infrastructure scaffolding for building blockchain applications enabling developers to focus on creating business logic and smart contracts. It also makes it easier to create blockchain applications by integrating several Azure services and capabilities to help automate common development tasks

DevOps includes core practices such as planning and tracking, development, build and test, delivery and monitoring and operations. These practices, along with DevOps tools and technologies, help automate the application lifecycle. Processes that used to be manual and slow for your teams—like updating code or provisioning a new environment—you can do quickly and continuously when you use DevOps tooling and practices. In addition, it is easier to meet standards for security and reliability because those considerations are built in to the process.
With DevOps, your organisation is equipped to deliver better products, faster. By bringing together people, process and technology with shared practices and tools—you gain the benefits of reduced development times, faster time to market and increased product quality.

Microsoft meets the highest requirements in the industry when it comes to security and compliance. – basically is the most certified cloud platform in the market – they are also GDPR compliant on all datacenters.