Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centres. 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. Azure was announced in October 2008 and released in February 1st 2010 as "Windows Azure" before being renamed "Microsoft Azure" on March 25th 2014.
What is cloud computing?
By “cloud computing”, we don’t mean the vague term that’s often applied to consumer services that store your data on a remote server somewhere. We mean actual computing as a service for companies, organisations, and even individuals.
Traditionally, businesses and other organisations would host their own infrastructure. A business would have its own servers, such as a web or email server and theses services would run on its own hardware, typically located at the offices of the business or organisation. If additional processing power was required, the business would have to purchase additional hardware. They would also have to pay someone to support and administrate their hardware and also the need for a quality uninterrupted Internet connection was a must to run the services.
Cloud computing works differently. Rather than having your own hardware or paying to use someone else’s hardware located in a data centre, you just pay for access to a massive pool of computing resources provided by Microsoft (or Amazon, or Google). This allows you to host web servers, email servers, databases, file storage, virtual machines and user directories, or anything else you might need. When you need more computing resources, you don’t have to purchase physical hardware. The “cloud” shares the hardware and automatically assigns the work, as necessary. You pay for as many computing resources as you need, and not a specific number of hardware servers on a rack somewhere. This provides flexibility of services, allowing businesses to purchase more processing power when demand is increased, it also means support, management and administration costs are reduced. Other core benefits include automated failover and disaster recovery, keeping downtime to an absolute minimum as failover and disaster recovery services are in place and managed.
Many global organisations are using Microsoft Azure to help them build, develop and manage software solutions. Some of the most utilised solutions today are virtual assistants such as Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Home and Microsoft's Cortana and IoT (internet of things) products
Want to learn more about Microsoft Azure? Why not speak to one of our Microsoft Azure experts, who can answer your questions and arrange for a free, no obligation meeting to show you the benefits.