“What is Microsoft Azure” is the first question that comes into mind while discussing the top cloud provider. Cloud computing platforms are becoming increasingly popular across all industries. Businesses use cloud computing solutions to store, manage, and analyze data in the cloud.
While AWS (Amazon Web Services) is the largest cloud provider, Microsoft Azure is the second-largest and fastest-growing platform. But before choosing Azure products and services, it’s essential to understand the cloud platform in detail. In this Microsoft Azure tutorial, we will explore Microsoft cloud, its working, and why you should choose it in 2023.
What is Microsoft Azure Cloud Platform?
Many 500 Fortune companies use Azure cloud services due to their high scalability and flexibility. In the first quarter of 2023, the revenue growth of Microsoft Azure stood at 31%, with AWS and GCP being the top competitors.
However, Azure is five cheaper than its competitor — Amazon Web Services or AWS. Multiple cloud data centers of AWS, Azure, and GCP contain hundreds of servers, components, and storage systems.
But what is Microsoft Azure, and why is it preferred?
Microsoft Azure was announced in 2008 and released in 2010 as Windows Azure. Later on, it was renamed Microsoft Azure. It’s free to start and follows a pay-as-you-go model, which means that you are paying for only the services you choose. That’s why many organizations choose Azure public cloud.
Advantages of Choosing Microsoft Azure Services
Now that we know “what is Microsoft Azure,” let us understand its exceptional features.
Backup and Disaster Recovery
Azure cloud is a public cloud computing platform that does not store data at a single location. Instead, the data is stored in different geographical areas. In case of any disaster or calamity in one location, data in other sites stay safe.
Cyberattacks are rising across companies of all sizes as hackers use different theft techniques. A recent Microsoft survey indicates that 70% of SMBs think cyberattacks are becoming a greater risk, while one in four businesses stated that they had a breach last year.
In order to help businesses eliminate the risk of cyberattacks, Microsoft announced Azure Firewall Basic — a new Azure Firewall SKU designed for SMBs. Using Microsoft threat intelligence technology, it offers Layer 3 – Layer 7 filtering and alerts in malicious traffic.
As cyberattacks continue, ensure your business is protected with Azure Firewall Basic—now available.
— Microsoft Azure (@Azure) March 16, 2023
Azure continuously keeps updating its security system. The security development lifecycle in the Azure cloud environment ensures safe and secure development.
Azure data services reduce the overall cost of deployment of the web to a large extent. Instead of training people or investing in hardware, you can choose Microsoft Azure’s services and resources.
One of the best features of Microsoft Azure cloud computing service is the flexibility to scale in terms of virtual machine size. The reserved instances will help you decrease the overall cloud computing cost, saving you money.
If you want to switch from on-premise to a cloud platform like Azure, feel free to get in touch with the cloud experts of Inferenz.
Microsoft Azure Services
Azure cloud service provider offers more than 200 services divided into 18 categories. Below we list the primary Azure services by category:
- Virtual Machine: Enables you to create virtual machines in Linux, Windows, or any other configuration in seconds.
- Cloud Service: Allows you to create scalable applications within the cloud.
- Service Fabric: Simplifies developing a microservice (an application bundle containing other small applications).
- Functions: Helps you create applications in any programming language without worrying about hardware requirements.
- Azure CDN (Content Delivery Network): Delivers content to users by strategically placing the network of servers around the globe.
- Express Route: Allows you to connect your on-premise network to Microsoft Cloud or other services.
- Virtual Network: Enables you to communicate securely and privately within the cloud.
- Azure DNS: Helps you host your DNS or system domains on Azure.
- Disk Storage: Allows you to choose either SSD (Solid State Drive) or HDD (Hard State Drive) as storage options.
- Blob Storage: Store massive unstructured data, including binary data and text.
- File Storage: Use industry SMB (Server Message Block) protocol to manage files.
- Queue Storage: Provides stable message queuing for large workloads.
- Azure SQL Database: Relational database built on SQL server technologies provides a highly available, scalable, and fault-tolerant database.
- Azure DocumentDB: NoSQL database-as-a-service features a transactional process with no schema data, rich querying, and query processing.
- Azure Redis Cache: Data structure helps implement a key-value database with durability.
Microsoft Azure Resources And Services Pricing
Azure provides some of the most cost-effective plans that include:
- Pay as you go
- Azure reserved instances
- Spot pricing or low-priority VM
Let us understand Azure pricing models here:
Pay as you go: You will be charged for the Azure services you use. For instance, if you use a 64GB RAM machine with 8 CPU cores for 1 hour, you’ll be charged only for an hour.
Spot Pricing or Low Priority VM: Using this pricing option, you can avail of a discount of around 70% discount on the standard Azure price. Azure has a lot of servers under the hood. Due to low demand for these servers, many of them go idle. Therefore, Azure offers them at 70% off. However, there’s a catch. When someone bids a higher amount than you are paying, the server will be taken away from you.
Azure Reserved Instances: With this pricing option, you can avail of a discount of 70% on standard pricing. Seems similar to Low Priority VM? But it’s not! In case of reserved instances, you commit to this cloud service for a particular period.
Should You Choose AWS Or Azure Cloud Services?
Microsoft Azure cloud is one of the fastest-growing cloud providers, with AWS at the top. Being the top AWS competitor, Azure is known for its globally distributed network of data centers. Forbes says that the platform is set to grow the size of the IT market by $10 trillion in the next 10 years.
There is an endless list of services that the cloud platform offers to its users. It can help you manage your on-premise sensitive data better and secure it.
Whether you are a first-time cloud user or want to switch from another cloud to Azure, consider contacting Inferenz experts. Our data professionals will help you understand ‘what is Microsoft Azure’ and the step-by-step migration process to migrate data seamlessly.
FAQs About Azure Cloud Computing
Who are the best Azure competitors?
AWS and Google Cloud Platform are the top competitors of Azure. While AWS is known to have multiple unique features and extensive capabilities, GCP is known for its low pricing.
How does Microsoft Azure work?
Azure is a vast collection of networking hardware and servers that run a complex application set in an organization. The widely distributed applications help the configuration and operation of virtualized software and hardware work in sync on servers.
What are the pros and cons of using Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform known for its high flexibility, security, disaster recovery, integrated delivery pipeline, and service speed.
The platform is less expensive than its competitors and is mainly used by IT companies. However, large organizations prefer Azure competitors as they have to deal with large data transfers.