Introduction to Windows Azure (cloud computing)

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This article Will give you some brief introduction about Cloud Computing and Microsoft Windows Azure Platform. Why using Windows Azure? What are the services available in Window Azure and some other feature which Windows Azure Offer.


Before we dive into windows azure, just we need to understand some basic fundamental about cloud computing and some cloud service providers currently available in globe.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing is distributed computing over a network remotely accessible via internet. Major Cloud computing services are IAAS (Infrastructure as a Service), PAAS (Platform as a Service) and SAAS (Software as a Service). 

Practically Cloud computing is nothing but hosting applications in third party service provider (Ex: Azure, amazon, etc). Hardware, Network, accessing software and servers (Sql, SharePoint, Biz-talk, Oracle) are maintained by service provider. We just need to pay for what we used. For client convenience some service provider only charge per-minute basis.

Cloud Providers

Amazon (AWS), Windows azure, Google and Salesforce are well known cloud providers. Currently Amazon is Number one Cloud provider. However, now the competition is increased between Amazon and Azure.

Windows Azure

Windows Azure is Microsoft cloud platform that provides wide range of services. Windows azure provide open and flexible cloud platform which provide to quickly build, deploy or maintain the application across a global network of Microsoft managed data center. By using Windows Azure you can create new application or migrating existing application from on premises to cloud.  You can use Microsoft provided tool to easily build website and maintained in Microsoft managed data center.


Why use Azure?

Client wants to move the on premises application to cloud for one of three reasons. Speed, Scale and Economics. These three has been provided by Windows Azure with minimum cost.   


Deploying application in azure is much faster than the on premises data center. By Using Windows Azure you can host your application to the data center which is very close to your location. Its provide your application to run little bit faster than the other data center. Also, Windows Azure provide Data service such as  Cache and CDN (Content deliver network) to increase the performance of your application.


Azure provide option to scale out or scale in the application depends upon the user resources accessing the application. Also Azure provide Load balancing the request to different Virtual machine depends upon the number of request it received.

Running the business application from cloud is much lower than the on premises application. Scaling the capacity up or down can be easy done by Windows Azure. Also some windows Azure services such as Virtual machine service only charge per-minute basis to help the consumer to reduce the cost.  

Apart from above reasons Windows azure also provide some other advantages also.

Migrating your existing application to windows azure is easyBy using Windows Azure IAAS you can easily migrate your existing application to cloud. You can easily move existing windows server Active directory users to Windows Cloud Active directory. 

Windows azure services.

Number of windows services available are expanding, new windows services are being added and existing services are enhanced to evolve. Windows Azure services are classified into 4 categories. 
  • Compute service - This service is used to provide process power to run the cloud application. This service is further classified into following categories.
    • Virtual Machine
    • Websites
    • Cloud services
    • Mobile services
  • Network Service - Windows azure network services offers two network services.
    • Virtual Network
    • Traffic Manager
  • Data Service - Data service provides different ways of storing, managing, safeguarding, analyzing and reporting the business data. It offers five different services.
    • Storage
    • Sql Database
    • HDInsight
    • Cache
    • Recovery Services
  • App Service - Currently App service provide following services.
    • Media service
    • Service Bus
    • Active Directory
    • Notification Hubs
    • Scheduler
    • Biz Talk services
    • Multi-Factor Authentication.
In next article we will see what is Windows Azure Websites. How to create new Windows Azure websites from scratch. Also We will see how to publish the Websites from Microsoft Visual studio. 

Hope you will enjoy this article. We will meet you again in next article.


In this article I briefly explained the cloud computing and windows azure cloud platform. Hope this article gives you some brief introduction about cloud computing and Microsoft Windows Azure Cloud Platform. In feature article we will deep dive into different Windows Azure Services. 


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About the Author

Full Name: Sankara Narayanan
Member Level: Starter
Member Status: Member
Member Since: 2/17/2014 2:33:25 AM
Country: India

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