Azure Cloud is a cloud computing platform that allows you to perform computing and data storage tasks. It provides a wide range of services such as virtual servers, networking, storage, and analytics. You can use Azure cloud to build, manage, and deploy workloads and applications across multiple clouds with the frameworks and tools of your choice.
Microsoft provides Azure Cloud and it is arguably the second leading cloud platform provider after AWS (Amazon Web Services). Microsoft Azure's goal is to help its users build solutions that solve our everyday problems at an affordable cost.
Azure Cloud has hundreds of products and tools to help you easily create effective solutions. With a 99% uptime, Azure offers high-performance, secure, and reliable solutions for both enterprise and free-trial customers.
Microsoft Azure is also the leading hybrid cloud provider to help you seamlessly integrate private servers with the public cloud. Azure solutions span across various industries, including healthcare, finance, industrial applications, government institutions, and ordinary businesses.
How Does Azure Work?
Azure works by deploying solutions on their Windows, Linux, and other servers. Azure has data centers all over the world. You can access these interconnected servers remotely via the Internet. Unlike the traditional model, Azure maintains servers and networking equipment. Users only virtualize their software on the Azure platform.
What is Azure Cloud Useful For?
While AWS is ideal for enterprise customers, Azure's strength is in helping small and medium businesses get started with the cloud.
Here are the top five use-cases of Azure Cloud:
- Photos: With over 1 billion users, Microsoft One Drive is the second leading storage solution. These files are in Azure Cloud.
- Documents: You can deploy popular documentation platforms like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel over the Cloud. Office 365 is a popular product hosted in Azure Cloud.
- Music and Video: Over 90% of Fortune 500 companies have used Azure. These include popular streaming platforms like Netflix. Several media goes through the Networking platform, LinkedIn. Most information is on the Microsoft Cloud.
- Email and CRM: Azure also stores trillions of email information streaming from their Outlook platform.
- Bing, a search engine, also browses data stored in Microsoft Cloud.
Why Use Microsoft Azure?
There are several reasons why you should choose Azure over other public clouds:
- AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning Applications: Microsoft invests millions of dollars every year to enhance machine-learning research. With machine learning, users can build modern-day applications that run with minimal human supervision. Machine learning can help you detect anomalies, automate tasks with bots, and gain deeper visibility on your applications. An example includes the Face API (Application Programming Interface), which has facial recognition capabilities. The Face API can help reduce fraud of personal items.
- Data Analytics: Sometimes, it isn't easy to get meaning out of large volumes of data. Azure's data analytics solutions can help you collect, analyze, and interpret data points. Azure can present information through charts, graphs, and other visualization tools. Azure has a Power BI (Business Intelligence) embedded product to help your applications give meaningful metrics to end-users. Azure has business intelligence tools to help companies make data-driven decisions.
- Database Management: Microsoft cloud has one of the best database management services. Azure can help you build a high-performance apps store and migrate SQL (structured query language) data. Azure lets you run database services with high throughput requirements. You can also run large-scale and low latency databases. Azure SQL, for example, can help you migrate on-premise SQL data to Virtual Machines in Azure. Azure users can also run SQL portfolios on a hybrid cloud.
- API Integration: You can easily use Azure to enhance interoperability between various applications. You can integrate applications from one cloud to the other, on-premise to the cloud, and from one Azure application to the other. Integrations can help end-users access all they need on one dashboard. You can also publish your APIs to help developers enhance their product features. Azure's API management product lets you manage APIs across all environments. Azure can also enforce API policies to help secure your applications.
- Compute Solutions: Users can also make mobile apps and websites with Azure's computing solutions. You just need to choose a disk volume and run an Azure Virtual Machine. Azure has customizable options to suit both high and low traffic projects.
- Backup and Migration: Azure Migrate services can help users in an on-premise environment migrate to the cloud. Azure Migrate has in-app tool tips to help users choose virtual machines that best fit their right-sizing requirements. Azure takes care of your IT security, maintenance, licensing, among other aspects.
Most of Azure's products have a free trial to help you try their solutions for free. Azure has several subscription options for students, startups, non-profits, and other minorities. All Azure products have step-by-step documentation to help you use and troubleshoot services.
Manage Azure Cloud With nOps
With the wide range of services on Azure, managing it can be highly challenging. You need to manage costs, optimize resources, control identities and access, maintain high levels of security and compliance, and more.
nOps provides you with an interactive platform to manage your Azure cloud. With nOps, you can leverage features such as Cost Optimization, Change Management, Resources Utilization, and more to stay competitive and run a profitable business.
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