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 centers. It provides software as a service (SAAS), platform as a service and infrastructure as a service 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 on 1 February 2010 as “Windows Azure” before being renamed “Microsoft Azure” on 25 March 2014.
Concept and realization
Cloud Computing providers provide applications and databases that can be used network-based. Even the user’s own files are no longer on their own computers, but on the servers of the provider. Microsoft wants to focus much more on Internet-based services and hopes to be able to meet the buyer’s needs on cheaper and more powerful computers such as netbooks. A side-effect interesting for the manufacturer would be that the problem of the robbery copies would be strongly limited, since no software has to be distributed to the end user more. The offer is intended to mark a significant price change at Microsoft. It competes against similar offers such as Google App Engine or the Elastic Compute Cloud from Amazon.
Microsoft Azure is a major part of a newly developed platform, the Microsoft Azure Platform. This platform provides users with new services, such as a database and a new version of the .NET Framework. In addition, services are offered to synchronize data based on the Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services system.
As part of a data fiduciary construction, a special cloud solution is offered for Germany, which should satisfy the stronger need for data protection in Germany. A German data trustee, here the T-Systems, controls the access to the customer data. In November 2015, Microsoft announced that it would install two data centers in Germany. Locations are Frankfurt am Main and Magdeburg. This means that customer data are not distributed in data centers outside Germany. The German data centers are part of a global cloud infrastructure that comprises 34 regions with more than 100 data centers.
Microsoft Azure is divided into Compute, Storage, AppFabric, Virtual Network, CDN, and volume.
Compute provides three so-called roles: Web Role as a container for web applications, Worker Role for inter alia concurrent or compute-intensive tasks and VM Role (beta) hosting “user-provided Windows Server 2008 R2 images” in the cloud.
Storage allows storing data in BLOBs, tables, or queues, and AppFabric provides infrastructure services such as a service bus, access control, caching, integration, and composite app for distributed applications.
The VM Role allows Microsoft to run its own Windows Server Images in its data centers and thus on-premise solutions in the cloud. However, one is fixed on this one operating system. The Web Role makes it possible to provide applications in a variety of programming languages (.NET (C # and Visual Basic), C ++, PHP, Ruby, Python, Java). The Microsoft Azure Platform is specifically designed for the .NET Framework and Visual Studio. There is an Eclipse integration, which can be used only under Windows.
Microsoft also offers its infrastructure as an appliance to build a private Azure cloud in its own data center.
Microsoft supports most programming languages and has a striking rolling system. However, to deploy a Java Web application, you can not simply upload a WAR file, but you have to package and deploy your application, including the Java runtime environment and the Tomcat application server, into a worker role.
Its cloud computing is defined as a combination of software as a service (SaaS) with grid computing.
Grid computing gives the computing power and high scalability offered to applications through the thousands of machines available at state-of-the-art data centers. From software as a service one has the ability to contract a service and pay only for use, allowing the reduction of operational costs, with an infrastructure configuration that is actually more adherent to the needs.