Microsoft Azure, commonly referred to as Azure, is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers.
Azure is a combination of virtualized infrastructure to which the .NET Framework has been added as a set of .NET Services.
The Windows Azure service itself is a hosted environment of virtual machines enabled by a fabric called Windows Azure AppFabric.
Applications can be hosted on Azure and provision it with storage, growing it as you need it.
Windows Azure is both IaaS and PaaS service offering
Azure and its related services were built to allow developers to extend their applications into the cloud.
The Azure Platform
- With Azure’s architecture, an application can run locally, run in the cloud, or some combination of both.
- Applications on Azure can be run as applications, as background processes or services, or as both.
- The Windows Azure service is a cloud-based OS with a fabric infrastructure of virtual machines hosted in Microsoft datacenters.
- The Azure Windows Services Platform API uses the industry standard REST, HTTP, and XML protocols.
- Developers can install a client-side managed class library that contains functions that can make calls to the Azure
- Windows Services Platform API as part of their applications.
- These API functions have been added to Microsoft Visual Studio as part of Microsoft’s Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
- The Azure Service Platform hosts runtime versions of .NET Framework applications
- Azure can deploy Web-based applications built with ASP.NET, the Windows Communication Foundation (WCF), and PHP, and it supports Microsoft’s automated deployment technologies.
- Microsoft also has released software development kit for both Java and Ruby to place calls to the Azure Service Platform API to the AppFabric Service.
The Windows Azure Service
- Six main elements are part of Windows Azure:
- Application: This is the runtime of the application that is running in the cloud.
- Compute: This is the load-balanced Windows server computation and policy engine that allows you to create and manage virtual machines that serve either in a Web role and a Worker role.
- Storage: This is a non-relational storage system for large-scale storage.
- Fabric: This is the Windows Azure Hypervisor, which is a version of Hyper-V that runs on Windows Server 2008.
- Config: This is a management service.
- Virtual machines: These are instances of Windows that run the applications and services that are part of a particular deployment.
- The portion of the Azure environment that creates and manages a virtual resource pool is called the Fabric Controller.
- Applications that run on Azure are memory-managed, load-balanced, replicated, and backed up through snapshots automatically by the Fabric Controller.