Friday, February 22, 2019

What is Microsoft Azure or Windows Azure - Explained - SingleWindowTech

Microsoft Azure

The idea behind any cloud computing proposal is for you to pay only for what you use, scaling up or down according to business needs. Vendors supporting cloud computing can interpret this statement differently, providing varying levels of services to achieve this result. The three approaches to cloud computing are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

1. IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service

Some vendors provide the infrastructure to build solutions, and you rent the hardware such as servers, load balancers, a firewall, and cables. You then configure these remotely and install your solutions on them. You can scale up by requesting more servers and reconfiguring the load balancer without purchasing more hardware. You can scale down at any time by reconfiguring the infrastructure you rented from the cloud service provider. This vendor approach is called Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Also read: What is IaaS?

2. SaaS - Software as a Service

In another approach, you can rent a service offered by the vendor and then configure the service by using the interface provided by the vendor, without having to know what infrastructure the vendor uses to provide that service. This approach is called Software as a Service (SaaS) because you pay to use defined services.
Also read: What is SaaS?

3. PaaS - Platform as a Service

The third approach is Platform as a Service or PaaS. In this approach, you rent a platform on which you deploy your applications without configuring the infrastructure and without the limitations of the SaaS approach.
Also read: What is PaaS?


Paas and IaaS

Microsoft Azure (Previously Windows Azure):

The  Microsoft Azure platform fits best in the PaaS category because it doesn’t provide access to the underlying virtualization environment or operating system details such as the network interface, IP configuration, and disk management. The idea behind Microsoft Azure is to provide a distributed operating system where you can deploy and run applications without dealing with the classic Windows interface.

If you want some disk space, you can just create a storage account and use the provided endpoint to manage resources on it. With PaaS, you can forget disks, storage area networks, and load balancer configurations when storing data in the cloud. You can use standards such as REST and HTTP to interact with this kind of storage. Run Linux containers with Docker integration; build apps with JavaScript, Python, .NET, PHP, Java & Node.js; build back-ends for any device. Azure service supports technologies that millions trust. 

Azure is the only major cloud platform ranked by Gartner as an industry leader for both Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-service (PaaS). This powerful combination of managed and unmanaged services lets you build, deploy, and manage applications any way you like for unmatched productivity.

Benefits of using Azure:

Azure runs on a worldwide network of Microsoft-managed datacenters across 26 regions - more countries & regions than Amazon Web Services & Google Cloud combined. Azure is built on technologies that millions trust: Windows Server, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc. This means a consistent, familiar & stable environment. Move VMs between on-premises & cloud as business needs dictate - no conversion needed. Protect business-critical apps with managed cloud backups & Disaster Recovery as a service. 

  1. Provision Windows and Linux Virtual Machines and applications in minutes. Use the same virtual machines and management tools in Azure that you use on-premises.
  2. Azure provides managed SQL and NoSQL data services, and built-in support for gaining insights from your data. Leverage the full power of SQL Server in the cloud and use HDInsight to build Hadoop clusters to analyze data.
  3. Manage user accounts, synchronize with existing on-premises directories, and get single sign-on across Azure, Office 365 and hundreds of popular software-as-a-service applications including Salesforce, DocuSign, Google Apps, Box, Dropbox, and more.
  4. With Azure, data storage, backup, and recovery become more efficient and economical. It is also easier to build applications that span both on-premises and the cloud.
  5. Microsoft leads the industry in its commitment to the protection & privacy of data & services. It starts with the Security Development Lifecycle – our mandatory, industry-leading assurance process that builds security into Azure.
All Azure resources support one or both of the following deployment models: 
  • Resource Manager: This is the newest deployment model for Azure resources. Most newer resources already support this deployment model and eventually, all resources will.
  • Classic: This model is supported by most existing Azure resources today. New resources added to Azure will not support this model.

Readiness Framework:

A readiness framework can help you to embed your cloud activities into your existing procedures, operational tasks, and responsibilities to make sure that you, as the enterprise, stay in control of your cloud journey. For some companies, the creation of a readiness framework is a huge task because their existing structures are challenged in a way that is very demanding. But that is the basic principle of the digital transformation. 

One part of the framework is an operations model that is fit for the purpose of cloud services. The crucial point for many customers is the shift away from an oftentimes years-long, outsourcing model with a huge amount of infrastructure components to an Agile model with a blend of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS).

Subscriptions in Azure:

Each Azure tenant can have multiple Azure subscriptions assigned to it, and these should be managed following a dedicated rights and role model. When it comes to deciding whether to have one or multiple tenants, you need to consider several aspects, some technical as well as organizational:
  • Authentication and directory—User management and synchronization
  • Azure Service integration
  • IaaS, PaaS, SaaS; for example, Citrix, WebEx, Salesforce (approximately 3,400 applications)
  • Service workloads (Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, Skype for Business, etc.)
  • Administration (of the tenants)
  • Support and Helpdesk (also across tenants)
  • Licensing and billing
Azure administration is understood to mean using the Azure administrative portal to carry out the tasks related to the solution you are developing. However, when it comes to Azure governance, the administration might require a more holistic approach.

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