What is Azure? – An Introduction To Microsoft Azure Cloud
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Are you one of those who heard the buzzword “Azure Cloud” and landed here? Don’t worry, you have reached the right place. By the end of this What is Azure blog, you will have everything to get started with Microsoft Azure.
This is the first blog of Azure Tutorial blog series. In this blog, I will discuss the following topics:
- Cloud Service Providers
- Azure Market Share
- What Is Azure?
- Service Domains In Azure
- Building Applications In Azure
- How To Sign Up On Azure?
Cloud Service Providers
The Cloud Service is offered by some companies. These companies are called Cloud Providers. In the image shown below, we have listed some of the top cloud providers. AWS being the largest Cloud Provider, you must be wondering why learn about the other cloud providers, right?
Good Question! But, what if your beloved AWS goes down? Ever thought of that? You cannot rely on only one service for your business. You need a standby for situation like this. Hence, it becomes imperative to know about the other cloud providers as well. Having said that, Azure is the second largest cloud provider!
Azure Market Share
The image below shows the percentage of the companies who have adopted the respective cloud providers as their “primary” IaaS partners.
You can clearly see from above image that after AWS, people are adopting Microsoft Azure.
Let’s move ahead in this blog and understand What is Azure.
What Is Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform created by Microsoft which developers and IT professionals use to build, deploy and manage applications through their global network of datacentres.
You might be wondering how the Azure Dashboard actually looks like, here is a screenshot for the same:
On the left side, all the resources are listed. These resources can broadly be divided into the following categories:
Service Domains In Azure
It is used to process data on the cloud by making use of powerful processors which serve multiple instances at a time.
- Virtual Machines
- VM Scale Sets
- Azure Container
- Container Registry
- Service Fabric
- Cloud Services
- Storage Services
The storage as the name suggests, is used to store data in the cloud with the ability to scale as and when required. This data can be stored anywhere.
- Blob Storage
- Queue Storage
- File Storage
- Table Storage
The database domain is used to provide reliable relational and non relational database instances managed by Azure.
- SQL Databases
- Redis Cache
It includes services which provide a variety of networking features such as security, faster access etc.
- Virtual Network
- Load Balancer
- Application Gateway
- Azure DNS
- Content Delivery Network
- VPN Gateway
- Traffic Manager
- Express Route
- Developer Tools
It includes services which provides services that ease the ability to code for an organization. For example: it eases the teams to share code, track work and ship software.
- Visual Studio Team Services
- Application Insights
- API Management
- Management and Monitoring Tools
It includes services which can be used to manage and monitor your Azure instances.
- Microsoft Azure Portal
- Azure Resource Manager
- Enterprise Integration
Services that bring functionalities like seamlessly integrating the enterprise and the cloud.
- Service Bus
- SQL Server Stretch Database
- Security and Identity
It includes services for user authentication or limiting access to a certain set of audience on your Azure resources.
- Key Vault
- Azure Active Directory
- Azure AD B2C
- Azure AD Domain Services
- Multi Factor Authentication
- Web and Mobile Apps
These are mainly used to create web apps or mobile apps for any platform and any device.
- Web Apps
- Mobile Apps
- API Apps
- Logic Apps
- Notification Hubs
- Event Hubs
- Azure Search
I have discussed all the services in detail in my next blog: Azure Tutorial.
Building Applications In Azure
Sometimes you have to run before you can walk!
First and foremost, you should analyze, what your application is about? Is it something that requires you to be worried about the underlying infrastructure? Is it something that requires a database? Is it something which will require monitoring?
So, once you know all the requirements of your application, you can pick a domain, and hence choose a service.
Like for example, you want to deploy an application on Azure, which does not require you to worry about the underlying architecture, which service will you choose?
Well, in the compute section there is this service called Web App. You can just upload your application, and Azure does the rest for you. It’s that simple!
Of course, you wouldn’t know about any of these services without using them right? That’s why Azure came up with an amazing free tier option.
Who is eligible for this free tier?
Every customer from the time he/she registers on Azure, receives the free tier option, and is eligible for the same.
How shall this help?
You can try launching an application on Azure and learn! The more you practice, the more you learn what is Azure all about.
That is, you learn for free! What all is included in the free tier? You can refer our Azure Pricing section in the Azure tutorial Blog.
Let me set you up with the registration part which will yield you free credits, if you are a new customer.
How To Sign-Up In Azure?
Step 1: Go to this particular link: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-in/free/
Step 2: Click on Create New Microsoft Account.
Step 3: Do the following steps:
- Enter you email address
- Enter a suitable password
- Click on Create Account
Step 4: On the next page, do the following things:
- Enter the verification code sent to email address
- Click on Verify
Step 5: On the next page, do the following steps:
- Enter you mobile number
- Type the access code got on your phone, to blank 2
- Finally, click on Next
Step 6: On the next page, do the following things:
- As you can see, as a new user, you got 13,300 rupees as free usage credits
- Enter your name
- Your email address
- Phone Number
- Organisation Name
- Finally, Click on Next
Step 7: On the next page, you will be verifying your phone
- Enter the mobile number
- Click on Send text message, or whatever your preference is.
Step 8: On this page, you will be entering your credit card details. Once entered, click
Step 9 : Click on Agree Conditions, and finally click on Sign up.
Step 10: Voila! You are set. Click on Get Started with Azure Subscription.
And here you go, your own Microsoft Dashboard!
This brings us to the end of our signing up process in this What is Azure Blog. Once signing up is done, you can play around with Azure using your Free Credits.
So this is it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this What is Azure blog. If you are reading this, Congratulations! You are no longer a newbie in Azure! The more you practice the more you will learn. To make your journey easy, we have come up with this Azure Tutorial Blog Series which will be updated frequently, to stay tuned!
We have also come up with a curriculum which covers exactly what you would need to crack the Azure Examinations! You can have a look at the course details for Azure Training here. Happy Learning!
Got a question for us? Please mention it in the comments section of this What is Azure blog and we will get back to you.