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Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is the public cloud computing platform operated by Microsoft.

Overview

Microsoft Azure, formerly called Windows Azure, is Microsoft's public cloud computing platform. Launched in February 2010, Microsoft Azure offers cloud offerings, including virtual machines, object storage, and content delivery networks, with clients on Windows, Mac OS, Android, or iOS. The platform was renamed Microsoft Azure on March 25, 2014. The platform offers solutions, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).

Customers of Microsoft Azure have included Chevron, Inventec, Lumen, Colorado State University, Woolworths, Tangiblee, Make-A-Wish, iHeartMedia, Alpine F1 Team, 3M, NHS, NBA, GE, Pepsico, and the American Cancer Society. Microsoft Azure uses a partnership ecosystem to help users find integrations and to integrate Microsoft Azure into other solutions across the industries. Some partners in the Microsoft Azure partner ecosystem have included Everseen, Envision, Munich RE, ShookIOT, CentralLogic, ToolsGroup, MongoDB, and Episerver.

Platform

Microsoft Azure offers more than 200 services, which are broadly divided into eighteen categories. The categories include computing, networking, storage, IoT, migration, mobile, analytics, containers, artificial intelligence, and other machine learning, integration, management tools, developer tools, security, databses, DevOps, media identity, and web services.

Azure Communication Services

Azure Communication Services is the platform that underlies Microsoft Teams, and is available to users as a communication platform as a service (CPaaS), offering a set of rich communication APIs, video APIs, and SMS APIs to deploy applications across devices and platforms. The platform is developed to be scalable and provide reliable calling, chat, and messaging with low-latency on networks developed to be reliable for users. Communication workflows to applications can be connected through SDKs and APIs for common platforms such as iOS, Android, Web, .NET, and JavaScript.

The platform is developed with security, including secutiry controls for networks and encryption, and offers tools to meet compliance needs such as HIPAA and GDPR. And Microsoft offers the Azure Communication Services with flexible pricing based on deployment and usage, allowing users to choose the communication services they want and to control those services to meet the organization's needs.

Virtual machines

Microsoft Azure offers Linux and Windows virtual machines, allowing users to migrate workloads to the Azure infrastructure. It allows users to run SQL Server, SAP, Oracle software and high-performance computing applications on Azure Virtual Machines. Users are capable of deploying virtual machines featuring up to 416 vCPUs and 12 TB of memory, including 3.7 million local storage IOPS per VM.

Azure SQL

Azure SQL is a family of SQL cloud databases providing options for application migration, modernization, and development. Azure SQL is developed to provide a unified experience across an SQL portfolio and a range of deployment options from edge to cloud. The platform is intended to allow users to migrate SQL workloads, modernize existing applications, and support modern cloud applications with Azure SQL database.

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is a service allowing users to deploy and scale containers on managed Kubernetes, used to develop and deploy cloud-native apps. The Kubernetes service is developed to provide users with built-in code-to-cloud pipelines and guardrails. The service also offers users with unified management and governence for Kubernetes clusters and is capable of being interoperable with Azure security, identity, cost management, and migration services.

Azure Cognitive Services

Cognitive Services offers APIs to users to integrate artificial intelligence services into applications. The service comes with various models for a variety of use case and is built to enable developers and data scientists to add artificial intelligence capabilities to their applications.

Azure PlayFab

Azure PlayFab is a cloud-based service for game developers giving users the tools they need to build and operate live games on a single platform, including game services, data analytics, and live operations tools.

Azure Quantum

Azure Quantum is a provider of cloud-based quantum hardware, software, and solutions through a single cloud service. It offers an open ecosystem to write and run code on quantum hardware, with preferred development tools, and is built to be future-proofed for development of durable applications for quantum hardware.

Azure Arc

Azure Arc is a tool to help extend the Azure platform to help build applications and services with flexibility to run across datacenters, at the edge, and in multicloud environments. This is developed to help users secure, develop, and operate infrastructure and Azure services anywhere, including offering cloud-native applications able to run on new and existing hardware, virtualization, Kubernetes platforms, IoT devices, and integrated systems.

Timeline

May 25, 2021
Microsoft Azure announces PyTorch Enterprise, a new Azure service that provides developers with additional support when using PyTorch on Azure.
January 4, 2019
Advantys announces WorkflowGen for Microsoft Azure

Patents

Further Resources

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

10 reasons why to choose Azure for your Enterprise

Web

Microsoft Azure review

Web

January 17, 2022

What Is Microsoft Azure, Anyway?

Web

January 4, 2018

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Ax Sharma
September 28, 2021
Ars Technica
Microsoft tells researchers it's "by design." Not like it's Patch Tuesday.
Jim Salter
September 14, 2021
Ars Technica
A little-known management service handed unauthenticated attackers root access.
Stephen Pritchard
September 9, 2021
ComputerWeekly.com
We look at cloud file services, which provide a file system-like architecture that gives users access to file data wherever they are, just as if it were a local NAS filer
Jim Salter
August 27, 2021
Ars Technica
30% of Cosmos DB customers were notified--more are likely impacted.
August 27, 2021
Moneycontrol
The vulnerability is in Microsoft Azure's flagship Cosmos DB database. A research team at security company Wiz discovered it was able to access keys that control access to databases held by thousands of companies. Wiz Chief Technology Officer Ami Luttwak is a former chief technology officer at Microsoft's Cloud Security Group.
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References

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