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Azure the Public Cloud Computing Platform

Published By: Vidhi Mehta

Microsoft Technology
azure-the-public-cloud-computing-platform

Overview

Azure a public cloud is Microsoft’s application platform. Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables one to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network. You can build applications using any language, tool and framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment. Windows Azure is an open platform that supports both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments.

What is Azure?

Windows azure is cloud services operating system that allows developers to run applications and stores data on servers and owned by Microsoft. Azure is Microsoft’s flexible cloud computing platform that supports applications, data, and infrastructure in the cloud, together with a cloud marketplace. Azure is Microsoft’s cloud solution.

Features of Windows Azure

1. Automatic OS

Azure enables you to build and run highly available applications without worry about infrastructure. It provides automatic Os and service patching, springing back to original in case of hardware failure and network load balancing

2. Open for any language tools and frame work

Azure gives facility to use any frame work, language or tool to build applications. The Azure client libraries are available and open for multiple programming languages

3. Unlimited size and storage

Azure enables you to scale your application to any size. It allows you to grow and shrink resource as per your needs. So, no need to worry about storage to build the application
You can use resource dynamically and you only pay for the resources your application uses.

4. Flexible cloud Platform

Azure provides a flexible cloud platform that can satisfy any application need. It enables you to reliably host and scale out your application code within compute roles. You can store data using relational SQL databases, NoSQL table stores, and unstructured blob stores, and optionally use Hadoop and business intelligence services to data-mine it.

Advantages to Using Windows Azure

There are many benefits to using the Windows Azure solution, but here some are based on Windows Azure’s own characteristics.

1. Focus on development not on infrastructure
No need to buy servers or dedicated resources for infrastructure management. Azure has automated service management like hardware failure and routine maintenance.
2. Wide Distribution
Data is distributed over a large number of smaller machines. That’s really the essence of cloud computing.
3. Performance
In terms of performance, Windows Azure ensures that performance is not based on how much data are stored. Performance is remain as it is no matter how much data they are stored
4. Replication
All data are replicated more than once. It increases performance, scalability, and overall service.
5. Consistency
Writing code for Windows Azure is simple. When you update the projects you are working on, all future API calls will see those changes. Windows Azure updates immediately.
6. Geo distribution
If you had your data on one server in that location, then it was lost. Geo distribution allows you to distribute your data geographically. it allows you to store your code close to the teams that need it.
7. Scalability
Pay as you go, you can always be assured that you will have more than you need. There is unlimited size and storage available. You can grow and shrink resources as needed

Disadvantages of Azure

1. Limitation in OS
You cannot have your own OS installed and run, since the OS is already there, irrespective of your choice on windows you have to use it.

2. Tedious task to find fault
Only windows centric applications are supported by Microsoft for technical assistance; hence it could be tedious task to determine where exactly the fault is on a open source application running though windows Azure

3. Load-balancing between the instances may interrupt stateful applications
With Windows Azure, there are at least two instances of each role that the application needs. This may be a problem with some applications that need a stateful connection with the user. A stateful connection is one in which some information about a connection between two systems is retained for future use.

Conclusion

Azure was designed to facilitate the management of scalable Web applications over the Internet. Windows Azure can be used to create, distribute and upgrade Web applications without the need to maintain expensive, often underutilized resources onsite. You can use Azure to build massively scalable applications with lots and lots of users. Because the platform offers a wide range of services, all of these things-and more-are possible.