Windows Azure – The summary

Try telling what Windows Azure is

Before you read the rest of this post just imagine: A friend of yours (who has no experiance with computers other then to use it), and you need to explain to him wat Windows Azure is.
First he will get overwhelmed by all the things you can do with Windows Azure.
You can say the simple phrase : “In short, it’s Microsoft’s cloud platform: a growing collection of integrated services—compute, storage, data, networking, and app—that help you move faster, do more, and save money.” (well that is what Microsoft says on there site).

Scratching the surface
If you have to explain more about what Azure can do it is difficult to stay on the surface without getting to technical.
You’ll miss out a lot of good stuff that Azure can provide. Or if you get to technical your audience will lose interest.
We all have probably seen the basic statements about Windows Azure.

  • Scale to what you need
  • Everywhere in the world
  • It is flexible
  • Hybrid (on-premises and cloud)

That is all nice to know, but still what is Azure?
These are all just general hypes, it sounds nice but doesn’t tell you much.

The overview
Long story short here is a short overview of what Windows Azure holds.
It is difficult to put every in one overview. In later blogs I will tell the different parts in more detail.

Most important everyone loves to hear:
The most people love to hear the fact that Azure can reduce costs on equipment and maintenance.
If you don’t use on-premises machines you also don’t have to maintain it. It is pretty straight forward, but it’s true.
Also Microsoft only lets you pay for the amount that you use.
For example: You have 2 virtual machines in Azure and only one is currently running. You only pay for the usage of 1 virtual machine.
One thing to keep in mind: You don’t pay for the usage of a virtual machine that is not running, but you still pay for the storage it takes up!

Cloud platform:
The Cloud as a platform can:

  • Hold data
    • Azure SQL database
    • Oracle
    • MySql
  • Store
    • Blob storage
    • Table storage
    • Queue storage
  • Compute programs
    • With jobs running on the background:
      • Worker roles
      • Web roles
      • WebJobs
    • Web application
    • Applications running on a Virtual Machine
    • Cloud services
  • Network
    • Azure Active Directory
  • Growing collection of integrated services
    • Business-to-business messaging
    • BizTalk
    • Integrate with SaaS applications (Software as a Service)
    • Hybrid combine on-premises and cloud applications

Azure is a combination of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) + PaaS (Platform as a Service). This will make it possible to have managed and unmanged services that can be used to build, deploy and manage applications in any way.