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Cloud Computing 101: What is Microsoft Azure?

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Microsoft Azure is an ever-expanding set of cloud services to help your organization meet your business challenges. It’s the freedom to build, manage, and deploy applications on a massive, global network using your favorite tools and frameworks.

Azure’s uniqueness lies in the enterprise Azure is an evolving collection of integrated cloud services spanning compute, storage, data, networking, and applications. The platform offers enterprises a smooth and seamless transition to the cloud by offering Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and a hybrid cloud model that leverages organizations’ existing investments on-premises with cloud resources.

Microsoft Azure Services Microsoft Azure offers an extremely large portfolio of cloud services, which it divides into fourteen categories:

  • Compute — includes Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale Sets, Functions for serverless computing, Batch for containerized batch workloads, Service Fabric for microservices and container orchestration, and Cloud Services for building cloud-based apps and APIs

  • Networking — includes a variety of networking tools, like the Virtual Network, which can connect to on-premise data centers; Load Balancer; Application Gateway; VPN Gateway; Azure DNS for domain hosting, Content Delivery Network, Traffic Manager, ExpressRoute dedicated private network fiber connections; and Network Watcher monitoring and diagnostics

  • Storage — includes Blob, Queue, File and Disk Storage, as well as a Data Lake Store, Backup and Site Recovery, among others

  • Web + Mobile — includes several services for building and deploying applications, but the most notable is probably the App Service, which comprises services for Web Apps, Mobile Apps, Logic Apps (a low-code, data-driven service) and API Apps (for creating and using APIs)

  • Containers — includes Container Service, which supports Kubernetes, DC/OS or Docker Swarm, and Container Registry, as well as tools for microservices

  • Databases — includes several SQL-based databases and related tools, as well as Cosmos DB, Table Storage for NoSQL and Redis Cache in-memory technology

  • Data + Analytics — includes big data tools like HDInsight for Hadoop Spark, R Server, HBase and Storm clusters; Stream Analytics; Data Lake Analytics; and Power BI Embedded, among others

  • AI + Cognitive Services — includes multiple tools for developing applications with artificial intelligence capabilities, like the Computer Vision API, Face API, Bing Web Search, Video Indexer, Language Understanding Intelligent Service and more

  • Internet of Things — includes IoT Hub and IoT Edge services that can be combined with a variety of machine learning, analytics and communications services

  • Enterprise Integration — includes multiple tools for building and managing hybrid cloud computing environments

  • Security + Identity — includes Security Center, Azure Active Directory, Key Vault and Multi-Factor Authentication Services

  • Developer Tools — includes cloud development services like Visual Studio Team Services, Azure DevTest Labs, HockeyApp mobile app deployment and monitoring, Xamarin cross-platform mobile development and more

  • Monitoring + Management — includes numerous tools for managing Azure workloads and hybrid cloud environments, such as the Microsoft Azure Port, Azure Resource Manager, Log Analytics, Automation, Scheduler and more

  • Microsoft Azure Stack — includes solutions for replicating Azure infrastructure in enterprise data centers with the goal of facilitating hybrid cloud deployments

Microsoft Azure and SAP

Azure’s unique ability to drive performance, agility, and innovation for SAP landscapes is derived from Microsoft’s enterprise-grade security, global data center availability, scalability to support uniquely large SAP workloads, and integrated tools running on a common Azure platform.

When SAP solutions are moved to the Azure cloud, the business can drive better insight, innovation and business processes:

  • Data analytics powers better, faster decisions and innovation

  • Leading security, global reach, and compliance

  • Microsoft enterprise DNA, partners, and support

  • Microsoft and SAP partnership – shared roadmaps; MS runs SAP on Azure

  • Reliable – High availability for business continuity

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