Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform which launched in February 2010. It is a collection of integrated services for building, deploying and hosting applications and services through a global network of Microsoft managed data centres.   

What is cloud computing?

The idea behind cloud computing is that it stops organisations having to have their own data centres or collection of physical servers, which both need to be managed and are very energy inefficient.  For example, data centres have to be air conditioned so that the servers don’t overheat.

It is the large-scale equivalent of your Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, which stores your files on big servers that you access via an internet connection, instead of on your own computer’s hard drive. 

Cloud software runs on a remote server belonging to the company who makes or operates that software, and when you want to use it you access your account online. 

A History of Azure

During the 1980s – 2000s, Microsoft’s Windows system was the go-to operating system, enabling home PC users and businesses alike to interact with their computers. But with the cloud computing revolution of the late 2000s, competitors like Amazon Web Services (launched in 2006) introduced online services for developers to make new websites and complex applications from one basic framework. 

To prevent being left behind, Microsoft launched Azure, a cloud platform for .NET and other developers to interact with. Microsoft has now opened up the Azure environment, adding support for non-Microsoft technologies in order to widen its appeal to all kinds of developers. Microsoft has also built a large number of technologies specifically for the Azure platform.

The benefits of Microsoft Azure

Compared to on-premises and some traditional hosting providers, Microsoft Azure can help increase efficiency and reduce costs. It is reliable, offering platform uptime guarantees of 99.95% and can be coupled with multi-region failover to further increase reliability.

Microsoft Azure offers a variety of services, including virtual machines, databases, storage, networking, analytics, artificial intelligence & Internet of Things (IoT). Infotex use many of the Azure services as part of our technical toolkit. For example, “WebApps” is used to power some of our web applications coupled to Azure’s cloud based SQL Server database.

If you would like to discuss what would be most suitable for your needs, speak to one of our experts today .

Author: Jonathan Smith

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