Microsoft Azure (formerly Windows Azure /ˈæʒər/) is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
|Initial release||February 1, 2010|
|Operating system||Linux, Microsoft Windows|
|License||Closed source for platform, Open source for client SDKs|
Microsoft lists over 600 Azure services, of which some are covered below:
The Microsoft Azure Service Bus allows applications running on Azure premises or off premises devices to communicate with Azure. This helps to build scalable and reliable applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The Azure service bus supports four different types of communication mechanisms:
A global content delivery network (CDN) for audio, video, applications, images, and other static files. It can be used to cache static assets of websites geographically closer to users to increase performance. The network can be managed by a REST based HTTP API.
Azure has 54 point of presence locations worldwide (also known as Edge locations) as of August 2018.
Azure is generally available in 42 regions around the world. Microsoft has announced an additional 12 regions to be opened soon (as of October 2018). Microsoft is the first hyper-scale cloud provider that has committed to building facilities on the continent of Africa with two regions located in South Africa. An Azure geography contains multiple Azure Regions, such as example “North Europe” (Dublin, Ireland), “West Europe” (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Where a location represents the city or area of the Azure Region. Each Azure Region is paired with another region within the same geography; this makes them a regional pair. In this example, Amsterdam and Dublin are the locations which form the regional-pair.
Microsoft has some Gold partners available across the globe to sell its products. In August 2018, Toyota Tsusho began a partnership with Microsoft to create fish farming tools using the Microsoft Azure application suite for IoT technologies related to water management. Developed in part by researchers from Kindai University, the water pump mechanisms use artificial intelligence to count the number of fish on a conveyor belt, analyze the number of fish, and deduce the effectiveness of water flow from the data the fish provide. The specific computer programs used in the process fall under the Azure Machine Learning and the Azure IoT Hub platforms.
Microsoft Azure uses a specialized operating system, called Microsoft Azure, to run its "fabric layer": a cluster hosted at Microsoft's data centers that manages computing and storage resources of the computers and provisions the resources (or a subset of them) to applications running on top of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure has been described as a "cloud layer" on top of a number of Windows Server systems, which use Windows Server 2008 and a customized version of Hyper-V, known as the Microsoft Azure Hypervisor to provide virtualization of services.
Scaling and reliability are controlled by the Microsoft Azure Fabric Controller, which ensures the services and environment do not fail if one or more of the servers fails within the Microsoft data center, and which also provides the management of the user's Web application such as memory allocation and load balancing.
Azure provides an API built on REST, HTTP, and XML that allows a developer to interact with the services provided by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft also provides a client-side managed class library that encapsulates the functions of interacting with the services. It also integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio, Git, and Eclipse.
In addition to interacting with services via API, users can manage Azure services using the Web-based Azure Portal, which reached General Availability in December 2015. The portal allows users to browse active resources, modify settings, launch new resources, and view basic monitoring data from active virtual machines and services. More advanced Azure management services are available.
Microsoft Azure offers two deployment models for cloud resources: the "classic" deployment model and the Azure Resource Manager. In the classic model, each Azure resource (virtual machine, SQL database, etc.) was managed individually. The Azure Resource Manager, introduced in 2014, enables users to create groups of related services so that closely coupled resources can be deployed, managed, and monitored together.
Microsoft has stated that, per the USA Patriot Act, the US government could have access to the data even if the hosted company is not American and the data resides outside the USA. However, Microsoft Azure is compliant with the E.U. Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC). To manage privacy and security-related concerns, Microsoft has created a Microsoft Azure Trust Center, and Microsoft Azure has several of its services compliant with several compliance programs including ISO 27001:2005 and HIPAA. A full and current listing can be found on the Microsoft Azure Trust Center Compliance page. Of special note, Microsoft Azure has been granted JAB Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the U.S. government in accordance with guidelines spelled out under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a U.S. government program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud services used by the federal government.
The following is a list of Microsoft Azure outages and service disruptions.
|2012-02-29||Incorrect code for calculating leap day dates|
|2012-07-26||Misconfigured network device|
|2013-02-22||Expiry of an SSL certificate||Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Video also affected|
|2013-10-30||Worldwide partial compute outage|
|2014-11-18||Azure storage upgrade caused reduced capacity across several regions||Xbox Live, Windows Store, MSN, Search, Visual Studio Online among others were affected.|
|2015-12-03||Active Directory issues|
|2016-09-15||Global DNS outage|
|2017-03-15||Storage tier issues|
|2017-10-03||Fire system glitch|
|2018-06-20||Cooling system failure||North Europe region experienced 11 hours of downtime|
|2018-09-04||Cooling system failure due to inadequate surge protection (lightning strike)||Brought down numerous services in multiple regions for over 25 hours, with some services remaining affected until three days later|
21Vianet Group claims to be the largest carrier-neutral Internet and data center service provider in China. It is the exclusive operator of Microsoft Azure and Office 365 services in China, and also houses data centers for IBM and others.Amazon Redshift
Amazon Redshift is an Internet hosting service and data warehouse product which forms part of the larger cloud-computing platform Amazon Web Services. It is built on top of technology from the massive parallel processing (MPP) data warehouse company ParAccel (later acquired by Actian), to handle large scale data sets and database migrations. Redshift differs from Amazon's other hosted database offering, Amazon RDS, in its ability to handle analytic workloads on big data data sets stored by a column-oriented DBMS principle.
Amazon Redshift is based on an older version of PostgreSQL 8.0.2, and Redshift has made changes to that version. An initial preview beta was released in November 2012 and a full release was made available on February 15, 2013. The service can handle connections from most other applications using ODBC and JDBC connections.According to Cloud Data Warehouse report published by Forrester in Q4 2018, Amazon Redshift has the largest Cloud data warehouse deployments, with more than 6,500 deployments. In 2018, Redshift came second in a industry wide benchmark test run by Gigaom, behind Microsoft Azure, but ahead of Google BigQuery and Snowflake Computing.
Amazon has listed a number of business intelligence software proprietors as partners and tested tools in their "APN Partner" program, including Actian, Actuate Corporation, Alteryx, Dundas Data Visualization, IBM Cognos, InetSoft, Infor, Logi Analytics, Looker (company), MicroStrategy, Pentaho, Qlik, SiSense, Tableau Software, and Yellowfin. Partner companies providing data integration tools include Informatica and SnapLogic. System integration and consulting partners include Accenture, Deloitte, Capgemini and DXC Technology.Apache MXNet
The MXNet library is portable and can scale to multiple GPUs and multiple machines. MXNet is supported by public cloud providers including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Amazon has chosen MXNet as its deep learning framework of choice at AWS. Currently, MXNet is supported by Intel, Dato, Baidu, Microsoft, Wolfram Research, and research institutions such as Carnegie Mellon, MIT, the University of Washington, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.Azure
Azure may refer to:
Azure (color), a hue of blue
Shades of azure, shades and variations
Azure (barley), a malting barley variety
Azure (design magazine), Toronto, Ontario
Azure (magazine), a periodical on Jewish thought and identity
Azure (heraldry), a blue tincture on flags or coats of arms
Azure (album), an album by jazz flugelhornist Art Farmer
"Azure" (song), by Duke Ellington
Azure, Alberta, a locality in Canada
Azure, Montana, a census-designated place in the United States
Azure Window, a former natural arch in Malta
Bentley Azure, a car
Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform
Mozilla Azure, a graphics abstraction APIAzure Sphere
Azure Sphere is a Linux-based operating system created by Microsoft for Internet of Things applications. It is the first time Microsoft has publicly released an operating system running the Linux kernel and the second Unix-like operating system that the company has developed for external (public) users – the other being Xenix. The name is derived from Microsoft Azure services.
The first supported processor is the ARM based MediaTek MT3620.Bluemix
IBM Bluemix is a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) developed by IBM. It supports several programming languages and services as well as integrated DevOps to build, run, deploy and manage applications on the cloud. Bluemix is based on Cloud Foundry open technology and runs on SoftLayer infrastructure. Bluemix supports several programming languages including Java, Node.js, Go, PHP, Swift, Python, Ruby Sinatra, Ruby on Rails and can be extended to support other languages such as Scala through the use of buildpacks.Chef (software)
Chef is a company and the name of a configuration management tool written in Ruby and Erlang. It uses a pure-Ruby, domain-specific language (DSL) for writing system configuration "recipes". Chef is used to streamline the task of configuring and maintaining a company's servers, and can integrate with cloud-based platforms such as Internap, Amazon EC2, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud, OpenStack, SoftLayer, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace to automatically provision and configure new machines. Chef contains solutions for both small and large scale systems, with features and pricing for the respective ranges.Citrix Cloud
Citrix Cloud is a cloud management platform that allows organizations to deploy cloud-hosted desktops and apps to end users. It was developed by Citrix Systems and released in 2015.Cloud database
A cloud database is a database that typically runs on a cloud computing platform, and access to the database is provided as-a-service.
Database services take care of scalability and high availability of the database. Database services make the underlying software-stack transparent to the user.F5 Networks
F5 Networks, Inc. is a global company that specializes in application services and application delivery networking (ADN). F5 technologies focus on the delivery, security, performance, and availability of web applications, as well as the availability of servers, cloud resources, data storage devices, and other networking components. F5 is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, with additional development, manufacturing, and sales/marketing offices worldwide.
Known originally for its load balancing product, today F5's product and services line has expanded into all things related to the delivery of applications, including local load balancing and acceleration, global (DNS based) load balancing and acceleration, security through web application firewall and application authentication and access products, DDoS defense. F5 technologies are available in the data center and the cloud, including private, public, and multi-cloud environments based on platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and OpenStack.Function as a service
Function as a service (FaaS) is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage application functionalities without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app. Building an application following this model is one way of achieving a "serverless" architecture, and is typically used when building microservices applications.
FaaS was initially offered by various start-ups circa 2010, such as PiCloud.AWS Lambda, was the first FaaS offering by a large public cloud vendor, followed by Google Cloud Functions, Microsoft Azure Functions, IBM/Apache's OpenWhisk (open source) in 2016 and Oracle Cloud Fn (open source) in 2017.ICloud
iCloud is a cloud storage and cloud computing service from Apple Inc. launched on October 12, 2011. As of 2018, the service had an estimated 850 million users, up from 782 million users in 2016.iCloud enables users to store data such as documents, photos, and music on remote servers for download to iOS, macOS or Windows devices, to share and send data to other users, and to manage their Apple devices if lost or stolen.
iCloud also provides the means to wirelessly back up iOS devices directly to iCloud, instead of being reliant on manual backups to a host Mac or Windows computer using iTunes. Service users are also able to share photos, music, and games instantly by linking accounts via AirDrop wireless.
iCloud replaced Apple's MobileMe service, acting as a data syncing center for email, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, reminders (to-do lists), iWork documents, photos, and other data.
Apple has eleven company owned and operated data centers supporting iCloud services. The company has six data centers in the United States, two in Denmark, and three in Asia. One of Apple's original iCloud data centers is located in Maiden, North Carolina, US.Beginning in 2011, iCloud is based on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure (Apple iOS Security white paper published in 2014, Apple acknowledged that encrypted iOS files are stored in Amazon S3 and Microsoft Azure). In 2016, Apple signed a deal with Google to use Google Cloud Platform for some iCloud services.In October 2016, Bloomberg reported that Apple was working on project Pie which aims to improve the speed and experience of Apple's online services by being operated more directly by Apple. Also it was reported that Apple was going to relocate all of its services employees to the Apple Campus (1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California), as many other employees would be moving to the Apple Park.MLab
mLab is a fully managed cloud database service that hosts MongoDB databases. mLab runs on cloud providers Amazon, Google, and Microsoft Azure, and has partnered with platform-as-a-service providers.
In May 2011, mLab secured $3 million in first-round funding from Foundry Group, Baseline Ventures, Upfront Ventures, Freestyle Capital and David Cohen.In October 2012, mLab received a follow-on investment of $5 million and shortly thereafter, mLab was named by Network World as one of the 10 most useful cloud databases along with Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud SQL, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace, and others.
In June 2014, MongoDB Inc. announced a fully managed highly available MongoDB-as-a-Service Add-On offering on the Microsoft Azure store. The offering is delivered in collaboration with Microsoft and mLab.In February 2016, mLab changed its name from MongoLab to mLab to expand into new areas and products.In October 2018, mLab announced that it will be acquired by MongoDB Inc., citing reasons of a shared vision and engineering culture. All engineers at mLab have been invited to join MongoDB Inc. All of mLab's customers will be transitioned to MongoDB Atlas instances. The acquisition "is expected to close in the fourth quarter of MongoDB’s fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2019".Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching
Microsoft Azure Dev Tools for Teaching or simply Azure Dev Tools for Teaching is a Microsoft program to provide students with software design and development tools at free of cost. The program is available for university/college and K-12 students in more than 120 countries.It has formerly been known as Microsoft Imagine, DreamSpark and MSDN-AA.Microsoft Azure SQL Database
Microsoft Azure SQL Database (formerly SQL Azure, SQL Server Data Services, SQL Services, and Windows Azure SQL Database) is a managed cloud database (SaaS) provided as part of Microsoft Azure.
A cloud database is a database that runs on a cloud computing platform, and access to it is provided as a service. Managed database services take care of scalability, backup, and high availability of the database. Azure SQL Database is a managed database service which is different from AWS RDS which is a container service.
Microsoft Azure SQL Database includes built-in intelligence that learns app patterns and adapts to maximize performance, reliability, and data protection.
It was originally announced in 2009 and released in 2010.
Key capabilities include:
Continuous learning of your unique app patterns, adaptive performance tuning, and automatic improvements to reliability and data protection
Scaling as needed, with virtually no app downtime
Management and monitoring of multitenant apps with isolation benefits of one-customer-per-database
Leverage open source tools like cheetah, sql-cli, VS Code and Microsoft tools like Visual Studio and SQL Server Management Studio, Azure Management Portal, PowerShell, and REST APIs
Data protection with encryption, authentication, limiting user access to the appropriate subset of the data, continuous monitoring and auditing to help detect potential threats and provide a record of critical events in case of a breachMicrosoft Azure Web Sites
Microsoft Azure Web Sites is a cloud computing based platform for hosting websites, created and operated by Microsoft. Microsoft Azure Web Sites is a platform as a service (PaaS) which allows publishing Web apps running on multiple frameworks and written in different programming languages (.NET, node.js, PHP, Python and Java), including Microsoft proprietary ones and 3rd party ones. Microsoft Azure Web Sites became available in its first preview version in June 2012, and an official version ("General Availability") was announced in June 2013. Microsoft Azure Web Sites was originally named Windows Azure Web Sites, but was renamed as part of a re-branding move across Azure in March 2014. It was subsequently renamed "App Services" in March 2015.Nasuni
Nasuni is a privately held cloud storage company with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 2008, and has raised approximately $120M, with the last funding a $38M investment by Goldman Sachs.The firm's storage software uses object storage, local file caching appliances, and the company's proprietary UniFS global file system to offer a hybrid cloud solution for Network Attached Storage. Nasuni integrates with public cloud storage platforms, such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, and private cloud storage platforms such as IBM Cloud Object Storage and EMC Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS). Such storage platforms provide an object-based storage infrastructure, on top of which UniFS creates a complete versioned file system. The Nasuni platform stores customer data as a sequence of snapshots that include every version of every file. The firm has demonstrated the ability to store more than one billion objects in a single storage volume.Nasuni Edge Appliances run on-premises to provide shared access to active files. These Appliances can be virtual, running on existing infrastructure (including VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V), or physical, running on hardware offered by Nasuni. The appliances can also run in the cloud as a Microsoft Azure or Amazon EC2 virtual appliance. Hardware appliance choices include systems with solid-state drives.Nasuni holds a number of patents for technologies that support the Nasuni enterprise file services platform, including:
A cached file system that stores data and metadata in a cloud object store .
A cloud service that coordinates management of file locks across multiple locations to enable collaboration without file conflict.
A cloud service that coordinates the creation of versions of a shared volume across multiple locations .
A versioned file system with fast restore .Scott Guthrie
Scott Guthrie is an Executive Vice President of the Cloud and Enterprise group in Microsoft. He is best known for his work on ASP.NET, which he and colleague Mark Anders developed while at Microsoft.He runs the Microsoft Azure (formerly known as Windows Azure) team as well as the development teams that build Windows Server, Microsoft SQL Server, Active Directory, System Center, Visual Studio and .NET.
Guthrie graduated with a degree in computer science from Duke University. Following this, he chose to focus on his major and joined Microsoft in 1997. He frequently presents wearing a signature red shirt and speaks at many of the major Microsoft conferences.
In October 2016, Guthrie unveiled the capabilities of Microsoft’s Azure-based Dynamics 365 service in a demo at a Summit conference in Tampa, Florida.Unit4
Unit4 is a software company that designs and delivers enterprise software and ERP applications and related professional services for people in services organizations, with a special focus on the professional services, education, public services, and not-for-profit sectors.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, it has subsidiaries and offices in 26 countries across Europe, North America, the Asia-Pacific region and Africa.
The company is best known for its Unit4 Business World (formerly Agresso) ERP suite and Unit4 Financials (formerly Coda) accounting software. In 2015, Unit4 announced a partnership with Microsoft to build self-driving business applications on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Unit4 is the major shareholder of FinancialForce.com, a cloud applications company based in San Francisco.
|As a service|
Major Internet companies
Companies with an annual revenue of over US$2 billion
|Largest Internet companies|