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Story on Azure Cloud by Anushka Jain

Updated: Oct 16


Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Azure Cloud

  3. Cloud Services provided by Azure

  4. Types of Azure Cloud Services

  5. Azure Regions and Data Centers

  6. Azure Resource Group

  7. Conclusion


Introduction


Cloud computing is expanding rapidly into all areas of businesses, creating new and exciting business opportunities. These opportunities include major activities that can be done through the services provided in cloud computing by various platforms. Cloud computing is a platform that provides access to a number of computing resources over the internet including server less computing, virtual machines, storage and many more with minimal management effort or any third- party involvement.

To understand Cloud Computing, please refer to my previous blog -


Basics of Cloud Computing : All You Need to Know



Azure Cloud


Azure is a cloud provider owned by Microsoft which provides a growing collection of integrated cloud services which developers and IT professionals use to build, locate and manage applications via Internet. It also provides us with services like storing our data and transforming it, depending upon our requirements. It is a free to start and pay-per-use model, which means we pay only for the services we opt for.


Azure was launched on February 1, 2010. Currently and interestingly, 80% of fortune 500 companies use Azure services for their cloud computing needs because of its high level of availability and reliability. Azure is available around a number of data centers across the world. There 42 Azure data centers spread across the globe, which is the highest number of data centers of a cloud platform.



Cloud Services provided by Azure


Azure has made significant advances over the years. It offers a set of features and capabilities for surpassing its competitors. The following are some important aspects wherein Azure performs better than other Cloud Service Providers:


  • Virtual Machines: We can create Windows or Linux virtual machines of any configuration in a matter of seconds. Its easy to configure, increase or decrease RAM, add or remove storage and so on. All of it is possible in a matter of seconds.


  • Storage Services: Microsoft’s global infrastructure provides us with safe and highly accessible data storage with a massive scalability at an intelligent pricing structure that lets us store every type of data at a huge savings, building a safe and cost effective storage plan.


  • Data Management: Azure offers managed SQL relational databases, from one to an unlimited number, as a service. These databases support rapid growth and innovate faster with secure, enterprise-grade, and fully managed database services. This saves our overhead expenses on hardware and software.


  • Media Services: These services are mainly used for encoding, content protection and analytics. These services are provided under PaaS services.


  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence: There is a wide range of services that a developer can use to infuse Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning capabilities into applications and data sets. The services include face recognition and verification, clip art recognition, etc. They perform predictive analytics of data using speech and natural intelligence under Cortona (Microsoft’s personal productivity assistant).


  • Internet of Things (IoT): These services help users capture, monitor and analyze IoT data from sensors and other devices. Services include notifications, analytics, monitoring and support of code (Java, Node Js and C#) and execution.


  • CDN – Content Delivery Network: It is a service used for delivering content to users. It uses a high bandwidth, and content that can be transferred to any person around the globe The CDN services uses a network of servers places strategically around the globe so that the users can access the data as soon as possible.



Types of Azure Cloud Services


1. IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

This is the initial phase in the cloud computing that provides clients with pay-as-per-use access to storage, virtual machines, networking, servers, operating systems, and other computing resources which results in saving the costs of buying and maintaining enterprises with their own hardware. There can be no single point of failure because of the data present in cloud in this service.


2. PaaS (Platform as a Service)

PaaS is a type of cloud computing service that offers users with its cloud environment in which they can develop, test, manage, and deliver the software applications. This type of service also makes it easier for the users to quickly create web or mobile applications without worrying about setting or managing the underlying infrastructure. It also manages the security, operating systems, servers and backups.


3. SaaS (Software as a Service)

This service uses a method of delivering software applications via internet on demand and typically on a subscription basis. Here, instead of users having to install the applications on their local devices, the applications reside on a remote cloud network accessed over internet from virtually anywhere around the world via web browser, phone, PC, or tablet. All the data is secure in the cloud; equipment failure does not result in the loss of data.




Azure Regions and Data Centers


Now, Microsoft has its own data centers and regions across the world that provides 600+ services.


An Azure data center is a unique physical building that contains thousands of physical servers with its own power, cooling, and networking infrastructure. Whereas, an Azure region is a set of data centers that are connected through a dedicated low-latency network. Here, low-latency describes a computer network that is optimized to process a very high volume of data messages with minimal delay. In Azure regions, we have the flexibility to deploy applications and data to any azure regions we want. We can even deploy across multiple regions to deliver cross-region resiliency.


Currently, data centers are located all over the globe. As of November 2020, there are over 160+ Azure data centers worldwide. The exact location of these data centers is not published by Microsoft for obvious security reasons.


Talking about India, Microsoft currently has 3 Azure regions in India which include Pune, Chennai, Mumbai that all opened in 2015. In 2019, Microsoft partnered with Reliance Jio with the local telco to build data centers in India that runs Microsoft’s Azure Cloud.

Microsoft Azure uses Geographies (mostly countries, continents as well), Regions (cities) and availability zones. In fact, almost all of the major cloud infrastructure providers these days follow this pattern to describe their data center locations.


Microsoft Azure has data center regions in following main geographies:


Africa

Azure Data Center Region

Location

South Africa North

Johannesberg

South Africa West

Cape Town


Australia

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Australia Central

Canberra

Australia Center 2

Canberra

Australia East

New South Wales

Australia Southeast

Victoria


Canada

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Canada Central

Toronto

Canada East

Quebec City


China

Azure Data Center Region

Location

China East

Shanghai

China East 2

Shanghai

China North

Beijing

China North 2

Beijing


Europe

Azure Data Center Region

Location

North Europe

Ireland

West Europe

Netherlands


Germany

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Germany Central (Sovereign)

Frankfurt

Germany North (Public)

Berlin

Germany Northeast (Sovereign)

Magdeburg

Germany West Central (Public)

Frankfurt


India

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Central India

Pune

South India

Chennai

West India

Mumbai


Italy

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Italy North

Milan


Japan

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Japan East

Tokyo, Saitama

Japan West

Osaka


Korea

Azure Data Center Region

Location

Korea Central

Seoul