Azure provides greater range of cloud based services with added features. azure services are enhanced every month means services are introduced gradually in certain period of time.
Most commonly used features are as below :
Compute Services provides options for hosting applications and services. It includes virtual machines, containers and serverless computing including micro services (performing calculation, executing logic,running applications). Here are some examples of compute services in Azure:
Azure Virtual Machines : Windows or Linux virtual machines hosted in Azure
Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets : Scaling for Windows or Linux VMs hosted in Azure
Azure Kubernetes Service : Enables management of a cluster of VMs that run containerized services
Azure Service Fabric : Distributed systems platform. Runs in Azure or on-premises
Azure Batch : Managed service for parallel and high-performance computing applications
Azure Container Instances : Provides containers without requiring VM provision or higher services
Azure Functions : An event-driven, serverless compute service
Azure networking function is to link compute resources and provide access to applications. Also includes different range of options to connect different regions in world to services and features in the global Microsoft Azure datacenters.
There are three primary types of cloud computing services in azure : Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). For each type, the responsibilities of the nine major layers of management vary between the vendor of the service and the client (you).For example, Desktop-as-a-Service really has IaaS as a foundation.
Infrastructure as a service IaaS
IaaS can be thought of as a virtual machine in the cloud. we can say its an instant computing infrastructure, provisioned and managed over the Internet. Cloud computing service provider manages the infrastructure, while you purchase, install, configure and manage your own software—operating systems, middleware and applications. This means provider has a virtual environment, and you purchase virtual machine instances. You then manage the operating system, the patching, the data, and the applications within.
iaas paas saas diagram
Below iaas paas saas diagram will give clear idea about the difference between iaas paas and saas.
iaas examples include Amazon’s Elastic Computing 2 (EC2) and Azure IaaS, which offer organizations the ability to run operating systems inside cloud-based virtual environments.
Business uses IaaS
Test and development : Teams can quickly set up and dismantle test and development environments, bringing new applications to market faster. IaaS makes it quick and economical to scale up dev-test environments up and down.
Website hosting : Running websites using IaaS can be less expensive than traditional web hosting.
Storage, backup and recovery : Organisations avoid the capital outlay for storage and complexity of storage management, which typically requires a skilled staff to manage data and meet legal and compliance requirements. IaaS is useful for handling unpredictable demand and steadily growing storage needs. It can also simplify planning and management of backup and recovery systems.
Web apps : IaaS provides all the infrastructure to support web apps, including storage, web and application servers and networking resources. Organisations can quickly deploy web apps on IaaS and easily scale infrastructure up and down when demand for the apps is unpredictable.
High-performance computing : High-performance computing (HPC) on supercomputers, computer grids or computer clusters helps solve complex problems involving millions of variables or calculations. Examples include earthquake and protein folding simulations, climate and weather predictions, financial modeling and evaluating product designs.
Big data analysis : Big data is a popular term for massive data sets that contain potentially valuable patterns, trends and associations. Mining data sets to locate or tease out these hidden patterns requires a huge amount of processing power, which IaaS economically provides.
benefits of IaaS
Eliminates capital expense and reduces ongoing cost. IaaS sidesteps the upfront expense of setting up and managing an on-site datacenter, making it an economical option for start-ups and businesses testing new ideas.
Improves business continuity and disaster recovery. Achieving high availability, business continuity and disaster recovery is expensive, since it requires a significant amount of technology and staff. But with the right service level agreement (SLA) in place, IaaS can reduce this cost and access applications and data as usual during a disaster or outage.
Innovate rapidly. As soon as you have decided to launch a new product or initiative, the necessary computing infrastructure can be ready in minutes or hours, rather than the days or weeks—and sometimes months—it could take to set up internally.
Respond quicker to shifting business conditions. IaaS enables you to quickly scale up resources to accommodate spikes in demand for your application— during the holidays, for example—then scale resources back down again when activity decreases to save money.
Focus on your core business. IaaS frees up your team to focus on your organisation’s core business rather than on IT infrastructure.
Increase stability, reliability and supportability. With IaaS there is no need to maintain and upgrade software and hardware or troubleshoot equipment problems. With the appropriate agreement in place, the service provider assures that your infrastructure is reliable and meets SLAs.
Better security. With the appropriate service agreement, a cloud service provider can provide security for your applications and data that may be better than what you can attain in-house.
Gets new apps to users faster. Because you don’t need to first set up the infrastructure before you can develop and deliver apps, you can get them to users faster with IaaS.
Platform as a service PaaS
PaaS is a complete development and deployment environment in the cloud that provides a framework where custom applications can be run. Organizations only need to focus on writing application within the guidelines of the platform capabilities and everything else is taken care of. There are no worries about patching operating systems, updating frameworks, backing up SQL databases, configuring high availability. The organization just writes the application and pays for the resource used.
Like IaaS, PaaS includes infrastructure—servers, storage and networking—but also middleware, development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems and more. PaaS is designed to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing and updating.
PaaS allows you to avoid the expense and complexity of buying and managing software licenses, the underlying application infrastructure and middleware or the development tools and other resources. You manage the applications and services you develop and the cloud service provider typically manages everything else.
Azure is the classic example of a PaaS.
Business uses PaaS
Development framework : PaaS provides a framework that developers can build upon to develop or customize cloud-based applications. Similar to the way you create an Excel macro, PaaS lets developers create applications using built-in software components. Cloud features such as scalability, high-availability and multi-tenant capability are included, reducing the amount of coding that developers must do.
Analytics or business intelligence : Tools provided as a service with PaaS allow organisations to analyse and mine their data, finding insights and patterns and predicting outcomes to improve forecasting, product design decisions, investment returns and other business decisions.
Additional services : PaaS providers may offer other services that enhance applications, such as workflow, directory, security and scheduling.
benefits of PaaS
By delivering infrastructure as a service, PaaS offers the same advantages as IaaS. But its additional features—middleware, development tools and other business tools—give you more advantages:
Cut coding time : PaaS development tools can cut the time it takes to code new apps with pre-coded application components built into the platform, such as workflow, directory services, security features, search and so on.
Add development capabilities without adding staff : Platform as a Service components can give your development team new capabilities without your needing to add staff having the required skills.
Develop for multiple platforms—including mobile—more easily. Some service providers give you development options for multiple platforms, such as computers, mobile devices and browsers making cross-platform apps quicker and easier to develop.
Use sophisticated tools affordably : A pay-as-you-go model makes it possible for individuals or organisations to use sophisticated development software and business intelligence and analytics tools that they could not afford to purchase outright.
Support geographically distributed development teams : Because the development environment is accessed over the Internet, development teams can work together on projects even when team members are in remote locations.
Efficiently manage the application lifecycle : PaaS provides all of the capabilities that you need to support the complete web application lifecycle: building, testing, deploying, managing and updating within the same integrated environment.
Software as a service SaaS
The complete solution is provided by the vendor. allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps over the Internet. The organization has nothing to write or maintain other than configuring who should be allowed to use the software. SaaS is the ultimate in low maintenance.
You rent the use of an app for your organisation and users connect to it over the Internet web browser. All of the underlying infrastructure, middleware, app software and app data are located in the service provider’s data center. The service provider manages the hardware and software and with the appropriate service agreement. This will ensure availability and security of the app and your data as well. SaaS allows organisation to get quickly up and running with an app at minimal upfront cost.
email, calendaring and office tools (such as Microsoft Office 365) are examples of commercial SaaS. Office 365, which provides cloud-hosted Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync services accessed over the Internet with no application or operating system management for the organization, is an enterprise example.
Business uses SaaS
If you have used a web-based email service such as Outlook, Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, then you have already used a form of SaaS. With these services, you log into your account over the Internet, often from a web browser. The email software is located on the service provider’s network and your messages are stored there as well. You can access your email and stored messages from a web browser on any computer or Internet-connected device.
The previous examples are free services for personal use. For organisational use, you can rent productivity apps, such as email, collaboration and calendaring; and sophisticated business applications such as customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and document management. You pay for the use of these apps by subscription or according to the level of use.
benefits of SaaS
Gain access to sophisticated applications. To provide SaaS apps to users, you don’t need to purchase, install, update or maintain any hardware, middleware or software. SaaS makes even sophisticated enterprise applications, such as ERP and CRM, affordable for organisations that lack the resources to buy, deploy and manage the required infrastructure and software themselves.
Pay only for what you use. You also save money because the SaaS service automatically scales up and down according to the level of usage.
Use free client software. Users can run most SaaS apps directly from their web browser without needing to download and install any software, although some apps require plugins. This means that you don’t need to purchase and install special software for your users.
Mobilise your workforce easily. SaaS makes it easy to “mobilise” your workforce because users can access SaaS apps and data from any Internet-connected computer or mobile device. You don’t need to worry about developing apps to run on different types of computers and devices because the service provider has already done so. In addition, you don’t need to bring special expertise onboard to manage the security issues inherent in mobile computing. A carefully chosen service provider will ensure the security of your data, regardless of the type of device consuming it.
Access app data from anywhere. With data stored in the cloud, users can access their information from any Internet-connected computer or mobile device. And when app data is stored in the cloud, no data is lost if a user’s computer or device fails.
The common question in every mind is what is hybrid cloud ? let me share in hybrid cloud azure combine on-premises infrastructure, or private clouds, with public clouds so organizations can reap the advantages of both. In a hybrid cloud, data and applications can move between private and public clouds for greater flexibility and more deployment options. For instance, you can use the public cloud for high-volume, lower-security needs such as web-based email and the private cloud (or other on-premise infrastructure) for sensitive, business-critical operations like financial reporting. In a hybrid cloud, “cloud bursting” is also an option. This is when an application or resource runs in the private cloud until there is a spike in demand (such as seasonal event like online shopping or tax filing), at which point the organization can “burst through” to the public cloud to tap into additional computing resources.
hybrid cloud benefits
Control : your organization can maintain a private infrastructure for sensitive assets.
Flexibility : you can take advantage of additional resources in the public cloud when you need them.
Cost-effectiveness : with the ability to scale to the public cloud, you pay for extra computing power only when needed.
Ease : Transitioning to the cloud does not have to be overwhelming because you can migrate gradually—phasing in workloads over time.
A private cloud consists of computing resources used exclusively by one business or organization. The private cloud can be physically located at your organizations on-site data center or it can be hosted by a third-party service provider. But in a private cloud, the services and infrastructure are always maintained on a private network and the hardware and software are dedicated solely to your organization. In this way, a private cloud can make it easier for an organization to customize its resources to meet specific IT requirements. Private clouds are often used by government agencies, financial institutions, any other mid- to large-size organizations with business-critical operations seeking enhanced control over their environment.
advantages of private cloud
More flexibility—your organization can customize its cloud environment to meet specific business needs.
Improved security—resources are not shared with others, so higher levels of control and security are possible.
High scalability—private clouds still afford the scalability and efficiency of a public cloud.
It is also known as an internal or enterprise cloud, resides on company’s intranet or hosted data center where all of your data is protected behind a firewall.
disadvantages of private cloud
The main drawback people see with a private cloud is that all management, maintenance and updating of data centers is the responsibility of the company. Over time, it’s expected that your servers will need to be replaced.
public cloud in cloud computing are the most common way of deploying cloud computing. The cloud resources (like servers and storage) are owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivered over the Internet. Microsoft Azure is an example of a public cloud. With a public cloud, all hardware, software and other supporting infrastructure is owned and managed by the cloud provider. In a public cloud, you share the same hardware, storage and network devices with other organisations or cloud “tenants.” You access services and manage your account using a web browser. Public cloud deployments are frequently used to provide web-based email, online office applications, storage and testing and development environments.
Advantages of public cloud
Lower costs : no need to purchase hardware or software and you pay only for the service you use.
No maintenance : your service provider provides the maintenance.
Near-unlimited scalability : on-demand resources are available to meet your business needs.
High reliability : a vast network of servers ensures against failure.
The public cloud represents services offered by an external party that can be accessed over the Internet. The services are not limited and can be purchased as you consume the service. This is a key difference from an on-premises infrastructure. With the public cloud, you only pay for the amount of service you consume when you use it. For example, I only pay for the amount of storage I am using at any moment in time; the charge does not include the potential amount of storage I may need in a few years’ time. I only pay for the virtual machines I need turned on right now; I can increase the number of virtual machines when I need them and only pay for those extra virtual machines while they are running.
Turn It Off : In Azure, virtual machines are billed on a per-minute basis. If I run an 8-vCPU virtual machine for 12 hours each month, then I only pay the cost for 12 hours of runtime. Note that it does not matter how busy the VM is. You pay the same price whether the vCPUs in the VM are running at 100 percent or 1 percent processor utilization. It’s important to shut down and deprovision from the Azure fabric any virtual machines that are not required to avoid paying for resources you don’t need. ( Deprovision just means the virtual machine no longer has resources reserved in the Azure fabric.) the virtual machine can be restarted when you need it again. At that point, resources are allocated in the fabric automatically; the VM will start as expected.
In addition to the essentially limitless capacity, this pay-as-you-go model is what sets the public cloud apart from on-premises solutions. Think back to organizations needing DR services. Using the public cloud ensures there are minimal costs for providing disaster recovery. During normal running, you only pay for the storage used for the replicated data and virtual environments. Only in the case of an actual disaster would you start the virtual machines in the public cloud. You stop paying for them when you can fail back to on-premises.
There are other types of charges associated with the public cloud. For example, Azure does not charge for ingress bandwidth (data sent into Azure—Microsoft is fully invested in letting you get as much data into Azure as possible), but there are charges for egress (outbound) data.
There are different tiers of storage, some of which are geo-replicated, so your data in Azure is stored at two data centers that may be hundreds of miles apart. The common theme is you pay only for what you use.
If most organizations’ IT requirements were analyzed, you would find many instances where resource requirements for a particular service are not flat. In fact, they vary greatly at different times of the day, week, month, or year. There are systems that perform end-of-month batch processing. These are idle all month, and then consume huge amounts of resources for one day at the end of the month. There are companies that are idle for most of the year but that are very busy for two months.
Test and development : Test and development servers are less risky than production workloads and typically has a high amount of churn, means environments are created and deleted frequently. This translates to a lot of work for the IT teams unless the private cloud has been implemented.
Disaster Recovery : As discussed, for most companies a DR action should never be required. However, DR capability is required in that extremely rare event when it’s needed. By using the public cloud, the cost to implement DR is minimal, especially when compared to costs of a second data center.
International DMZ : Number of companies that would like to offer services globally. This can be challenging—having data centers in many countries is hugely expensive and can even be politically difficult. By using a public cloud that is geographically distributed, it’s easy to offer services around the world with minimal latencies for the end users.
Special Projects : Imagine a campaign or special analytics project that requires large amounts of infrastructure for a short period of time. The public cloud is perfect for this, especially when certain types of licensing (for example, SQL Server licensing) can be purchased as consumed and other resources are paid for only as required.
Get Out of the Data center Business : Many companies that just don’t want to maintain data centers anymore. These organizations will move as much as possible to the public cloud and maintain minimal on-premises infrastructure needed for certain services, such as domain controllers and file and print servers.
What is cloud computing ? Cloud computing or cloud computing services is the delivery of computing services (servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence) over Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently and scale as your business needs change.
advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing
Lets discuss about what are advantages of cloud computing :
Cost : Eliminates Capital expense of buying hardware and software and setting up and running on-site data centers—the racks of servers, the round-the-clock electricity for power and cooling, the IT experts for managing the infrastructure.
Speed : Computing services are provided self service and on demand, so even vast amounts of computing resources can be provisioned in minutes, providing businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning.
Global Scale : Another benefits include ability to scale elastically means delivering right amount of IT resources (computing power, storage, bandwidth) during need and from the right geographic location.
Productivity : Eliminates many tasks like “racking and stacking”—hardware set up, software patching and other time-consuming IT management chores, which leads IT teams to spend time on achieving more important business goals.
Performance : Cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centers, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This add several benefits over a single corporate data center, including reduced network latency for applications and greater economies of scale.
Security : Many cloud providers offer a broad set of policies, technologies and controls that strengthen your security posture overall, helping protect your data, apps and infrastructure from potential threats.
disadvantages of cloud computing includes as below
Vendor Lock-In : Vendor lock-in is a disadvantage of cloud computing. Differences between vendor platforms may create difficulties in migrating from one cloud platform to another, which could equate to additional costs and configuration complexities. Gaps or compromises made during a migration could also expose your data to additional security and privacy vulnerabilities.
Types of cloud computing
Not all clouds are the same and not one type of cloud computing is right for everyone. Several different models, types and services have evolved to help offer the right solution for your needs. There are 3 types of cloud computing deployments: public, private and hybrid. First, you need to determine the type of cloud deployment or cloud computing architecture, that your cloud services will be implemented on. There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud or hybrid cloud.
services of cloud computing
services of cloud computing fall into four broad categories: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), serverless and software as a service (SaaS). We can say these as cloud computing stack because they build on top of one another.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) : The most basic category of cloud computing services. With IaaS, you rent IT infrastructure—servers and virtual machines (VMs), storage, networks, operating systems—from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. To learn more, see What is IaaS?
Platform as a service (PaaS) : Platform as a service refers to cloud computing services that supply an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering and managing software applications. PaaS is designed to make it easier for developers to quickly create web or mobile apps, without worrying about setting up or managing the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network and databases needed for development. To learn more, see What is PaaS?
Serverless computing : Overlapping with PaaS, serverless computing focuses on building app functionality without spending time continually managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so. The cloud provider handles the setup, capacity planning and server management for you. Serverless architectures are highly scalable and event-driven, only using resources when a specific function or trigger occurs.
Software as a service (SaaS) : Software as a service is a method for delivering software applications over the Internet, on demand and typically on a subscription basis. With SaaS, cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and handle any maintenance, like software upgrades and security patching. Users connect to the application over the Internet, usually with a web browser on their phone, tablet or PC. To learn more, see What is SaaS?
How cloud computing works
While cloud computing services all work a little differently, many provide a friendly, browser-based dashboard that makes it easier for IT professionals and developers to order resources and manage their accounts. Some cloud computing services are also designed to work with REST APIs and a command-line interface, giving developers multiple options.
use of cloud computing in business
we use an online service to send email, edit documents, watch movies or TV, listen to music, play games or store pictures and other files and cloud computing is used behind the scenes.
below are examples of what is possible today with cloud services from a cloud provider.
Create new apps and services : Quickly build, deploy and scale applications (web, mobile and API) on any platform. Access resources you need to help meet performance, security and compliance requirements.
Test and build applications : Reduce application development cost and time by using cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.
Store, back up and recover data : Protect your data more cost-efficiently and at massive scale by transferring data over Internet to an offsite cloud storage system that is accessible from any location and any device.
Analyse data : Unify your data across teams, divisions and locations in the cloud. Then use cloud services, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, to uncover insights for more informed decisions.
Stream audio and video : Connect with your audience anywhere, anytime, on any device with high-definition video and audio with global distribution.
Embed intelligence : Use intelligent models to help engage customers and provide valuable insights from the data captured.
Deliver software on demand : Also known as software as a service (SaaS), on-demand software lets you offer the latest software versions and updates around to customers at anytime they need, anywhere they are.
characteristics of cloud computing
Critical characteristics that must be present to be a cloud. This applies to both private clouds and public clouds.
On-Demand Self-Service The ability to provision services, such as a virtual machine, as needed without human interaction must be provided. Some organizations may add approval workflow for certain conditions.
Broad Network Access Access to services over many types of networks, mobile phones, desktops, and so on must be provided.
Resource Pooling Resources are organized in a multi tenant model with isolation provided via software. This removes the islands of resources that are common when each business group has its own resources. Resource islands lead to inefficiency in utilization.
Rapid Elasticity Rapid elasticity is the ability to scale rapidly outward and inward as demands on services change. The ability to achieve large-scale elasticity is tied to pooling all resources together to achieve a larger potential pool.
Measured Service Clouds provide resources based on defined quotas, but they also enable reporting based on usage and potentially even billing.