This post is to help you understand the fundamentals of Microsoft Azure.
Microsoft Azure is an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform 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.
If you don’t have an Azure account, you should consider signing up for a free trial at azure.microsoft.com.
If you have an MSDN subscription, you should activate the included Azure benefits and use the associated monthly credit.
SaaS is software that is centrally hosted and managed for the end customer. It usually is based on a multitenant architecture—a single version of the application is used for all customers. It can be scaled out to multiple instances to ensure the best performance in all locations. SaaS software typically is licensed through a monthly or annual subscription.
Examples of SaaS include Microsoft Office 365, Dropbox, WordPress, and Amazon Kindle etc.
With PaaS, you deploy your application into an application-hosting environment provided by the cloud service vendor. The developer provides the application, and the PaaS vendor provides the ability to deploy and run it. This frees up developers from infrastructure management, allowing them to focus strictly on development.
In the case of PaaS, the only thing you need to do is deploy your application. The platform provides servers with pre-installed software such as any middleware and development tools needed to run your application. Features such as scalability, high-availability, and multi-tenant capability are provided by the platform, reducing the amount of coding that developers must do. The need for additional resources to monitor, update, and manage the applications is also reduced because the platform provides these as built-in services. PaaS services provided by Azure include:
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