What is Azure? Everything You Should Know

Azure Quick Facts:

  • An investment of USD 1 billion is made every year for the security of customer’s personal and confidential data from cyberthreats.
  • Nearly 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust their businesses on Azure. 
  • Microsoft Azure offers more than 90 compliance services which makes Azure the largest portfolio in the industry. 
  • Microsoft Azure is deployed in almost every sector including healthcare, financial services, retail, manufacturing, and even government agencies. 
  • There are more than 200 cloud services and products that are specifically designed to help you bring new solutions to your business issues.

When some technology has such powerful data points, you would wish to know What is Azure

Let’s read ahead to know more about the cloud giant Microsoft Azure.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Launched by Microsoft on February 1, 2020, Azure is a cloud computing platform. It is an online portal that allows you to manage and access cloud services and resources offered by Microsoft. These resources and services include storage of data and transforming it, based on your requirements. You only need an active internet connection and access to the Azure portal to get access to these services and resources. 

Fast facts

  • Azure is free to start and the pricing model is based on a pay-per-use model which implies that you are required to pay only for the services you use. 
  • Azure supports various programming languages including Java, C#, and Node JS.
  • There are 42 data centers across the world that give connectivity around the world to Azure users. Did you know that this is the largest number of data centers any cloud platform possesses? Moreover, Azure is planning to have 12 more data centers, increasing the number to 54.

Isn’t it amazing!!

The Azure platform was launched with the goal of helping businesses meet challenges and attain organizational goals. Azure is compatible with almost all open-source technologies. This makes the platform flexible and allows users to choose from preferred tools and technologies. The various forms of cloud computing services offered by Azure are Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and serverless.  

How does Azure work?

After subscribing to the Azure cloud platform, you can access all the services that are included in the Azure portal. You can utilize these services to create cloud-based resources, like virtual machines(VM) and databases. 

Apart from the services offered by Microsoft through the Azure portal, several third-party vendors make software directly available through Azure as well. The cost billing for third-party applications varies significantly and may also include a subscription fee for the application, as well as the usage fee for the infrastructure utilized to host the application.

The five different customer support options offered by Microsoft are:

  • Basic
  • Standard
  • Developer
  • Premier
  • Professional Direct

There are different scopes and pricing for these customer support plans. The cost for Developer support is USD 29 per month, while the cost for Standard support is USD 100 per month, and that for Professional Direct support is USD 1000 per month. The cost for Premier services is not disclosed by Microsoft. 

One of the most popular use cases of Microsoft Azure is running virtual machines. The other services include Domain Name System (DNS), and third-party applications, and Windows Server services like Internet Information Services. 

Azure is also among the most widely used platforms for hosting databases in the cloud. It also allows you to use third-party operating systems including Linux. It also offers serverless relational databases like Azure SQL as well as non-relational databases like NoSQL. 

The Azure cloud platform also supports backup and disaster recovery. This is why many organizations utilize Azure storage as an archive so that it is easy to meet long-term data retention requirements. 

Azure Products and Services

Some of the categories of cloud services provided by Azure are:

  • Compute: with these services you can deploy and manage containers, VMs, and batch jobs along with remote application access. You can configure compute resources with public IP addresses or private ones, on the basis of your accessibility requirements.

  • Mobile: These services allow you to build cloud applications for mobile devices support for back-end tasks, notification services, tools for developing APIs (Application Program Interfaces), etc.

  • Storage: These services provide scalable cloud storage for both structured and unstructured data along with support for persistent storage, Big Data projects, and archival storage.

  • Web: These services involve the development and deployment of web applications along with features for API management, content delivery, search, notification, and reporting. 

  • Analytics: These services involve distributed analytics and storage and features for big-data analytics, real-time analytics, machine learning, data lakes, Internet of Things (IoT), Business Intelligence, data streams, and data warehousing.

  • Media and Content Delivery Network: these services offer digital rights protection, on-demand streaming, encoding and media playback, as well as indexing. 

  • Networking: These services include virtual networks, gateways and dedicated connections, and services for traffic management and diagnostics, DNS hosting, and protection of networks against DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services) attacks. 
  • Integration: These services are meant for site recovery, server backup, and connecting to private and public clouds. 

The other services offered by Microsoft Azure are DevOps, Identity, Internet of Things, Security, Development, Databases, Containers, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Migration, Mixed Reality, Management and Governance, Intune, and Blockchain.

Azure Certifications

The most in-demand cloud certification path is that of Microsoft Azure cloud certifications. The certifications are meant to validate your expertise in different aspects of cloud computing. They help you upgrade your career in the cloud computing domain. Microsoft has designed 12 certifications for professionals who wish to work with the cloud. They are:

  • Microsoft Certified: Azure – Fundamentals Exam AZ-900
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI- Fundamentals Exam AI-900
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data – Fundamentals Exam DP-900
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate Exam AZ- 104
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Developer- Associate Exam AZ-204
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer -Associate AZ-500
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer – Associate Exam AI-100
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Scientist – Associate Exam DP-100
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Engineer – Associate Exams DP-200 and DP-201
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure Database Administrator- Associate Exam- DP-300
  • Microsoft Certified: Solutions Architect –  Expert Exams AZ-303 and AZ-304
  • Microsoft Certified: Azure DevOps Engineer – Expert Exam AZ-400


By now, you have discovered the power and versatility of cloud infrastructure offered by Microsoft which is called Azure. You can make your career in this domain by pursuing one or more certifications and enter into the ever-growing arena of cloud computing.

To pursue the certification, you can take up an online training course to go with hassle-free learning and preparation with the enterprise-class learning management system.

Enroll now!

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