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David Pascual

David Pascual

Business Intelligence Consultant | Data Specialist

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Azure tools and services

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Microsoft Azure’s cloud vision is geared towards the enterprise world, both for larger corporations and small and medium-sized businesses. Therefore, most of the services are scalable and can respond to general needs as well as to more specific needs.

Azure has a wide range of tools and services it can offer users. Here is an overview of the available Azure services and features.

The most frequently used categories will now be discussed in more detail:

  • Process
  • Networks
  • Storage
  • Mobile
  • Databases
  • Web
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Macrodata
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • DevOp

Process: Process services are often one of the main reasons why companies switch to the Azure platform. Azure provides a wide range of options for hosting applications and services.

Networking: Linking processing resources and providing access to applications is the key function of the Azure network. Azure’s networking functionality includes a range of options for connecting the outside world to services and features in Azure’s global data centers.

Storage: Different types of storage (SQL, BLOBs, tables, etc.) for different file formats or storage structures. Also as data storage for enterprise applications and programs.

Mobile: Developers can create mobile back-end services for iOS, Android, and Windows applications quickly and easily. Features that used to take time and increase project risks, such as incorporating corporate login and then connecting to local resources such as SAP, Oracle, SQL Server, and SharePoint, are now easily included.

Databases: Azure provides several database services to store a wide variety of volumes and types of data. And with global connectivity, users have this data instantly.

Web: In today’s business world, it is critical to have an excellent web experience. Azure includes world-class technical support for building and hosting HTTP-based web applications and web services.

IoT. The Internet allows any object capable of being connected to have access to valuable information. This ability of devices to obtain and then relay information for data analysis is known as IoT (Internet of Things). Many services can help and drive end-to-end solutions for IoT in Azure.

Macrodata. Open source clustering technologies have been developed to deal with these large data sets. Azure supports a wide range of technologies and services to provide analytics and big data solutions.

Artificial Intelligence: In the context of cloud computing, artificial intelligence is based on a wide range of services, the main one being machine learning. Machine learning forecasts or predictions can make applications and devices smarter.

DevOps: With Azure DevOps, you can create, build and publish pipelines that provide continuous integration, delivery, and deployment to applications. You can integrate repositories and application testing, perform application monitoring and work with build artifacts for applications to provide optimized build and release processes.

IaaS, SaaS, PaaS... What is the difference?

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS models are the different cloud service models that define the different levels of shared responsibility of a cloud provider and a customer.

• IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)

This cloud service model is most similar to physical server management; a cloud service provider will keep the hardware up to date, but operating system maintenance and network configuration will be your responsibility as a cloud tenant. For example, Azure virtual machines are fully operational virtual processing devices running in Microsoft data centers.

Advantages

– Plan an infrastructure that fits your workloads

– Deploy hybrid environments compatible with your on-premise infrastructure

– Protect your applications with security and management services

– Reduce and rationalize your infrastructure costs

• PaaS (Platform as a Service)

This cloud service model is a managed hosting environment. The cloud service provider manages the virtual machines and network resources, and the cloud tenant deploys its applications in the managed hosting environment. For example, Azure App Services provides a managed hosting environment where developers can load their web applications without having to worry about physical hardware and software requirements.

Advantages

– Manage the entire lifecycle of your web applications

– You no longer have to worry about server maintenance, license purchases, infrastructure, and new product development.

– Manage the services and applications you develop

• SaaS (Software as a Service)

In this cloud service model, the cloud service provider manages all aspects of the application environment, such as virtual machines, network resources, data storage, and applications. The cloud tenant only needs to provide its data to the application managed by the cloud service provider. For example, Microsoft Office 365 provides a fully operational version of Microsoft Office that runs in the cloud. All you have to do is create the content, and Office 365 will take care of everything else. It is a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Users pay for the software they use in a subscription model.

Advantages

– Complete software solutions

– Pay-per-use

– Hardware and platform offered by the service provider

– Publish applications quickly with a minimal investment level

The following chart shows the various levels of responsibility between a cloud service provider and a cloud tenant.

Depending on the needs of companies or professionals, an IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS model may be more attractive. It must be taken into account that the platform as a service and the software as a service are mounted on infrastructure as a service since in both cases the user does not have to worry about everything related to the infrastructure (installation, costs, maintenance, etc.).

The fundamental difference between these three types of platforms is the type of maintenance and support offered by the service provider. For example, in an IaaS platform, the user has access to the installed software and its configuration, something that users of a SaaS service do not have. On the other hand, a PaaS service only has access to the software that forms the development platform to be used.

There are also notable differences in terms of safety. In an IaaS environment, the security of the installed applications rests with the user, who must be aware of which version to install and that it remains up to date. However, in a SaaS or PaaS environment, the security of the installed applications rests with the service provider, who is responsible for installing and updating them.

Cloud Computing services are used daily by millions of users and more and more companies not only want their data in the cloud but their entire IT environment. With IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS services, the cloud service needed for each company can be contracted, allowing the company to focus on the useful processes, leaving the rest of the resources for the service provider.

With this type of service, companies save a lot of costs because they do not have to worry about hardware or virtualization infrastructures, nor about the operating systems installed or even the software or platforms to be used.

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