Azure: Limitless Potentials

Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure

Azure is one of the fastest-growing Microsoft public cloud computing platforms with the large availability of its services which can be described as “LIMITLESS POTENTIALS”.

It is a core, Public cloud computing platform solutions including Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), and Software as a service (SaaS) that can be used for services such as Virtual Computing, Storage, networking, and much more.

Benefits & Consideration:

The paradigm of hosting application- Cloud computing means hosting your application or data in the cloud. We can host our application virtually on a server without actually buying the resources( network, infrastructure, hardware systems, Installing software, Disk, Database, etc). In azure, we just have to rent the resources from the cloud service providers and use what is a need and pay for what is used.

Three main pillars of cloud computing are:

  1. Infrastructure as a service(IaaS)
  2. Software as a service( SaaS)
  3. Platform as a service(PaaS)

Infrastructure as a service(IaaS)- One of the biggest advantages of Iaas is users do not need to buy the computer’s resources physically by visiting an electronic shop, all they need to do is rent the resources from company providers as a part of the computer's resources through virtualization. Renting a part of the computer (server) and use it as an owner. IaaS provides wonderful features of scalability- Growing and shrinking the virtual Machines as per the need. Iaas providers can manage and deliver services like firewall, network connection, Load Balancer, DataStorage, Identity Management we can take this infrastructure and build on it, by installing the operating system, creating a database to store, and storing a file.

Software as a service(SaaS)- On the other hand, SaaS is dealing with delivering the software via the internet rather than downloading onto individuals devices. This software is managed by 3rd party vendors that are accessed by a website or application. Managing and handling of this software are done by the vendor itself all we need to do to access the software is, by logging into the app or browser. This software is accessible from anywhere on any device and data is always backed-up to the centralized location. (office 365, Google Drive, DropBox).

Platform as a service(PaaS)- A complete platform is been provided to the client. You can host applications without actually worrying about the maintenance of the server and its operating system. It helps the developer to fully focus on the quality of the end-user application. Paas is often seen in business organization: Development Frameworks, Business Intelligence. The main advantage of using PaaS is its the value that comes up with Iaas, It is a time-efficient for a developer they can also use logic-app, functions that provide pre-defined code, and can also manage the application lifecycle of the building, testing, deploying, managing, and updating.

Availability- An extremely important area that businesses consider when looking for public cloud features is its availability. When it comes to application deployment in the cloud, high availability becomes an important aspect. Providing the services and resources available 24x7 even after failovers. These failovers can be network failure, hardware failure, and power failure. Not only with failovers but also available 24x7 with the support services. Azure services are available globally. There are two key features of Microsoft Azure that provide the core availability to applications that are hosted in the Microsoft Azure public cloud.

They are :

  • Availability set
  • Availability Zone

Availability set: Basically we are deploying a virtual machine on hardware so there may be a possibility for failure. In such scenarios, the availability set makes sure that VMs that you deploy on azure, distributed across multiple isolated hardware nodes(physical server, hardware rack, storage units, network switched). This hardware location can be categories into multiple fault domain and update domain. Update domain is a group of VMs and underlying physical hardware that is getting rebooted at the same time, fault domain is a VMs that share common network switches, power source.

Availability Set in Azure
Availability Set in Azure

So, if any hardware or software fails then only subnets of the VM are affected. Though the failover happens, because of fault or update domain availability set makes sure that VMs are still available.

Availability Zone: There may be scenarios wherein the whole datacenter is down, if the data center is down it totally affects the application and data. The availability zone is a unique physical location in an azure region and each zone is made up of one or more datacenter equipped, we can have a minimum number of 3 separate zones in each region. Data will always be available in other regions.

So, if any failure happens on the datacenter, availability zone make sure that data and application are still available by providing its services and giving 99.95% SLA.

Disaster Recovery& Backup- In business continuity, the biggest downfall factor for a company is outages or failures caused because of natural calamities which make a big loss or less money to the company. Azure provides and ensures data safety by providing timely backups and again recovering the data. Azure provides an Azure site recovery solution an application-consistent snapshot feature that ensures data is in a usable state after failover. Azure Site Recovery(ASR) will only charge you based on pay as you go model i.e only charge you for every protected instance. We can also avoid data loss by practicing the availability set and availability zone for VM.

Backups and Restore in Azure Cloud
Back-up and Restore

Backup- Azure Backup service can protect and orchestrate all of your backup needs. Azure provides weekly, daily backups that are protected against data loss. All azure backups are store in the Recovery Services vault. We can manually perform backup and restore operations can be done on the Azure platform, to backup on-premise VMs and physical server such as AWS need to install the agent. This communication is secured by encrypted during the transfer, we can backup encrypted VMs and can access encrypted backups.

Pay as you go- One of the coolest features azure includes is the ability to purchase what you want to use and pay accordingly. Renting a Virtual machine may sometimes be difficult and costly in the case where you are not actually aware of the workload. The pay as you go model can help some to save money if you have no idea about the workload you are going to have. You can simply cancel the resources which are no longer needed and will stop billing you for that resources.

Pay as you go model in Azure
Pay as you go.

The variable workload can be easily handled as you can rely on Azure for scaling your service up or down along with spending the least amount with no upfront payment.

Conclusion:

Azure is one of the greatest and fasting cloud computing with its amazing services this is just a brief about azure there are many more to discuss and learn in azure.

Visit my website for more such blogs.

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