What is Azure?

Cloud services are becoming more popular because they are cost-effective and scalable. Azure is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft that offers various services from data storage to virtual machine and data management. In the following post we explain the advantages of using its services, some differences with AWS, and many more.

What is Azure?

 Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform offering a number of cloud services, such as computing, analytics, storage, and networking. Users can choose from these services to develop and scale new applications, or run existing applications in the public cloud. Azure offers 4 different forms of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS), and serverless.

Advantages of using Azure

Each cloud provider has a series of characteristics that make it better than other competitors, in the next point we will explain some of the advantages of migrating to the cloud with Azure and that can help you clear up some doubts, such as whether this platform in the cloud adapts to your needs.

  • PAY-PER-USE: Like AWS, Microsoft charges for Azure on a pay-as-you-go basis, meaning you don’t need to maintain any hardware or invest in new infrastructure to grow your business, and you only pay for what you use.
  • 22% of the cloud market: Microsoft Azure has grown to become the second of the top three public cloud platforms, just behind market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) and ahead of Google Cloud Platform (GCP). AWS has the largest market share, but Azure has the most regions, and GCP is growing rapidly.
  • Security: Azure is secure. Instead of having all your data on-premises, it’s in the cloud, which means you don’t have to worry about hackers trying to access your data on-premises. Microsoft is responsible for the security of the infrastructure, and has several measures in place to ensure that its solutions remain secure.
  • Scalable: Azure can grow with your business or shrink quickly if you need to downsize.
  • Service offerings: Azure has a wide variety of service offerings that continue to grow every day such as analytics, identity and access management tools, and IoT solutions. Since Microsoft has been supporting on-premises customers for more than 40 years, it has an extensive hybrid cloud offering to bring all of its existing customers to the cloud. They also have very good integration with existing tools and technologies such as Visual Studio, Active Directory, and File Storage.

Azure vs AWS

Currently, among the most important cloud providers that exist in the market, AWS is in the first place, followed by Azure, so it is not surprising that comparisons are made between these two large companies. Some of the differences are:

  • Database: AWS uses a relational database as a service using RDS, while DynamoDB uses it for NoSQL and for caching uses Elasticache. Meanwhile, Azure uses SQL, MySQL and PostgreSQL database for relational database, it makes use of Cosmos DB for NoSQL solutions and Redis Cache for caching.
  • Open Source Developers: AWS is great for open source developers as it embraces Linux users and offers various integrations for different open source applications. Azure, meanwhile, offers users the ability to use their currently active directory to log in to the Azure cloud platform and run the .net framework on Windows, Linux, and MacOS.
  • Networking: Azure offers a virtual network through which we can create isolated networks, subnets, route tables, range of private IP addresses just like in AWS.
  • Storage:  Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and Azure Blob Storage are the competing object storage services. Despite the variation in terminology used to describe their services, they offer similar functionality. Each object is stored in an assembly unit, and has a unique key and an associated metadata record that contains the pertinent information: object size, last modified date, media type, and so on.

If you want to know more about the differences between these two providers, in our post “AWS vs Azure”, we give you more details.



Azure pricing and costs

Switching to a new cloud provider, price is an important factor to consider that also raises many questions and concerns. Like other public cloud providers, Azure offers a lot of different services, products, and locations. All at different prices.

Azure-native tools like Azure Cost Management can help you monitor, visualize, and optimize your cloud spend. It is also possible to use third-party tools, such as Cloudability or RightScale, to manage the use of Azure resources and the associated costs.

If you want to know an estimate on Azure prices, we recommend you read our colleague Antonio’s post 👉 Azure: Cost estimation and best practices | Gecko Cloud


Azure and Geko Cloud 

Microsoft Azure enables businesses and individuals to build, run, and manage applications and solve various technical challenges with flexibility across multiple clouds and on-premises data centers.

At Geko Cloud we are cloud experts and we work with DevOps methodology, accompanying our clients throughout the process from migration to cloud management. Contact us without any commitment! 😊

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