- What is Azure?
- What is SASS, PASS and IAAS?
- What are the advantages of Azure?
- How is azure better than normal hosting platforms?
- How many types of deployment models are used in Azure Cloud?
- What is Azure Cosmo Database?
- What is Azure Storage?
- What is Azure Service Fabric?
Azure is cloud based computing platform which was designed by Microsoft to build, deploy and maintain large and small scale application and services which is operated with the help of a global network of datacentres.
Azure was initially launched as Windows Azure but was later renamed Microsoft Azure in 2014.
In recent times storing data on the cloud has become much more reliable also we do not need to allocate resources and space to host the application in the client premises.
As Azure allows the users to access the application regardless of their position and hardware configuration used.
Along with being globally accessible it also cuts down on the infrastructure cost to the user.
IAAS stands for Infrastructure as a Service
It contains the hardware components which the user can specify and customise according to this needs.
It allows the user to access, customize and monitor the virtual computing features that he is currently using.
Features like Hard Disk and Ram size along with the number of cores, network band and virtual machine to be used can be customized by the client without needing to interact with a Support executive.
IAAS helps the vendors to offer services to their clients easily as it allows quick transition of services to clouds.
Vendors can easily expand their business by selling their existing software or services in new markets via Azure’s IAAS.
PAAS stands for Platform as a Service.
While IAAS takes care of the Hardware aspect Azure’s Cloud Computing PAAS as its name suggests provides a platform for users to host our application.
In PAAS the users do not have to worry about web server, OS and database specification as all these products and their licences and their maintenance can be taken care of by PAAS.
It also takes care of networking issues which may arise for the user.
PAAS is less vulnerable as servers are automatically updated and being checked for all known security issues.
The whole process is not visible to developer and thus does not pose a risk of data breach.
SASS allows us to host cloud based applications thus allowing users to connect and use this applications over the internet.
SAAS provides a software solution which we can purchase on a pay-as-you-use basis which is available from a cloud service provider.
In SAAS all of the internal infrastructure, middleware, and application software and application data is located in the data center of the service provider.
SAAS allows enterprise level application to get quickly up and running within minimal upfront cost and time.
Azure provides the following advantages for users planning to use cloud computing:
➢ Flexibility: Using the scalability of the Microsoft cloud platform to grow the business application which can be done on-demand and pay for what is used.
➢ Security: The security development lifecycle is used by Microsoft to ensure the Azure cloud platform and our data is completely secured.
➢ Competitiveness: Azure uses the most up to date cloud computing technology which we will have the ability to build, test and deploy applications and infrastructure faster.
➢ Document Control: Azure has a central storage location which allows for better document management and clean development.
➢ Increased Collaboration: Allows for instant access and collaboration of people working on different platform without much difficulty.
➢ Disaster Recovery: It allows us to create a Disaster recovery strategy to recover our data in case of some special failures hence allowing for users to experience uninterrupted services.
➢ Automatic Software Updates: Azure updates and maintain the latest versions of the software components in our virtual machine and hence allows for better future proof applications.
➢ Work from Anywhere: Allows for access from any part of a globe thus creating a true cloud computing experience.
➢ Environmentally Friendly: Better development environment for developers working in pre-existing web technologies like ASP.net as the azure platform mainly uses C++ and C#.
➢ Reduce Capital Expenditure: Initial Lower investment of cloud computing allows for better cost cutting for organization with limited expenditure and maintenance of personal computing and servers.
In Normal Web Host providers we need to pay the predefined cost upfront even if we do not use the components on the hosting platforms and if we are not using the services.
But in Azure we pay for what we use and avoid incurring extra charges for services we do not need or would not use later on.
The Initial structure is free we can keep on adding to it as we proceed and add the components and services that we need to support our application during the period of hosting it on the azure cloud.
There are 4 types of deployment models used in cloud:
- Public cloud: The infrastructure and server are owned by Azure which is available to the public.
It is available to the public for free in the initial stages and then goes on to pay-as-you-use basis.
- Private cloud: The infrastructure is generally owned by the client or the cloud service provider and they give the client the service exclusively.
For eg: Hosting your application with Azure cloud provider on a dedicated server.
- Community cloud: A community cloud in computing is a collective effort by several organizations which share a similar infrastructure from a specific community with common concerns which are compliance, security and jurisdiction, etc.
Such a scenario can be controlled and used by a group of organizations that have shared interest.
The cost of setting up and maintenance are equally distributed over fewer users than a public cloud but on more users than private cloud so only some of the cost savings potential of Azure cloud computing are realized.
- Hybrid cloud: Hybrid Cloud is using both Public and Private Clouds.
For Example: Client using private or in-house servers for confidential data storage while using public cloud for hosting company’s public facing website.
Microsoft’s Azure Cosmos DB is a proprietary multi-model database service which is globally-distributed for managing data at global-scale.
CosmoDB allows the client to manage their data even if the data is kept in data centre’s that are located in different parts of the world.
It provides us all the tools that we need scale both global distribution pattern and computational resources which are provided by Microsoft Azure.
Multiple data models can be supported using one backend in CosmoDB hence it can be used for key value, document, relational, and graph models.
It is a NoSQL as it does not have Schemas to work with.
But due to it being query language similar to SQL also it can easily support ACID transactions for this reason precisely some people have started to classify it as a NewSQL type of database.
However there is a key difference that separates it from other NewSQL Databases i.e. does not have a relational data model.
Azure Storage is a cloud service which is managed by Microsoft that provides storage that is highly available, durable, secure, redundant, and scalable.
The critical problems and maintenance aspect is taken care of by Microsoft.
Azure Storage has the following three data services: Blob storage, File storage, and Queue storage.
Both standard and premium storage are supported by blob storage in which premium storage uses Solid State Hard drives for data transfer and processing speed faster than a normal HDD.
The cool storage feature allows us to store data which is rarely accessed at a lower cost.
Azure Service Fabric is a Platform as a Service (PAAS) offering designed to facilitate the development, deployment and management of highly scalable and customizable applications for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.
Fabric acts as a framework in this concept and it is the binding between microservices and the underlying infrastructure that they run on.
Applications created in the Azure Fabric are composed of separate microservices which communicate with one another through service APIs.
The individual components of an application can be scaled separately according to requirements due to modular nature of microservices and along with that it frees developers from the problems of dealing with infrastructure thus simplifying the process of rolling out changes.
PartitionKey: The PartitionKey property stores the data in string values which identify the partition to whom an entity belongs to.
Partitions are most important to the scalability of the table in Azure storage.
The Entities who have the same PartitionKey values are stored in the same partition in Azure storage.
RowKey: The RowKey property is used to store string values that uniquely identify entities within each of the partition.
In conclusion PartitionKey and the RowKey together form the primary key for the entity just like composite key in SQL Server.