Azure Cloud Services

Azure Cloud Services

The Azure cloud service offerings is quite extensive. According to Microsoft, the Azure ecosystem is a collection that has more than 200 products and cloud services that can be leveraged to power any online business challenges. With Azure, you can manage your applications in a hybrid environment, across multiple clouds, or at the edge with any of your favorite tools and frameworks. With that being said the four most common types of cloud services with regard to infrastructure as a service are Compute, Storage, Networking, and Databases.

compute cloud service


Compute describes the idea of a virtual computer that can run applications, programs, and code. Compute is a fundamental building block of the cloud computing layer. In its most basic sense, the term compute can refer to a physical server that handles processing, memory, and storage that is used to run operating systems like Linux or windows and possibly some additional virtualized networks. A compute server includes these components:

  • Central Processing Unit (CPU)Ā ā€“ the CPU is the brains of the compute server and runs various computer programs
  • Random Access Memory (RAM)Ā ā€“ Random-access memory, or RAM, is an essential component of the compute server
  • StorageĀ ā€“ This is usually a local disk stored within the computer or a network disk attached using a block protocol such as iSCSI
  • NetworkĀ ā€“ Network interface cards (NICs) to support connectivity with other servers

core compute services in microsoft azure

In the world of cloud computing, we often see something called a hypervisor that offers an abstraction of hardware where operating systems are run as virtual machines. This technique of hardware virtualization offers virtualized versions of CPU, memory, storage, and networking. you can have several virtual machines running On the same hardware and they will be fully isolated from each other.

cloud service storage


The Storage Cloud Service is an offering where the user can read and write data to virtual file systems in the cloud. Often times you will interact with cloud storage via an API or web service, but you can also manage this service via the web portal. The actual infrastructure in the cloud that provides the storage might be something like a virtualized stack of drives managed by software. There are a few types of storage in the cloud including:

  • Object Storage – Data is managed as objects rather than file hierarchy. Storage objects are made up of the data itself, the metadata, and often a GUID or globally unique identifier. Object storage is extremely scalable.
  • Block Storage – With block storage, data is stored in sectors and tracks controlled by the operating system on the server. Block storage show up as disk-based volumes to the OS.
  • File Storage – File storage makes use of a hierarchical structure of files and directories. The data itself is accessed via file IDs. Network File System and Server Message Block are examples of file storage.

core storage azure services

networking cloud service


You may be familiar with LAN/WAN Networking concepts such as Switches, Routers, MAC addresses, and IP addresses. When dealing with Networking as a service in the cloud, we find that these familiar concepts become abstracted away from the underlying hardware. What you are left with is virtualized networks that can be managed via API or the Portal. Users can create and manage software-based network interfaces, firewalls, load balancers, and routing functions all in the cloud. When you have various compute, storage, and database offerings, the Network Service of the cloud offerings is what enables you to tie them all together on a virtualized network. Azure includes the following network services:

  • Secure network infrastructure – Build and protect your virtual network infrastructure.
  • On-prem and branch connectivity – Connect your on-premises datacenter and branches to the cloud.
  • Remote work connectivity – Enable remote users to access internal resources
  • 5G and edge computing – Enable edge computing platforms and apps on 5G enabled devices.
  • Secure global app delivery – Build, secure, and deliver applications to serve a global user base.

core network services in microsoft azure

azure databases cloud


You can have a database running in the cloud for general purpose reporting, or to power web-based applications. Azure has all kinds of fully managed relational, NoSQL, and in-memory databases. Some offerings are proprietary while others are open-source and designed to satisfy the needs of modern data engineers. Things like scalability, availability, and security, are automated, which makes working with your data a breeze.

azure database core services

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