When was Azure Launched? What is Cloud Computing? Microsoft Azure, often referred to as Azure is a cloud computing platform run by Microsoft. It offers access, management, and the development of applications and services through global data centers. It also provides a range of capabilities, including software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Microsoft Azure supports many programming languages, tools, and frameworks, including Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
Azure was first introduced at the Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2008 under the codename “Project Red Dog.” It was officially launched as Windows Azure in February 2010 and later renamed Microsoft Azure on March 25, 2014.
When was Azure Launched?
Today, cloud computing applications and platforms are rapidly growing across all industries, serving as the IT infrastructure that drives new digital businesses. These platforms and applications have revolutionized the ways in which businesses function, and have made processes easier. In fact, more than 77 percent of businesses today have at least some portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud.
While there are many cloud computing platforms available, two platforms dominate the cloud computing industry. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure are the two giants in the world of cloud computing.
While AWS is the largest cloud computing platform, Microsoft Azure is the fastest-growing and second-largest. This article focuses on Microsoft Azure and what is Azure—its services and uses.
Before diving into what is Azure, you should first know what cloud computing is.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a technology that provides access to various computing resources over the internet. All you need to do is use your computer or mobile device to connect to your cloud service provider through the internet. Once connected, you get access to computing resources, which may include serverless computing, virtual machines, storage, and various other things.
Basically, cloud service providers have massive data centers that contain hundreds of servers, storage systems and components that are crucial for many kinds of organizations. These data centers are in secure locations and store a large amount of data. The users connect to these data centers to collect data or use it when required.
Users can take advantage of various services; for example, if you want a notification every time someone sends you a text or an email, cloud services can help you. The best part about cloud platforms is that you pay only for the services you use, and there are no charges upfront.
Cloud computing can be used for various purposes: machine learning, data analysis, storage and backup, streaming media content and so much more. Here’s an interesting fact about the cloud: all the shows and movies that you see on Netflix are actually stored in the cloud. Also, the cloud can be beneficial for creating and testing applications, automating software delivery, and hosting blogs.
Why is Cloud Computing Important?
Let’s assume that you have an idea for a revolutionary application that can provide great user experience and can become highly profitable. For the application to become successful, you will need to release it on the internet for people to find it, use it, and spread the word about its advantages. However, releasing an application on the internet is not as easy as it seems.
To do so, you will need various components, like servers, storage devices, developers, dedicated networks, and application security to ensure that your solution works the way it is intended to. These are a lot of components, which can be problematic.
Buying each of these components individually is very expensive and risky. You would need a huge amount of capital to ensure that your application works properly. And if the application doesn’t become popular, you would lose your investment. On the flip side, if the application becomes immensely popular, you will have to buy more servers and storage to cater to more users, which can again increase your costs. This is where cloud computing can come to the rescue. It has many benefits, including offering safe storage and scalability all at once.
What is Microsoft Azure?
Azure is a cloud computing platform and an online portal that allows you to access and manage cloud services and resources provided by Microsoft. These services and resources include storing your data and transforming it, depending on your requirements. To get access to these resources and services, all you need to have is an active internet connection and the ability to connect to the Azure portal.
Things that you should know about Azure:
- It was launched on February 1, 2010, significantly later than its main competitor, AWS.
- It’s free to start and follows a pay-per-use model, which means you pay only for the services you opt for.
- Interestingly, 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies use Azure services for their cloud computing needs.
- Azure supports multiple programming languages, including Java, Node Js, and C#.
- Another benefit of Azure is the number of data centers it has around the world. There are 42 Azure data centers spread around the globe, which is the highest number of data centers for any cloud platform. Also, Azure is planning to get 12 more data centers, which will increase the number of data centers to 54, shortly.
Microsoft announces Azure launch date
Microsoft has unofficially announced the launch date for Azure, the software vendor’s cloud platform for the developer community.
Azure Australia will be launched on February 23 and “availability of the product will be a few weeks after that”, said Gianpaolo Carraro, director for Microsoft’s developer and platform strategy team.
Azure has been trialled in the US for a year and the official, paid product was launched on 1 February in a limited number of countries. These included the US, Europe and New Zealand.
Australia will be part of the second wave of country releases in late February. The Azure platform will offer “SQL in the cloud” and “Windows Server in the cloud” to Australian developers for the first time, said Carraro.
“There is a lot of interest and a lot of conversations in the developer communities in how they can leverage that platform for their applications,” said Carraro.
He added that the platform was targeted not only at .Net developers. “It’s also a great platform for the web for PHP developers. There are a lot of companies from small players to very large enterprises that are embracing it.”
Carraro said Microsoft aimed to have 1000 applications on the platform by the end of June. “For a product that hasn’t shipped that’s a fairly good number,” he said.
While Microsoft has arrived later at the cloud-platform party than its rivals, Carraro said it carried a unique difference.
“The nice thing for developers is that you have a replica of that infrastructure you can simulate on your own machine, so you can develop against it without having to consume bandwidth. Once you are ready to deploy you push a button and it’s ready to go on the cloud, which is a big difference versus other platforms.
“If you think of our competitors, Amazon, Google and whatever, you have to develop your application online and you don’t have a local version of it to develop against, which adds cost and hassles.”
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