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An Overview of Microsoft Azure Services

Microsoft Azure is the public cloud computing platform by Microsoft which offers software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It comprises more than 600 cloud services and supports varied operating systems, databases, and developer tools. And, even better, we actually integrate with Microsoft Azure to help on-call teams improve incident response for Azure-based environments.

Below is a brief overview of some of the most popular Microsoft Azure services and how you can leverage them across your entire architecture:

The List of Microsoft Azure Services

1) Azure Application Services

Azure application services help you develop, deploy, and maintain various applications on the Azure platform. These include Azure AI, Azure Analytics, Azure IoT, Azure Active Directory (AD), Azure Media Services, and Azure Scheduler.

Let’s look at the three most notable application services: Azure AI, Azure Analytics, and Azure IoT.

1.1 Azure AI

Microsoft Azure enables your AI teams to have quick access to AI services and helps you engage with customers, empower your employees, and optimize business processes across the organization. Your developers can create interactive applications on Azure’s AI Platform which offers AI capabilities like NLP, speech recognition, voice synthesis, face detection, video indexing, and text analytics.

Further, Microsoft Azure Bot Service releases intelligent agents on different platforms (website, facebook messenger, skype, email, SMS, etc.) that can be used to create intelligent chat applications.

1.2 Azure Analytics

You can process and analyze large volumes of data to make well-informed critical business decisions with Azure’s analytics suite. It allows your analytics team to run complicated queries across huge sets of data and get actionable insights.

Backed by Apache, the analytics solution offers an interactive real-time workspace to your data engineers, data scientists, and business analysts working on shared projects that enable them to quickly perform real-time analysis of large data sets on varied topics.

1.3 Azure Internet of Things (IoT)

Azure IoT provides your organization with platform and services that can help you develop IoT solutions without reinventing the wheel. Azure’s IoT Central (SaaS) offers pre-configured solutions while “Azure IoT solution accelerators” offer more flexibility to develop a custom solution for your organization. Azure IoT Hub - is the core platform (PaaS) supporting Azure IoT Central and Azure IoT solution accelerators.

Further, Azure IoT offers numerous SDKs and integration support for connecting a range of IoT devices and gather insights from the incoming data with advanced analytics and visualization.

2) Azure Data Services

Azure data services store and manage data on cloud. Microsoft Azure comes with a range of data services: Azure Storage, Azure SQL Database, Azure DocumentDB, Azure StorSimple, and Azure Redis Cache.

Below is an overview of Azure Storage, one of the most prevalent data services provided by Microsoft Azure.

2.1 Azure Storage

Microsoft Azure’s data storage service offers secure and scalable cloud storage for both, structured and unstructured data. Using Azure Storage, your data security experts can ensure safe integration of your on-premise data with the cloud data.

Azure Storage supports multiple storage options such as blob, queue, file, and NoSQL. You can store any size of data, from a small size blob to a large file, as per your business requirement without affecting the production environment.

3) Azure Development Services

Microsoft Azure offers multiple development tools and services to enhance the overall software development and deployment process. Here’s a quick look at one of the essential services by Microsoft i.e. Azure DevOps, enabling continuous delivery to customers.

3.1 Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps automates your software delivery process and boosts your software development by providing an alternative to the self-managed CI/CD servers and open source DevOps tools. Microsoft Azure DevOps technology can help you in hassle-free delivery with its fast and reliable tools. It is an extensible platform which can augment your existing tools and IDEs and offer hundreds of integrations in the Marketplace.

4) Azure Compute Services

Azure compute services are the hosting services responsible for hosting and running the application workloads. These include Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), Azure Container Service, Azure App Services, Azure Batch, and Azure ServiceFabric.

Here’s a brief note on two of the most frequently used Azure Compute Services: Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) and Azure Container Service:

4.1 Azure Virtual Machines (VMs)

A Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine (VM) is an on-demand, scalable computing resource. You don’t need to buy any physical hardware and bear its maintenance cost; you have the flexibility of virtualization. Your cloud administrators only need to select the operating system, configure the required resources, and create the web server – all this gets done within a few minutes.

4.2 Azure Container Service

Azure helps you leverage the modern container-based development practices and microservices architecture. You can migrate your .NET applications to microservices using Windows Server containers with Azure Service Fabric. Further, you can use Azure Kubernetes Service to scale and orchestrate Linux Containers.

You can choose between Docker Hub and Azure Container Registry to store your images and deploy to any preferred target. Moreover, it simplifies the configuration process and optimizes it for the cloud. The major advantage is that it consumes less space as compared to VMs and starts instantly; hence speeding up the processes.

5) Azure Network Services

Azure Network Services refer to those services that perform networking operations within Azure and between Azure and on-premise infrastructure. These include Azure Virtual Network, Azure ExpressRoute, Azure-provided DNS, Azure Traffic Manager and Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Following is a brief outline on the Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) service:

5.1 Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Azure CDN allows distribution of large files by providing high bandwidth content and reducing the file download time. It caches the file to an Azure data center closest to the user’s geographical location. Hence, it lowers the latency to a great extent and decreases the load on application by relieving it from the whole process of delivering the content. The end-users derive the main benefit out of this service as it offers a better experience to them.


At its core, Azure replaces or supplements your on-premise infrastructure. However, it delivers a vast range of other services that improve the functioning of several departments in your organization and help you resolve critical business problems.

For instance, you can get big data insights with Azure analytics, and manage your billions of IoT devices on a unified Azure platform, you can interact with your users with AI bots through various platforms, and get a secure and scalable cloud data storage. You can also automate your development, testing, and deployment with DevOps, and deliver content across the globe without facing any latency issues.

These services are only a glimpse of what Azure can do for your business. Many enterprises across the globe are utilizing the capabilities of Microsoft Azure applications to optimize their business models as it revolutionizes overall infrastructure and application performance.

Sign up for a 14-day free trial of VictorOps and try the Microsoft Azure integration to make on-call suck less across your entire Microsoft Azure-based environment.


Azure Service Operator (for Kubernetes)

Go Report CardBuild Statusv2 Status

Note: The API is expected to change (while adhering to semantic versioning). Alpha and Beta resources are generally not recommended for production environments. Alpha, Beta, and Stable mean roughly the same for this project as they do for all Kubernetes features.

What is it?

Azure Service Operator (ASO) helps you provision Azure resources and connect your applications to them from within Kubernetes.

If you want to use Azure resources but would prefer to manage those resources using Kubernetes tooling and primitives (for example ), then Azure Service Operator might be for you.


The Azure Service Operator consists of:

  • The Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) for each of the Azure services a Kubernetes user can provision.
  • The Kubernetes controller that manages the Azure resources represented by the user specified Custom Resources. The controller attempts to synchronize the desired state in the user specified Custom Resource with the actual state of that resource in Azure, creating it if it doesn't exist, updating it if it has been changed, or deleting it.

Versions of Azure Service Operator

There are two major versions of Azure Service Operator: v1 and v2. Consult the below table and descriptions to learn more about which you should use.

Note: ASO v1 and v2 are two totally independent operators. Each has its own unique set of CRDs and controllers. They can be deployed side by side in the same cluster.

ASO v1

Azure Service Operator v1 is no longer under active development. Bug and security fixes are still made. Some features may be added if the scope is small and the impact is large, but we are winding down investment into ASO v1. If you are already using ASO v1 a migration path/tool will be provided to eventually move ASO v1 resources to ASO v2. In the meantime you can continue using ASO v1 as you have been.

Learn more about Azure Service Operator v1

ASO v2

Azure Service Operator v2 was built based on the lessons learned from ASO v1, with the following improvements:

  • Supports code-generated CRDs based on Azure OpenAPI specifications. This enables us to quickly add new resources as they are requested.
  • More powerful . You can view the actual state of the resource in Azure through ASO v2, which enables you to see server-side applied defaults and more easily debug issues.
  • Dedicated storage versions. This enables faster (and less error prone) support for new Azure API versions, even if there were significant changes in resource shape.
  • Uniformity. ASO v2 resources are very uniform due to their code-generated nature.
  • Clearer resource states. The state a resource is in is exposed via a Ready condition.

Learn more about Azure Service Operator v2


The contribution guide covers everything you need to know about how you can contribute to Azure Service Operators.


Please search open issues here. If your issue isn't already represented, please open a new one. The Azure Service Operator project maintainers will respond to the best of their abilities.

For more information, see

Code of conduct

This project has adopted the Microsoft Open Source Code of Conduct. For more information, see the Code of Conduct FAQ or contact [email protected] with any additional questions or comments.

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Introduction to Azure Data Services One by One

Azure Service Bus Transport

The Azure Service Bus transport leverages the .NET Standard Microsoft.Azure.ServiceBus client SDK.

Azure Service Bus is a messaging service hosted on the Azure platform that allows for exchanging messages between various applications in a loosely coupled fashion. The service offers guaranteed message delivery and supports a range of standard protocols (e.g. REST, AMQP, WS*) and APIs such as native pub/sub, delayed delivery, and more.

Transport at a glance

TransactionsNone, ReceiveOnly, SendsWithAtomicReceive
Large message bodieswith Premium tier or data bus
Scale-outCompeting consumer
Scripted DeploymentSupported using

The Azure Service Bus transport only supports Standard and Premium tiers of the Microsoft Azure Service Bus service. Premium tier is recommended for production environments.

Configuring an endpoint

To use Azure Service Bus as the underlying transport:

The Azure Service Bus transport requires a connection string to connect to a namespace.


Related Articles

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Service azure

List of Top 10 Azure Services

A public cloud computing platform, Microsoft Azure offers infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and a serverless model. A constant hybrid cloud, Microsoft Azure is growing in demand with approximately 90% of the Fortune 500 companies using Azure services.

The Azure cloud services are trained and created to deploy and manage even complex apps, through virtual infrastructure. It supports various programming languages, devices, databases, operating systems, and extensive frameworks. Therefore, Azure services intended for the professionals and enterprises offer all-around alternatives to the traditional means of organizational processes, with top Azure services greatly improving the performance.

Check Now:Microsoft Azure Certification Training Courses

Let us now get started with knowing more about top Azure services, but before that, it is important to know the reason behind such popularity of Microsoft Azure. 

Why Should You Choose Microsoft Azure Services?

While every business can have their individual reasons to choose Microsoft Azure services, there are several unbeatable advantages that all can leverage upon, like:

  • Microsoft Azure is capable of providing an enticing combination of Infrastructure as a platform (IaaS) and Platform as a service (PaaS) that helps enterprises create and deploy their own web apps without hustling over the groundwork.
  • Microsoft Azure has designed Security Development Lifecycle, an industry-standard security process that considers all security features including getting licenses and ensuring the best safety in all operations.
  • There is a vast user base already on Microsoft Azure, but the infrastructure is constantly scaling up, by using more processes for applications and selling storage through the cloud. It can run without any additional coding.
  • A hybrid cloud computing ecosystem is still a unique feature of Microsoft Azure. It can improve the performance by utilizing Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), ExpressRoute connections, caches, CDNs, etc. 
  • As most enterprises rely on MS office tools, it is wise to invest in a cloud platform that integrates well with all Microsoft products. Additionally, knowing C++, C, and Visual Basic can help you steer your career in Microsoft Azure. If you require further validation, then you can try out the Azure certification courses for Windows certificates.  
  • Microsoft Azure has intelligence and analytics capacities to improve the business process with the help of machine learning bots, cognitive APIs, and Blockchain as a Service (BaaS). 
  • Microsoft Azure also has SQL and noSQL data processing facilities to get deeper and actionable insights from the available data.
  • One of the major reasons to choose Azure services is the affordability, as the virtual infrastructure maintenance is extremely cost-efficient.

Read More on Microsoft Azure Tutorial: A Quick Introduction

Curated List of Top Azure Services

While there is no long list of competitors in cloud servicing, the top runners like Google and AWS continue to give a tough fight to Microsoft Azure in the race of being the most used cloud service. Despite intense competition, Microsoft Azure continues growing and evolving over the years, especially through the phase of remote working due to a pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Offering top Azure services, the platform has maintained its integrity and popularity. Now let’s delve deeper into understanding more about the top 10 most popular Azure services.

Azure Active Directory (AD) is one of the most popular cloud computing services from Microsoft Azure. Belonging to the Identity section, it is a universal identity platform to ensure the management and security of identities. It deserves the topmost mention in our list of best Azure services because of its robust security solutions.

Read More on What is Azure Active Directory? All That You Should Know!

Azure Active Directory offers single sign-on and multi-factor authentication as an enterprise identity service to protect them from cybersecurity threats. Identity-based security ensures complete safeguarding of the users as well, against cyberattacks. They can access the software from any corner of the world through authenticated login. As Azure Active Directory creates a single identity platform, it is also easier to have secure engagement with internal and external users. 

Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) deserves a mention here for being an extremely important Azure service that enables and accelerates growth in businesses. Its server is designed in a way that it can integrate a lot of storage space, web apps, and Azure cloud services. This is why Azure CDN is used to deliver content securely all across the world.

Read more on Azure CDN – Complete Guide!

Azure CDN is right at par with the top Azure services due to its high response speed and low load time. It also comes laced with heavy security so that the developers don’t have to spend enough time on developing new security solutions every time they share any content. This data is also further disintegrated into minute customer workflows with actionable engagement insights, thus profiting the enterprise.

To create a data-driven workflow in cloud computing, Azure Data Factory ingests data from several sources to automate data transmission and movement. Azure Data Factory utilizes several Azure services for computing like – Azure Machine Learning, Azure HDInsight Hadoop, and Azure Data Lake Analytics. Azure Data Lake can be understood as a huge repository of data in its original form for Big data analytics.

Output data from Azure Data Factory can be published on Azure Data Lake for Business Analytics (BI) applications for analytics and visualization. Azure Data Factory deserves a mention in the top Azure services as it does not store any data but allows you to gauge the movement of data and determine a data-driven workflow. By utilizing the raw data through data stores, better business decisions can be taken. Using UI and programmatic mechanisms, Azure Data Factory creates and monitors workflows.

Read More on Microsoft Azure Cheat Sheet!

Azure SQL database comes under the category of the platform as a service (PaaS) and is related to most of the database management functions, like – backups, monitoring, patching, and upgrading without any kind of user involvement. The efficiency of Azure SQL without requiring any human intervention is the reason why we have to mention it in our list of top Azure services.

The Azure SQL database brings integrated PaaS capabilities helping you administer domain-specific databases and optimize the activities as per your business needs. The Azure SQL database is always upgraded to the latest and stable version of the SQL server database engine. It is accompanied by a patched OS with 99.99% availability.

If your business deals with both relational and non-relational data structures like JSON, Spatial, graphs, and XML, then Azure SQL database can be one of the best Azure services for processing both kinds of data structures. For modern cloud applications, the Azure SQL database adds a readily available data storage facility with enhanced performance for enterprises.

Developers use Azure Functions to connect to data sources or messaging solutions and react to events. The best part about Azure Function is its compute-on-demand capacity which means that you only pay for the services when you consume the resources. Azure Functions, a serverless compute service, enables enterprises to run event-triggered codes without having an infrastructure for its provision.

Azure Function is greatly reliable and is used in production settings. It can be used to achieve decoupling, high-throughput, shared, and reusability.

One of the most celebrated Azure services, CosmosDB is a globally distributed database service. It can access and manage data from scattered data centers while offering tools to scale up your computation resources and global distribution patterns through Microsoft Azure.

Read more on Azure Cosmos DB – A Complete Guide!

Interestingly, CosmosDB ensures 99.99% availability while restricting read and write latencies to single-digit milliseconds. It also supports multiple data models through a single backend – and thus, can be used for graph models, key-value, relational models, and documents. CosmosDB is a top Azure service widely regarded as a NewSQL database, but it stays distinct with its inability to process-relational data models.

As you start using Microsoft Azure services, the software as a service (SaaS) platform of DevOps will be needed to develop and deploy software. It offers easy integration facilities with famous tools in the industry and can help orchestrate a DevOps toolchain. DevOps services prove the agility of the tools by tracking, planning, and discussing their work among other teams.

Read More on What is Azure DevOps?

For most of the users, DevOps are greatly beneficial to their applications, irrespective of the platform, language, or cloud. They also enable faster delivery through active planning and better collaboration. Using the efficient tools, this Azure service ensures an access to unlimited, cloud-hosted private Git repository where the application coding welcomes collaboration with advanced file management.

Human error is a crude reality and Azure Backup allows simple data protection tools from the Azure Web app services, to keep your data protected from ransomware or loss of any kind. The backup cost is almost inexpensive, and can be used for backing up SQL workloads, as well as data from virtual machines too.

Tools like Windows VSS Snapshot and Linux fsfreeze can come in handy along with Azure Backup to maintain consistency in the data. The backup system of Azure enables better task management and project efficiency.

As one of the top Azure services, Logic Apps have gained immense popularity due to their useful and efficient tools. They can offer effective solutions to integrate different applications. One must note the tightly-knit ecosystem of cloud-based SaaS connectors like Google Services, Twitter, and Office 365.

Logic apps make it very easy for Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) standards to operate in collaboration with trading partners through their B2B functionalities. Logic apps can also virtually connect devices, data, and apps across different locations.

A virtual machine is generally called an image, a file that can behave like an actual computer. Microsoft Azure offers the addition of virtual machines in its Compute category, thus creating Windows or Linux systems within a few seconds on a physical computer. The virtual machine stays separate from the rest of the computer, thus providing a perfect space to test beta applications, access virus-infected data, create system backups and run applications that were not natively intended to be run on the given operating system.

Read More on Virtual Machines in Azure!

Using Hypervisor’s management, Microsoft Azure also enables running multiple virtual machines on the same physical computer. Each virtual machine has its own virtual hardware along with specifications for CPU, memory, hard drive, network, etc. Virtual Machines can reduce the cost of investing in physical machines along with the added maintenance cost, power charges, and cooling facilities.

Wrapping Up

Can Microsoft Azure solve all your business queries with advanced Azure services? Do you need to consider alternatives with lesser features?

If you are just getting started with Microsoft, even the top Azure services can sound overwhelming. Apart from the Azure services mentioned in the list, several other services like VNet, Front Door, Azure Backup, StorSimple are crucial for organizations to scale up their enhanced enterprise solutions through a virtual platform.

Before you choose to go ahead with Microsoft Azure for your business, it is also important to assess your requirements before choosing a set of Azure services. Based on your needs, you can pick from the best-rated top Azure services or try out others from approximately 600 securely available Azure services.

Here, we tried to present an overview of the top Azure services along with reasons why businesses prefer Microsoft Azure as their cloud computing partner. If your interest has further peaked in this direction, you can sign up for various Microsoft Azure certification training courses to become an Azure professional, and future-proof your career too.

Azure App Service (Web Apps) Tutorial

Microsoft Azure

Cloud computing service created by Microsoft

Microsoft Azure, commonly referred to as Azure (AZH-ər, AY-zhər, AZ-ewr, AY-zewr),[2][3][4] is a cloud computing service created by Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools, and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.

Azure, announced at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2008, went by the internal project codename "Project Red Dog",[5] and formally released in February 2010, as Windows Azure before being renamed to Microsoft Azure on March 25, 2014.[6][7]


Azure uses large-scale virtualization at Microsoft data centers worldwide and it offers more than 600 services.[8]

Computer services[edit]

  • Virtual machines, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) allowing users to launch general-purpose Microsoft Windows and Linux virtual machines, as well as preconfigured machine images for popular software packages.[9]
  • App services, platform as a service (PaaS) environment letting developers easily publish and manage websites.
  • Websites, Azure Web Sites allows developers to build sites using ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, or Python and can be deployed using FTP, Git, Mercurial, Team Foundation Server or uploaded through the user portal. This feature was announced in preview form in June 2012 at the Meet Microsoft Azure event.[11] Customers can create websites in PHP, ASP.NET, Node.js, or Python, or select from several open source applications from a gallery to deploy. This comprises one aspect of the platform as a service (PaaS) offerings for the Microsoft Azure Platform. It was renamed to Web Apps in April 2015.[6][12]
  • WebJobs, applications that can be deployed to an App Service environment to implement background processing that can be invoked on a schedule, on demand, or run continuously. The Blob, Table and Queue services can be used to communicate between WebApps and WebJobs and to provide state.[5]


  • Azure Active Directory is used to synchronize on-premises directories and enable single sign-on. [1]
  • Azure Active Directory B2C allows the use of consumer identity and access management in the cloud.
  • Azure Active Directory Domain Services is used to join Azure virtual machines to a domain without domain controllers.
  • Azure information protection can be used to protect sensitive information.

Mobile services[edit]

  • Mobile Engagement collects real-time analytics that highlight users’ behavior. It also provides push notifications to mobile devices.[13]
  • HockeyApp can be used to develop, distribute, and beta-test mobile apps.[14]

Storage services[edit]

  • Storage Services provides REST and SDKAPIs for storing and accessing data on the cloud.
  • Table Service lets programs store structured text in partitioned collections of entities that are accessed by partition key and primary key. Azure Table Service is a NoSQL non-relational database.
  • Blob Service allows programs to store unstructured text and binary data as blobs that can be accessed by an HTTP(S) path. Blob service also provides security mechanisms to control access to data.
  • Queue Service lets programs communicate asynchronously by message using queues.
  • File Service allows storing and access of data on the cloud using the REST APIs or the SMB protocol.[15]

Communication services[edit]

Data management[edit]


The Microsoft Azure Service Bus allows applications running on Azure premises or off-premises devices to communicate with Azure. This helps to build scalable and reliable applications in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The Azure service bus supports four different types of communication mechanisms:[22][23]

  • Event Hubs, which provide event and telemetry ingress to the cloud at massive scale, with low latency and high reliability. For example, an event hub can be used to track data from cell phones such as a GPS location coordinate in real time.[24]
  • Queues, which allow one-directional communication. A sender application would send the message to the service bus queue, and a receiver would read from the queue. Though there can be multiple readers for the queue only one would process a single message.
  • Topics, which provide one-directional communication using a subscriber pattern. It is similar to a queue, however, each subscriber will receive a copy of the message sent to a Topic. Optionally the subscriber can filter out messages based on specific criteria defined by the subscriber.
  • Relays, which provide bi-directional communication. Unlike queues and topics, a relay doesn't store in-flight messages in its own memory. Instead, it just passes them on to the destination application.

Media services[edit]

A PaaS offering that can be used for encoding, content protection, streaming, or analytics.[citation needed]


A global content delivery network (CDN) for audio, video, applications, images, and other static files. It can be used to cache static assets of websites geographically closer to users to increase performance. The network can be managed by a REST-based HTTP API.[25]

Azure has 94 point of presence locations worldwide (also known as Edge locations) as of April 2020.[26]



  • Azure Automation provides a way for users to automate the manual, long-running, error-prone, and frequently repeated tasks that are commonly performed in a cloud and enterprise environment. It saves time and increases the reliability of regular administrative tasks and even schedules them to be automatically performed at regular intervals. You can automate processes using runbooks or automate configuration management using Desired State Configuration.[27]
  • Microsoft SMA

Azure AI[edit]

  • Microsoft Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML) provides tools and ML frameworks for developers to create their own machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) services.
  • Microsoft Azure Cognitive Services are a set of prebuilt APIs, SDKs and customizable services for developers, including perceptual and cognitive intelligence covering speech recognition, speaker recognition, neural speech synthesis, face recognition, computer vision, OCR/form understanding, natural language processing, machine translation, and business decision services. Most AI features appeared in Microsoft’s own products and services (Bing, Office, Teams, Xbox, and Windows) are powered by Azure Cognitive Services.[28][29][30][31][32]

Azure Blockchain Workbench[edit]

See also: Confidential Consortium Framework

Through Azure[33] Blockchain Workbench, Microsoft is providing the required infrastructure to set up a consortium network in multiple topologies using a variety of consensus mechanisms. Microsoft provides integration from these blockchain platforms to other Microsoft services to streamline the development of distributed applications. Microsoft supports many general-purpose blockchains including Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric and purpose-built blockchains like Corda.


Azure functions are used in serverless computing architectures where subscribers can execute code as an event driven Function-as-a-Service (FaaS) without managing the underlying server resources.[34]

Internet of Things (IoT)[edit]

  • Azure IoT Hub lets you connect, monitor, and manage billions of IoT assets. On February 4, 2016, Microsoft announced the General Availability of the Azure IoT Hub service.[35]
  • Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service built on IoT Hub that allows for cloud intelligence deployed locally on IoT edge devices.
  • Azure IoT Central is a fully managed SaaS app that makes it easy to connect, monitor, and manage IoT assets at scale.[36] On December 5, 2017, Microsoft announced the Public Preview of Azure IoT Central; its Azure IoT SaaS service.[37]
  • On October 4, 2017, Microsoft began shipping GA versions of the official Microsoft Azure IoT Developer Kit (DevKit) board; manufactured by MXChip.[38]
  • On April 16, 2018, Microsoft announced the launch of the Azure Sphere, an end-to-end IoT product that focuses on microcontroller-based devices and uses Linux.[39]
  • On June 27, 2018, Microsoft launched Azure IoT Edge, used to run Azure services and artificial intelligence on IoT devices.[40]
  • On November 20, 2018, Microsoft launched the Open Enclave SDK for cross-platform systems such as ARM TrustZone and Intel SGX.[41]

Azure Orbital[edit]

Launched in September 2020, Azure Orbital is a ground station service to help customers move satellite data to the cloud and to provide global cloud connectivity. Private industries and government agencies that use data collected by satellites can directly connect satellites to the cloud computing networks to process and analyse the data. Mobile cloud computing ground stations for customers that operate where there is no existing ground infrastructure (such as energy, agricultural and military) will provide point-to-point cloud connectivity to remote locations using third party satellite systems – SpaceX’s Starlinkconstellations in low Earth orbit (LEO) and SES’O3bmedium Earth orbit (MEO) constellation.[42][43]

SES will be deploying satellite control and uplink ground stations for its next-generation O3b mPOWER MEO satellites alongside Microsoft's data centres to provide single-hop connectivity to the cloud from remote sites.[44]

Microsoft suggests that satellite routing to the cloud can offer a speed advantage. For example, a connection from the home to a cloud data centre for online media, entertainment or gaming, currently may use complex fibre routes that are longer than one hop up to a satellite and down again. Microsoft’s experiments using Xbox cloud have found there are parts of the world (including parts of the USA) where it is faster via satellite than over terrestrial networks.[45]

Regional expansion and examples[edit]

In 2018, Azure was available in 54 regions, with 12 new regions being developed.[46] Microsoft became the first large cloud provider that built facilities in Africa, with two regions in South Africa.[47] An Azure geography contains multiple Azure Regions, such as for example "North Europe" (Dublin, Ireland), "West Europe" (Amsterdam, Netherlands). Where a location represents the city or area of the Azure Region. Each Azure Region is paired with another region within the same geography; this makes them a regional pair. In this example, Amsterdam and Dublin are the locations which form the regional pair.[48]

Microsoft has partners that sell its products. In August 2018, Toyota Tsusho began a partnership with Microsoft to create fish farming tools using the Microsoft Azure application suite for IoT technologies related to water management. Developed in part by researchers from Kindai University, the water pump mechanisms use artificial intelligence to count the number of fish on a conveyor belt, analyze the number of fish, and deduce the effectiveness of water flow from the data the fish provide. The specific computer programs used in the process fall under the Azure Machine Learning and the Azure IoT Hub platforms.[49]


Microsoft Azure uses a specialized operating system, called Microsoft Azure, to run its "fabric layer":[50] a cluster hosted at Microsoft's data centers that manage computing and storage resources of the computers and provisions the resources (or a subset of them) to applications running on top of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure has been described as a "cloud layer" on top of a number of Windows Server systems, which use Windows Server 2008 and a customized version of Hyper-V, known as the Microsoft Azure Hypervisor to provide virtualization of services.[51]

Scaling and reliability are controlled by the Microsoft Azure Fabric Controller, which ensures the services and environment do not fail if one or more of the servers fails within the Microsoft data center, and which also provides the management of the user's Web application such as memory allocation and load balancing.[51]

Azure provides an API built on REST, HTTP, and XML that allows a developer to interact with the services provided by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft also provides a client-side managed class library that encapsulates the functions of interacting with the services. It also integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio, Git, and Eclipse.[52][53][54]

In addition to interacting with services via API, users can manage Azure services using the Web-based Azure Portal, which reached General Availability in December 2015.[55] The portal allows users to browse active resources, modify settings, launch new resources, and view basic monitoring data from active virtual machines and services.

Deployment models[edit]

Microsoft Azure offers two deployment models for cloud resources: the "classic" deployment model and the Azure Resource Manager.[56] In the classic model, each Azure resource (virtual machine, SQL database, etc.) was managed individually. The Azure Resource Manager, introduced in 2014,[56] enables users to create groups of related services so that closely coupled resources can be deployed, managed, and monitored together.[57]

History and timeline[edit]

Ray Ozzieannouncing Windows Azure at PDC 2008, October 27

In 2005, Microsoft took over Groove Networks, and Bill Gates made Grooves founder Ray Ozzie one of his 5 direct reports as one of 3 chief technology officers. Ozzie met with Amitabh Srivastava, which let Srivastava change course. They convinced Dave Cutler to postpone his retirement and their teams developed a cloud operating system.[58][59][60]

  • October 2008 (PDC LA) – Announced the Windows Azure Platform[61]
  • March 2009 – Announced SQL Azure Relational Database
  • November 2009 – Updated Windows Azure CTP, Enabled full trust, PHP, Java, CDN CTP and more
  • February 1, 2010 – Windows Azure Platform commercially available[62][63]
  • June 2010 – Windows Azure Update, .NET Framework 4, OS Versioning, CDN, SQL Azure Update[64]
  • October 2010 (PDC) – Platform enhancements, Windows Azure Connect, improved Dev / IT Pro Experience.
  • December 2011 – Traffic manager, SQL Azure reporting, HPC scheduler
  • June 2012 – Websites, Virtual machines for Windows and Linux, Python SDK, new portal, locally redundant storage
  • April 2014 – Windows Azure renamed to Microsoft Azure,[6] ARM Portal introduced at Build 2014.
  • July 2014 – Azure Machine Learning public preview[65]
  • November 2014 – Outage affecting major websites including[66]
  • September 2015 – Azure Cloud Switch introduced as a cross-platform Linux distribution. Currently known as SONiC[67]
  • December, 2015 – Azure ARM Portal (codename "Ibiza") released.[68]
  • March, 2016 – Azure Service Fabric is Generally Available (GA)[69]
  • September 2017 – Microsoft Azure gets a new logo and a Manifesto[70]
  • July 16, 2018 – Azure Service Fabric Mesh public preview[71]
  • September 24, 2018 – Microsoft Azure IoT Central is Generally Available (GA)[72]
  • October 10, 2018 – Microsoft joins the Linux-oriented group Open Invention Network.[73]
  • April 17, 2019 – Azure Front Door Service is now available.[74]
  • March 2020 – Microsoft said that there was a 775% increase in Microsoft Teams usage in Italy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company estimates there are now 44 million daily active users of Teams worldwide.[75]


Microsoft has stated that, per the USA Patriot Act, the US government could have access to the data even if the hosted company is not American and the data resides outside the USA.[76][77][contradictory] To manage privacy and security-related concerns, Microsoft has created a Microsoft Azure Trust Center,[78] and Microsoft Azure has several of its services compliant with several compliance programs including ISO 27001:2005 and HIPAA. A full and current listing can be found on the Microsoft Azure Trust Center Compliance page.[79] Of special note, Microsoft Azure has been granted JAB Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the U.S. government in accordance with guidelines spelled out under the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a U.S. government program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud services used by the federal government.[80]

Significant outages[edit]

The following is a list of Microsoft Azure outages and service disruptions.

Date Cause Notes
2012-02-29 Incorrect code for calculating leap day dates[81]
2012-07-26 Misconfigured network device[82][83]
2013-02-22 Expiry of an SSL certificate[84]Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Video also affected[85]
2013-10-30 Worldwide partial compute outage[86]
2014-11-18 Azure storage upgrade caused reduced capacity across several regions[87]Xbox Live, Windows Store, MSN, Search, Visual Studio Online among others were affected.[88]
2015-12-03 Active Directory issues[89]
2016-09-15 Global DNS outage[90]
2017-03-15 Storage tier issues[91]
2017-10-03 Fire system glitch[92]
2018-06-20 Cooling system failure[93]North Europe region experienced 11 hours of downtime
2018-09-04 Cooling system failure due to inadequate surge protection (lightning strike)[94]Brought down numerous services in multiple regions for over 25 hours, with some services remaining affected until three days later
2019-05-02 DNS Migration Issue[95]
2021-03-15 OpenID Key removal[96]Authentication errors across multiple services using Azure Active Directory for up to 16 hours
2021-04-01 DNS issue impacting multiple Microsoft services [97]Worldwide DNS issues with Azure services


A large variety of Azure certifications can be attained, each requiring one or multiple successfully completed examinations.

Certification levels range from beginner, intermediate to expert.

Examples of common certifications include:

  • Azure Fundamentals
  • Azure Developer Associate
  • Azure Administrator Associate
  • Azure Data Engineers Associate
  • Azure Security Engineer Associate
  • Azure Solutions Architect Expert
  • Azure DevOps Engineer Expert

Key people[edit]

  • Dave Cutler, Lead Developer, Microsoft Azure[98]
  • Mark Russinovich, CTO, Microsoft Azure[99]
  • Scott Guthrie, Executive Vice President of the Cloud and AI group in Microsoft
  • Jason Zander, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Azure[100]
  • Julia White, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure[101]

See also[edit]



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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]


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