Microsoft Azure, formerly known as Windows Azure, is Microsoft's public cloud computing platform. It provides a range of cloud services, including those for compute, analytics, storage, and networking. Users can pick and choose from these services to develop and scale new applications, or run existing applications, in the public cloud. Microsoft Azure is widely considered both a Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering.
Microsoft categorizes Azure services into 11 main product types:
Compute – these services provide virtual machines, containers, batch processing, and remote application access.
Web and mobile – these services support the development and deployment of web and mobile applications, and also offer features for API management, notification, and reporting.
Data storage – this category includes Database as a Service (DBaaS) for SQL and NoSQL, as well as unstructured and cached cloud storage.
Analytics – these services provide distributed analytics and storage, as well as real-time analytics, big data analytics, data lakes, machine learning, and data warehousing.
Networking – this group includes virtual networks and dedicated connections and gateways, as well as services for traffic management, load balancing, and domain name system (DNS) hosting.
Media and content delivery network (CDN) – these services include on-demand streaming, encoding, and media playback and indexing.
Hybrid integration – these are services for server backup, site recovery, and connecting private and public clouds.
Identity and access management (IAM) – these offerings ensure only authorized users can employ Azure services, and help protect encryption keys and other confidential information.
Internet of Things (IoT) – these services help users capture, monitor, and analyze IoT data from sensors and other devices.
Management and security – these products help cloud administrators manage their Azure deployment schedule and run jobs, and create automation. This product group also includes capabilities for identifying and responding to cloud security threats.
The full list of Azure services is constantly subject to change. Users should check the Microsoft Azure website for updates.
Azure Services Account Creation Process
- Access to the Azure Portal requires the account manager to log on using a Hokies account (PID@vt.edu and Hokies password).
- The department completes the Azure Cloud Services Request Form and submits it to IT Procurement and Licensing Solutions.
- IT Procurement and Licensing Solutions creates an account in the Azure Portal using the information provided by the department.
- The account manager receives an invitation e-mail from Microsoft with logon information.
- The account manager logs on to the Azure User Portal to access Azure services.
If you need assistance in determining your cloud services requirements, consultation services are offered by Collaborative Computing Solutions.