Microsoft Azure is an open, flexible cloud platform and infrastructure that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications. It provides you with a broad collection of integrated cloud services – everything from compute, storage, web and mobile apps, analytics, security, machine learning, and AI – to help you solve your business problems.
Azure consists of 34 interconnected, Microsoft-managed data regions around the world and offers a range of programming languages. Its main portal is a digital hub that presents databases, web apps, storage, virtual machines and more in one clear interface.
Developed by Microsoft in October 2008 and launched in February 2010, the platform is also known as Windows Azure before being renamed to its current name in 2014. Azure is one of four platforms that offers cloud computing and features a number of major services:
Compute — including virtual machines, virtual machine scale sets and serverless functions – provides a range of capabilities for developing and testing your web apps. It supports both Windows and Linux environments and is compatible with open source tools. Its backup and disaster recovery service ensures that your critical workloads are protected with 3x data replication to a primary and secondary location.
Security features are built into the platform – you can store keys in the Azure Key Vault for encryption, and use multi-factor authentication (MFA) for admin accounts. You can also use Azure security center to monitor your environments and configure policies.