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.
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
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.
Azure Data Factory
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.
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.
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