Understanding Components of Windows Azure
Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that serves as the development, data storing, service hosting and service management environment. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft data-centers.
Component of Windows Azure
This provides access to Cloud Service or hosted service and management tasks. It also provides at-a-glance status information about the overall health of your deployments and accounts.
Windows Azure provides four options – Virtual Machine, Web Sites, Cloud Service and Mobile Service; for creating and executing the applications. Each of them can be used separately or along with others.
Data Service can be divided into two parts – Data Management and Business Analytics.
Windows Azure provides three options – SQL Database, Tables and Blobs; for creating, querying and managing database for the applications. Each option addresses a different need; SQL Database for relational storage, Tables for fast access to potentially large amounts of simple typed data, and Blobs for unstructured binary storage.
All these three options can be accessed either by Windows Azure applications or by applications running elsewhere, such as your on-premises data-center, your laptop, or your phone.
Windows Azure provides two options – SQL Reporting and HD Insight (Hadoop); for analyzing data and provides report. SQL Reporting is a subset of the reporting services included with SQL Server and allows you to build reporting into applications running on Windows Azure or on premises. The reports can be created in various formats like HTML, XML, PDF, Excel etc.
HDInsight is the name of the Windows Azure's Apache Hadoop-based service. HDInsight store data on the cluster and distribute it across multiple VMs. It also spreads the logic of a MapReduce job across those VMs.
Windows Azure provides two options – Virtual Network and Traffic Manager; for managing network traffic for the applications. Windows Azure Virtual Network is used to connect your own on-premises local network to a defined set of Windows Azure VMs. When your Windows Azure application is running in multiple data-centers, Windows Azure Traffic Manager is used to route requests from users intelligently across instances of the application.
This can be divided into five parts – Identity, Performance, Messaging, Workflow Manager and Media Services.
Windows Azure Active Directory stores information about users and the organizations they belong to. It lets users log in and then supplies them with tokens they can present to applications to prove their identity. It also allows synchronizing user information with Windows Server Active Directory running on premises in your local network.
Windows Azure provides two options – in-memory Caching and Content Delivery Network (CDN); for caching frequent accessed data and improves your application performance. CDN is used to cache blob data that will be accessed fast by users around the world.
Windows Azure provides two options – Queues and Service Bus; for handling complex interactions between two applications.
In Queue approach, one application places a message in a queue, and that message is eventually read by another application. If your application needs just this straightforward service, Windows Azure Queues might be the best choice.
Service Bus allows your applications to exchange data anywhere; whether your application is running in the cloud, in your data center, on a mobile device, or somewhere else. Moreover, Service Bus provides both queues (one-to-one) and publish-and-subscribe (one-to-many) mechanisms.
Work Flow Manager
It provides the capability to host workflows in a high scale, high density, and multi-tenant environment. Workflows is supported by using Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 and Windows Workflow Foundation (WF45)
Windows Azure media service process and serves the various media like video very fast to the client around the world. Video created by using Media Services can be consumed by various client systems, including Windows, Macintosh, HTML 5, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Flash, and Silverlight.
Windows Azure Marketplace and Windows Azure Store allows you to find and buy Windows Azure applications and commercial datasets. The difference between these two is that Marketplace is outside of the Windows Azure Management Portal, but the Store can be accessed from the portal.
Development Tools and SDK
Today, you can create, deploy, and manage Windows Azure applications in various programming languages. Microsoft currently provides language-specific SDKs for .NET, Java, PHP, Node.js, Ruby, and Python. There's also a general Windows Azure SDK that supports any language such as C++.
The Windows Azure SDK for .NET includes the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio, which extends Visual Studio to enable the creation, building, packaging, running, and debugging of scalable web applications and services on Windows Azure.
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