Microsoft Azure is one of the most prominent cloud computing platforms and is the essential behind-the-scenes supporting infrastructure for much of the Microsoft cloud (e.g., Office 365) as well as for many third-party apps, websites and services. As an IT professional, you should be familiar with at least the general contours of Azure and what it can do for an organization. Here are some of the most important features to know about the platform:
What is Microsoft Azure?
Microsoft Azure is a versatile cloud computing platform solution that gives businesses the ability to expertly manage software applications for their network of managed datacenters around the world. This includes the creation, deployment, and management of applications for the network. Azure enables organizations to create applications using any language, tool, or framework and integrate public applications in the cloud with an existing IT environment.
The use cases for Azure are vast, which makes sense considering that "Azure" is not a single product but a collection of tools that can perform tasks such as running an Azure-like private cloud in your own data center (Azure Stack), containerizing workloads to reduce the overhead associated with virtual machines (Container Service) and ensuring dedicated private network fiber connections (ExpressRoute).
In other words, Azure is not simply a huge pool resources for supporting a company's Software-as-a-Service applications (although it can do that, too). It also serves as the glue that holds together many everyday IT operations. For example, Azure Active Directory is a cloud-based identity management system that can offer single sign-on for both on-premises and cloud applications, including Office 365, boosting convenience and security for the entire organization.
Azure is constantly evolving and adding new services
Like any major cloud, Azure is on the technological cutting-edge. Fresh features are introduced all the time to expand the platform's reach and address common needs among developers and end-users. Many of Azure's components, such as API Management and Event Grid Integration, were only added in 2021, even though Azure itself dates back to 2010.
Microsoft's annual Build developers' conference often includes several announcements about Azure updates. In 2022, the biggest ones pertained to developer flow, cloud ubiquity, and unified data.
You can quickly learn Azure if you already know another cloud platform
Many IT professionals learn AWS first, since it was the first major Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service offering. The good news is that skills in AWS and other cloud ecosystems are partially transferable to Azure.
No-Cost Azure Fundamentals Course
Our AZ-900 Demo Day is an 8-hour course providing foundational level knowledge on Azure concepts; core Azure services; core solutions and management tools; general security and network security; governance, privacy, and compliance features; Azure cost management and service level agreements.