Join David Isbitski for an in-depth discussion in this video What is Windows Azure?, part of Up and Running with Azure Mobile Services.
So what is Windows Azure? In this course, I'm going to assume you know the fundamentals of cloud computing. If you need a refresher, there is another course available here on lynda.com called, Up and Running with Azure. Azure is Microsoft's answer for cloud computing. Initially released in February of 2010, Azure supports both Pass or platform as a service, as well as IS, or Infrastructure as a service offerings. This means you can create virtual machines that run in the cloud.
Both Windows and Linux based solutions are available, as well as taking advantage of managed services where Microsoft handles the patching and the maintaining. Of all of that infrastructure for you. This gives you the best of both worlds and allows you to host things both on Premise or in the cloud with Microsoft. You can think of Azure as computing as a service, whether it's infrastructure, big data, mobile apps, web apps, media services. Storage, backup and recovery, identity and access management, Azure has an offering for you.
Azure has processed over 265 billion authenticated requests while maintaining 99.97% monthly availability, or better. Azure Mobile Services, in particular, has also seen over 20,000 services created up until general availability. Right now, Azure has more server computer power than the entire world used in 1999. So let's take a look at the particular offerings of Azure. We can break Azure Services up into a couple different categories.
First, there's Compute. You can think of Compute as specific Pass offerings. Originally, the only offering was cloud services. Cloud services offered you a way to look at an entire architecture of a cloud service as one deployment package. So I could create instances of web roles, worker roles, have service buses with message queues. And I could deploy all of that without managing any of that infrastructure myself.
As time moved on Azure increased its availability of different offerings around Pass. One offering is websites. Azure websites give you the availability of a blog or website that can scale to meet your needs. There is another offering around mobile services which we're going to cover in this course. I'll talk a little bit more specifically in the next session of what mobile services offers. Compute also offers virtual machines. Virtual machines allow you to set up your own infrastructure and all of this is done using Hyper-V.
Next, there are a couple different data offerings inside Azure. We can run a SQL database in the cloud where we don't have to manage anything. That SQL database is going to be part of mobile services and as we move through this course, I'll show you how to integrate with it as your services also offers different types of storage such as table storage which is common in those SQL scenarios. And blob storage where you can literally store anything from backups of your SQL server to the actual images of the drives used in virtual machines.
Data also offers SQL server reporting services, where you can create charge, tables and other business intelligent style reports in the cloud. Azure offers App services around media, so for example, if you need to provide video, and I'm talking about a really big scenario here. Something like a YouTube or a Hulu, you have the ability to go in and server side actually. Generate all of the different video formats for your video files.
So I could stream data down to a phone, a tablet or a PC across all different types of screen scenerios. Azure also offers a Service Bus. Your Service Bus allows you to communicate through message queues, or Service Bus relays that allows you to integrate with WCF services that you may be running onsite in your enterprise. All of this is done in a secure scalable fashion. Azure also offers Access Control, and identity and authorization providers through Active Directory.
We can also set up a virtual VPN network with Azure, so that our services in the cloud look like they're part of our own data center. And Azure has a built-in store. Any third-party services and data that we purchased through the store will show up integrated on our Azure bill and we won't need another identity. It will instantly use our Azure ID and we'll be logged in straight to those services. Currently, Azure offers a bunch of different hosted data centers that you can choose where you want to create your services.
There are four locations in North America, two in Asia, and two in Europe. Recently, a new data center was also added in Australia. These data centers are completely automated. Azure services are created inside containers that are self hosting and include everything from regulated temperatures, cooling, and the ability to easily swap out these containers and upgrade to more services. All of this means you, as the developer or IT pro, don't have to worry about actually buying the metal anymore.
You don't have to manage the servers. Worry about things happening to the data center physically. All of that is set up by Microsoft in the data centers.
- Setting up Visual Studio, Node.js, and the Azure Mobile Services SDK
- Creating a new Azure Mobile Service instance
- Connecting an app to a new service
- Creating and managing storage tables
- Setting up Facebook authorization
- Storing app data in the cloud
- Sending out push notifications
- Setting up an API service
- Adding custom logging