Today, the tendency of informatization of society is very clearly monitored. With each passing day, technology is taking an ever greater step into the future, pulling humanity into it. Formed in the twentieth century, information technology is already ruling the world, making a serious claim for the future. Today almost every person owns an electronic device, a communication device, and communications. There are new professions that teach people the technological specialties of developing and servicing all these innovations of technological thought. Humanity strives for a network.
The globalization of society is closely connected with such phenomena as the appearance of the Internet, the simplification of the means of communication. Today we can in a few seconds transmit a file of cosmic (by the standards of the twentieth century) dimensions on the opposite side of the globe. The Internet is even in the Arctic. Thanks to the achievement of the current level of technology development, a product called Windows Azure was first introduced, and after it was renamed Microsoft Azure. A product that can become irreplaceable in the future, both in business and in education, is largely due to the new methods of organization – “Cloud Solutions”, which are everywhere introduced instead of traditional IT tools. Moreover, education in Russia does not always keep pace with technology due to the fact that the administration of complex networks and products is a rather complex process. And it becomes clear that the cloud models of the use of information technology – this is serious and for a long time. Many experts are confident that cloud models are a new global phase of the development of information technology in their entire history. And we are becoming more and more convinced of this every day.
About the product
Microsoft Azure is an open, flexible platform that allows you to create, deploy, scale, and manage custom applications in a global Microsoft data center network, using various high-level programming languages, using a variety of tools and work environments.
Microsoft Azure consists of three main components:
- Compute – the computational component of the platform.
- Storage is a storage component. Represents a scalable storage service.
- Fabric – Microsoft Azure Fabric is inherently the core of the platform. It performs real-time monitoring functions, provides fault tolerance of the system, allocates the necessary capacities.
The availability of this platform is provided by Microsoft’s global data center network, which is located in North America, Western Europe, southern and southeast Asia and is well protected.
Microsoft Azure essentially provides the functions of the operating system, however, in turn, it has a number of additional functions.
Also, Microsoft Azure provides a different type of services, such as server rental, storage devices and network equipment. Thus, having a subscription to Microsoft Azure it will not be difficult to place the server part of the client-server application in the Microsoft data center. Such services are paid for the actual use (the number of calls to the server, the amount of data received / transmitted, time).
The product provides a gallery of images of operating systems, such as CoreOS, Windows Server, Ubuntu Server, etc.
Currently, there are many service providers of this kind. Of course, many of those services provided by companies such as Rockspace, Amazon, Microsoft, can be deployed internally on their own. Comparison of this product with the independent deployment of servers allows you to highlight the strengths of “cloud” services.
Microsoft Azure Services
Microsoft Azure provides a wide range of services, but we will note the most important and most useful.
- Web Sites – Web sites with support for java, php, asp.net, node.js (or CMS – Drupal, WordPress, etc.).
- SQL Database is a service that provides a relational data warehouse service based on the Microsoft SQL Server product.
- Azure Files – a service that provides access to data in the Azure Storage.
- Media Services – Microsoft’s cloud-based multimedia services and their partners to view files, encode, convert format.
- Mobile Services – a cloud-based infrastructure designed for the most popular mobile platforms, based on which you can, for example, build a cloud-based data warehouse. Supports most modern operating systems.
Microsoft Azure for Education
Microsoft is known for its contribution to education, the development of educational systems, as well as the approach in terms of educational projects. The company prefers to interact with students from the first year, connects them to their products from the beginning of studying programming and developing software products. Microsoft Azure is no exception and can be widely used in the process of students studying such disciplines as programming, data management and so on.
Windows Azure Academic Pass – academic access for teachers and students, which provides access for five months. To obtain such access it is necessary to submit an application in English with an educational program description that will be taught and demonstrated using Windows Azure, as well as linking a card from which a dollar will be written.
In response to the application comes a letter with an attachment (a document entitled “Windows Azure Offer for Academic Institutions”), the essence of which is that under the legislation of some countries the issue of a free subscription to a paid resource can be regarded as a bribe, and to avoid problems with Microsoft legislation requests confirmation that the resource will be used for educational purposes by the academic institution. The letter is printed, signed by the head of the educational institution or department, and then sent back.
At the next step, an Excel file containing the passwords in the amount that was specified when sending the application will arrive.
After that you will receive a set more than impressive for educational needs, namely: 10 websites and mobile applications, 8 gigabytes of traffic, two databases (1 gigabyte), 2 virtual machines, 35 gigabytes of space. The whole volume of services is given for five months. It is enough to conduct all the necessary demonstrations, as well as to provide students with an independent acquaintance with this product.
Comparison with analogues
The idea of providing “cloud” services is not new and, of course, not only Microsoft has gone to such a promising area. In fact, today it is believed that the leading position in the infrastructure market of the public cloud is taken by Amazon and its Amazon Web Services product.
This article explored the features of Microsoft Windows Azure. This product can be widely used in business. Also, the company pays great attention to the problems of training and provides its product with free access for review.
Windows Azure is a powerful product for computing and development. It provides a wide range of services for business. Microsoft provides Windows Azure with free access for startups. Microsoft has chosen the right direction for development. Very soon, cloud services will be widely distributed and will occupy their niche in the IT services market.
Image credit: Microsoft