Azure is probably the most important product of Microsoft in the last decade. Part of the success has been the almost obsessive focus that everything was on cloud services for developers, users and products, surprisingly, its internal architecture. Getting into a saturated market (share) by major players like Amazon or Google is complicated but, as has been shown, there are many untapped services with tremendous potential: mobile cloud computing, for example.
Microsoft launched almost rushing to get on the last train that large corporations such as IBM and Oracle have definitely lost in the cloud, at least without strategic alliances. What could have been done before? Perhaps, yes, but it has taken advantage of what I had and completely turn the company into the cloud services. Azure is the new star within Microsoft.
Microsoft is currently defined as a service and devices, which moves away from the approach that has always had and made it an industry leader. Not what we say, but since the output of the company Ballmer insisted enough on the subject. The choice of the new CEO, Satya Nadella hitherto division president, Server and Tools Business lighter leaves.
Under the command of the division with Satya Nadella Azure became key in both business developments as one of the strongest pillars of the present and future profitability of the company. Abandon its focus on consumer products and services focus on Enterprise?
What does Azure for Microsoft?
Microsoft has invested heavily in cloud services of Azure, including its internal infrastructure. For this reason, Microsoft’s efforts have led him to deploy all kinds of possibility, IaaS, PaaS or SaaS. What makes it a powerful competitor in the market for cloud services in the broadest sense: Potential developers’ backend user to use their applications completely online?
Much of its internal infrastructure is migrated to Azure. For example, Skype and only works with Azure, SkyDrive (renamed to OneDrive) is in the process of migrating all storage space, part of the online infrastructure Xbox Live and Xbox One also based on Azure (including entire game online Halo 4).
While Office 365 is not strictly a SaaS (Software as a Service) product, including cloud services such as Office Web Apps and Online Enchange selling under a subscription system. In addition, we focused cloud developers a complete set of solutions for users.
The evolution of Azure and its continuous improvement (including Microsoft products outside the ecosystem)
Microsoft made a first approach to what we know now as Azure at its developer conference, PDC 2008 (Build the future). It was the first foray into the cloud computing Amazon when they were more or less settled with two pillars in their architecture services Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 storage for virtual machines.
In January 2010 opened to all developers focusing on a model of Platform as a Service (PaaS) with a very limited supply. Monthly has expanded services and diversity, with an eye on your competitors.
Now we have a mature offering that includes both Paas, and IaaS services (infrastructure as a service) or less focused developers to users, known SaaS (Software as a Service) as it ignores many cloud service but it is becoming more common. Technical concept that if you want to zoom in further explanation.
Briefly reviewing the products offered
- IaaS: oriented to the user to have full control of the virtual infrastructure services. Here we include everything about servers (virtual machines) to choose from (Windows Server, Linux, Oracle, Open Logic, etc. ..) operating system, number of processing cores, amount of RAM or virtual disks. Azure has a long list of virtual machines created in the gallery and both servers Sharepoint Development with Visual Studio and most of the server Entreprise Linux distributions Ubunti, CentOS or Oracle. As you see everything is not Windows, very good point in his favor.
- PaaS: at this level we already created a platform that manages Azure for us, scaling and deploying to the needs of our applications. Thus, eye, we are surprised as we can install WordPress on Azure or any CMS (Drupal, Joomla, etc…) and frameworks (Django, CakePHP, etc. ..). Collides with the expected idea of a closed ecosystem based on Microsoft. Net, ASP and SQL Server. From reality
- SaaS services where infrastructure and platform are hidden under a layer of abstraction. Client applications consume services directly format. Here we find a tremendous database in SQL Azure cloud services, Big Data and Hadoop or her own as HDI nsight integrated with LINQ and Hive, Biztalk as communications service, Active Directory services, or the Service Bus to disseminate audiovisual material.
Attracting developers outside the usual Microsoft ecosystem
Microsoft technologies developers are clear that the future is in the cloud, all the programming tools are increasingly focused on deploying services and applications in Azure. And something amazing for anti-Microsoft programmers who start using these services as backend applications, although not sting a single line of code with Microsoft languages or frameworks.
One of the successes of the Azure platform has been approaching developers away from Microsoft ecosystem. The large current in power in terms of demand for services and increased income group are mobile application developers. Looking for a backend to your applications with a solid MBaaS the term increasingly trendy, Mobile Backend as a Service.
A developer of mobile apps is focused on developing its mobile application, not create a complete backend to support it. They have neither the knowledge nor the time to implement it. Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, has managed to offer just what they needed with a clear and concise interface to be agile in deploying the necessary component.
Mobility are provided a complete scenario: reach any user regardless (Windows, Android or iOS) platform. The most popular services are the push notifications in this regard is the strongest Parse (ownership, eye, Facebook), but Azure has managed to offer just enough and make it pretty. It has also been open when converting applications not using social networks on his third as Facebook, Google or Twitter. And finally, connect local enterprise systems such as SAP, Oracle and Active Directory with moving; nothing simple task that only a corporate giant like Microsoft can perform without stun technology managers.