Understanding the Features and Benefits of Cloud Computing Services

AWS, Azure, etc., are cloud computing platforms that provide a wide range of services to help people build, deploy, and manage applications. These facilities play a significant role in the industry today. Budding entrepreneurs understand the role of cloud computing and deploy these facilities in their business operations to enhance their performance levels. Azure managed cloud services are one way to achieve such results. Thus, this article will shed light on the features and benefits of some of these services.

Features and Benefits

These services get categorised into different categories. The type of service one chooses for their application depends on the features and benefits provided by each category.

  • Compute – Provides virtual machines, containers, Web apps, mobile apps and more.
  • Data – Offers data storage options, including databases, analytics tools and big data processing engines.
  • Networking – Delivers network connectivity between various Azure services or third-party applications or devices (on-premises or hosted off-premises).

Availability Zones

Availability Zones(AZ) are physically isolated locations that get used to store resources. Each AZ provides resiliency against natural disasters and other unplanned outages. Businesses can use AZs to separate resources critical for their business and applications (like transaction processing) from those that aren’t a priority (like storage).

Virtual Machines (VMs)

Virtual Machines (VMs) are the building blocks that make up Cloud Services. In the case of Azure-managed Cloud Services, Azure VMs get managed by Microsoft and can get deployed in minutes. There are currently over 60 different VM sizes available, ranging from $0.02 per hour for a small VM to $11 per hour for a large VM with 32 cores and 160 GB of RAM! Businesses pay only for what they use, so it is critical to choose the right size based on their application requirements.

Azure Batch and HPC

Azure Batch is a managed service that lets companies run large-scale parallel and distributed applications. People can use Azure Batch to run HPC workloads, batch workloads, or both.

Azure Batch also supports applications that require fault tolerance and high availability for long-running jobs. With Azure Batch, individuals have access to the most powerful computing resources in Azure, including Virtual Machine (VM) Scale Sets, GPU cards from Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs, and Linux VMs hosted on Compute Optimized Virtual Machines (COSVMs).

SQL Database

SQL Database is a fully managed database service that enables businesses to set up, manage, and scale SQL databases in the cloud. It supports the SQL Server engine, including SQL Server 2016 and later versions.

Cognitive Services

Cognitive Services is a collection of intelligent APIs that provide entrepreneurs with the ability to add AI-powered capabilities to their applications. 

  • The Cognitive Services include Vision, Speech, Custom Speech Service, Text Analytics, Language Understanding, Search and Knowledge Graph. 
  • Use cases include facial recognition and emotion detection (Vision), speech-to-text (Speech) and text-to-speech conversion (Custom Speech Service).

AKS: An Outlook

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is one of the most robust services provided today. This service eases the deployment and maintenance of a cluster of virtual machines running Kubernetes on Azure. 

  • AKS gets built on top of the Azure Container Service, which is a native Azure service. It includes the core components needed to deploy and manage a highly available Kubernetes cluster in Azure.
  • A single AKS cluster can run Linux and Windows container workloads, including Docker containers. Companies can use the same tools they are familiar with today to deploy applications into their AKS clusters—or use new tools like kubelet and Helm that make it easier.

Platforms like Azure-managed Cloud Services offer a wide range of applications and tools for users. These facilities allow organisations to grow, scale, and expand. Thus, they’re preferred highly in the market today.

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