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A Gentle Introduction to the Azure platform

Azure from Microsoft is one of the few popular cloud platforms out in the market. This article lays out a field guide to the vastness of this platform. If you would like to know about cloud computing in general, checkout the blog titled A gentle introduction to cloud computing.

In this section, let us take a closer look at the Azure platform and the services it provides. Azure provides over a 100 services which it groups into 8 categories:

  1. compute services: VMs, containers, serverless, kubernetes, Azure batch, Azure functions
  2. cloud storage: disk attached to VMs, file shares, DBs, blob storage, queue storage, SQL and noSQL DBs
  3. networking: private networks to on-prem
  4. app hosting: run webapps on Windows or Linux, and a marketplace of other services
  5. AI: cognitive services - Azure ML service, ML studio
  6. IoT: integrate sensors into your cloud, build dashboards etc
  7. integration: logic apps, service bus, workflow orchestration
  8. security: identity services, intelligence monitoring

Look at the platform help doc under the picture for a table.

Image credit: Azure platform help

Account types

The first 12 months of account creation gives us free access. After this, it is a pay-as-you-go model. However there are 25 services that will always be free.