What is Azure?
Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, run-time, and control environment for the Azure Services Platform.Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft data centers.
WINDOWS AZURE VS. WINDOWS SERVER
Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that enables customers to create scalable and available web applications; While Windows Server addresses the on-premises and hosting market. Going forward, Windows Azure and Windows Server will share innovations bilaterally.
Azure reduces the need for up-front technology purchases, and it enables developers to quickly and easily create applications running in the cloud by using their existing skills with the Microsoft Visual Studio development environment and the Microsoft .NET Framework. In addition to managed code languages supported by .NET, Azure will support more programming languages and development environments in the near future. Azure simplifies maintaining and operating applications by providing on-demand compute and storage to host, scale, and manage web and connected applications. Infrastructure management is automated with a platform that is designed for high availability and dynamic scaling to match usage needs with the option of a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Azure provides an open, standards-based and interoperable environment with support for multiple internet protocols, including HTTP, REST, SOAP, and XML.
SOFTWARE + SERVICES
Developers no longer have to make a choice between the benefits of what can be delivered to users via the web versus traditional on-premises software. Microsoft offers the opportunity for developers to offer both with a software-plus-services approach. It is an industry shift that combines services on the Web with client and server software to deliver the best of both worlds. Microsoft is dedicated to helping its partners and customers – consumers and businesses – take advantage of this approach to maximize choice and flexibility across PCs, the Web, mobile devices, on-premises servers, and cloud-based services.
The Azure Services Platform is part of this vision, providing the power of choice and flexibility in developing, operating, and managing applications that exist on the internet or devices to provide users the benefits of both online and on-premises usage scenarios. The services platform makes this possible by using a common set of programming languages, runtimes and frameworks that span from the service in the cloud to a server, and from the PC to the browser to the phone.
This approach provides a broad canvas to imagine and create innovative solutions that would otherwise be constrained by using just one approach. Developers can now take advantage of Microsoft strengths in client and server-based developer technologies and couple them with the Azure Services Platform cloud capabilities. By doing so, developers can deliver unique and user-centric applications and open the doors to a new generation of technology connecting people across the web and on connected devices.
Visit Azure: http://www.microsoft.com/azure