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Microsoft Azure
""Microsoft Azure Logo.svg
"Developer(s) "Microsoft
Initial release February 1, 2010; 8 years ago (2010-02-01)
"Operating system "Linux, "Microsoft Windows
"License "Closed source for platform, "Open source for client "SDKs
Website azure.microsoft.com

Microsoft Azure (formerly Windows Azure "/ˈæʒər/) is a "cloud computing service created by "Microsoft for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed "data centers. It provides "software as a service (SaaS), "platform as a service (PaaS) and "infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different "programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.

Azure was announced in October 2008 and released in February 1, 2010 as "Windows Azure" before being renamed "Microsoft Azure" on March 25, 2014.[1][2]



Microsoft lists over 600 Azure services,[3] of which some are covered below:


Mobile services[edit]

Storage services[edit]

Data management[edit]


The Microsoft Azure Service Bus allows applications running on Azure premises or off premises devices to communicate with Azure. This helps to build scalable and reliable applications in a "service-oriented architecture (SOA). The Azure service bus supports four different types of communication mechanisms:["citation needed][13]

Media services[edit]

A Paas offering that can be used for encoding, "content protection, streaming, or "analytics.["citation needed]


A global "content delivery network (CDN) for audio, video, applications, images, and other static files. It can be used to cache static assets of websites geographically closer to users to increase performance. The network can be managed by a REST based HTTP API.["citation needed]

Azure has 30 point of presence locations worldwide (also known as Edge locations) as of December 2016.[14]



Machine learning[edit]



Azure is generally available in 50 regions around the world. Microsoft has announced an additional six regions.[18] Microsoft is the first hyper-scale cloud provider that has committed to building facilities on the continent of Africa with two regions located in South Africa.[19] Microsoft has some Gold partners available across the globe to sell its products.["specify]


Microsoft Azure uses a specialized operating system, called Microsoft Azure, to run its "fabric layer":["citation needed] a cluster hosted at Microsoft's data centers that manages computing and storage resources of the computers and provisions the resources (or a subset of them) to applications running on top of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure has been described as a "cloud layer" on top of a number of Windows Server systems, which use Windows Server 2008 and a customized version of "Hyper-V, known as the Microsoft Azure Hypervisor to provide virtualization of services.["citation needed]

Scaling and reliability are controlled by the Microsoft Azure Fabric Controller["citation needed], which ensures the services and environment do not fail if one or more of the servers fails within the Microsoft "data center, and which also provides the management of the user's Web application such as memory allocation and load balancing.["citation needed]

Azure provides an "API built on "REST, "HTTP, and "XML that allows a developer to interact with the services provided by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft also provides a client-side managed class library that encapsulates the functions of interacting with the services. It also integrates with "Microsoft Visual Studio, "Git, and "Eclipse.["citation needed]

In addition to interacting with services via API, users can manage Azure services using the Web-based Azure Portal, which reached General Availability in December 2015.[20] The portal allows users to browse active resources, modify settings, launch new resources, and view basic monitoring data from active virtual machines and services. More advanced Azure management services are available.[21]

Deployment models[edit]

Microsoft Azure offers two deployment models for cloud resources: the "classic" deployment model and the Azure Resource Manager.[22] In the classic model, each Azure resource (virtual machine, SQL database, etc.) was managed individually. The Azure Resource Manager, introduced in 2014,[22] enables users to create groups of related services so that closely coupled resources can be deployed, managed, and monitored together.[23]


"Ray Ozzie announcing Windows Azure at PDC 2008, October 27


Microsoft has stated that, per the "USA Patriot Act, the US government could have access to the data even if the hosted company is not American and the data resides outside the USA.[31] However, Microsoft Azure is compliant with the "E.U. Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC).[32][33]["contradictory] To manage privacy and security-related concerns, Microsoft has created a Microsoft Azure Trust Center,[34] and Microsoft Azure has several of its services compliant with several compliance programs including "ISO 27001:2005 and "HIPAA. A full and current listing can be found on the Microsoft Azure Trust Center Compliance page.[35] Of special note, Microsoft Azure has been granted JAB Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the U.S. government in accordance with guidelines spelled out under the "Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a U.S. government program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud services used by the federal government.[36]

Significant outages[edit]

Documented Microsoft Azure outages and service disruptions.

Date Cause Notes
2012-02-29 Incorrect code for calculating "leap day dates[37]
2012-07-26 Misconfigured network device[38][39]
2013-02-22 Expiry of an SSL certificate[40] Xbox Live, Xbox Music and Video also affected[41]
2013-10-30 Worldwide partial compute outage[42]
2014-11-18 Azure storage upgrade caused reduced capacity across several regions[43] Xbox Live, Windows Store, MSN, Search, Visual Studio Online among others were affected.[44]
2015-12-03 Active Directory issues[45]
2016-09-15 Global DNS outage[46]
2017-03-15 Storage tier issues[47]
2017-10-03 Fire system glitch[48]


Key people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Upcoming Name Change for Windows Azure". Microsoft Azure. March 24, 2014. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2016. 
  2. ^ Tharakan, Anya George and Dastin, Jeffery (October 20, 2016). "Microsoft shares hit high as cloud business flies above estimates". Rueters. "Thomson Reuters. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  3. ^ Directory of Azure Cloud Services, Microsoft.com
  4. ^ "How to monitor Microsoft Azure VMs". Datadog. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Meet Windows Azure event June 2012". Weblogs.asp.net. June 7, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Web App Service - Microsoft Azure". Microsoft. 
  7. ^ "Mobile Engagement - Microsoft Azure". azure.microsoft.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "HockeyApp - Microsoft Azure". azure.microsoft.com. Retrieved July 27, 2016. 
  9. ^ "File Storage". Microsoft. Retrieved January 7, 2017. 
  10. ^ Hassell, Jonathan (September 3, 2014). "Microsoft's StorSimple: A first look at the 8000 series". Computerworld. 
  11. ^ "Azure and CONNX". CONNX. Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  12. ^ "HDInsight | Cloud Hadoop". Azure.microsoft.com. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  13. ^ sethmanheim. "Overview of Azure Service Bus fundamentals". docs.microsoft.com. Retrieved 2017-12-12. 
  14. ^ "Azure Regions | Microsoft Azure". azure.microsoft.com. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ "Why Cortana Intelligence?". Microsoft. 
  17. ^ "Microsoft built its own custom Linux kernel for its new IoT service – TechCrunch". techcrunch.com. Retrieved 2018-04-17. 
  18. ^ "Azure Regions | Microsoft Azure". azure.microsoft.com. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  19. ^ "Microsoft beats Google and Amazon to announce first African data centers, kicking off in 2018". VentureBeat. May 18, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017. 
  20. ^ Welicki, Leon. "Announcing Azure Portal general availability". Microsoft. Retrieved December 23, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Azure Management Software". ParkMyCloud. Retrieved April 6, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b FitzMacken, Tom. "Azure Resource Manager vs. classic deployment". Microsoft. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  23. ^ FitzMacken, Tom. "Azure Resource Manager overview". Microsoft. Retrieved September 16, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Windows Azure General Availability". blogs.microsoft.com. February 1, 2010. 
  25. ^ "SQL Azure SU3 is Now Live and Available in 6 Datacenters Worldwide". SQL Azure Team Blog. Microsoft. Archived from the original on June 20, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Microsoft Azure Machine Learning combines power of comprehensive machine learning with benefits of cloud". blogs.microsoft.com. June 16, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Human Error Caused Microsoft Azure Outage". Cloudwards.net. December 20, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Microsoft demonstrates its Linux-based Azure Cloud Switch operating system". ZDNet.com. September 18, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Announcing Azure Portal general availability". Azure.microsoft.com. 
  30. ^ "Microsoft Azure gets a new Logo and a Manifesto". Build Azure. 2017-09-26. Retrieved 2018-01-09. 
  31. ^ Toor, Amar (June 30, 2011). "Microsoft: European cloud data may not be immune to the Patriot Act". Engadget.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  32. ^ "EU data privacy authorities approve Microsoft Azure", April 15, 2014, ComputerWeekly.com
  33. ^ "The collapse of the US-EU Safe Harbor", October 20, 2015, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft.com
  34. ^ "Microsoft Azure Trust Center". Windowsazure.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Microsoft Azure Trust Center Compliance". Windowsazure.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  36. ^ "FedRAMP Compliant Cloud Systems". cloud.cio.gov. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Summary of Windows Azure Service Disruption on Feb 29th, 2012". Azure.microsoft.com. March 9, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Windows Azure outage hits Europe". Gigaom.com. July 26, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Microsoft pins Azure outage on network miscue". Gigaom.com. July 27, 2012. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  40. ^ Microsoft’s Azure storage service goes down, locking out corporate customers from their data Archived July 26, 2011, at the "Wayback Machine.
  41. ^ Bishop, Bryan. "Xbox Live and Windows Azure suffering from extended outages". Theverge.com. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  42. ^ "Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud hit by worldwide management interuption [sic]". www.pcworld.com. October 31, 2013. Retrieved November 3, 2013. 
  43. ^ Zander, Jason. "Update on Azure Storage Service Interruption". Microsoft. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  44. ^ Foley, Mary J. "Microsoft says Storage service performance update brought Azure down". ZD.NET. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  45. ^ European Office 365 and Microsoft Azure users hit by service outage
  46. ^ Global DNS outage hits Microsoft Azure customers
  47. ^ Microsoft confirms Azure storage issues around the world
  48. ^ Microsoft Says Azure Outage Caused by Accidental Fire-Suppression Gas | Data Center Knowledge
  49. ^ "Mark Russinovich - Blog - Microsoft Azure". azure.microsoft.com. 
  50. ^ "Jason Zander - Blog - Microsoft Azure". azure.microsoft.com. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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