Windows Azure has become very comprehensive

  1. What is the Windows Azure Platform?
    • Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.
    • You can build applications using any language, tool or framework.
    • You can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
  2. There is an SLA
    • Windows Azure delivers a 99.95% monthly SLA
  3. Azure offers Platform as a Service Capabilities
    • This enables you to build and run highly available applications without focusing on the infrastructure.
    • It provides automatic OS and service patching, built in network load balancing and resiliency to hardware failure.
    • It supports a deployment model that enables you to upgrade your application without downtime.
  4. Azure is http-based and based on open standards
    • Features and services are exposed using open REST protocols.
  5. Choose the language that works best
    • The Windows Azure client libraries are available for multiple programming languages, and are released under an open source license and hosted on GitHub.
  6. Scale automatically and with a minimum of effort
    • It is a fully automated self-service platform that allows you to provision resources within minutes.
    • Elastically grow or shrink your resource usage based on your needs.
    • You only pay for the resources your application uses.
  7. Global footprint
    • Windows Azure is available in multiple datacenters around the world, enabling you to deploy your applications close to your customers.
    • Windows Azure’s distributed caching and CDN services allow you to reduce latency and deliver great application performance anywhere in the world.
  8. Support for many, many data stores
    • You can store data using relational SQL databases, NoSQL table stores, and unstructured blob stores, and optionally use Hadoop and business intelligence services to data-mine it.
  9. Bridge On-Premises Applications and Cloud Applications
    • You can take advantage of Windows Azure’s robust messaging capabilities to enable scalable distributed applications, as well as deliver hybrid solutions that run across a cloud and on-premises enterprise environment.

Web Sites Start small and for free. Deploy to a highly scalable services and grow your hosting power as your customers grow.

Leverage Open source. Deploy with FTP, Git, Team Foundation Server.

Leverage SQL database, Caching, and CDN, and Azure Stroage Services (massively scalable tables, blobs, queues).
Virtual Machines Run Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, OpenLogic CentOS, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Ubuntu, SQL Server 2012, BizTalkServer 2013.

Migrate workloads without changing code.

Connect on-premises corporate network to virtual machines running in the cloud.
Mobile Services Leverage SQL Server in a RESTful manner with a minimum of fuss.

Implement user authentication, push notifications very easily.

Support iOS, Windows Phone 8, and Windows Store apps.

Augment your data operations with custom logic like sending push notifications, SMS, and email.

Include user auth through Windows Live, Facebook, Twitter, or Google.
Media Encode your video content for multiple devices, such as Xbox, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, HTML5, Flash, Silverlight.

Automate the whole process, even adding watermarks.

Stream your content. Build your own NetFlix service.

See my article here:
Cloud Services This is the sweet spot for Microsoft hosting of your solutions.

This is Platform as a Service. Build advanced multi-tier scenarios.

Automate your deployment.

Scale up or down based on need, either through your own scripts or based on the performance of your services automatically.

Leverage the 8 global data centers throughout the world.

Cloud Service applications can be internet-facing public web applications.

Cloud service applications can be web sites and ecommerce solutions.

They can be background processes for other work, such as processing orders or analyzing data.

You can use a variety of different programming languages.

There are specific software development kits (SDKs), such as Python, Java, node.JS and .NET.
Big Data HDInsight is in preview mode and is a service that offrs 100% Apache Hadoop compatible services.
Deploy a Hadoop cluster in just minutes.

Query structured or unstructured data of any size.

Leverage query frameworks such as Hive, Pig, Hadoop Common.

Take advantage of Excel, PowerPivot, Powerview, SQL Server Analysis Services and Reporting Services.

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