Over 5yrs of cutting-edge Azure Cloud Experience gives us the insights to develop high quality Software applications with ease.Anup Marwadi
Microsoft Azure has taken great strides in offering high quality, Enterprise-grade solutions for building Cloud-based applications from the ground-up.
We at HyperTrends have been privileged to work with Azure for over 5 years now and have identified the various components that will make your application a first-class Cloud citizen. That’s right! Read on to see how this little San Diego Software Development company achieves large-scale computing using the Azure Cloud.
To make things easier to understand, we have broken down the rest of the post into different functional blocks as needed by Modern Internet Applications.
Let’s face it, whether you’re building the next Facebook, or a simple calendar/todo application, you’re going to need a way to have the rest of the world use it. Majority of the platforms are accessible either via a Mobile app or a Web App.
Microsoft Azure offers you with various ways to let consumers use your application. Whether you are building a REST API or a Web Application, hosting can be simplified using Azure.
Azure Service Fabric
Azure Service Fabric is Microsoft’s answer to develop infinitely scalable applications. It is a framework that allows you to deploy myriad services like Actors, Stateless and Stateful Services to help you build applications that scale.
Service Fabric is built on the Micro-Services model and can be deployed using containers as well. Service Fabric is by no way a new kid on the block, before making its public appearance, it was extensively used by Microsoft internally for SQL Azure, Bing and Cortana to name a few.
To read more about Azure Service Fabric, read here.
Azure Cloud Services
Using Cloud Services, you can deploy Web Applications and APIs that can scale infinitely.
Cloud Services eliminates the need to focus on Hardware (think no need to upgrade, reboot etc.). Cloud Services also allow you to automatically scale within minutes. We have configured majority of our Cloud Services to automatically scale when certain rules exceed threshold criteria.
To learn more about Cloud Services, read here
Azure Virtual Machines
Using VMs (Virtual Machines), you can deploy thousands of servers (Linux and Windows) with a click of a button. With Virtual Machines, you get complete control of the server and can easily install any Software or services you desire. This option is generally the last preferred option when developing for the cloud due to the overheard of maintenance and upgrades. However, certain Legacy applications demand the need to have VMs.
With the advent of Virtual Machine Scale Sets, you can quickly create identical Virtual Machines within seconds.
Virtual Machines can also be used to increase Computing Power needed for sophisticated applications.
To learn more about Virtual Machines, read here.
If you are looking for traditional and innovative data storage needs, Azure has you covered.
With the advent of NoSQL based technologies, there is no need to store data in relational databases unless the system needs demand it. In this section, we focus on the Data Storage aspect of Azure.
Azure’s SQL Azure offering is by far the best in the industry. SQL Azure comes power packed with features that make it the best choice for Relational Data Storage.
If you are looking into compliance, SQL Azure makes it easier with its suite of out of the box features. With Real-time Replication, Snapshot, Transparent Data Encryption (TDE), Data Masking, Real-time Auditing and Threat Detection, SQL Azure comes packed with features that very few other providers can even dream of providing out of the box.
Got an app that needs to meet high regulatory standards including DR (Disaster Recovery)? SQL Azure provides you with all the necessary tools and features.
Needless to say, if the application demands using a Relational DB, we surely encourage the use of SQL Azure.
To learn more, read here.
The Azure CosmosDB was built with global and horizontal scale in mind. What’s amazing is that CosmosDB guarantees you single digit millisecond latencies in almost any part of the world.
Given its NoSQL approach, one can even host MongoDB on CosmosDB. CosmosDB is useful for IoT, E-Commerce, Gaming and other high-traffic scenarios that need highly evolvable data structures as well as high throughput.
To learn more about CosmosDB, read here.
Redis is an advanced key-value data store with low-latency, high throughput capabilities.
To learn more, read here.
Azure Table Storage
Azure Table Storage is a perfect solution for storing semi-structured data. With Table Storage, there is no need to manually partition the data set.
Azure Table Storage allows storing petabytes of data storage providing enterprise grade features including a strong consistency model.
To learn more, read here
Business Processing @ Scale
Whether you need to process millions of events per second from various IoT enabled devices, or you want to run scheduled tasks to perform simple job functions like sending emails, migrating data or initiating custom workflows, Azure has you covered. This section will focus on the ability to perform “Business Processing at Scale” at the lowest possible costs.
Azure Service Bus
Azure Service Bus provides highly reliable, cloud-scale messaging between multiple systems. Using Service Bus, the Microservices Architecture paradigm can be easily realized using Pub-Sub and FIFO/Queue based messaging models.
Complex Messaging Workflows can be easily built using the Azure Service Bus. To learn more about Service Bus, click here.
Using Azure Functions, applications can leverage infinite computing power without provisioning or maintaining servers. Azure Functions plugin to a wide variety of sources including SQL Server, Table Storage, Queues, Http URLs, Send Grid, Logic Apps and many more.
To learn more, read here.
Security and Identity
We left the best for the last. Microsoft Azure offers myriad Security and Identity services that make hosting on the Cloud even easier if you are an SMB or a large Enterprise that hasn’t made the move yet.
Azure Active Directory
With Azure Active Directory, users can perform a Single-Sign On (SSO) to any on-premises or Cloud app. This multi-device, cross platform offering allows users to easily manage their identity system using a single centralized directory system.
AAD also comes with multi-factor authentication to protect access to your data. Using AAD, you can quickly integrate other third-party service providers like Salesforce, Dropbox, Intuit to easily on-board your employees and your customers. To read more about AAD, click here
Azure Key-Vault allows you to simplify the process of encryption using secure FIPS 140-2 Level 2 Validated Hardware Security Modules (HSMs).
Using Key-Vault, a user can build and import keys which can be used to encrypt data in minutes. These keys are fully backwards compatible and allow rollback and automated Key Management thereby making them an important toolset for Data Compliance standards such as HIPAA, COPPA etc.
Using Key-Vault, many applications can be further secured by encrypting sensitive data such as passwords, Database connection strings etc.
To read more about Azure Key-Vault, read here.
So there you have it. Azure has come a long way since it first started making rounds in the Cloud Computing world. Azure has been growing at an extremely rapid pace year over year and it isn’t surprising to see why. The amazing features it offers out of the box and the options to use both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products while still using Azure make it an ideal candidate for your Cloud Computing needs.
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