Microsoft Azure: Definition, Services, and Free Learning Resources

Today, cloud computing platforms have revolutionized how businesses function. More and more firms are increasingly incorporating this technology to access the latest storage capabilities and distributed computer processing.

what is microsoft azure

While there are many cloud computing platforms available, Microsoft Azure is the fastest-growing and one of the largest platforms. Microsoft’s cloud platform offers a wide range of cloud-based apps and services, enabling users to access the cutting-edge computing power they need to transform the way they operate and make processes easier.

In this guide, we’ll explain what is Microsoft Azure, discuss its services and benefits. We’ll also discuss some free resources and online courses to learn Azure.

What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is a public cloud computing platform with over 200 products and cloud services, serving millions of applications, integrations, and customers. Azure allows you to access and manage cloud services and resources provided by Microsoft. You can build, run and manage applications across multiple clouds with the tools and frameworks of your choice.

It offers solutions, such as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) that can be used for services such as storage, networking, analytics, virtual computing, and more.

Facts about Microsoft Azure

  1. Microsoft Azure became commercially available on February 1, 2010.
  2. Pay-per-use model – you pay only for the services you opt for.
  3. 80 percent of the Fortune 500 companies use Azure services.
  4. There are hundreds of services available through Azure.
  5. Azure covers more regions than any other cloud provider and is the only consistent hybrid cloud.
  6. 95% of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on the Microsoft cloud.

Azure Services

Microsoft Azure offers tough competition to other cloud players in the market. The speed of launching new Azure cloud services for enterprises is one of the main reasons for the rapid growth of Azure.

Azure services are divided into 22 categories that include artificial intelligence, computing, containers, networking, storage, IoT, migration, and web services. Let’s take a look at some of the popular Azure Categories and Services:

AI & Machine LearningBuild the next generation of applications using AI capabilities.
  1. Bot Service
  2. Cognitive Search
  3. Open Datasets
  4. Computer Vision
  5. Face API
  6. Speech to Text
AnalyticsGather, store, process, analyze and visualize data.
  1. HDInsight
  2. R Server for HDInsight
  3. Power BI Embedded
  4. Event Hubs
  5. Synapse Analytics
BlockchainDevelop and manage blockchain-based applications.
  1. Logic Apps
  2. Blockchain Workbench
  3. Azure Confidential Ledger
ComputeAccess cloud compute capacity and scale on demand.
  1. Azure CycleCloud
  2. Quantum
  3. Batch
  4. Azure VMware Solution
  5. VM Image Builder
ContainersBuild and manage your containerized applications faster.
  1. Azure Functions
  2. Service Fabric
  3. Web Apps
  4. Container Instances
  5. Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS)
DatabasesAccess secure, enterprise-grade, and fully managed database services
  1. Cache for Redis
  2. Cosmos DB
  3. SQL Edge
  4. Azure Database for MariaDB
  5. Azure SQL Managed Instance
Developer ToolsDevelop, manage, and continuously deliver cloud applications.
  1. App Configuration
  2. SDKs
  3. Visual Studio Code
  4. DevTest Labs
DevOpsDeliver innovation faster for continuous delivery.
  1. Artifacts
  2. Monitor
  3. Repos
  4. Pipelines
  5. DevOps tool integrations
IoTWithout changing your infrastructure, bring IoT to any device and platform.
  1. Kinect DK
  2. Azure Maps
  3. Sphere
  4. Event Grid
  5. IoT Edge
+ More 7 Rows  

Why Use Azure?

1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) capabilities

Azure offers IaaS and PaaS services. IaaS allows enterprises to outsource their infrastructure and pay for what they use whereas PaaS enables them to create their web applications and solutions without buying and maintaining the underlying groundwork.

2. Hybrid Capabilities 

Azure offers a reliable and consistent platform between on-premise and public Cloud. Azure has a broad range of hybrid connections including virtual private networks (VPNs), caches, and content delivery networks (CDNs) to improve usability and performance.

3. High Availability

Microsoft has a huge global footprint. A large number of data centers are located across the world to ensure greater redundancy. This makes it easier for businesses to migrate their data and applications where they want them to be.

4. Cost-Efficient 

Azure follows a pay-as-you-go model so that you pay for what you use to build or expand resources using Azure services. This reduces IT administration costs to a minimum.

6. Security 

With Microsoft Azure, you get the best security and protection for all the data held within the cloud environment.

7. Scalability and Flexibility 

The scalability and flexibility features of Azure make it easy to scale up the data storage capabilities as per the requirement. Its performance-efficient storage services also help businesses integrate data and processes at a cloud-scale.

8. Identity & Access Management (IAM)

Azure’s secure IAM capabilities and Azure Active Directory service allow the right users to access the right information. IAM capabilities enable enterprises to reduce identity management costs and become more agile.

Top Industries using Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure has been providing necessary support and infrastructure to some of the biggest companies in the world, such as eBay, Samsung, and Boeing. Microsoft Azure’s versatility is proving to be its key attribute for a range of industries, including:

  1. Manufacturing
  2. Consumer appliances
  3. Healthcare
  4. Automobile
  5. Aviation industry

Free resources to learn Microsoft Azure

1. Microsoft Azure’s Training Resources

  1. Microsoft Learn for Azure – It is a great online learning resource that can help you build and expand your Azure skills.
  2. Azure Account – You can create a free Azure account to get hands-on experience in Azure skills.
  3. Microsoft Azure Documentation – You can also learn Azure with official documentation where you will get a range of quickstarts, samples, and tutorials to enrich your learning journey.

2. YouTube Channels

If you are a visual learner, there are many popular channels for Azure free training, such as Microsoft Azure and Azure DevOps that can help you learn Azure. Microsoft has its own Azure blog, which is a great source of information on Microsoft Azure with rich content for everyone interested in learning Azure.

3. Online Courses

Many online course providers, such as Coursera and Pluralsight offer Azure courses and certifications for free. You can choose from a range from beginner-level courses to advanced courses and certification courses.

4. Meetups

You can attend meetups in your local community or online. Meetups usually have talks delivered by group members and other experts and offer you plenty of opportunities to ask questions and clarify doubts.

Future of Microsoft Azure

Azure is well-positioned for continued growth in the field of technology. Azure has already become an important infrastructure for the connected world and will be one of the major enablers of the next technology wave.

With more and more businesses moving to Microsoft Azure, the demand for skilled cloud professionals is going to increase. Currently, there is not enough Azure talent to fill the increasing number of roles on the market. If you are looking to build your career in cloud computing, then Azure will help you to have a bright career ahead.


Microsoft Azure is the fastest-growing cloud computing platform that is being adopted by many businesses across the world. The continued dominance of Azure is creating various job opportunities for professionals and there has never been a better time to start a career in the field of Microsoft Azure.

If you are interested in a career in this exciting field, you can start by enrolling in a Microsoft Azure course to learn the concepts and excel in the Azure certification exams.

Microsoft Azure: Definition, Services, and Free Learning Resources
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