Azure 101: What is Cloud Computing?

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Head in the clouds

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet, commonly referred to as “the cloud.” These services include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. The benefits of cloud computing include increased speed of innovation, flexible resource allocation, and economies of scale. Cloud computing allows businesses to pay only for the services they use, which can help lower operating costs, increase infrastructure efficiency, and accommodate changes in business needs.

Who uses it?

Whether you’re a multi-billion dollar global organization or a small startup working on gaining traction, the cloud is made to be accessible to everyone. Cloud computer platforms such as Microsoft Azure are heavily used by large scale enterprise, government agencies, non-profits, small and medium sized businesses, and individuals.

Why should I care?

Cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, provide a variety of key benefits such as cost savings, reliability, scalability, agility, and security.

  1. Cost savings – Hosting your own services on your own hardware in your own network can be quite costly, requiring large up-front labour and capital costs. With the cloud you can use pay-as-you-go pricing with cost monitoring and alerting to help you manage your spend.
  2. Reliability – Data loss can be crippling to an organization or service, that’s why cloud computing makes it easier to perform data backups, disaster recovery, and make business continuity easier and less expensive.
  3. Scalability – Cloud computer offers you the ability to instantly scale and deploy environments in the matter of minutes. What is especially helpful is you can use infrastructure as code, such as Terraform or Bicep, to deploy your cloud infrastructure in code form. This allows you to spin up multiple similar environments for development, QA, or production instantly and on-demand.
  4. Agility – Cloud platforms offer a plethora of resources at your fingertips that can be spun up in minutes or even seconds. It offers you the flexibility to choose different resources via different types of services such as SaaS, FaaS, CaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
  5. Security – Cloud providers offer robust security measures, start-of-the-art encryption, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and regular backups. This can help businesses better protect their sensitive data and mitigate the risk of cyber attacks. Cloud resources are also kept up-to-date, with the latest technologies and learnings.

If you don’t know what some of these terms mean, don’t worry I will be talking about them a little more in my next article as part of this Azure 101 guide.

Checkout the Azure 101 guide to learn more!

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