Even though Microsoft landed late at the war in the Clouds, with Paas (Platform as a service) and Iaas (Infrastructure as a service) platforms, Microsoft Azure is steadily growing and is now named as one of the top-tier solutions that is available for database, computing, storage and everything else that is needed to get done on cloud.
The adoption rate is improving and climbing up even if it’s not as popular as Amazon Web Services. Here are 5 interesting lesser known facts about Microsoft Azure:
- Data is redundantly stored, but removing them is safe and easy: Like several other cloud providers, in order to increase safety and redundancy, Azure stores data in multiple locations. Your data is triplicated in three physically separate domains so if one part of the infrastructure fails, your data can be retreated from another location. So at any given point of time, there will always be 3 copies of your data available on Azure. Azure will geo replicate and even triplicate the data to a far off location. This is why data security is one of Azure’s strongest points. Deleting data, on the other hand is actually tricky. This is because the geo replicated and triplicated copies of your data get deleted only asynchronously at a later date. But this replicated data gets overwritten before being provisioned if someone tries to access your deleted data thus making it secure!
- VMs get restored to a running state by Azure service healing: A major advantage of running virtual machines on Azure is that even during problems, your VMs are available. When a problem is identified in one of the nodes, Azure moves the VMs to any other node so they can be accessed.
- Azure Virtual Networks will communicate well with your on-site network: Organizations can connect an Azure Virtual Network to their internal network through an IPsec site to site VPN via an approved VPN device and this can be used as another subnet in the internal network. One can also create multiple Azure Virtual Networks on the on-premises network. You can also make connections between various Azure Virtual Networks via Azure.
- Virtualization domain controller’s support: All network administrators know about how domain controllers on VMs were never considered a good practice. For instant, restoring VM snapshots could result in inconsistencies within the Active Directory database (like password issues, attribute values, replicated security principles etc). Windows Sever 2012 introduced VM Generation ID, a new feature which addresses this issue. Windows Azure Virtual Networks runs on the Windows Server 2012 stack, supports this feature. Developers can create domain controllers within the Azure Virtual Network.
- Azure makes use of both dynamic and static IO addresses: Virtual Machines make use of dynamic IP addresses while Virtual Networks use virtual IP addresses. The Azure Virtual Network’s virtual IP address refers to the public IP address that is used by external computers in order to connect to the Azure Virtual Machines. Every one of the virtual machines on the Azure Virtual Network will have a dynamic IP address that is assigned to it by Azure.
Working with Microsoft Azure is certainly interesting and at IIHT’s Azure cloud computing course, the rich hands on experience in well equipped labs makes it a truly wonderful learning experience.