Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud offering. It consists of resources that enable cloud computing as a platform and infrastructure, for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.

It provides both PaaS and IaaS services and supports many different programming languages, tools and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. Azure was released on 1 February 2010.

Some facts you probably didn’t know:

  • Azure delivers a 99.95% compute SLA and enables you to run solutions on the same cloud that powers Skype, Office 365, Bing, and Xbox.

  • The racks holding equipment in an Azure Datacenter are called stamps.

  • Azure provides built-in software patching, network load balancing and high-availability features.

  • Azure offers 24×7 technical support with engineers constantly monitoring service health.

  • Anyone (with a creditcard) can request a free trial.