Virtual Machines

For fast computational workloads, quick development and testing, or frequent stopping and starting, when deploying Virtual Machines in Azure, you will pay down to the minute. This includes the billing for Windows, Linux, Oracle, SQL Server, and even BizTalk. You can even have the platform AutoScale based upon a schedule or CPU usage of your instances. You can deploy a full range of open and community-driven OS and software solutions on Azure. On Azure, you have the choice of a full range of Linux distributions like Ubuntu and SUSE, community-driven solutions like Chef, Puppet, and Docker along with other products like Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server. Azure is open with lots of options.

With Virtual Networks, you can control and configure all aspects of your network, defining the subnets and the preferred DNS IPs. You can securely connect with your VMs in Azure using a secure VPN over the Internet or bypass the Internet to establish direct connections using ExpressRoute via selected partners.

Azure Networking

Azure provides a variety of networking capabilities that can be used together or separately. Azure resources such as Virtual Machines, Cloud Services, Virtual Machines Scale Sets, and Azure App Service Environments can communicate privately with each other through an Azure Virtual Network (VNet). A VNet is a logical isolation of the Azure cloud dedicated to your subscription. You can implement multiple VNets within each Azure subscription and Azure region. Each VNet is isolated from other VNets. All Azure resources connected to a VNet have outbound connectivity to the Internet by default. The private IP address of the resource is source network address translated (SNAT) to a public IP address by the Azure infrastructure.

You can access resources in your VNet securely over either a VPN connection, or a direct private connection. To send network traffic between your Azure virtual network and your on-premises network, you must create a virtual network gateway. You configure settings for the gateway to create the type of connection that you want, either VPN or ExpressRoute.

Azure Storage

Azure Storage is a Microsoft-managed service providing cloud storage that is highly available, secure, durable, scalable, and redundant. Azure Storage includes Azure Blobs (objects), Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Azure Files, Azure Queues, and Azure Tables.

Azure Storage includes these data services:

  • Azure Blobs: A massively scalable object store for text and binary data

  • Azure Files: Managed file shares for cloud or on-premises deployments

  • Azure Queues: A messaging store for reliable messaging between application components.

  • Azure Tables: A NoSQL store for schemaless storage of structured data

Each service is accessed through a storage account.

Traffic Manager

Traffic Manager gives you three traffic load balancing methods to choose from: failover, performance, or weighted round robin. You choose the one that’s right for your application or scenario.

There are three scenario’s where you could benefit from this load balancer:

  • Improve application performance

  • Distribute traffic across multiple locations

  • Redirection of traffic during maintenance

Traffic Manager is designed to make applications more responsive and improve content delivery times by directing users to an Azure or external location with the lowest network latency. It can direct user traffic to distribute it across multiple locations, such as multiple cloud services within an Azure datacenter or multiple Azure websites in different datacenters. The load balancer can use either equal or weighted load distribution. It’s also a popular option for on-premises scenarios including “burst-to-cloud,” “migrate-to-cloud,” or “failover-to-cloud.” Use it to upgrade your environment to the cloud or perform maintenance on your on-site datacenter without disturbing internal or external business.