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Microsoft Azure 101: A Beginner’s Guide

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Learn everything you need to know before applying this cloud computing platform to your business.

Since its first launch in February 2010, Microsoft’s proprietary cloud computing solution Azure has quickly established itself as one of the top players of the world of cloud platforms. Today, it has significantly evolved to provide a host of different services leveraging Microsoft technologies that include virtual machines hosting Windows operating systems, deployment of apps with clients running on different systems, and much more.

Many organizations today need the flexibility of a scalable solution that can provide computing resources, object storage and virtual machines without having to face the unsurmountable costs of running a data center. Microsoft Azure is the answer to these issues, and much more, and now it’s time to learn more about it.

In this article we’ll have a quick overview of what you need to know about Azure before applying it to your organization. However, if you want to take a deep dive into the world of Azure and learn directly from experts and professionals to achieve success, don’t forget that the ESPC20 Online virtual conference is coming soon. Learn all you need keep up – and get ahead!

How much does Microsoft Azure cost?

Microsoft Azure provide its cloud computing services on a resource consumption basis. Instead of paying for the reserved capacity of a traditional data center, Azure allows users to pay for just what they need since each service is priced as a measured one. For example, a virtual machine (VM) is priced by estimating the sum of each individual unit price for the virtual storage, CPU, memory and network services needed.

New registrant to Azure’s free tier will also receive $200 worth of Azure credits that could be applied to any non-third-party service on top of 12 months of free use of its innovative AI. If you’re new to Azure, don’t forget to attend the session “A Practical Guide to Azure Troubleshooting and Diagnostics” hosted by Sasha Kranjac.

Microsoft offers several discount packages to make its cloud services even more accessible. In particular, here are a couple of highlights:

  • Azure for Students
  • Microsoft for Startups: A convenient program that offers a $10,000 per month package of Azure service credits for every company collaborating with a startup accelerator. If you want to know more about a use case of a startup conquering the world with the help of Azure, make sure you don’t miss the session “3 Real World Azure PaaS Cases: From a Startup App to an API Platform”.

Which accessory services does Azure offer?

Azure also offers a broad range of optional additional services beyond VMs, CDNs, and storage. They include:

Azure IoT Suite: used to connect and monitor Internet of Things (IOT) devices.

Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS): used to create and manage fully scalable Kubernetes clusters. If you want to know all the secrets of AKS, its key features, and how to integrate it with other Azure services, make sure you attend Vishwas Lele “Kubernetes on Azure” upcoming session.

Azure Arc: A solution to simplify distributed infrastructures spanning across multiple environments such as edge, multicloud, hybrid, and on-premises. If you’re interested in using Azure Arc, make sure you don’t miss the session “Azure Arc for Servers: The Future of On-Premises Configuration Management”.

HDInsight: a customized deployment to run open source frameworks such as Spark, Kafka, and Hadoop.

Azure Media Services: a platform that offers content offers cloud-based, AI-enhanced video encoding and streaming services.

Azure Front Door: a very secure entry point for all web applications and distributed microservice architectures. If you’re interested in learning a few tips on how to make your Azure network even more bullet-proof, don’t forget to attend the session “Secure Azure Network Architecture” hosted by Aidan Finn.

Azure Stack Hub: is a hybrid cloud option for those workloads that must remain on-premises. It is a solution to run Azure services and applications in any on-premise datacenter.

Azure Cognitive Cache: A set of services that make full use of advanced AI capabilities such as computer vision, natural language processing, and advanced decision-making capabilities. If you want to know the many uses of this service and how to integrate it into your organization, check the session “Deep Dive on Azure Cognitive Services Vision APIs” hosted by Donald Hessing.

Knowing more about Azure at the ESPC20 Online

There’s no better way to learn more about Azure than to learn it directly from world-class community leaders and the members of the Microsoft Azure Product Team, isn’t it? The ESPC20 Online is an independent, market-leading virtual conference where you will enjoy full day tutorials and visionary keynotes to improve your professional skills and inspire yourself to new levels.

Hear from keynote speaker Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud + AI Group, the man behind Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure, database, and cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence platform who revolutionized the company’s most important server and cloud technologies. Then, enhance your Azure knowledge during a week of dedicated Azure sessions on topics such as Cloud Automation, Kubernetes, Logic Apps, Azure PaaS, Azure Arc, Azure Cognitive Services, and much more.

And don’t forget to watch out for other Azure information on the Azure Week Blog!

Enjoy the ESPC20 Online experience

So, what are you waiting for? Put all ropes away, and charge full steam ahead into a week of juicy Azure knowledge with the virtual ESPC20 Online conference!


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Claudio Buttice
Data Analyst
Claudio Buttice
Data Analyst

Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D., is a former Pharmacy Director who worked for several large public hospitals in Southern Italy, as well as for the humanitarian NGO Emergency. He is now an accomplished book author who has written on topics such as medicine, technology, world poverty, human rights, and science for publishers such as SAGE Publishing, Bloomsbury Publishing, and Mission Bell Media. His latest books are "Universal Health Care" (2019) and "What You Need to Know about Headaches" (2022).A data analyst and freelance journalist as well, many of his articles have been published in magazines such as Cracked, The Elephant, Digital…