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They host computers (servers) that run programs; either their own programs, community created programs, or ones you create. You pay them to run and maintain the computers that run these programs so that you don't have to, saving you time and effort. Azure is Microsoft's version of Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

 

Instead of your organization owning all the servers, you pay Microsoft for the privilege to use theirs. With that privilege comes the right to ask Microsoft quickly for more powerful servers, less powerful servers (cheaper), or simply more servers, etc.

It's hard to define exactly what it is because there are many different flavors of detail, but the sales theory is you put your organizational resources towards what your organization is good at (hopefully why your business exists) and let Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc. handle a lot of the details of infrastructure.

My company is actually in the process to switching to Azure from current on premise servers owned and operated by the corporation. Using Azure we have the ability to pretty quickly spin up more servers to handle the increased load. If we were not using Azure we'd have to have someone buy more servers, someone configure them, etc. etc. With Azure we can pretty easily "request" more servers from Azure and change our infrastructure because we are just tapping into what Microsoft has instead of having to do everything directly ourselves.

There are other benefits you'll hear about "infrastructure as code" but IMO the main benefit is having someone else "buy the groceries" after you say what meal you want to cook.

 

You have something cool to show to the world but you don't have the means to do it. It requires you to put in a lot of money to set the stage. You go to Microsoft Azure [or their competition], tell them about this great thing you need to show to the world, they let you use their stage and ask for some money in return. You know that they are charging you a decent amount of money but understand that if you were to build the stage yourself and maintain it, you would get really tired by the time you even get to the point where you need to go up on the stage to showcase your product. So you make a deal, you cut short the time with some money you have.

 

Whenever we say that something "runs in the cloud", it really means "runs on somebody else's computer."

Azure is a cloud provider, which means they let you use their computers and you pay them based on the amount of resources you use.

If we want to go a little further in explaining Azure and DevOps, we can look at two of the popular buzzwords used to describe it: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

Let's use an analogy to explain this–pretend you are opening a meal plan delivery service. You don't have your own kitchen to prepare food, so you are looking at two options for making your meals:

  1. You pay to use a community kitchen space, which will include all the cookware and utensils that you need to cook your food. Imagine you're paying only for the time you spend in the kitchen space.

  2. You outsource your cooking to other restaurants and/or people, so all you need to do is provide them with the recipes to cook your meals.

Option 1 describes a service where you can use kitchen components like the stove and oven without having to manage them. This means you don't have to perform routine maintenance on the oven or repair it when it breaks. This is equivalent to how IaaS provides managed infrastructure components like compute, network, and storage–you pay just to use these servers, and you don't have to worry about maintaining them because Azure will do it for you.

Option 2 takes it a step farther by outsourcing all the cooking to others parties, allowing you to focus on developing your recipes and running your business. This is similar to how PaaS allows you to focus on developing applications, as it eliminates the complexity of infrastructure. This is different from IaaS because you won't even need to interface with those infrastructure servers. You can develop your code, specify the requirements to run it, then let Azure handle the rest!

Hope this helps :)

 

If you do on-premise hosting, it's like buying all the raw ingredients, spices, equipment (food processors, microwave ovens, juicers etc..) and then preparing your own dinner

Using a Cloud Computing platform like Azure is going to a restaurant or ordering a takeaway, they do the heavy lifting so you don't need to & just pay them for only what you consume.

 

It is a shop where employes help you to put your website or computer system on the internet so people can view it through any part of the world and they get paid for that.

 

They provide you with computers. You can also control the number of computers they give you so you get more computers to play with when you have a sleep over and get fewer computers paying less when you're playing with just your brother.

 
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