What is Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s name for its group of cloud computing solutions it offers to businesses.  Amazon has Amazon Web Services, Google has Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft has Microsoft Azure.

Like Amazon and Google, Microsoft is leveraging its existing vast network of data centers to offer outsourced computing resources to businesses–and investing heavily to upgrade and expand those resources.  Microsoft now offers access to data centers around the globe.

Azure is a Hybrid Cloud Computing Solution

Azure is a hybrid cloud solution–it allows businesses to hand off parts of their computing and IT infrastructure and platform to Microsoft and retain other parts if they wish.

Azure now provides over 50 discreet services, including SQL and database services, website and app hosting, infrastructure and platform as-a-service, storage and disaster recovery as-a-service, identity management through Azure Active Directory and email services through Exchange Online.

Data Security Guarantees

A question that comes up a lot is whether Azure–or any cloud platform for that matter–is really secure.  We can say that Microsoft is HIPAA compliant and offers service level agreements that ensure data access and redundancy and that its cloud is used by a variety of federal government agencies.

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