Azure, the cloud computing service from Microsoft, has been making waves with a series of exciting updates and offerings, especially for students. Here’s a rundown of what’s new and why it matters.
Azure’s Recent Updates
Azure has been on a roll with a slew of updates. Here are some highlights:
- Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) for Azure Disks is now available in more regions including China North 3, India Central, Switzerland North, South Africa North and Sweden Central.
- Azure Load Testing is now available in Southeast Asia, Canada Central, Germany West Central and Central India.
- Artifact cache for Azure Container Registry is now available.
- Azure Container Apps are now available in Azure China cloud.
- Azure Functions v4 Programming model for Node.js is now available.
- Support for Python 3.11 in Azure Functions is now available.
- Vertical Pod Autoscaling add-on for AKS is now available.
- AKS image cleaner is now available.
These updates are set to enhance the user experience and provide more robust solutions for various needs.
Azure for Students
Microsoft Azure has an incredible offer for students: the Azure for Students program. This program provides students with USD 100 in Azure credits to be used within the first 12 months, plus select free services. The best part? No credit card is required.
Here’s what students can do with Azure:
- Develop custom apps in Visual Studio.
- Explore AI and create smart apps with Azure AI Services.
- Work with big data sets and build machine learning models.
The program also includes free products up to specified monthly amounts. Some are always free to all Azure customers, while others are free for 12 months to new customers.
So there you have it! With its latest updates and student-friendly offerings, Azure continues to push the boundaries of cloud computing. Stay tuned for more updates!
What is Azure?
Microsoft Azure, often referred to as Azure, is a cloud computing platform run by Microsoft. It offers access, management, and the development of applications and services through global data centers. Azure provides a range of capabilities, including software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). It supports many programming languages, tools, and frameworks, including Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems.
Azure is an online portal that allows you to access and manage cloud services and resources provided by Microsoft. These services and resources include storing your data and transforming it, depending on your requirements.
In essence, Azure is a technology that provides access to various computing resources over the internet. All you need to do is use your computer or mobile device to connect to your cloud service provider through the internet. Once connected, you get access to computing resources, which may include serverless computing, virtual machines, storage, and various other things.
Benefits of using Azure
Microsoft Azure offers a multitude of benefits for businesses and individuals alike. Here are some key advantages:
- Global Network: Azure provides a global network, allowing you to deploy your networking infrastructure using highly available global Azure DNS.
- Security: Azure ensures the complete protection of your data with various advanced security tools and technology like Azure Information Protection, and Advanced Threat Analytics. It also provides Multi-Factor Authorization.
- High Availability: Microsoft has data centers in almost all parts of the world, ensuring almost 99.95% uptime.
- Cost-Effective: Azure is one of the cost-effective cloud solutions compared to other vendors in the market.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Azure supports a wide range of programming languages, frameworks, operating systems, databases, and devices, allowing enterprises to leverage tools and technologies they trust.
- Integration: Azure supports integration with other Microsoft products such as Office365, Sharepoint, Dynamics CRM, and Outlook.
- Monitoring Resources: Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is one of the offerings from Azure Networking that helps to check the performance of all your applications and services.
- Reliable Private Connections: Azure ExpressRoute is one of the great offerings from Microsoft Azure Networking that helps you to create a private and fast network connection to Azure.
These benefits make Azure a powerful tool for businesses looking to leverage cloud computing for their needs.
Azure pricing model
Azure offers a variety of pricing options to meet different needs:
- Pay-as-you-go: This is the most common pricing model where you are charged based on your actual usage. This model is flexible and allows you to pay only for the services you use.
- Fixed price: In this model, you provision resources and are charged for those instances whether you use them or not.
- Free tier: Azure offers a free tier, which provides free use of certain services for the first 12 months, and free forever usage of specific services.
- Azure Hybrid Benefit: This allows you to use your existing Windows Server and SQL Server licenses with Software Assurance to save on Azure.
- Azure savings plan for compute: This plan offers up to 65 percent savings on select compute services with an easy, flexible savings plan.
- Azure reservations: You can forecast your resource needs and make a one- or three-year commitment on select Azure services to pay less.
Azure’s pricing varies depending on the type of service, location, payment plan, and capacity you use. You can calculate your estimated hourly or monthly costs for using Azure with the Pricing Calculator.
Difference between Azure and AWS pricing
Azure and AWS, both offer a variety of pricing options to meet different needs. However, there are some differences between the two:
- Pricing Models: Both Azure and AWS offer pay-as-you-go pricing models where you are charged based on your actual usage. However, the specifics of these models can vary between the two platforms.
- Cost: Azure is often considered to be more cost-effective for Windows Server and SQL Server, as it offers cost savings through existing licenses with the Azure Hybrid Benefit. On the other hand, AWS can be up to 5 times more expensive than Azure for Windows Server and SQL Server.
- Billing: In addition to per-minute billing, AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud support per-second billing for various services. AWS first introduced per-second billing in 2017 for EC2 Linux-based instances and EBS volumes.
- Compute-Optimized Instances: The price difference between AWS and Azure is negligible for their respective compute-optimized cloud instances.
It’s important to note that the total cost can depend on many factors, including the specific services used, the amount of data stored and transferred, and the region in which your resources are hosted. Therefore, it’s recommended to use each platform’s pricing calculator (Azure Pricing Calculator, AWS Pricing Calculator) to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.
Azure vs AWS for business
Choosing between Azure and AWS depends on the specific needs and context of your business. Here are some factors to consider:
- Integration with Other Services: If your organization heavily relies on Microsoft technologies, Azure’s seamless integration and extensive Microsoft service offerings make it a strong contender. Azure provides full integration with Office 365 and Active Directory.
- Scalability and Flexibility: If scalability and flexibility are your top priorities, AWS’s wide range of services and mature ecosystem may be the better choice.
- Pricing: Azure is often considered to be more cost-effective for Windows Server and SQL Server, as it offers cost savings through existing licenses with the Azure Hybrid Benefit. However, the specifics of these models can vary between the two platforms.
- Market Dominance: Both AWS and Azure dominate the cloud market share. According to the latest research from Canalys and Synergy Research Group, Microsoft Azure and AWS combined control more than 50% of worldwide cloud infrastructure services spend.
Ultimately, the best platform for your business will depend on your specific needs, including your budget, required services, necessary integrations, and more. It’s recommended to use each platform’s pricing calculator (Azure Pricing Calculator, AWS Pricing Calculator) to get a more accurate estimate based on your specific needs.