Window azure is a cloud platform which provide platform as a service. It provides you an environment where you can develop and deploy your applications and projects. It provides you an operating system services and other computing services as well along with storage service.
Window azure is owned by Microsoft. It will run on Microsoft data centres which are located at different geo-locations. You can run your application as well as store the data on these internet accessible machines. The main goal of window azure is to provide highly scalability to application which has more number of users.
Window azure will provide different kind of storage services and you can utilize them according your application/client requirement. The services are Blobs, Tables and queues. All have their unique usage and importance in them. Let see them in brief one by one.
Blobs are used to store binary data. The size of this storage is up to 50GB. The blobs are organized in more unstructured and non-schema way. The next concept is table don’t think that these tables are same as that of relational database tables. In fact they are called table but the data store in hierarchy entities in order to scale-out the data and access them using ADO.Net Data services.
A single window azure table can contain billions of entities to store terabytes of data. The blobs and table are used to store and access the data whereas queue has some different functionality. Queue are used to store the task created by web role instances using window azure web role and these task message are read by web worker instances to perform the task. A primary goal of queue is to provide a way to communicate web role instances with worker role instances.
You can store the data by using any of these services all the data is replicated three times in various data centres to avoid data lose and provide high availability of data. We have another concept in this called as fabric. Window azure fabric contains large group of computers which are live in Microsoft data centres. These fabrics are controlled by using special software called Fabric Controller. Each Fabric controller contains nearly 5-6 groups of computers and each carried out different set of tasks.
It also control other resources like switches, load balancers etc. It also monitors all running application on different machines. To do this, the fabric controller depends on a configuration file that is uploaded with each Windows Azure application. This configuration is XML – based file which contains all the details like what need to do, when to do etc. Fabric controller read this xml file before performs any tasks.
Running applications and storing data in the cloud is the right choice for many situations. Windows Azure’s three parts—the Compute service, the Storage service, and the Fabric—work together to make this possible. As today entire IT world moving towards the cloud platform in order to make the application more scalable and increase the number of user for their sites window azure is good choice.
Window azure is very vast concept. I know whatever I have explained over here about azure is just a brief concepts and it is not enough. To get more knowledge on azure refer following URL:http://www.microsoft.com/azure