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Azure is Microsoft’s cloud platform. It is a growing collection of integrated services for computing, storage, data, networks and applications. Which means you can work faster, do more and save money. One platform that has moved to Azure is Office 365, and you as an Office 365 user probably will not even notice. All the resources needed (virtual servers, memory, disk space, services, etc.) are allocated automatically.

Azure is available on a growing global network of Microsoft data centres. When choosing your Azure services, you can pick the data centre that is the best geographically for you.

Azure supports all operating systems, languages, programs and frameworks, from Windows to Linux, from SQL Server to Oracle and from C# to Java. With Azure you have the best of Windows and Linux ecosystems, so you can develop fantastic apps and services compatible with any device.

The Azure advantages:

  • The world’s most reliable cloud solution.
  • Supports all operating systems, languages, programs and frameworks.
  • Secure data centres managed by Microsoft guarantee maximum uptime.
  • Affordable and scalable.

When you choose Azure, you are sharing the same proven platform used by Skype, Bing and Xbox. You get an SLA guaranteeing availability of 99.95%, 24/7 technical support and round-the-clock status monitoring. Azure is affordable, and you can scale up and down as flexibly as you need to meet demand. That means you only pay for what you use.

So, what’s the cloud?

It might seem like a dumb question, but what exactly is the cloud? The ‘cloud’ refers to web-based services that are hosted outside your organization. When you use cloud services, the IT infrastructure you are using is located outside your company, and it is hosted by an external party. The advantage is that you don’t have to invest in expensive hardware, because the infrastructure is not on a server at home or at work that you host yourself.

With Office 365, data, computing and software are saved on Microsoft servers and hosted externally. But you’re probably already using cloud services every day – if you use webmail, internet banking or an online photo gallery. The fact that this infrastructure is ‘in the cloud’ is what makes the application accessible anywhere from your desktop, tablet, smartphone or any device with an internet connection.