Cloud computing has taken the tech world by storm, thanks to its wide range of applications. Whether you wish to backup some data, build and host a website, or develop fully fleshed out software, cloud technology can make things easier.

One of the issues that had plagued cloud computing technologies was finding a reliable, fast and secure cloud development framework. The introduction of Microsoft Azure, originally known as Windows Azure, solved the above problems and in addition, provided a framework with near limitless utility for cloud development.

Microsoft Azure can seem complex at first glance, and its often difficult to find a complete list of the utilities it provides. Complete lists are hard to come by not due to a lack of documentation or support, but due to the sheer quantity of tools available to Azure. In order to better understand how Azure management can be used for software development, we’ll highlight a few powerful features available to Azure below.

1. Virtual Machine and Networking Heaven

One of the most immediately noticeable features available to Microsoft Azure is its ability to easily create cloud-based virtual machines. Azure can create a variety of virtual machines, with a variety of operating systems. Creating virtual machines alone isn’t necessarily impressive, although their cloud nature certainly is. What really sets Azure apart is its ability to effortlessly spawn large quantities of virtual machines, with duplicate machines and unique machines just as easily spawned.

Creating large networks of cloud-based virtual machines opens up the possibility of complex virtual networking. Networks of virtual machines can easily handle most languages and operating systems, and can be useful for testing software, or establishing networks for applications,

2. Develop in The Cloud

Azure by default has access to many of Microsoft’s software development tools, such as Visual Studio. Developing apps in a cloud environment is not only convenient for travel, but it allows developers to focus strictly on development and not on hardware configurations. As apps near completion, testing them in a virtual network is easy, and upon completion, apps can be deployed and managed directly in Azure, taking advantage of its many virtualization tools.

Websites and Applications that are released and managed through Azure have access to Microsoft’s global network of data-centres, which provides an inexpensive means of tapping into globalization efforts.

3. Cloud Computing Has Dramatically Improved, with Azure Leading the Way

Cloud computing is faster than ever, and it provides a distinct set of advantages not available to traditional alternatives. Economically, cloud hosting is far cheaper than a traditional onsite datacentre for most businesses. Cloud data centres have significantly improved their security practices, and IT personnel are typically onsite at all hours of the day. Azure specifically utilizes Microsoft’s data centres, which provide a degree of global scalability not easily available to most businesses.

Microsoft’s data centres are managed full-time, which reduces IT costs for a business substantially. IT professionals working with Azure spend less time patching together networks, and more time focusing on important development goals.

4. Azure is Fully Supported by Microsoft

Since Azure is developed and managed by Microsoft, it has access to a large variety of their services not available to other cloud environments. As previously noted, Azure can take advantage of Microsoft’s global network of data centres, and it comes equipped with powerful development tools such as Visual Studio and virtualization software. Microsoft frequently updates their data centres and hardware, which results in consistently high performance and means that Azure is always a reliable choice.

Azure has countless other uses as well outside of virtualization and pure cloud development, and it stands head and shoulders above most similar products. Learning how Azure works can seem intimidating at first, but the benefits of doing so are very clear. Consider giving Azure a try, it may just revolutionize your development process.

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