Windows Azure is a cloud computing platform in the category of Platform as a Service (PaaS), which is developed and offered by Microsoft. It provides a cloud based operating environment to help developers build and host services by leveraging Microsoft infrastructure. The open platform is designed to support even those languages and environments that are not developed by Microsoft, thus offering extensive functionality.
Developers can make use of widely acknowledged standards and protocols such as Visual Studio, in addition to Ruby, Python, PHP, XML, REST, and Simple Objective Access Protocol (SOAP) for building applications and services. Windows Azure was initially named as Windows Cloud during its launch in October 2008 and the codenamed as Red Dog. There are three principal components of Windows Azure such as Compute Layer, Storage Layer, and Fabric Layer.
The state of the art automated service management attributes of Widows Azure facilitate application upgrades without any impact on their functioning. The services are designed on Windows Azure operating system that offers wide range of services to ensure development, hosting and management of web applications by obviating need for costly on-site resources. Windows Azure provides a robust runtime background for web based applications and also offers several on-demand services that are hosted at Microsoft data centers.
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