Introduction To Azure Architecture - Part One

In this article, we will learn about the architecture of Azure in detail.

Let us learn about Azure architecture in detail. If you want to know the basics of the cloud and Azure, then please go through this article.

So, let us start with the architecture of Azure. Actually, there are different layers and different services offered by Azure in respective layers. As I said, Azure architecture is divided into a number of layers; let's see one by one now.

Storage

In storage, we have the following things:

  • Blob
    Using Blob, we can store unstructured data easily and this unstructured data can be media files, documents, installation etc. Since we are working on the cloud, we can access this unstructured data anytime from anywhere.

  • Table
    Using Table, we will be able to create tables in the cloud and we can perform all table-related operations like inserting data, deleting data etc. from the table on the Azure table and it can be done from anywhere via the internet.

  • Queue
    Using Azure Queues, we will be able to create queues in the cloud and we can store messages and read them from the queue.

  • Files
    Using Files, we will be able to create shared file storage for applications without worrying about management overhead of a physical server or device or appliance. This is a very cool concept of Microsoft Azure.

  • Data lake store
    Data lake store is a hyper-scale repository which is specifically designed for big data analytics on the cloud, allowing us to run parallel analytics.

  • Backup
    Using Backup, we can back up our data like either our virtual machines or virtual machines that are on Azure.

  • Site recovery 
    Using the site recovery, we can replicate the application workloads to our dashed recovery data center or to Azure storage.

  • StorSimple
    StorSimple is a hybrid cloud storage solution which enables us to store inactive data into the cloud and we can access it later as per our need via the internet, from anywhere.
Network

So, in the network, we have the following things.

  • Vnet(Virtual Network)
    In Azure, we are able to create a virtual network which is basically a logical dedicated space for us in Azure with our own IP address range, which enables different Azure services to communicate with each other.

  • Load Balancer
    The load balancer is used to deliver high availability solutions and network performance to our applications.

  • Application Gateway
    An application gateway is the same as load balancer but it provides more capability than load balancer in terms of high availability solutions.

  • Traffic Manager
    The traffic manager is used to route the traffic between different data centers, or we can say that it allows us to control the distribution of user traffic for service endpoints in different datacenters. Load balancers, application gateway, and traffic manager all deliver high availability of solutions at different capability levels.

  • Express Route
    Express route is used to connect our data centers to the cloud on a private connection.There are different third parties who provide these connections.

  • VPN
    VPN provides the same functionality as the express route but over the internet. So using VPN and Express route we can connect our data centers to the cloud.

  • DNS
    Azure DNS is a hosting service for DNS domains, providing name resolution in the cloud.
Compute

In computing, we have following things.

  • VM Scale Sets
    Using VM scale sets, we will be able to deploy a number of identical virtual machines at the same time and we will be able to do auto-scaling and many more.

  • Batch
    Using batch, we can schedule compute-intensive workloads on a number of VMs in parallel.

  • Functions
    A function is an Azure serverless architecture offering on the cloud, using which we can deploy code without worrying about underlying architecture. 

  • Virtual Machine
    A virtual machine is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service ), using which we can create Virtual machines on the cloud, we can create servers, and we can access them wherever and whenever we want via the internet. Virtual machines like Linux machines, Windows machines and servers can be created.

  • Cloud Service
    Using cloud service, we can deploy applications with infrastructure at the same time.

  • Service Fabric
    Using Service Fabric, we will be to deploy applications that are based on the microservices architecture.
Databases

In databases, we have different databases like:

  • SQL Database
    Using Azure SQL database, we are able to create SQL databases and will be able to access them from anywhere via the internet.

  • SQL Warehouse
    Using Azure SQL warehouse we are able to create SQL warehouses and will be able to access them from anywhere via the internet.

  • SQL SD(Strech Database)
    Using Strech Database we are able to migrate the cold data into the cloud without the need to change our application.

  • Cosmos DB
    Using Cosmos DB we will able deploy globally distributed databases with elasticity and low latency. It is a very new concept and it is very cool  -- we will go through it in upcoming articles.

  • Data Factory
    Data factory is used to extract the data from the data source, transform it and load  it into the destination. It is like ETL/ELT services.

  • Redis Cache
    Azure Redis cache is an Azure service based on Redis cache open framework. Basically, we can have Redis cache on the cloud which is managed by Microsoft which we will able to access from any application within Azure.
APP Services

In App services, we have the following things.

  • CDN
    Using CDN (Content Distribution Network) we will be able to deliver high bandwidth content delivery across different geographical locations. Basically, it includes edge locations where the high bandwidth videos will be stored and cached and it improves the performance of the delivery to our users.

  • Media Services
    Using media service we can deploy media management related applications on Azure. 

  • API-management
    API-management provides the wrapper around the API Apps and logic apps using which we will be able to manage throughput that is coming to different APIs. We can manage security, and we can expose those APIs to our developers.

  • Web-Apps
    Web App is used to create and deploy websites and similar things on Azure.

  • Mobile Apps
    Using Mobile Apps we can create mobile backend services on Azure.

  • API Apps
    Using API Apps we can develop a different kind of API for our applications. 

  • Logic APPs
    Using logic App we can build different workflows in the cloud.
I will be writing more in my next article about Azure architecture, and will be going through each of these in upcoming articles, so stay tuned.