Home » What is Microsoft Azure? | The Ultimate Guide [2022]

What is Microsoft Azure? | The Ultimate Guide [2022]

What is Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is the delivery of computing services over the internet, which is otherwise known as the cloud or collectively called cloud computing services. These services include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. Microsoft Azure offers faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. It uses pay as you go pricing model.

How does Microsoft Azure work?

Microsoft Azure cloud computing service is based on the consumption-based model, which means end-users only pay for the resources that they use. Whatever they use is what they pay for.

It works via the operational expenditure concept which means spending money on services or products now and being billed for them. You can deduct this expense in the same year you spend it. There is no up-front cost, as you pay for a service or product as you use it.

Microsoft Azure cloud computing services offer the following cloud service models:

  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service)
  • SaaS (Software as a service)

What is the difference between Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365?

Both Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are offered as cloud computing services by Microsoft. They differ from each other on the basis of different Cloud service models as Microsoft Azure is offered as IaaS and PaaS whereas Office 365 is offered as SaaS.

These cloud service models define the different levels of shared responsibility that a cloud provider and cloud tenant are responsible for.

cloud computing services model
IaaSInfrastructure-as-a-ServiceThis cloud service model is the closest to managing physical servers; a cloud provider will keep the hardware up-to-date, but operating system maintenance and network configuration is up to you as the cloud tenant. For example, Azure virtual machines are fully operational virtual computer devices running in Microsoft data centers. An advantage of this cloud service model is rapid deployment of new computing devices. Setting up a new virtual machine is considerably faster than procuring, installing, and configuring a physical server.
PaaSPlatform-as-a-ServiceThis cloud service model is a managed hosting environment. The cloud provider manages the virtual machines and networking resources, and the cloud tenant deploys their applications into the managed hosting environment. For example, Azure App Services provides a managed hosting environment where developers can upload their web applications, without having to worry about the physical hardware and software requirements.
SaaSSoftware-as-a-ServiceIn this cloud service model, the cloud provider manages all aspects of the application environment, such as virtual machines, networking resources, data storage, and applications. The cloud tenant only needs to provide their data to the application managed by the cloud provider. For example, Microsoft Office 365 provides a fully working version of Microsoft Office that runs in the cloud. All you need to do is create your content, and Office 365 takes care of everything else.

What are Microsoft Azure fundamentals?

There are the following fundamental concepts of Microsoft Azure that are divided into four levels:

  1. Management groups
  2. Subscriptions
  3. Resource Groups
  4. Resources
Microsoft azure fundamentals
  • Resources: Resources are instances of services that you create, like virtual machines, storage, or SQL databases.
  • Resource groups: Resources are combined into resource groups, which act as a logical container into which Azure resources like web apps, databases, and storage accounts are deployed and managed.
  • Subscriptions: A subscription groups together user accounts and the resources that have been created by those user accounts. For each subscription, there are limits or quotas on the amount of resources that you can create and use. Organizations can use subscriptions to manage costs and the resources that are created by users, teams, or projects.
  • Management groups: These groups help you manage access, policy, and compliance for multiple subscriptions. All subscriptions in a management group automatically inherit the conditions applied to the management group.

What are its benefits?

The key benefits of Microsoft Azure cloud computing services are as follows:

  1. Cost savings – both real and accounting
  2. Agility
  3. Availability
  4. Security
  5. Global reach
  6. Range of ready on demand services
  7. Range of tools

Cost Savings:

The benefits in general can be tremendous cost savings, both real dollars per month, as well as the accountants who are changing the way that they are accounting for your expenses.


There is the agility that comes with being able to respond to the marketplace, to your competitors, to new products, to customer’s demand. Deploy and configure cloud-based resources quickly as your app requirements change.


There is an increased chance for availability. If you reboot the server for an upgrade or have a local storm knocking out the power, you are working in the cloud. A lot of these things get mitigated or can be mitigated if you design them into your application design.


You have the possibility of increased security of your data with cloud computing.

Global Reach:

There is the ability for you to deploy your applications around the world in countries where you don’t even have offices, but you have potential customers. You can deploy your applications into six, 10 or more regions of the world in just a button’s click.

Range of ready-on-demand services:

There is also a range of services available, not just virtual machines, Windows and Linux machines, but everything from AI and machine learning, various types of databases, analytics services, big data, etc.

Range of tools:

The final benefit will be various types of tools you have to manage your environment. A lot of people really like working within the cloud environment in terms of monitoring the servers and security tools. Since all of these things are now in the dashboard, it becomes very easy to work with a large range of servers and maybe even easier than a traditional virtualization environment on premise.

What is Microsoft Azure Certification?

The Microsoft Azure fundamentals certifications tests the foundational level knowledge of cloud services and how those services are provided within Microsoft Azure.

The Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam covers the below 11 areas:

  • Describe cloud concepts
  • Describe the differences between categories of cloud services
  • Describe the differences between types of cloud computing
  • Describe core Azure Architectural Components
  • Describe core resources available in azure
  • Describe core solutions available in azure
  • Describe Azure Management Tools
  • Describe Azure security features
  • Describe Azure network security
  • Describe methods for planning and managing costs
  • Describe Azure Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and service life cycles

The Microsoft Azure certifies that the professional can:

  • Discuss the basics of cloud computing and Azure, and how to get started with Azure’s subscriptions and accounts.
  • Describe the advantages of using cloud computing services, learning to differentiate between the categories and types of cloud computing, and how to examine the various concepts, resources, and terminology that are necessary to work with Azure architecture.
  • Outline the core services available with Microsoft Azure.
  • Discuss the core solutions that encompass a wide array of tools and services from Microsoft Azure.
  • Describe the general security and network security features, and how you can use the various Azure services to help ensure that your cloud resources are safe, secure, and trusted.
  • Discuss the identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features, and how Azure can help you secure access to cloud resources, what it means to build a cloud governance strategy, and how Azure adheres to common regulatory and compliance standards.
  • Discuss the factors that influence cost, tools you can use to help estimate and manage your cloud spend, and how Azure’s service-level agreements (SLAs) can impact your application design decisions.


There are no particular prerequisites for the Microsoft Azure Fundamental exam but one should be familiar and have a basic understanding of the cloud services and the Microsoft Azure platform.

How to take the exam?

This exam is taken online by Microsoft and the cost for this exam is 99$. It can be taken in English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Korean, Spanish, German, and French languages.

The Azure Fundamentals (AZ 900) certification is a fundamental certification on your journey to becoming an Azure Administrator, Developer, DevOps, or Architect. This exam is considered as the first step in associate level and expert level Azure certifications path.

There are a total of 31 Microsoft Certifications and you can know about them in detail here

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What is Microsoft Azure? | The Ultimate Guide [2022]
Article Name
What is Microsoft Azure? | The Ultimate Guide [2022]
Unlock the ultimate guide to What is Microsoft Azure? How it works? What are its benefits? Difference b/w Azure and Office 365? & much more..
Publisher Name
Malik Kamal Akbar

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