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Azure in Plain English

Recently I saw a great page called Amazon Web Services in Plain English. I searched for the Azure equivalent, and as it turns out, one doesn't exist! Time to set that straight.

The most interesting thing about this exercise is that Azure services are actually named fairly well. For each of the official names, it was extremely difficult to come up with a better name.

Base Services

Azure Service Could be Called Use this to... Like AWS...
Virtual MachinesServersMove existing apps to the cloud without changing them. You manage the entire computer.EC2
Cloud ServicesManaged Virtual MachinesRun applications on virtual machines that you don't have to manage, but can partially manage. 
BatchAzure Distributed ProcessingWork on a large chunk of data by divvying it up between a whole bunch of machines. 
RemoteAppRemote Desktop for AppsExpose non-web apps to users. For example, run Excel on your iPad.AppStream
Web AppsWeb Site HostRun websites (.NET, Node.js, etc.) without managing anything extra. Scale automatically and easily.Elastic Beanstalk
Mobile AppsMobile App AcceleratorQuickly get an app backend up and running. 
Logic AppsVisio for Doing StuffChain steps together to get stuff done. 
API AppsAPI HostHost your API's without any of the management overhead. 
API ManagementAPI ProxyExpose an API and off-load things like billing, authentication, and caching.API Gateway

Mobile

Azure Service Could be Called Use this to... Like AWS...
Notification HubsNotification BlasterSend notifications to all of your users, or groups of users based on things like zip code. All platforms.SNS
Mobile EngagementMobile PsychicTrack what users are doing in your app, and customize experience based on this data. 

Storage

Azure Service Could be Called Use this to... Like AWS...
SQL DatabaseAzure SQLUse the power of a SQL Server cluster without having to manage it.RDS
Document DBAzure NoSQLUse an unstructured JSON database without having to manage it.Dynamo DB
Redis CacheEasy CacheCache files in memory in a scalable way.Elasticache
Storage BlobsCloud File SystemStore files, virtual disks, and build other storage services on top of.S3
Azure SearchIndex & SearchAdd search capabilities to your website, or index data stored somewhere else.CloudSearch
SQL Data WarehouseStructured Report DatabaseStore all of your company's data in a structured format for reporting.RedShift
Azure Data LakeUnstructured Report DatabaseStore all of your company's data in any format for reporting. 
HDInsightHosted HadoopDo Hadoopy things with massive amounts of data. 
Machine LearningSkynetTrain AI to predict the future using existing data. Examples include credit card fraud detection and Netflix movie recommendations. 
Stream AnalyticsReal-time data queryLook for patterns in data as it arrives. 
Data FactoryAzure ETLOrchestrate extract, transform, and load data processes.Data Pipeline
Event HubsIoT IngestorIngest data at ANY scale inexpensively. 

Networking

Azure Service Could be Called Use this to... Like AWS...
Virtual NetworkPrivate NetworkPut machines on the same, private network so that they talk to each other directly and privately. Expose services to the internet as needed. 
ExpressRouteFiber to AzureConnect privately over an insanely fast pipe to an Azure datacenter. Make your local network part of your Azure network.Direct Connect
Load BalancerLoad BalancerSplit load between multiple services, and handle failures. 
Traffic ManagerDatacenter Load BalancerSplit load between multiple datacenters, and handle datacenter outages. 
DNSDNS ProviderRun a DNS server so that your domain names map to the correct IP addresses.Route53
VPN GatewayVirtual Fiber to AzureConnect privately to an Azure datacenter. Make your local network part of your Azure network. 
Application GatewayWeb Site ProxyProxy all of your HTTP traffic. Host your SSL certs. Load balance with sticky sessions. 
CDNCDNMake your sites faster and more scalable by putting your static files on servers around the world close to your end users.Cloudfront
Media ServicesVideo ProcessorTranscode video and distribute and manage it on the scale of the Olympics.Elastic Transcoder

Management

Azure Service Could be Called Use this to... Like AWS...
Azure Resource ManagerDeclarative ConfigurationDefine your entire Azure architecture as a repeatable JSON file and deploy all at once.CloudFormation

Developer

Azure Service Could be Called Use this to... Like AWS...
Application InsightsApp AnalyticsView detailed information about how your apps (web, mobile, etc.) are used.Mobile Analytics
Service FabricCloud App FrameworkBuild a cloud optimized application that can scale and handle failures inexpensively.

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Ignite 2015 Mega Post

Windows

Azure

  • Azure Stack
    • Use ARM templates on-premises
    • Storage support
    • IaaS
    • Service Fabric
  • ExpressRoute supports Office 365 connectivity
  • IaaS
    • Azure DNS Public Preview
    • User defined routing
    • Standard VPN Gateway
      • Use a site-to-site VPN over Expressroute
    • Multiple VIPs per cloud service
    • Expressroute and VPN co-existence
    • VM Volume encryption for Windows and Linux
      • Encrypt boot and data volumes
    • VM Scale Set public preview
      • Set-based operations on identical VMs through an API
      • Great for big compute scenarios
    • C++ Storage 1.0 GA
    • Client-side encryption for Azure Storage Preview
    • Xamarin storage client library
    • New Storage Blob Type - Append Blob
  • Azure DNS
  • Public preview of Advanced Threat Analytics

Misc

  • Office 2016 Public Preview
  • Power BI mobile app
  • Delve Dashboard
    • Show email, meeting, Skype, Yammer analytics
    • Work/life balance stats
    • Work map
  • Skype integration in Office
  • Office desktop collaboration
  • Sway will be coming to the education and business O365 plans
  • Skype for Business
    • iOS and Android by fall CY
    • Mac by end of CY 2015
    • Coming soon to the cloud: Enterprise voice, audio conferencing, PSTN calling
    • Broadcast to up to 10,000 viewers
    • DVR functionality for conferences

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Build 2015 Mega Post

Keynote Highlights

Windows

Azure

  • .NET SDK 2.6 (Release Notes)
    • HDInsight improvements
    • In-Role caching uses latest storage SDK
    • App Service tools
    • Azure Resource Manager new templates for Virtual Machines, Networking, and Storage
    • Diagnostic improvements
  • Data lake service
    • HDFS compatible file system
    • Unlimited storage
    • Optimized for high throughput, low latency
  • Project Oxford
    • Face detection
    • Speech recognition
    • Vision information API
    • Powers how-old.net
  • Service Fabric
    • Stateful microservices
  • SQL Database
    • SQL DB Transparent data encryption public preview
    • SQL DB Service Tier Advisor public preview - assess performance needs
    • Elastic Data Pool
    • Full-text Search
  • More than 500 new features in Azure in the past year
  • Over 50 trillion storage objects
  • App Service Architecture
  • IaaS
    • 3 Fault domains in an availability set
  • Azure IoT Suite
    • Device provisioning & management
    • Telemetry

Visual Studio

Misc

  • Project Spartan is now Edge
  • .NET support on Linux in Docker
  • .NET core preview for Linux and Mac
    • Additionally, run and debug .NET on Linux, in a Docker container
  • .NET 4.6 RC for Windows
  • Nano server
    • Admin GUIs on servers are poison
    • It's just a deployment option
    • Features are pulled in separately, not on disk
    • Hyper-V, ASP.net, clustering support
    • Configuration via core PowerShell and WMI
    • Uses core CLR, most core engine components
    • Nano server is a subset of the full server surface area
    • An app that works on nano server will run on the full server
    • Optional Reverse forwarders package allows you run non-nano apps and silently fail on unsupported API calls
    • Lots of things can run with the reverse forwarders like Java, node.js
    • Less than 3 minutes to install
    • 400mb vs 5+gb for full server
    • Inject drivers in image before install
  • Office has a unified endpoint for all API calls
    • Add-ins run everywhere that office does
  • Vorlon.js
    • An open source, extensible, platform-agnostic tool for remotely debugging and testing your JavaScript
  • Building a new Reactor space in San Francisco
  • Minecraft Modding in Visual Studio

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Jason Young I'm Jason Young, software engineer. This blog contains my opinions, of which my employer - Microsoft - may not share.

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