In short, it's Microsoft's cloud platform. But that's just scratching the surface. Here's what else Azure is.
It’s IaaS + PaaS
Azure is the only major cloud platform ranked by Gartner as an industry leader for both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS). This powerful combination of managed and unmanaged services lets you build, deploy, and manage applications any way you like for unmatched productivity.
It’s hybrid ready
Some cloud providers make you choose between your datacenter and the public cloud. Not Azure. Its enterprise-proven hybrid cloud solutions give you the best of both worlds, expanding your IT options without added complexity. With Azure, data storage, backup, and recovery become more efficient and economical. It’s also easier to build applications that span both on-premises and the cloud.
It’s open and flexible
Azure supports any operating system, language, tool, and framework— from Windows to Linux, SQL Server to Oracle, C# to Java. It puts the best of Windows and Linux ecosystems at your fingertips, so you can build great applications and services that work with every device.
It’s always up, always on
You’ll share the same enterprise-tested platform that powers Skype, Office 365, Bing, and Xbox. Azure offers a 99.95% availability SLA, 24×7 tech support, and round-the-clock service health monitoring. That’s why more than 57% of Fortune 500 companies rely on Azure today.
It’s economical and scalable
Azure can quickly scale up or down to match demand, so you only pay for what you use. Match competitor prices for popular infrastructure services like compute, storage and bandwidth means you’re always getting unbeatable price for performance.
Azure runs on a growing global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters across 13 regions, giving you a wide range of options for running applications and ensuring your customers always get great performance. Azure is the first multinational cloud provider in mainland China and is continuing to expand to new regions around the globe.
What you can do with Azure
Provision Windows and Linux Virtual Machines and applications in minutes. Use the same virtual machines and management tools in Azure that you use on-premises.
Develop modern applications
Build and deploy a wide variety of modern applications for Android, iOS, and Windows that take full advantage of the cloud—including web, mobile, media and line-of-business solutions. Automatically scale up and down to meet any need.
Gain insights from data
Azure provides managed SQL and NoSQL data services and built-in support for gaining insights from your data. Leverage the full power of SQL Server in the cloud and use HDInsight to build Hadoop clusters to analyze data.
Manage identity and access
Manage user accounts, synchronize with existing on-premises directories, and get single sign on across Azure, Office 365 and hundreds of popular software-as-a-service applications including Salesforce, DocuSign, Google Apps, Box, Dropbox, and more.
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