The Compute Components
To build an understanding of the components of Windows Azure, we’ll focus on one of the most basic functions – computation, or the execution of applications. Windows Azure provides three options for computation as shown in the diagram below.
Each of the three Windows Azure execution models has its own role to play. Windows Azure Cloud Services supports the creation of scalable, reliable applications with low administration costs, Windows Azure Virtual Machines provides a general-purpose computing environment and Windows Azure Web Sites offers low-cost web hosting.
Azure Cloud Services are designed to support scalable, reliable and low-admin applications to give you the full benefits of the cloud that quickly scale up or down. Infrastructure management is all done by Microsoft, so you can focus your resources on building the best app.
Virtual Machines give your application mobility, allowing you to move your virtual hard disks (VHDs) back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. If your business relies on popular Microsoft server applications, Virtual Machines help you run the same on-premises enterprise applications and infrastructure in the cloud.
With Windows Azure websites, you can quickly and easily deploy sites to the cloud with support for multiple frameworks and popular open source applications including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla! and Umbraco.
The Windows Azure computing components create a solid foundation for your application. The exact approach you choose will depend on what problems you’re trying to solve. Let’s talk about how you can move your applications to the cloud. Find out more about the process here.