Microsoft Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, providing a
wide variety of services you can use without purchasing and provisioning
your own hardware. Azure enables the rapid development of solutions and
provides the resources to accomplish tasks that may not be feasible in
an on-premises environment. Azure’s compute, storage, network, and
application services allow you to focus on building great solutions
without the need to worry about how the physical infrastructure is
This book covers the fundamentals of Azure you need to start
developing solutions right away. It concentrates on the features of the
Azure platform that you are most likely to need to know rather than on
every feature and service available on the platform. This book also
provides several walkthroughs you can follow to learn how to create VMs
and virtual networks, websites and storage accounts, and so on. In many
cases, real-world tips are included to help you get the most out of your
In addition to its coverage of core Azure services, the book
discusses common tools useful in creating and managing Azure-based
solutions. The book wraps up by providing details on a few common
business scenarios where Azure can provide compelling and valuable
solutions, as well as a chapter providing overviews of some of the
commonly used services not covered in the book.
Who should read this book
This book focuses on providing essential information about the key
services of Azure for developers and IT professionals who are new to
cloud computing. Detailed, step-by-step demonstrations are included to
help the reader understand how to get started with each of the key
services. This material is useful not only for those who have no prior
experience with Azure, but also for those who need a refresher and those
who may be familiar with one area but not others. Each chapter is
standalone; there is no requirement that you perform the hands-on
demonstrations from previous chapters to understand any particular
We expect that you have at least a minimal understanding of
virtualized environments and virtual machines. There are no specific
skills required overall for this book, but having some knowledge of the
topic of each chapter will help you gain a deeper understanding. For
example, the chapter on virtual networks will make more sense if you
have some understanding of networking, and the chapter on databases will
be more useful if you understand what a database is and why you might
use one. Web development skills will provide a good background for
understanding Azure Web Apps, and some understanding of identity will be
helpful when studying the chapter on Active Directory.
This book might not be for you if…
This book might not be for you if you are looking for an in-depth
developer or architecture-focused discussion on a wide range of Azure
features, or if you are looking for details on other public or private
Organization of this book
This book explores six foundational features of the Microsoft Azure
platform, along with insights on getting started with Azure, management
tools, and common business scenarios. This book also includes a chapter
with overviews of some of the more commonly used services, such as
HDInsight (Azure’s Hadoop service) and Service Bus, but there are many
services in the Azure platform that are not in the scope of this book,
such as Azure Batch, Data Lake Analytics, and Azure DNS, just to mention
a few. To learn about all of the services available in the Azure
platform, start your journey at http://azure.microsoft.com. Also, there is a web application that shows the many services of Azure and allows you to drill down to learn move. See http://aka.ms/azposterapp.
The topics explored in this book include:
- Getting started with Azure: Understand what cloud
computing is, learn about Azure Resource Manager and Role-Based Access
Control, visit the management portals, learn about billing, find out how
you can contribute to the Azure documentation and code samples.
- Azure App Service and Web Apps: Learn about the
Azure App Service, consisting of Web Apps, Logic Apps, Mobile Apps, API
Apps, and Function Apps. We will focus on Web Apps and how they work
with the App Service and App Service plans, covering the topic from
deployment to monitoring and scaling.
- Virtual Machines: Explore the basic features of Azure Virtual Machines, including how to create, configure, and manage them.
- Storage: Read about the basics of Azure Storage,
including blobs, tables, queues, and file shares, as well as some of the
options available such as Premium Storage and Cool Storage.
- Virtual Networks: Learn the basics of virtual
networks, including how to create one, and why a virtual network might
be necessary. This also covers site-to-site and point-to-site
networking, as well as ExpressRoute.
- Databases: Explore two relational database options available in Azure: Azure SQL Database and SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines.
- Azure Active Directory: Explore basic features of Azure AD, including creating a directory, users and groups, and using the application gallery.
- Management Tools: Explore three common tools for
working with Azure: Visual Studio 2015 and the Azure SDK, Azure
PowerShell cmdlets, and the Cross-Platform Command-Line Interface.
- Additional Azure services: Get an overview about
Azure services not covered in the book that may be fundamental to you
now or in the future, such as Azure Service Fabric and Azure Container
- Business Scenarios: Explore five common scenarios
for utilizing Azure features: development and test, hybrid, application
and infrastructure modernization, and Azure Mobile Apps, and Machine
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