Q13. What are the components of Windows Azure platform?

The components of Windows Azure platform are:
  1. Windows Azure
  2. SQL Database
  3. Windows Azure AppFabric

All these components are available as a services and available in Microsoft datacenters located in United States, Europe, and Asia.

What is the difference between Windows Azure Platform and Windows Azure?
Technically Windows Azure Platform and Windows Azure are different. Windows Azure Platform is a platform offering services such as Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and AppFabric. Windows Azure is the Microsoft’s cloud OS and is a part of the Azure platform.

Before learning how to develop an Azure application, a programmer should be familiar with the components of the azure platform, their roles and concepts.

1. Windows Azure

What are the components of Windows Azure OS?

Azure OS is that part of Azure platform which runs applications and stores data. Windows Azure OS contains five services.
a. Compute
b. Storage
c. Virtual Network
d. CDN
e. Fabric Controller


Compute Service runs applications. Simply speaking, Compute is your applications hosting environment. Compute service offers three execution models and they are:

Virtual Machines

Virtual Machines execution model is used when a user wants to use only the Cloud infrastructure.

Web Sites

Web sites execution model is used when a user wants to move an existing application or run a web application in a managed environment.

Cloud Services

Cloud Services execution model is used when a user wants to develop and run a multi-tier application or highly-scalable applications.

components of azure platfrom

2. SQL Database

SQL Database is the relational storage service Azure offers to store relational data in the cloud. It is like a SQL server database on cloud. Note that SQL Database is available as a service. SQL Database contains all common features of the SQL server such as tables, primary keys, stored procedures and functions, user-defined functions. Not only that, it also manages transactions and concurrency. The important point here is applications can access SQL Database using different data access technologies like EF and ADO.NET and WCF Data Services. (just like sql server)

3. Windows Azure AppFabric

AppFabric is one of the major components of the Azure platform. AppFabric resides on top of the operating system and is a set of services. AppFabric mainly contains
a. Service Bus
b. Access Control Service

Important words:

Managed Environment

A managed environment is one which does not require manual intervention. It manages itself automatically.

Execution model

Execution model is a term given by cloud vendors to its services. When you chose an execution model, you will know clearly what are the services being offered and what is the control level on these services. Execution model determines the run time environment your application is going to run in the azure cloud infrastructure.