Azure is Microsoft's cloud computing platform, which provides its users with scalable computing power and storage, as well as a number of other online services hosted on Microsoft datacentres.
Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments. To build applications and services on Windows Azure, developers can use their existing Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2008 expertise. Windows Azure is not grid computing, packaged software, or a standard hosting service. It is an integrated development, service hosting and management environment maintained at Microsoft datacenters. The environment includes a robust and efficient core of compute and simple storage capabilities and support for a rich variety of development tools and protocols.
- Windows Azure is a service that allows you to deploy code on Microsoft's servers. This code has access to local storage resources (blobs, queues, and tables).
- SQL Azure is a cloud-located database offering. While it uses T-SQL like SQL Server, it is not a full SQL Server instance (for example, not all of the SQL Server built-in stored procedures are available). It can integrate with SQL Server, though.
- Azure AppFabric is a service bus that allows applications within your LAN to communicate with Azure clouds; it handles things like authentication, security, etc.
- "Dallas" is a marketplace for applications and services deployed on Windows Azure.
Microsoft Office 365
Office 365 includes the Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications and hosted versions of Microsoft's Server products (including Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, and Lync Server), delivered and accessed over the Internet, in effect, the next version of Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS)
Office 365 integrates can be used with mobile platforms including iPhone and Windows Phone 7. Also it works with Mac OS X.
VMware sells commercial virtualization software.VMware's desktop software runs on Microsoft Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, while VMware's enterprise software hypervisors for servers, VMware ESX and VMware ESXi, are bare-metal embedded hypervisors that run directly on server hardware without requiring an additional underlying operating system
It offers vCloud: Run, secure and manage applications in the private cloud or have them federated on-demand to partner-hosted public clouds. VCloud is giving a tough competition to more established Amazon's AWS.
It was recently in the news for partnership with Cisco & EMC, to offer equipment called Vblocks and support a new joint venture called Acadia that will help business customers and service providers build out clouds based on the Vblock gear packages.
The products offered by the company are Cloud Servers, Cloud Files, Cloud Hosting, Cloud DNS, Cloud Load Balancer, and others. They cater to the needs of corporate website hosting, rich media website hosting, SAAS hosting, E-Commerce website hosting, Custom applications hosting, and others.
Cloud computing will affect large part of computer industry including Software companies, Internet service providers. Cloud computing makes it very easy for companies to provide their products to end-user without worrying about hardware configurations and other requirements of servers.
1. Implementing and Developing Cloud Computing Applications by DAVID E.Y. SARNA
2. Cloud Computing By Michael Miller