Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft managed data centers. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing environment.
VMs are basic cloud building blocks. Get full control over a virtual machine with virtual hard disks. Install and run software yourself. Configure multiple machines with different roles to create complex solutions. VMs are nearly identical to conventional (real) servers, and are the easiest way to move existing workloads to the cloud.
Easily access and manage these general purpose VMs. Microsoft maintains and updates each VMs as need with system updates. You configure the VMs as needed, and scale out as many copies as needed. You can have two types of VMs – Worker roles and web roles. Worker roles are made for computing and sunning services. The web role is simply a worker role with IIS already installed and configured.
Use these for pure web apps. The underlying system software is hidden from you and managed for you. Focus only on your web code. First choose a web technology from the gallery, then develop with your framework and finally deploy from your source control. Use the data platform of your choice. Develop 1 site of 500. Scale can be automated – by schedule, usage or by a quota trigger.
Mobile service allows you to quickly implement data and authentication capabilities. With mobile service, easily create a web API to store data and execute business logic. Apps on any device call the API, and users are authenticated by third party providers. Apps can also receive notifications when events occur. Worry less about data and authentication and focus more on your service.