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What Does Microsoft “Azure” Mean?

By September 14, 2020September 15th, 2020Office 365
What is Microsoft Azure?

Sometimes Microsoft “Azure” is spoken about as if it is one single product, or one single service. This isn’t the case – and we want to offer a bit of structure and explanation to make it clearer what “Azure” can be referring to.

First of all, Azure is not a product or a service itself. It is a cloud platform that Microsoft has created which can include many different services.

What are these services? They include things like:

  • Azure Information Protection – A subscription service that allows a user to encrypt emails sent from Microsoft 365, encrypt and protect documents, and create Data Loss Prevention policies (to protect whole classes of documents and data, etc.).
  • Azure Active Directory (AAD) – A directory and identity management service. This is where the users, groups, and security information for a Microsoft tenant is stored and managed. (Each Microsoft 365 and/or Azure customer has their own “tenant”.) Microsoft 365 has an included version of AAD running in the background for every tenant.
    • Azure Active Directory Premium (Plan 1 or Plan 2) – These are add-on subscriptions that enable additional functionality to Azure Active Directory (mostly security related).
  • Azure AD Connect – A free tool (not a service) to sync Active Directory (AD) on-premises to Azure Active Directory (AAD) in the cloud.
  • Azure Subscription – A billing “container” for all of the various Azure services that you might use to build a private cloud infrastructure. This could include an amazing array of different services such as:
    • Azure Virtual Machines – A virtual machine in the Azure cloud
    • Azure Managed Storage – Storage in the Azure cloud
    • Azure Recovery Services (Azure Site recovery & Azure Backup) – Backup, Disaster Recovery, failover, etc.
    • Azure SQL – Hosted & Managed SQL Database in Azure cloud
    • Azure DNS – Hosted Public DNS in Azure cloud

There’s even more though. The following screenshots show just how many services can be managed with the Azure Portal and/or added to an Azure subscription. (And remember: an “Azure subscription” is a subscription to the Azure cloud platform).

If you’re interested in exploring how your organization can leverage the vast array of Azure cloud services, talk to us today! You can improve your security stance, manage users, establish backup and recovery, or work on storage and cloud computing. We’d love to discuss how Azure services can work for you.


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