Azure and .NET : Making Beautiful Style Together

 James Warner
  Aug 07, 2018

Azure cloud computing platform is a perfect match for .NET Core applications as it has a wide range of infrastructure and platform services for these applications along with the cross-platform support. Microsoft Azure is majorly preferred because of it's few key features which include productiveness as it has more than 100 services, Hybrid nature of azure, Intelligence of Azure and the Trust as it is developed by Microsoft.

Microsoft Azure which is also known as Windows Azure is a cloud computing platform which is developed and maintained by Microsoft for building, deploying, testing and managing applications through the global network of their data centers. Azure provides a wide range of cloud computing services including those for networking, storage, analytics and compute. Users can pick from these services as per there need to develop new applications or run existing applications. Microsoft Azure also supports various programming languages, tools, and frameworks including both third-party software and Microsoft- specific.

Microsoft Azure provides a platform as a service (PaaS), this level of azure provides an operating system, a database, and an environment for executing your code and additional services like identity management. It also puts up with all the tedious operating system details. Another level of Microsoft Azure is Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), it is the most basic service of Microsoft Azure. It provides a server in the cloud and also gives you full control over the virtual machine and is responsible for managing everything. The third level is software as a service (SaaS), applications are built and hosted through third-party vendors in this level and a certain amount is charged for this service.

The .NET Core is a free and open source cross-platform software development framework which is developed and managed by Microsoft and .NET community. It consists of CoreCLR which is a virtual machine that monitors the execution of .NET programs. Even though .NET Core have their own API which is not at all related to the .NET framework but they still share a subset of .NET framework API’s. There are majorly four cross platforms that are supported by .NET Core and they are Universal Windows Platform apps, libraries, command line apps and ASP.NET core web apps. To write applications and libraries for .NET Core various languages can be used like C#, Visual Basic, and F#.

A major feature that .NET Core provides to its users is a command line interface which offers an entry point for various operating systems. Other services that are offered by .NET Core includes code compilation and package management. It also includes CoreFX which is a partial fork of framework class library. Till now 3 versions of .NET Core have been released by Microsoft along with Visual Studio updates on which the development of .NET Core programs is executed. The latest version that is being used by the developers is .NET Core 2.1 which was released on 30 may 2018. The new version of .NET Core is officially going to be released soon.

Microsoft’s Azure and .NET Core are a perfect match for each other. The user interface, infrastructure, broad cross-platform support and all the services of the Azure cloud computing platform helps in hosting of .NET Core applications. Azure has a set of infrastructure services that provide compute, storage and networking capabilities to the developers to deploy virtual servers that are managed by data centres. The virtual machine of Azure supports multiple versions of windows server and multiple distributions of Linux and many more operating systems. All these aspects are great but before you deploy your .NET Core applications into Microsoft Azure you need to set up an application host in Azure. There are various ways to deploy infrastructure and services in Azure. The best and easiest way to deploy Azure infrastructure and services is to getting started through the Azure portal. You can find all the services you need in the Azure portal and deploy and configure those services you will just have to go through a series of questions. Configuring a virtual machine is not at all tedious task, in fact, you can remotely manage and configure a virtual machine by using Remote Desktop for Windows or SSH for Linux once the virtual machine is in running state.

Developers usually like to script and automate as much as they can which is a repeatable process and to save the developers from this hustle, Azure Resource Manager (ARM) offers templates that allow the developer to automate the deployment of services in Azure. These templates are simply JSON files that state the resources that a developer will need and want to deploy and their relationship with each other, these templates are very popular in the industry and you can easily find hundreds of pre-built templates in the GitHub repository. Other than deploying Azure services, the Azure Resource Manager templates can also be used to configure the operating system and install other dependencies using VM extensions.

After the virtual machine has finished deploying you can execute your custom script by using custom script virtual machine extension. By using these custom scripts you can all also perform tasks like installing other application servers including PHP and Apache. Azure is a large cloud computing platform with various services but we majorly talk about a few of them like Virtual machines and app services but there are other application runtime services too that you can run .NET Core applications in Microsoft Azure and those services include Azure Functions which are also known as serverless, Service Fabric which is also known as microservices and Azure Container Service which are defined as the docker containers and are majorly used to create dynamic web applications.

The major role of Microsoft Azure with Asp.Net Core developers is to provide full access to host their web applications in anything from a virtual machine to a Docker container which simplifies the management of host environment and lets the developer focus on the code rather than servers. This capability of Microsoft Azure is enthralling and opens many possibilities by offering broad ecosystem support.

Azure and .NET : Making Beautiful Style Together

James Warner

Business Analyst / Business Intelligence Analyst as well as Experienced programming and software developer with Excellent knowledge on Hadoop/Big data analysis, Data Warehousing/Data Staging/ETL tool, design and development, testing and deployment of software systems from development stage to production stage with giving emphasis on Object oriented paradigm.

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