Cloud features explained

Herman Rensink, Data center & Cloud Architect / CISSP

Cloud features

Earlier on I published an article in which I did a comparison of all the features of the Big 3 Cloud providers like Azure from Microsoft, Application Web services from Amazon and Google. Here in this article I explain a few features to give you a better understanding what they mean. I made just a selection of features but if you come across features you do not understand and you wish to have more information about that particular feature, go to the Menu option “How to reach me”. 

Remark: I have used several sources on the Internet like Wikipedia that I have been using in order to describe the underneath features. It may happen that the given descriptions are somewhat deviating from other sources.

Autoscale – Auto Scaling helps you maintain application availability and allows you to scale your up or down automatically according to conditions you define. You can use Auto Scaling to help ensure that you are running your desired number of instances. Auto Scaling can also automatically increase the number of instances during demand spikes to maintain performance and decrease capacity during lulls to reduce costs. Auto Scaling is well suited both to applications that have stable demand patterns or that experience hourly, daily, or weekly variability in usage.

Virtual server disk – A virtual disk (also known as a virtual drive or a RAM drive) is a file that represents as a physical disk drive to a guest operating system. The file may be configured on the host and also on a remote file system. The user can install a new operating system onto the virtual disk without re-partitioning the physical disk or rebooting the host machine.

Container management – Container management is a server virtualisation method in which the kernel of an operating system allows the existence of multiple isolated user-space instances, instead of just one. Such instances, which are sometimes called containers, software containers

Microservices – Microservice architectural style [1] is an approach to developing a single application as a suite of small services, each running in its own process and communicating with lightweight mechanisms, often an HTTP resource API. These services are built around business capabilities and independently deployable by fully automated deployment machinery.

Pre-defined templates – Allows you to provision your applications using a declarative template. In a single template, you can deploy multiple services along with their dependencies. You use the same template to repeatedly deploy your application during every stage of the application lifecycle.

Example: Redhat Tomcat server Template – This template allows you to create an Red Hat VM running Apache2 and Tomcat7 and enabled to support Visual Studio Team Services Apache Tomcat Deploym or

Joins a Windows VM to AD Domain Template – This template allows you to join an already existing Windows virtual machine into an existing Active Directory Domain.

Market place – A cloud marketplace provides customers with access to software applications and services that are built on, integrate with or complement the cloud provider’s offerings.

Object storage – Object storage (also known as object-based storage) is a storage architecture that manages data as objects, as opposed to other storage architectures like file systems which manage data as a file hierarchy and block storage which manages data as blocks within sectors and tracks.

Each object typically includes the data itself, a variable amount of metadata, and a globally unique identifier. Object storage is used for diverse purposes such as storing photos on Facebook, songs on Spotify, or files in online collaboration services, such as Dropbox

Data transport – Azure Import & Export service enables you to transfer large amounts of data to and from Azure using hard disk drives. It enables you to transfer data to Azure using secure transport of hard disk drives to our data centers and using high-speed secure internal network instead of using the Internet.

Content delivery – Content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.

You will find these features in my other articles. They are:

This list isn’t  by a long shot, not exhaustive. During the next weeks I will add some more.



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