Before getting into the Azure compute service, lets first try to understand what do you mean by compute service itself. ‘Compute service’ means a service which provides the some computational functionality. For example when you started learning about the computer, you must have learned three basic parts of the computer , CPU – Hard disk – Monitor. Here CPU is your central processing unit. CPU provides computer power to do calculations and processing.
So when you say you need compute service, that’s means you want some computational power. All the cloud providers provide the various computational and storage services. Microsoft provides the compute service as follows :
- Azure Virtual Machines
- Azure Container Instances
- Azure App Service
- Azure Functions (or serverless computing)
Azure Virtual Machines : It is also popularly called as Azure VM, you can think it of as renting a machine in the cloud. VM is simulation of the physical computer or laptop in your home or office. It provides the virtual RAM, disk and processor. You can create the VM using the azure portal or the Azure power shell / bash shell. It comes under the IaaS as it gives flexibility and control over hardware, software as per customer need. You can install software on it as per your requirement.
Azure Virtual Machine Scale Set : It is kind of azure service which provides the set of identical virtual machines to manage and deploy your workload. VM scale set ensures that all the machines have same configuration as you defined, hence auto scaling here could be termed as true autoscaling.
Azure Container Instances
Container Instances and Azure Kubernetes service is compute resource service to provide resources in the form of the deployable containers. You can think of containers as small sized virtualized environment to deploy your applications. As it is lightweight, its create-stop very fast and can be automated.
Azure App Service : Azure application service is the PasS service which provide the managed environment of your choice to build and deploy any web / mobile application. You can think it of as the virtual box with all the hardware -software installed. User has to just connect to it , for quickly building and deploying the application.
Azure Functions : Az Function popularly called as the server less computing. However you must be thinking, in the real world every computation need server then why it is called as the server less computing. Azure functions just takes your function definition to execute it. You provide the input to the function and then its azure responsibility to allocate the compute resources for executing the functions. Customer has to pay only for the duration the function executed. At the same time it is highly scalable and can dynamically handle the number of request at scale.
Deepak Goyal is certified Azure Cloud Solution Architect. He is having around decade and half experience in designing, developing and managing enterprise cloud solutions. He is also Big data certified professional and passionate cloud advocate.