Cloud computing is delivering capability using Internet protocols and standards. Some examples are Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google App Engine. There are a couple ways to deliver cloud computing. They are Saas, Paas, and Iaas. I will explain these further.

Saas is software as a service. This is where you host applications through the subscription model. You pay as you go. Paas is platform as a service. You build and execute custom applications, exposing them as services. Finally Iaas is infrastructure as a service. This is like the normal hosting you know and love.

Azure attempts to deliver the benefits of Paas, which remaining as flexible as Iaas. It provides a hosted application server. Azure needs a lost of hardware to run. Data centers are staffed by a few good men who take advantage of automating everything. In other words, you don’t have a man in the loop.

Azure has a policy based deployment strategy. The pricing is mostly simple to understand. The exceptions are the pricing for blobs and tables. Maybe I will detail those more complicated pricing policies later.