Azure Batch: A mash-up of PaaS and IaaS

As cloud services become more automated, the line between IaaS and PaaS continues to blur -- and large-scale cloud deployments get a whole lot easier

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Most cloud architectures focus on the IaaS aspect of cloud, using it as a replacement for infrastructure. It’s a logical first step that builds on tools and techniques you’re likely to find in your own data center. The move from on-premises to cloud can be handled with a simple physical-to-virtual transformation, then an upload, then a switchover.

Take Microsoft’s Azure Batch service, for example. What the tool does isn’t rocket science -- you can use it to create the virtual machines you need, load them with data, and aggregate and process the information they produce. But Batch also provides a PaaS framework to host and batch your code, handling the systems management tasks for you, ensuring that unwanted virtual machines are turned off when no longer needed.

The Azure Batch service creates and runs a pool of similar virtual machines running your software over your data. You don’t need to build, run, and administer the pool -- it’s all handled for you.

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