A recent brief introduction of Azure on Microsoft Student Lounge.
Azure is a set of services and technologies that enable you to easily benefit from the scalability and agility of cloud computing. Anyone, including independent developers, can store data and build and connect applications in the cloud.
In a typical on premises architecture, you have the server, the operating system running on the server and the applications. There is probably a database running on its own server as well as other infrastructure like security, networking, etc.
In the cloud, all of these items are still there – but you never have to see or worry about them. Azure provides the operating system as a service and the applications you write are distributed across those servers. The database is SQL Azure which is built on Microsoft SQL Server and is also distributed across the same datacenters. There is no need to invest upfront on expensive infrastructure. You pay only for what you use. You can scale up when you need capacity and pull it back when you don’t. Microsoft handles all the patches and maintenance so you get a secure environment with over 99.9% uptime.
This allows you to focus on application development rather than infrastructure configuration, maintenance and scalability. Let’s say you’ve created the next great web application. As it takes the world by storm you don’t have to worry about scaling up your servers, distributing your database across multiple data centers and such – Azure will deal with that – you just need to deal with the app itself. When the creator of the another next great web application contacts you - you can use AppFabric to collaborate and create composite applications.
For more information go here.