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Microsoft suggests that satellite routing to the cloud can offer a speed advantage. For example, a connection from the home to a cloud data centre for online media, entertainment or gaming, currently may use complex fibre routes that are longer than one hop up to a satellite and down again. Microsoft’s experiments using Xbox cloud have found there are parts of the world (including parts of the USA) where it is faster via satellite than over terrestrial networks.


Microsoft Azure uses a specialized operating system, called Microsoft Azure, to run its fabric layer a cluster hosted at Microsoft's data centers that manage computing and storage resources of the computers and provisions the resources (or a subset of them) to applications running on top of Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Azure has been described as a "cloud layer" on top of a number of Windows content first systems, which use Windows Server 2008 and a customized version of Hyper-V, known as the Microsoft Azure Hypervisor to provide virtualization of services.


Scaling and reliability are azure cloud by the Microsoft Azure Fabric Controller, which ensures the services and environment do not fail if one or more of the servers fails within the Microsoft data center, and which also provides the management of the user's Web application such as memory allocation and load balancing


Azure provides an API built on REST, HTTP, and XML that allows a developer to interact with the services provided by Microsoft Azure. Microsoft also provides a client-side managed class library that encapsulates the functions of interacting with the services. It also integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio, Git, and Eclipse.


In addition to interacting with services via API, users can manage Azure services using the Web-based Azure Portal, which reached General Availability in December 2015.The portal allows users to browse active resources, modify settings, launch new resources, and view basic monitoring data from active virtual machines and services.

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