Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure, created by Microsoft, for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of datacenters. Azure was first released in February 2010 as Windows Azure, before being renamed to Microsoft Azure in 2014.
Azure offers both Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, the former of which enables customers to develop, test, and deploy applications without managing the underlying infrastructure. Azure IaaS gives customers the ability to deploy and manage their own virtual machines, networks, and storage solutions in Microsoft's datacenters.
Azure has become a popular platform for hosting blockchain applications. In March 2018, Microsoft partnered with ConsenSys to offer Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) on Azure. EBaaS on Azure allows developers to create and deploy decentralized applications (dapps) on the Ethereum network using Microsoft's cloud infrastructure.