Availability Zones in Azure
Availability zones are physically separate datacenters within an Azure region. Each availability zone is made up of one or more datacenters equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking.
In this lecture, the focus is on understanding Availability Zones in Microsoft Azure. It’s explained that when deploying services and data on the Azure platform, ensuring redundancy is crucial to protect information from potential failures. Unlike hosting in a private data center, which requires setting up redundant hardware environments, Azure provides a way to make applications highly available through Availability Zones.
Availability Zones are described as physically separate data centers within an Azure region. Each zone comprises one or more data centers with their own power, cooling, and networking, effectively creating an isolation boundary. In the event that one zone goes down, others remain operational, thanks to the high-speed, private fiber optic networks that interconnect them.
The lecture also points out that not all Azure regions support Availability Zones, directing students to a URL for the most current list of regions that do. These zones are particularly useful for running mission-critical applications and building high availability into application architectures. This involves colocating compute, storage, networking, and data resources within a zone and replicating them in others, although at an additional cost.
Finally, it is emphasized that Availability Zones are primarily for virtual machines, managed disks, load balancers, and SQL databases. The lecture concludes by differentiating between Availability Sets, which protect against hardware failures within a single data center, and Availability Zones, which protect against entire data center failures within a region. This distinction is underscored as important to remember, especially when preparing for an exam on the topic.