Cloud computing is here. Running applications and storing data on machines in an Internet-accessible data center can offer plenty of advantages. Yet wherever they run, applications are built on some kind of platform. For on-premises applications, such as those running inside an organization’s data center, this platform usually includes an operating system, some way to store data, and perhaps more. Applications running in the cloud need a similar foundation. The goal of Windows Azure is to provide this. Part of the larger Windows Azure platform, Windows Azure is a foundation for running applications and storing data in the cloud.