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Azure Cosmos DB lets you focus on the good stuff

What is Azure Cosmos DB? We break down the basics and benefits of Cosmos DB — and share resources to help you learn how to use this powerful service.

Jun 08, 2023 • 4 Minute Read

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What is Azure Cosmos DB? In this post, we break down some of the basics and benefits of Cosmos DB in plain English — and share resources to help you learn how to use this powerful service.

You have a fantastic business idea. You’ve recruited top development talent. And if you can make it to market in time, you’ll have a home run. What you don’t have is a burning desire to set up and manage your own global NoSQL infrastructure. Enter Microsoft Azure and Azure Cosmos DB.

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What is Azure Cosmos DB?

Conquering the NoSQL Universe

Azure Cosmos DB is a fully managed, multi-model NoSQL database service with turnkey global distribution.

(Confused? Don't sweat it! Cosmos DB and NoSQL are among the toughest cloud topics in Azure for learners. (In our Azure Dictionary of Pain, we found learners miss tough questions related to NoSQL and Cosmos DB 47% of the time.)

Let’s talk about what all that means in normal-people words. Here are four concepts around Cosmos DB that explain the power of this service and what it can mean for you.

1. Fully Managed

One of the most frustrating things in life is when you’re making awesome progress on something and have to stop and take time for another task that, while critical, is from a completely different train of thought.

Instead of having to be a part-time database cluster wizard, let your developers create the incredible apps and websites that you’re known for. That’s what "fully managed" means: Microsoft takes care of all the dirty work and lets you get down to business.

2. Multi-model

What's better than a database platform you don’t have to waste time managing yourself? One that gives you a variety of options for what you can bring to it.

Are you six months or a year into setting up your own MongoDB environment? (It’s okay, we all make mistakes.) Bring it over to Cosmos DB and use their MongoDB API to keep on working. You can do the same with key-value stores and even graph databases. Everyone is welcome.

Which NoSQL DB is the GOAT? Check out our in-depth NoSQL database comparison guide to see which database service reigns supreme between AWS DynamoDB vs GCP Cloud Datastore and Bigtable vs Azure Cosmos DB.

3. Turnkey Global Distribution

Have you ever tried to replicate data from one of your organization's data centers to another, or even just within the same data center? It can be a royal pain.

Now imagine achieving the same results around the world.

Actually, don’t descend into that nightmare — just log into Cosmos DB and click a couple of buttons. I’m not even kidding. It’s that easy! With a few clicks, you can add replicas to any of over 60 regions in 140 countries. And even better they can all be writable copies, making for some very happy users with very fast speeds.

4. Guaranteed Performance

Speaking of speed, there is no tradeoff just because this service is managed for you.

Microsoft has industry-leading SLAs around performance, availability, and consistency. So as you build your awesome apps you can be sure the data will be where you need it when you need it.

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Learn more about Cosmos DB

At the end of the day, all of that technical magic amounts to one thing: letting you focus on what drives success for your business.

There's a chance that you could create a pristine custom system that is the pinnacle of NoSQL database clusters, but how long would it take you to achieve that and what would the cost be? This is one of the beautiful things about the cloud in general and Azure Cosmos DB specifically. You can build on top of Microsoft’s secure, efficient, and cost-effective platform to deliver faster, more agile, and more resilient results before your competitors. And that, my friends, is winning with the cloud.

Want to learn more about Cosmos DB? Check out my Azure Cosmos DB Deep Dive course and learn all about this fantastic service. Whether you’re new to NoSQL — or are simply disillusioned with running your own setup — I’ll walk you through all that Cosmos DB offers and how it can help set you up for success.

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