Whenever we say that something "runs in the cloud", it really means "runs on somebody else's computer."
Azure is a cloud provider, which means they let you use their computers and you pay them based on the amount of resources you use.
If we want to go a little further in explaining Azure and DevOps, we can look at two of the popular buzzwords used to describe it: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).
Let's use an analogy to explain this–pretend you are opening a meal plan delivery service. You don't have your own kitchen to prepare food, so you are looking at two options for making your meals:
You pay to use a community kitchen space, which will include all the cookware and utensils that you need to cook your food. Imagine you're paying only for the time you spend in the kitchen space.
You outsource your cooking to other restaurants and/or people, so all you need to do is provide them with the recipes to cook your meals.
Option 1 describes a service where you can use kitchen components like the stove and oven without having to manage them. This means you don't have to perform routine maintenance on the oven or repair it when it breaks. This is equivalent to how IaaS provides managed infrastructure components like compute, network, and storage–you pay just to use these servers, and you don't have to worry about maintaining them because Azure will do it for you.
Option 2 takes it a step farther by outsourcing all the cooking to others parties, allowing you to focus on developing your recipes and running your business. This is similar to how PaaS allows you to focus on developing applications, as it eliminates the complexity of infrastructure. This is different from IaaS because you won't even need to interface with those infrastructure servers. You can develop your code, specify the requirements to run it, then let Azure handle the rest!
Hope this helps :)
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