Let's rokk! [Tudor Cret's blog]

March 11, 2009

Windows Azure

Filed under: Technologies — Tudor Cret @ 1:37 pm

In the autumn of 2008, after TechEd Barcelona all admins were a little bit disappointed, I can say they thought about their future, what are they going to do after Azure will be official released.  And of course the answer is that they will continue their work, because we are going to have on-premises application for a long time since now.

Three words that describe Azure are “scalability, availability,durability”. Solutions on Azure are scalable, Azure services are always available – we have no database, no try/catch on SQL queries in our C#/VB code and of course everything is durable on the cloud. Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting, and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft data centers. There are 5-6 green data centers all over the world. Right now a data center from Chicago supply warming for the houses in the city.

Azure Services platform
Azure Services platform

 As we already pointed Windows Azure is the operating system that serves as  the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform. You can find more about them here. Azure supports other platforms too, like Java, PHP, Python.

Live Servicesare used for handling user data and application resources. For example using Live Services you can build rich social networks, across multiple devices that can connet throungh internet. In my opinion Microsoft SQL Services takes a very important role since they are a Web-based distributed relational database into the cloud.  It provides Web services that enable relational queries and search. It can store and retrieve structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. Et voila, nous n’avais pas une designe pour notre base de donne. Because of having SQL Services. 

Microsoft .NET Services make developing loosely coupled cloud-based applications easier. .NET Services includes access control to help secure your applications, a service bus for communicating across applications and services, and hosted workflow execution. These hosted services allow you to easily create federated applications that span from on-premises environments to the cloud.

SharePoint Services and CRM Services are used for collaboration and building stronger customer relationships and they will be developed in the future. More about how all these works can be found on Microsoft’s site.

Writing applications on Azure

Before starting to code your Hello World application on Azure be sure that you have a backup of your computer. You must have installed Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1. Then download Azure Services Training Kit, that contains resources that helps you in writing your first application and also a set of existing demos and presentations.

Download and install Windows Azure SDK.
Download and install Azure Tools for Visual Studio.
Download and install Microsoft .NET Services SDK.
Download and install SQL Data Services SDK (SDS).
For Java developers Microsoft provide Java SDK for .NET Services available here.

After installing and configuring your environment you can build your Hello World application or you can find it in Training Kit. Steve Marx presented at PDC 2008 how to deploy our first application on windows azure. The video can be found here.

Resources:

Official Windows Azure site:
http://www.microsoft.com/azure/videos.mspx

Videos and white papers:
http://www.microsoft.com/azure/videos.mspx
http://www.microsoft.com/azure/whitepaper.mspx

 Developer SDKs:
http://www.microsoft.com/azure/sdk.mspx

 Azure SDK:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd179442.aspx

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2 Comments »

  1. “For storage, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time we will successfully process correctly formatted requests that we receive to add, update, read and delete data.”

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/pricing/

    http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/support/

    Is losing 1 out of 1000 transactions acceptable durability?

    Comment by michaelbaun — November 13, 2009 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

    • I think it’s acceptable. It’s 99.9% per Role(web or worker). I do not imagine that an application running on Azure will not have at least 2 roles, at least 2 web roles. Because Azure is dedicated to the “real” web applications, large enterprise applications. Just there it becomes efficient in costs of time and money. But let’s wait the PDC from the next week to find out more and to see the hottest news Azure brings to us.

      Comment by Tudor Cret — November 13, 2009 @ 10:00 pm | Reply


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