General Cluster's Probably Not Last Stand

I don’t know if General Custer ever made a last stand against the Apache, but I feel like I have. My Apache is, of course, the Hadoop one. Or, to be technically accurate, Microsoft Azure HDInsight. And, going on experience so far, this is unlikely to actually be the last time I do it. After…

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I Can See Patterns In The Cloud

Well, we finally did it. After many months of redesign, reconsideration, rewrites, and recombination we’ve let loose on the web our first release of the Cloud Design Patterns guide. The guide is a combination of design patterns that are especially applicable to cloud-hosted applications and services. It explores the patterns in detail, provides good practice…

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Patternal Conflict

No, this post isn’t about parental difficulties and I didn’t spell “paternal” wrong in the title, although I admit it is about problems with relationships. More specifically, the relationship between design patterns and pretty much everything else. And, based on previous experience of dabbling in this area, how I hate design patterns. For more years…

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What Color Is Your Field?

So, at last, we’re done. After fighting with multiple new versions of the Windows Azure SDK, updated features in the management portal, changes to the functionality of services, and the regular changes to the names of various parts of Windows Azure, we’ve shipped the third editions of two of our Windows Azure guides and the…

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The Rule of "It Depends"

It seems odd that, in order for a rule to be valid, there has to be an exception. According to the well-known phrase “the exception that proves the rule”, this must be the case. Yet watching a TV quiz show the other week, I was amazed to discover that one of the rules I’ve applied…

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Hybrigation Complete, Feedback Required...

So at last we’ve finished the Windows Azure hybrid applications guide, and it’s out there ready for anyone interested in integrating cloud-hosted applications with on-premises services and partner applications. OK, so it’s taken a little longer than originally planned but it is more comprehensive than originally envisaged, and incorporates a great deal of input from…

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Try, Try, and Try Again

There are some seemingly simple phrases that trip so easily off the tongue, but end up leaving you tongue-tied. Or, if not physically entangled, then tied in knots both architecturally and programmatically. Our intrepid little band of developers and writers just encountered an interesting example of one of these disarticulating phrases: namely “reliable messaging”. It…

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Hands Up If You're Doing Hybrid...

After several months of diligent dappling with documentation, comprehensive confrontations with code, and seriously systematic study of system architectures, we’ve managed to toss together most of the content for our upcoming guide to Windows Azure hybrigation techniques. “Integrating with the Cloud on the Windows Azure Platform” covers all kinds of aspects of hybrid application design…

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It Was Missing When I Opened The Box...

It’s becoming clear that creating guidance on cloud computing is great deal more difficult than for most other development environments. Or, to be more precise, following our usual practice of combining written guidance with a reference implementation (RI) code sample is turning out to be what you might whimsically call “an interesting experience”. It’s not…

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Additional Integrational Hybridization

For some unaccountable reason, my semi-coherent bluster a couple of weeks ago wandered across the topic of integration when discussing Windows Azure hybrid applications. Since then, I’ve been delving deeper into the whole area of hybrid application challenges as we fine-tune our thoughts on the third of our series of guides about designing and developing…

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