Windows Azure for Architects – Northeast Roadshow Recap


It was a pleasure to get back out on the road with Chris and Jim and see all the folks whoRochesterRoadshow-03-09 001 took time out of their work schedule to spend it with us to learn developer and SQL Server best practices, XNA, and debugging tips and tricks. I presented a session called Windows Azure for Architects.

The goal of my session was to give you an understanding of the cloud computing landscape and the features and capabilities that Microsoft is delivering as part of our Azure Services Platform. The PPT and demo code can be found here.

The key take away's from my presentation are:

  • Cloud Computing is an emerging area of the software industry that we must now take the time to understand, evaluate and determine the business and technical impact on current and future projects
  • The players in this space are Google, Amazon and Microsoft
  • Microsoft offers both an on-premise as well as a cloud based application platform
  • The Azure Services Platform is Microsoft's application platform for the cloud
  • The Azure Services Platform provides a cloud based operating system with storage, compute and management capabilities with higher level services features such as access control, workflow, service bus, relational database, data and application synchronization and much much more
  • Azure is an open platform with all API's being REST based so that both .NET as well as Java, PHP, Python, Ruby and any other non-Microsoft development environment can leverage the feature set
  • The Azure developer experience is deeply integrated with Visual Studio and offers you a local developer fabric code/debug feature and an easy to use 'click-to-publish' staging and production deployment portal
  • Azure provides automatic provisioning, dynamic scaling, geo-distribution, redundancy, replication, backup and recovery

I've listed additional resources below for your future Azure Discovery Adventures. Enjoy! -bob




Above the Clouds - Berkeley

Cloud Computing refers to both the applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the datacenters that provide those services. The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS). The  datacenter hardware and software is what we will call a Cloud. When a Cloud is made available in a pay-as-you-go manner to the general public, we call it a Public Cloud; the service being sold is Utility Computing. We use the term Private Cloud to refer to internal datacenters of a business or other organization, not made available to the general public. Thus, Cloud Computing is the sum of SaaS and Utility Computing, but does not include Private Clouds. People can be users or providers of SaaS, or users or providers of Utility Computing. We
focus on SaaS Providers (Cloud Users) and Cloud Providers, which have received less attention than SaaS Users.

Windows Azure Site Build new applications in the cloud - or use interoperable services that run on Microsoft infrastructure to extend and enhance your existing applications.
Windows Azure Developer Center

The Microsoft Azure Services Platform is an Internet-scale cloud services platform hosted in Microsoft data centers. The Azure Services Platform includes an operating system, Windows Azure, and a set of developer services to be used individually or together: .NET Services, Live Services, and SQL Data Services.

Azure SDKs The Windows® Azure SDK provides developers with the APIs, tools, documentation, and samples needed to develop Internet-scale applications that run on Windows Azure. Using the Windows Azure SDK, developers can create applications and run it in a local development fabric even without a registered account.
"How do I..." videos On this page you will find webcasts and how-to videos covering the technologies included in the Azure Services Platform: Windows Azure, .NET Services, SQL Data Services, and Live Services.
Cloud Computing Tools Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio extends Visual Studio to enable you to create, build, debug, run, and package scalable services on Windows Azure.
Community Windows Azure Blogs and Forums
Cloudy in Seattle Blog Jim Nakashima blog: excellent resource of Azure samples
Bruno Terkaly Blog Great resource on understanding how to work with the developer fabric, role manager, etc.

REST in Windows Communication Foundation (WCF)

REST support within WCF was enhanced with the release of .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to add make REST development easier and to support the ADO.NET Entity Framework entities in WCF contracts. Improvements were made around UriTemplate flexibility and the Visual Studio tooling to increase developer productivity.

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