Build the House Around the Plumbing

There’s a show on US television called “This Old House“, where a team of craftsmen fix up older homes – like VERY old (at least old in the US sense). In one episode, an entire quarter of the show time was devoted to the amazing lengths the team went through to put in updated plumbing…


Successful Cloud Projects Start With The Plumbing

(Note – I’ll add to this post as new information is updated – latest post date is August 8th, 2013) I’ve been working on cloud projects of all types for over three years now. Along the way, I’ve learned some basic patterns that make for a successful project – and also the things to avoid….


Creating a Windows Azure Virtual Machine – the RIGHT Way

UPDATE – 09/14/2015: This is an older post. Check the site for more current information. Windows Azure has added Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), the ability to deploy, run and manage Virtual Machines, to its growing list of services. You can create Virtual Machines from a gallery, upload them from images you create locally on Hyper-V (that’s…


Windows Azure Virtual Machines – Make Sure You Follow the Documentation

To create a Windows Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service Virtual Machine you have several options. You can simply select an image from a “Gallery” which includes Windows or Linux operating systems, or even a Windows Server with pre-installed software like SQL Server. One of the advantages to Windows Azure Virtual Machines is that it is stored in a…


High Availability for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS in the Cloud

Outages, natural disasters and unforeseen events have proved that even in a distributed architecture, you need to plan for High Availability (HA). In this entry I’ll explain a few considerations for HA within Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In a separate post I’ll talk more about Disaster Recovery (DR), since each paradigm has…


Windows Azure Database (SQL Azure) Development Tip

When you create something in the cloud, it’s real, and you’re charged for it. There are free offerings, and you even get free resources with your Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscription, but there are limits within those. Creating a 1 GB database – even with nothing in it – is a 1 GB Database. If…


The Importance of Paranoia for the Technical Professional

I recently read a blog post from a technical professional who’s account had been hacked (  – not because he used poor passwords or unsafe practices, but because the hackers used some social engineering to get around the safety he had put into place.  While I won’t focus on the particulars of his situation, the interesting…


Book Review (Book 11) – Applied Architecture Patterns on the Microsoft Platform

This is a continuation of the books I challenged myself to read to help my career – one a month, for year. You can read my first book review here, and the entire list is here. The book I chose for April 2012 was: Applied Architecture Patterns on the Microsoft Platform. I was traveling at…


Preparation is key to a successful cloud deployment

If you want to be wise, watch the actions and outcomes of others. Emulate the successful actions, and avoid the actions that cause failure. That’s true in life in general – and in technology projects in specific.  I’ve worked with several clients who have created or migrated an application to “the cloud” – meaning using…


I was going to call this post “Windows Azure Best Practices” but I’m not allowed to

For reasons I don’t completely understand, I’m not allowed to call the following advice "Best Practices" – apparently there is some liability or something there. So let’s say these are "really good ideas" for developing applications for Windows Azure. (Did you see how I worked it into the title anyway so the search engines find…