The TM Forum has selected Microsoft Azure Platform™ as a finalist in the upcoming TM Forum Excellence Awards 2010 in the category of Business Innovation. The awards will be announced on May 18th in Nice, France.
A part of Microsoft’s “3 Screens and a Cloud" strategy, Windows® Azure™ is Microsoft’s cloud services platform, designed to host web services and applications in Microsoft owned, Internet-accessible data centers. Windows Azure allows you to quickly build, deploy and operate services and applications, without worrying about many of the operational and infrastructure tasks such as provisioning OS’s and configuring networking infrastructure such as load balancers. Instead you can focus on building great applications and services. Windows Azure automatically creates a massively scalable compute platform for services and applications that can scale both up and down as needed.
Windows Azure provides four elemental services: compute services, storage services, a computing fabric and automated services management:
1. Compute Services – Host either web or non-web based workloads, with the ability for massive scale out, coupled with the flexibility of scaling back down when required.
2. Storage Services - Scalable, durable, utility-based storage. Windows Azure provides internet-scale storage for blobs and tables as well as traditional data relational databases such as SQL Azure.
3. The Fabric - Simple abstraction of the hundreds of servers dedicated to hosting Windows Azure. Each server currently runs dynamically allocated Virtual Machines (VM), automatically managed by the fabric controller.
4. The Fabric Controller - Automated management of Windows Azure services and hosted applications. This is the brains of Windows Azure. The Fabric Controller automates many of the IT tasks including load balancing, backup, replication, failover, scale up, scale down, roll back to previous versions, and simple management and deployment of applications and services via a Web UX or rest APIs.
The Microsoft Windows Azure Platform provides an API built on REST, HTTP and XML that allows developers to interact with the services provided by Windows Azure. A client-side managed class library is also provided that encapsulates the functions of interacting with the services.
A developer SDK features a “cloud in a box” which allows developers to build, test and debug applications before deploying to the cloud. There is also tooling for Microsoft Visual Studio providing developers with an integrated experience to develop and publish Windows Azure-hosted applications.
Windows Azure can host applications built with the .Net Framework but also provides SDKs and tools for development with other languages, including the Windows Azure SDK for Java, Windows Azure SDK for PHP, Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse, AppFabric SDK for Java™ Developers, AppFabric SDK for Ruby Developers, and the AppFabric SDK for PHP Developers.
Resources and Links:
- Windows Azure - Operating system as an online service
- Microsoft SQL Azure - Fully relational cloud database solution
- Windows Azure platform AppFabric - connects cloud services and on-premises applications
- Microsoft Codename “Dallas” - information marketplace for data and web services
MSDN Cloud Development – Developer links for Azure on MSDN