64,000 ft. View of the Microsoft cloud a.k.a Azure
- Development Platform agnostic – in addition to .Net, it can run Java, PHP, etc – basically, anything platform that you can install on a windows box.
- Machine Abstraction – your application may run on 1 machine or 1,000. The beauty of the cloud – it’s abstracted, so it’s taken care of and you need not worry during development.
- The cloud virtual machine consists of 3 levels
- IIS (in web roles)
- Your app code + role runtime
- Windows Azure OS
Requirements for Azure development
- .Net 4.0/3.5 SP1
- Visual Studio 2010/2008
- MVC 2.0/3.0 (optional)
Azure comes with an emulator – you can see and manage instances of your VMs to get an idea of how they will run when you publish to the cloud.
Why do we need a special version of SQL Server for the cloud? Database connections are stateful (opposite of stateless). That means that once it makes a connection, it needs to persist it. Since the data connection for a single given session can come from random servers in the cloud, you need a special way to handle that in the cloud. SQL Azure takes care of that for you.
SQL Azure Reporting Services are in beta
Azure Storage Overview
Virtual Machine Role
So, what happens when you have a third-party component that is not compatible with Windows Azure? One of your options is utilizing the Virtual Machine Role. Essentially, you are creating your own VM and upload the VHD file to Azure. With this option, you
- are solely responsible for it
- have to have it running on Windows 2008 R2 Enterprise (license $$)
- acknowledge that it’s in beta form.
- should really consider if it’s worth the hassle.
In the cloud with your app, you have data providers; some paid, some free. If your app uses data like zip codes, census information, or other data, it may be available from vendors in the data marketplace.
Second Portion – Demos
Check out the speaker’s (Vishwas Lele) blog for a full demo of the Cloud Portal here – http://vlele.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/windows-azure-boot-camp-at-mix/
Stay tuned for the slides I’ll post after the event.