Welcome!

Cloud Expo Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, .NET, AJAX & REA

Cloud Expo: Article

Microsoft's Azure Bullet Points

Microsoft created a complete new platform that leverages much of what the likes of Amazon, Google, Sales Force, Open Social API

 Alan Williamson's Blog

We knew it was coming, the leafs were rustling and the wind was blowing. Yesterday Microsoft finally released their vision for their offering into the cloud space.

They have published a whitepaper on Azure so with that, here are the highlights from that whitepaper.

  • High level view: "a platform for running Windows applications and storing their data in the cloud"
  • Four main areas; Windows Azure base, .NET services, SQL services and Live services
  • All Azure applications run within Microsoft's data centers accessible via the Internet
  • Applications built on .NET will only be able to run in Azure (non .NET apps possibly in 2009)
  • Developers will use Visual Studio 2008
  • Azure supports background processes that run independent from the web app
  • Access to the Azure Storage service is via REST API (which isn't MS SQL Server)
  • Storage is not strictly SQL (Relational) but provides a table like structure with a query language
  • Each Azure app has its own configuration file that dictates how much resources it should consume within the platform
  • Azure has a complete online browser portal to control all aspects of their Azure app
  • Microsoft's BizTalk services, now known as .NET services, controls the infrastructure for distributed applications
  • Role of this service: "Access Control" who can do what
  • Role of this service: "Service Bus" allow an application to expose functionality through a web services end points. Handles all the logistics of this, including registering, lookup and firewall issues
  • Role of this service: "Workflow" how do all the parts of the application work together, built on Windows Workflow Foundation
  • SQL Services will include reporting and data analytics
  • The first to appear in SQL Services will be what was known as "SQL Server Data Services" called "SQL Data Services"
  • Permits Azure apps and NON (remote) Azure apps to store data on Microsoft's servers
  • Microsoft will only charge on what you use (storage and bandwidth)
  • SOAP and REST API's will be available for accessing data within this area
  • SQL Data Services does not require a pre-determined schema
  • Effectively roles up Amazon's SimpleDB / S3 into one service
  • Live Services is a wrapper to hook into the existing online Microsoft Live family of applications
  • The "Live Framework" introduces the "Live Operating Environment" that can run on desktops (including Mac) and mobile devices, and will synchronize the users data automatically
  • Azure apps can hook into this synchronization/layer if the user gives permission to that application
  • Users can expose data to other users within within the "Live Framework"
  • A "mesh enabled" application is one that can run on any device/platform and have access to the same data. In other words your Azure app comes out of the clouds and onto the device/desktop Think Google Gears on steroids
  • To aid startups monetize this, Microsoft plans to build in support for displaying ads in this applications
  • Because the API to this is REST/SOAP non Microsoft platforms/technologies can hook into this world too
  • Azure applications run within their own "instance" which is currently on a 1-to-1 mapping with a single processor
  • An Azure application can determine how many instances they want to run on, and the platform will automatically load balance between the two
  • Each "instance" is effectively a Windows 64bit Server 2008 running .NET 3.5
  • Users won't be able to customize, or upload their own 'instances'
  • Automatic detection of a failed "instance" will run up a new one
  • Naturally all Azure apps must be stateless; client data written SQL Data Services, or pushed back in a web cookie
  • Access to Windows Azure Storage is via ADO.NET web services; therefore it may not be possible to drop existing .NET applications unmodified into Azure
  • Developers can run a "Azure-in-a-box" that runs locally for them to test against all the Azure services on offer
  • Azure has built in hooks for alerting of impending doom
  • Storage can be as simple as a single BLOB of up to 50GB in size
  • BLOB's can have metadata associated with each one as well as the data itself
  • Other data is stored in a key/pair/type that can be queried
  • All data is replicated 3 times for fault tolerance
  • All data can be accessed via a simple URL:
    http://StorageAccount.blob.core.windows.net/Container/BlobName
    http://StorageAccount.table.core.windows.net/TableName?$filter=Query
    http://StorageAccount.queue.core.windows.net/QueueName
    http://Auhtority.data.database.windows.net/v1/Container/Entity
  • This permits non-Azure applications to hook into data

Microsoft have done far more than simply follow others. They have created a complete new platform that leverages much of what the likes of Amazon, Google, Sales Force, Open Social API, all are doing in their own spaces but bringing them together.

While sign-ups are being accepted to test this new platform, details on pricing are not available, so we have no real way to compare how more expensive or cheaper it is going to say switch storing our data in Microsoft's Azure platform compared to say Amazon's S3 or Nirvanix.

But this announcement will definitely appease the .NET developers and have them all breath a sign of relief that their favourite big brother hasn't let them down and forced them to learn python to utilise Googles App Engine.

More information available here http://www.microsoft.com/azure/webdev.mspx

More Stories By Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson is widely recognized as an early expert on Cloud Computing, he is Co-Founder of aw2.0 Ltd, a software company specializing in deploying software solutions within Cloud networks. Alan is a Sun Java Champion and creator of OpenBlueDragon (an open source Java CFML runtime engine). With many books, articles and speaking engagements under his belt, Alan likes to talk passionately about what can be done TODAY and not get caught up in the marketing hype of TOMORROW. Follow his blog, http://alan.blog-city.com/ or e-mail him at cloud(at)alanwilliamson.org.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Once the decision has been made to move part or all of a workload to the cloud, a methodology for selecting that workload needs to be established. How do you move to the cloud? What does the discovery, assessment and planning look like? What workloads make sense? Which cloud model makes sense for each workload? What are the considerations for how to select the right cloud model? And how does that fit in with the overall IT tranformation? In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, John Hatem, head of V...
Cloud services are the newest tool in the arsenal of IT products in the market today. These cloud services integrate process and tools. In order to use these products effectively, organizations must have a good understanding of themselves and their business requirements. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Brian Lewis, Principal Architect at Verizon Cloud, will outline key areas of organizational focus, and how to formalize an actionable plan when migrating applications and internal services to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ElasticBox is holding a Hackathon at DevOps Summit, November 6 from 12 pm -4 pm at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. You can enter as an individual or team of up to 10 developers. A New Star Is Born Every Month! All completed ElasticBoxes will then be sent to a judging panel - 12 winners will be featured on the ElasticBox website in 2015. All entrants will receive five full enterprise licenses for one year + ElasticBox headphones + Elasti...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Ixia develops amazing products so its customers can connect the world. Ixia helps its customers provide an always-on user experience through fast, secure delivery of dynamic connected technologies and services. Through actionable insights that accelerate and secure application and service delivery, Ixia's customers benefit from faster time to market, optimized application performance and higher-quality deployments.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calm.io has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of DevOps Summit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calm.io is a cloud orchestration platform for AWS, vCenter, OpenStack, or bare metal, that runs your CL tools puppet, Chef, shell, git, Jenkins, nagios, and will soon support New Relic and Docker. It can run hosted, or on premise and provides VM automation / expiry, self-service portals,...
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, will focus on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud pla...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue bu...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce t...
As Platform as a Service (PaaS) matures as a category, developers should have the ability to use the programming language of their choice to build applications and have access to a wide array of services. Bluemix is IBM's open cloud development platform that enables users to easily build cloud-based, creative mobile and web applications without having to spend large amounts of time and resources on configuring infrastructure and multiple software licenses. In this track, you will learn about the...
Blue Box has closed a $10 million Series B financing. The round was led by a strategic investor and included participation from prior investors including Voyager Capital and Founders Collective, as well as the Blue Box executive team. This round follows a $4.3 million Series A closed in December of 2012 and led by Voyager Capital. In May of this year, the company announced general availability of its private cloud as a service offering, Blue Box Cloud. Since that release, the company has dem...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Verizon has been named "Gold Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Verizon Enterprise Solutions creates global connections that generate growth, drive business innovation and move society forward. With industry-specific solutions and a full range of global wholesale offerings provided over the company's secure mobility, cloud, strategic network...
SimpleECM is the only platform to offer a powerful combination of enterprise content management (ECM) services, capture solutions, and third-party business services providing simplified integrations and workflow development for solution providers. SimpleECM is opening the market to businesses of all sizes by reinventing the delivery of ECM services. Our APIs make the development of ECM services simple with the use of familiar technologies for a frictionless integration directly into web applicat...
The only place to be June 9-11 is Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo 2015 East at the Javits Center in New York City. Join us there as delegates from all over the world come to listen to and engage with speakers & sponsors from the leading Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data companies. Cloud Expo & @ThingsExpo are the leading events covering the booming market of Cloud Computing, IoT & Big Data for the enterprise. Speakers from all over the world will be hand-picked for their ability to explore the economic...
Cloudwick, the leading big data DevOps service and solution provider to the Fortune 1000, announced Big Loop, its multi-vendor operations platform. Cloudwick Big Loop creates greater collaboration between Fortune 1000 IT staff, developers and their database management systems as well as big data vendors. This allows customers to comprehensively manage and oversee their entire infrastructure, which leads to more successful production cluster operations, and scale-out. Cloudwick Big Loop supports ...
To manage complex web services with lots of calls to the cloud, many businesses have invested in Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) tools. Together APM and NPM tools are essential aids in improving a business’s infrastructure required to support an effective web experience… but they are missing a critical component – Internet visibility. Internet connectivity has always played a role in customer access to web presence, but in the past few years use...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, will discuss how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP ...
Software AG helps organizations transform into Digital Enterprises, so they can differentiate from competitors and better engage customers, partners and employees. Using the Software AG Suite, companies can close the gap between business and IT to create digital systems of differentiation that drive front-line agility. We offer four on-ramps to the Digital Enterprise: alignment through collaborative process analysis; transformation through portfolio management; agility through process automation...
What are the benefits of using an enterprise-grade orchestration platform? In their session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Tegethoff, CEO of Appcore, and Kedar Poduri, Senior Director of Product Management at Citrix Systems, will take a closer look at the architectural design factors needed to support diverse workloads and how to run these workloads efficiently as a service provider. They will also discuss how to deploy private cloud environments in 15 minutes or less.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Bitium was founded by Kriz and Erik Gustavson. The 1,500 cloud-based application using Bitium’s analytics, app management, and single sign-on services include bug trackers, customer service dashboards, Google Apps, and social networks. The firm states website administrators can do multiple tasks online without revealing passwords. Bitium’s advisors include Microsoft’s former CMO and the former senior vice president of strategy, the founder and CEO of Li...