|By Alan Williamson||
|October 30, 2008 12:00 PM EDT||
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:
- 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
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound...
Nov. 26, 2015 01:30 AM EST Reads: 421
In today's enterprise, digital transformation represents organizational change even more so than technology change, as customer preferences and behavior drive end-to-end transformation across lines of business as well as IT. To capitalize on the ubiquitous disruption driving this transformation, companies must be able to innovate at an increasingly rapid pace. Traditional approaches for driving innovation are now woefully inadequate for keeping up with the breadth of disruption and change facin...
Nov. 26, 2015 01:00 AM EST Reads: 428
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, San...
Nov. 26, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 520
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
Nov. 26, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 480
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, explored the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and provided a hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He examined three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. Asaf Yigal is co-founder and VP of Product at log analytics software company Logz.io. In the past, he was co-founder of social-trading platform Currensee, which...
Nov. 26, 2015 12:00 AM EST Reads: 149
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Nov. 25, 2015 10:00 PM EST Reads: 342
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem"...
Nov. 25, 2015 10:00 PM EST Reads: 390
I recently attended and was a speaker at the 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I also had the opportunity to attend this event last year and I wrote a blog from that show talking about how the “Enterprise Impact of IoT” was a key theme of last year’s show. I was curious to see if the same theme would still resonate 365 days later and what, if any, changes I would see in the content presented.
Nov. 25, 2015 09:00 PM EST Reads: 364
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ben Perlmutter, a Sales Engineer with IBM Cloudant, demonstrated techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user e...
Nov. 25, 2015 08:30 PM EST Reads: 366
In recent years, at least 40% of companies using cloud applications have experienced data loss. One of the best prevention against cloud data loss is backing up your cloud data. In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Sam McIntyre, Partner Enablement Specialist at eFolder, presented how organizations can use eFolder Cloudfinder to automate backups of cloud application data. He also demonstrated how easy it is to search and restore cloud application data using Cloudfinder.
Nov. 25, 2015 03:45 PM EST
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
Nov. 25, 2015 02:45 PM EST Reads: 493
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Nov. 25, 2015 02:30 PM EST Reads: 506
Cloud computing delivers on-demand resources that provide businesses with flexibility and cost-savings. The challenge in moving workloads to the cloud has been the cost and complexity of ensuring the initial and ongoing security and regulatory (PCI, HIPAA, FFIEC) compliance across private and public clouds. Manual security compliance is slow, prone to human error, and represents over 50% of the cost of managing cloud applications. Determining how to automate cloud security compliance is critical...
Nov. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 354
As organizations shift towards IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing & protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection & E-Discovery of your data - whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise.
Nov. 25, 2015 01:45 PM EST
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 25, 2015 01:30 PM EST Reads: 467
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving t...
Nov. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 365
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content. Join @ThingsExpo conference chair Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040), June 7-9, 2016 in New York City, for three days of intense 'Internet of Things' discussion and focus, including Big Data's indespensable role in IoT, Smart Grids and Industrial Internet of Things, Wearables and Consumer IoT, as well as (new) IoT's use in Vertical Markets.
Nov. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 518
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data...
Nov. 25, 2015 10:00 AM EST Reads: 430
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 25, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 116
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
Nov. 25, 2015 09:30 AM EST Reads: 269