Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg, Derek Weeks, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning

@CloudExpo: 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
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
What's the role of an IT self-service portal when you get to continuous delivery and Infrastructure as Code? This general session showed how to create the continuous delivery culture and eight accelerators for leading the change. Don Demcsak is a DevOps and Cloud Native Modernization Principal for Dell EMC based out of New Jersey. He is a former, long time, Microsoft Most Valuable Professional, specializing in building and architecting Application Delivery Pipelines for hybrid legacy, and cloud ...
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ar...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
"Loom is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning into the entire log analysis process, from start to finish and at the end you will get a human touch,” explained Sabo Taylor Diab, Vice President, Marketing at Loom Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...