Microsoft released the initial details about the cloud computing platform at PDC in October. The platform is roughly a 3 layered approach. Best I can figure it’s very similar to an existing server configuration. Just like I have operating system and server topology in a data center design, I need to do the same in building a cloud application.
Steve Marx provides an example Hello Cloud application in Learning to Build on Windows Azure. Basically he writes a standard ASP.NET application, and then separately configures the runtime environment. It’s interesting because it allows for a level of abstraction around the platform: compute, storage and management. CloudEnterprise has an interesting comparison of Windows Azure to Amazon AWS, Google App Engine and VMWare.
|Availability||Early private CTP||Commercial available||Public beta||Announced|
|Computing Architecture||Windows 2008 virtual machines||Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to upload XEN images||Python and run on shared application server layer||Move virtual machines between environments|
|Storage||Cloud Storage Services (blog, table & queue) + SQL Services||Simple Storage Service (S3) and SimpleDB||Datastore APIs||–|
|Message Queue||Cloud Storage Services||Simple Queue Services (SQS)||–||–|
Table adapted from EnterpriseCloud.info
I’m trying to relate it to my experiences building Rails apps and deploying on EC2 and S3 instances. It feels different than the Amazon AWS approach. It feels less like hosting a VM instance on Amazon infrastructure and using their storage and queuing service to scale my architecture. But learning to use EC2, S3 and SQS took some time. I’m thinking it will take additional time and prototyping to learn how to architect and build my web apps to run on Azure (bigger challenge seems to be teaching me C#). It’s different.
Intro to Windows Azure Services Platform
- Steve Marx: Learn How to Build on Windows Azure
- Manuvir Das: Introducing Windows Azure
- Steve Marx: Windows Azure for Developers
- Dave Campbell: Inside SQL Services
- John Shewchuk and Dennis Pilarinos: Inside .NET Services
- David Treadwell: Inside Live Services
Windows Azure Blogs
- Windows Azure – Windows Azure team official blog. Yes, nothing there now, but more will come, so subscribe. J
- Cloud Compute Tools Team – The team that built the Visual Studio integration for Windows Azure. Points to lots of good resources by individual team members.
- David Aiken – Windows Azure Technical Evangelist
- David Lemphers – PM on Windows Azure
- Gus Perez – Developer on Cloud Compute Tools
- Jim Nakashima – PM on Cloud Compute Tools
- Sriram Krishnan – PM on Windows Azure
- Steve Marx – Technical Strategist on Windows Azure
Other Blogs & Resources
- AzureFeeds – Aggregation of a bunch of feeds (including most of the above)
- David Burela – Playing with Silverlight and WCF in Windows Azure services
- Mike Amundsen – Currently doing some work against Windows Azure tables
- Tanzim Saqib – Wrote a couple nice pieces about Windows Azure, but haven’t seen a lot lately on the topic…