Windows Azure Outline

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Windows Azure Outline for Lunch and Learn

  • Uses
    • Global corporate 500 company using Azure for improving data collection from managers around the world and report dissemination speeds to improve efficiency
    • A bottling company using Azure for gathering assembly line data and communicating that data back to corporate HQ
    • Science departments using Azure to crunch numbers where they need raw power without making huge capital investments
    • Flickr uses Windows Azure to deliver photo sharing app on Windows Phone 7
  • Cross Concepts
    • Subscriptions
      • Subscribe by signing up for an offer
      • Under a subscription you can create instances
    • Affinities
      • Regions (North America, Asia, Europe, etc…)
      • Locating your related instances geographically close together for perf reasons
    • Virtual IP Addresses and Domains
      • Azure uses virtual IP addresses so you cannot point your domain to an Azure Web Role using an IP address
      • Create a domain CNAME record to point to your Azure Web Role
      • Web Roles are assigned a yourapp.cloudapp.net domain
    • Scale
      • Develop for scale
        • Non-stateful system architecture
        • Economies of scale for developing without being overcharged
          • Performance issues have minimal budget impact on a traditional capital expenditure basis but have recurring impacts on budgets when this is turned into an operational expense.
            • Ex: Chatty calls to the DB really are costing you extra dollars every day, not just perf problems
    • Leverage existing technologies
      • .NET
      • Web APIs and standards compliant – REST
      • Java or PHP available
    • Licensing
      • Services include licenses required to operate the service, like Windows Server 2008 for compute instances and SQL Server for SQL databases
  • Windows Azure Portal http://windows.azure.com
  • Windows Azure
    • Roles
      • Virtualization technology
        • Differencing Disk
          • Allows technological efficiencies that make Windows Azure cheaper to host at scale than on-premise
      • Types
        • Managed (auto-patched but limited control)
          • Web – Allows one endpoint accessible from web
            • One application per instance
            • Requires two running instances to get SLA
            • Web roles are accessible by appname.cloudapp.net
          • Worker – Not accessible from web
            • Requires two running instances to get SLA
            • Meant for background work like processing queues
        • Full Control (not auto-patched)
          • VM –accessible by Remote Desktop, has full IIS control
            • Can host multiple web sites on one instance
            • Includes Windows licensing – no need to buy separate OS license
      • Sizes
        • Extra Small – $.05/hr
        • Small – $0.12/hr
        • Medium
        • Large
      • Guest OS
        • Different versions of guest OS are allowed for developers to choose to run on
        • You can control upgrade path by setting automatic or manual for upgrading guest OS
        • Under the hood guest OS is currently a Windows 2008 R2 version with a specific configuration
        • 64-bit OS only
          • Some WPF APIs are limited in 64-bit editions
            • Currently cannot use ink recognition APIs for example even though the namespace and classes are still available in VS when coding
    • Pricing
      • Per Hour on Azure, running or not running
      • Different offers available, not just one offer for everyone
        • Special Introductory Offer
        • Consumption Offer
        • MSDN Premium Offer
    • Programs to grow your skills for maximum advantage
    • Development Tools
  • SQL Azure
    • Differences between SQL Azure and SQL Server
      • Syntax
        • Keywords not supported – pad_index, etc…
        • Be careful using SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 to generate scripts because even though it supports connecting and running scripts on SQL Azure it will generate scripts that do not run on Azure without modification
      • Primary key and indexes
        • SQL Azure requires one primary key on every table
        • SQL Azure does not allow indexes on columns in a table except for the primary key
        • SQL Azure does not allow full text search
      • A master DB is created in addition to the instance that you create and pay for
        • The master DB is used to maintain your instance and is not meant for you to manage
      • Firewall
      • OData format support – http://www.odata.org/
        • I’ve heard OData described as ODBC for the cloud
      • Pricing
        • Priced at DB size for an entire month
          • DB size that you pay for is not how much you use, but is the max you want to be able to store that month
          • Ex: I want a 1GB DB and that is $9.99 a month
          • There is a cost per data transfer/transaction
      • SQL Azure Data Sync (CTP)
      • SQL Azure Reporting (CTP)
  • AppFabric
  • Azure Storage
    • Blobs
      • Block blobs
        • A blob consists of multiple blocks
        • Each block can be up to 4 MB
        • 200 GB max blob size
        • Blobs up to 64 MB can be uploaded with a single API call
        • Optimized for streaming
        • REST API available
      • Page blobs
        • A blob consists of multiple pages
        • Each page can be up to 1 TB
        • 1 TB max blob size
        • Optimized for random read and writes
        • REST API available
      • Large blobs are broken into pages that are up to 56 MB
      • Create containers to act as a folder for blobs
    • Table
      • Is not relational
    • Queues
      • Provide reliable storage and delivery of messages
      • Message has to be 8kb or less
    • Content delivery network
      • This is an option that you have to set explicitly to enable
      • This is used for blobs that will be read by many people around the world
    • Redundancy
      • Data is backed up in two different locations within the same region
      • Must build your own mechanisms for backing up across different regions
    • Security
      • ACL allows for the storage to be
        • Allowed or blocked during specific times
        • Allowed or blocked by user
    • Pricing
  • Azure Drive
    • Meant to provide an NTFS volume API running in the cloud for backward compatibility with older apps
    • Not meant for new development
    • Implemented as a Windows Azure Page Blob containing NTFS-formatted VHD
    • Virtual Network
    • Purpose is to set up IP-based connection between on-site and on-premise networks
    • Is currently in CTP stage
  • Windows Azure Marketplace
  • Future Development Tools and Concepts
    • Codename “Orleans”
      • Basically .NET with cloud abstractions
  • Organizations for the cloud
  • Demo
    • Use VS 2010 to build a cloud app
    • Create Azure Storage blob container
    • Connect app to Azure Storage blob
    • Deploy app
    • Access app
  • Security
    • Developer Guidance
    • Azure Operations
      • Azure operates in the Microsoft Global Foundation Services (GFS) infrastructure, parts of which are ISO27001-certified
  • Cloud Industry Participants
    • Amazon
    • Rackspace Cloud (formerly Mosso)
  • Azure Philosophy
    • Focus
      • Increased focus on functionality/business logic
      • Reduced focus on hardware maintenance
      • Reduced focus on OS maintenance
    • Scale
      • Develop for scale from the beginning
      • Scale up or down
    • Management
      • Perf is not just a technical detail, but has a quantifiable monetary impact
      • Financial professionals might end up loving the cloud more than devs
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3 thoughts on “Windows Azure Outline

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Windows Azure Outline « Michael Spivey's Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. Looks like a solid coverage of the topic. I might have to use your notes as reference. 😉

    I am curious though, under the “Uses” section at the top – what are the companies you’re referring to that use Windows Azure? Are these just “possible” examples or are they in reference to existing companies?

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