Cloud Computing is no doubt the future of applications that we work with and develop today.
Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting and service management environment for the Windows Azure platform. Windows Azure is the cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting, and service management environment for all the web applications we see on the Internet, Enterprise. Windows Azure provides you on-demand compute & storage to host, scale, and manage web applications and services on the internet in Microsoft data centers. i.e. On-Demand, the capacity can be increased, or based on Threshold triggers, capacity can be increased to meet-up the expected traffic with optimal performance.
So if you own a blog or belong to an enterprise that wants to run Applications and scale the capacity sky high, Azure is for you. On day one: your blog may be getting low traffic, you can subscribe to a low-end cloud service. On demand, with rise in traffic, capacity can be increased (on the fly) to scale upto a traffic of Billion hits per day, like Twitter gets.
The Windows Azure platform offers an intuitive, reliable and powerful platform for the creation of web applications and services.
Windows Azure is an open platform that supports Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments. To build applications and services on Windows Azure, developers can use their existing Microsoft Visual Studio expertise. In addition, Windows Azure supports popular standards and protocols including SOAP, REST, XML, and PHP.
So what all can be done with Windows Azure?
- You can run commodity processes in the cloud
- Build, modify, and distribute scalable applications with minimal on-premises resources
- Perform large-volume storage, batch processing, intense or large-volume computations
- Create, test, debug, and distribute Web services quickly and inexpensively
Features (as per Microsoft)
- Ability to run Microsoft ASP.NET Web applications or .NET code in the cloud
- Service hosting using IIS 7.0
- Small runtime API that supports logging and local scratch storage
- Web portal that helps you deploy, scale, and upgrade your services quickly and easily
- FastCGI support allows customers to deploy and run web applications written with non-Microsoft programming languages such as PHP, Java, and more
2. Data Storage
- Blobs, tables, and queues hosted in the cloud, close to your computation
- Authenticated access and triple replication to help keep your data safe
- Easy access to data with simple REST interfaces, available remotely and from the data center
3. Development Tools
- Complete offline development environment, including computation and storage services
- Complete command-line SDK tools and samples
- Visual Studio add-in that enables local debugging
When is it Available, What is the Deal?
Microsoft will launch Azure as a production service on January 1st, and customers can avail it for free for 1 month. The Technical Preview, now underway, will continue through the end of the year.
Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, took the keynote stage on PDC 09, today. He introduced the world to Azure Services Platform a year ago, during PDC 08. Today, he added when to why, what and where about what Microsoft now calls the Windows Azure Platform.
Ozzie said that a few companies would take Azure into production starting today (November 18th 09). With that as introduction, Ozzie announced that Automatic, creator of open-source WordPress blogging system, would be one of those companies. From a marketing perspective, it was a stunning announcement, since Automatic uses open-source tools like Apache and MySQL.
The message: Azure isn’t just about Microsoft products or development tools.
I must say it was simply shocking, Microsoft promoting Open source, I Love it!
What do you think?