Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Wayne Lam, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microsoft Cloud, IoT User Interface

@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.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Infrastructure & Services will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS) is a managed services provider of cloud computing solutions for the IBM Power Systems market. The company helps mid-market firms built on IBM hardware platforms to deploy new levels of reliable and cost-effective computing and high availability solutions, leveraging the cloud and the benefits of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS...
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
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, will explore the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context wi...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
WebRTC converts the entire network into a ubiquitous communications cloud thereby connecting anytime, anywhere through any point. In his session at WebRTC Summit,, Mark Castleman, EIR at Bell Labs and Head of Future X Labs, will discuss how the transformational nature of communications is achieved through the democratizing force of WebRTC. WebRTC is doing for voice what HTML did for web content.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of robomq.io, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at robomq.io, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
"We have a tagline - "Power in the API Economy." What that means is everything that is built in applications and connected applications is done through APIs," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
To many people, IoT is a buzzword whose value is not understood. Many people think IoT is all about wearables and home automation. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed some incredible game-changing use cases and how they are transforming industries like agriculture, manufacturing, health care, and smart cities. He will discuss cool technologies like smart dust, robotics, smart labels, and much more. Prepare to be blown away with a glimpse of the future.
The basic integration architecture, as defined by ESBs, hasn’t changed for more than a decade. Most cloud integration providers still rely on an ESB architecture and their proprietary connectors. As a result, enterprise integration projects suffer from constraints of availability and reliability of these connectors that are not re-usable across other integration vendors. However, the rapid adoption of APIs and almost ubiquitous availability of APIs amongst most SaaS and Cloud applications are rapidly redefining traditional integration approaches and their reliance on proprietary connectors. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BMC delivers software solutions that help IT transform digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive business advantage. BMC has worked with thousands of leading companies to create and deliver powerful IT management services. From mainframe to cloud to mobile, BMC pairs high-speed digital innovation with robust IT industrialization – allowing customers to provide amazing user experiences with optimized IT per...
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fillin...
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 Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.