Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Jeev Trika, ManageEngine IT Matters

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microsoft Cloud

@CloudExpo: Article

When Are We Going To Have an SLA for Microsoft Azure?

Microsoft should clarify better whether Windows Azure platform is a .NET platform or a “mixed” platform

Alin Irimie's Azure Blog

After more than two “azure” months, with lots of new stuff to learn, a whole new alphabet soup to digest and a dozen or so Microsoft evangelists trying to navigate us through the plethora of “cloud services” that seem to pop up every day from Microsoft’s software-making machine, I believe something is not right with with the way the information is presented to the public or with the overall Microsoft strategy. Let me explain.

First of all, everybody is using nowadays “cloud” to describe anything that runs on the web. Cloud is the new buzzword, and Microsoft jumping on the bandwagon doesn’t make things any better. Before Windows Azure release, it was simple to explain “the cloud” to any CEO - we had Amazon with storage and computing power, we had Google with their app engine and some other smaller “cloud computing” offerings. Everything else was SaaS - Software as a Service. After Windows Azure release, looks like everything Microsoft releases is a “cloud service” - Exchange, Sharepoint, Office, Live Services etc. - just adding to the confusion about what “cloud computing” actually is. I believe Microsoft should have come up with a different buzzword to describe their Software as a Service/Software + Services offerings, one word, not many.

Second, Microsoft should clarify better whether Windows Azure platform is a .NET platform or a “mixed” platform where legacy application can run. Also, when they advertise “Windows Azure is an open platform that will support both Microsoft and non-Microsoft languages and environments“, they should explain better what exactly it means - can I write Erlang code, deploy and run it in the “cloud” or it means that I can access the services from outside the azure cloud? Every time I’m asked to recommend a “cloud” solution for a software application, I struggle with finding the answers to basic questions. Before scalability, reliability, and security, there are more basic questions that need to be answered and Microsoft doesn’t make it any easier. See, it is much easier to pitch an Amazon solution and easier for a CIO/CEO to understand.

Third, Microsoft needs to let us know at least the year Windows Azure will be released. When are we going to have an SLA. Also, please update the case studies on the windows azure website, because believe it or not, people look at them. It will be interesting to see the evolution of the showcased services, because without any updates they are just proof of concepts, evangelism material Microsoft created. And most important thing is - let us know which Microsoft products are using Windows Azure as a platform and how is it used - because unless Microsoft is using their own services, I cannot recommend the platform to anybody (lessons learned from .NET 1.1 release).

As I said, I have a bad feeling about Windows Azure. I’m not sure what it is but there’s something missing, something is not going right with it. Hopefully this new year will bring us some clarity in the clouds.

More Stories By Alin Irimie

Alin Irimie is a software engineer - architect, designer, and developer with over 10 years experience in various languages and technologies. Currently he is Messaging Security Manager at Sunbelt Software, a security company. He is also the CTO of RADSense Software, a software consulting company. He has expertise in Microsoft technologies such as .NET Framework, ASP.NET, AJAX, SQL Server, C#, C++, Ruby On Rails, Cloud computing (Amazon and Windows Azure),and he also blogs about cloud technologies here.

Comments (1) View Comments

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.


Most Recent Comments
Matt Rogers at MSFT 04/29/09 10:18:40 AM EDT

Alin, the points you are making are very reasonable, and are largely due to being a service in Community Technology Preview (CTP) rather than a launched service. Unfortunately some of your questions we are not able to answer while still in this mode, but will be resolved as we reach commercial availability later this year.

1) Is Windows Azure a .NET only platform? No, we have committed to opening the platform to most programming languages over time, meaning you will be able to deploy it and run it in our cloud, and also access the services from outside the cloud as you describe above. We took initial steps on this last month with the implementation of FastCGI and support for PHP. This was a step forward, but not the end. More on this later in the year. You can read a recap of where we are now on programming language interoperability in Windows Azure from Steve Marx at http://blog.smarx.com/

2) What year will Windows Azure release? 2009, late in the year. We have not backed down on this, no hedging...we will be commercially available by the end of this year.

3) When are we going to have an SLA? In just a couple months, we have said it will be "this Summer" and we are standing by that.

4) When will we update the case studies on the Windows Azure website? By commercial launch this year, probably much sooner. We are focused on building guidance around the service with the full features and capabilities that will be released later this year rather than the more limited CTP functionality.

5) Which Microsoft services are running on Windows Azure? All online services from Microsoft will move to Windows Azure, and the migration process is underway. We started this project for our own internal services, then added another dimension of making the service available commercially. We will talk about which services have moved later in the year and use our own learnings as case studies including the challenges and benefits we derive.

Matt Rogers
Windows Azure Product Marketing
twitter.com/mattrogerstx

@ThingsExpo Stories
For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Complete Internet of Things (IoT) embedded device security is not just about the device but involves the entire product’s identity, data and control integrity, and services traversing the cloud. A device can no longer be looked at as an island; it is a part of a system. In fact, given the cross-domain interactions enabled by IoT it could be a part of many systems. Also, depending on where the device is deployed, for example, in the office building versus a factory floor or oil field, security ha...
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, will compare the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, e...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...