Ramping Up on the Windows Azure Platform: 200 Level

I was recently asked to put together some material for consultants with the goal of getting to a “200 Level” of knowledge on the Windows Azure Platform and its breadth of capabilities. I thought this would be an opportune time to revamp a previous “getting started” post that I did with some updated content. Below is a 10-hour self-paced training plan, design for bringing someone up to that 200 level…

Read: Understanding the Different Platform Components (~1 hour)

Take a few minutes to read a brief overview of some of the different features of the Windows Azure Platform. Think of these as building blocks. They can be used individually or together to solve problems and build applications. Read more of this post

Windows Azure Platform: Januaury 13th Links

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

Happy New Year everyone! My first blog of 2012 highlights some of the resources and news around the Windows Azure Platform that caught my eye over the last couple months. Again, this is not a comprehensive list, but pieces that caught my eye in particular. Read more of this post

Backing Up SQL Azure Databases

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

One question that I often am asked from clients is around how to back up SQL Azure databases. In this blog post I will outline some of the capabilities and offerings available in this space.

The first place I start when answering this question is to clarify what the platform provides for you and what it does not. Every SQL Azure database is replicated multiple times for redundancy and recover-ability. This is outstanding in terms of availability and disaster recovery. It means that my application is insulated from a hardware failure on a SQL Server. If there were a problem with my “master”, I may not even know if the platform switches me over to a “slave”.  But I do not have access to those replicas. And unfortunately, “point-in-time” copies of my database are not created nor made available to me by default. Read more of this post

Windows Azure Platform: November 21st Links

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

Well, it has been a long time since I last posted about some Azure news. In reality it has been a few months, but as time goes in “cloud-years”, it has been ages. Actually, come to think of it, “cloud years” and “dog years” have to be a pretty similar metric. So lets get caught up on Azure of the past “cloud year” (a.k.a. last few months). Read more of this post

Recent Windows Azure Project Highlights: HTML5, Autoscaling, iOS, and more!

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

It has been almost 3 months since I last wrote a blog post. Where does the time go? On the heels of my last post, Building and Deploying Windows Azure Project with TFS and MSBuild, I became absorbed in numerous different Window Azure projects. It has been a lot of to get back to being heads down in project delivery, and barely have time to come up for air. I thought it would be appropriate to get back into posting by summarizing some of the exciting work I have been doing. Each one of these deserves its own post in itself, something which I plan to do in the near future. Read more of this post

Increasing Developer Productivity with Windows Azure

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

For the past two and a half years I have been building solutions on the Windows Azure Platform.  It’s fun to reflect on how developing for Windows Azure has changed my day-to-day activities as a developer. One of the greatest areas of impact is how much less time I spend installing and configuring environments.  Amazing to think that now all of that time gets re-purposed into the application I am working on.

It wasn’t that long ago that at the start of a project I would be working on the following…

  • Determining a hosting provider; or establishing communication channels within IT of an organization
  • Determining and communicating our infrastructure and software requirements for the project
  • Determining storage capacity requirements
  • Waiting on allocation of infrastructure and/or means of access
  • Installing and configuring software, from IIS and the .NET Framework to SQL Server and other dependencies
  • Determining and creating service accounts to be used
  • Determining public and private IPs, ports and firewall rules, and other networking requirements to enable connectivity

At this point I might be able to deploy something (manually) by copying over the files (manually) and access the solution from the internet.  Yes!  Then I would start to think about Read more of this post

Texas Road Side History? There’s an App for That!

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin is an accomplished Microsoft systems developer and integrator, experienced in developing and deploying SharePoint and CRM solutions, integrating line of business applications, and leveraging existing infrastructure investments.

Have you ever wondered what that historical marker says that you just passed while driving down the road? Well, there’s an app for that, if you live in Texas.

Texas Road Side History was first thought up by my myself and my colleagues as one of four applications all of the developers from our Slalom Consulting Dallas office collaboratively developed during a one day Windows Phone 7 “lock in” team exercise.

One of our goals was to help our entire team learn how to make use of Microsoft’s rapidly evolving SQL Azure and Azure Web roles. Using SQL Azure, we took advantage of the Geography data type and the STDistance function to query for historical markers by proximity. We next exposed a WCF Web service for executing the proximity query. And lastly, we generated an OData endpoint using WCF Data Services for all of our basic data access needs, which was amazingly simple.

After several iterations of submissions and rejections to the WP7 Marketplace, Texas Road Side History was finally Read more of this post

Windows Azure Platform: April 1st Links

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

Welcome to the second post in my link listing series, which aggregates valuable, interesting Windows Azure Platform material that I have recently come across. Here is my previous (March 1st) post.  Hopefully you will find some of these interesting as well…

  • things.smarx.com – Steve Marx’s collection of things you can do with Windows Azure.  There are some interesting ones here, and it’s in a very consumable format with code snippets.  It’s a good place to check before attempting something “not-so-common” on the Platform.
  • Multi-Tenant Windows Azure Web Roles with Live Deployments – Nathan Totten has a cool example of how to run multiple tenant sites inside a Windows Azure web role, with the ability to deploy/decommission sites on the fly without touching the running hosted service.  This solution was also featured on Cloud Cover Episode 39.
  • Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows Phone 7 – A toolkit is now available on CodePlex that is designed to make it easier for your to build phone applications that leverage Read more of this post

Windows Azure’s Value Proposition

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin

Slalom Consultant Derek Martin is an accomplished Microsoft systems developer and integrator, experienced in developing and deploying SharePoint and CRM solutions, integrating line of business applications, and leveraging existing infrastructure investments.

The value proposition of Windows Azure is very unique.  It can be articulated to the qualification of three major feature sets with different patterns of implementation to introduce a broad range of solutions to the information technology space.  Those three feature sets include:

  • SQL Azure – a fully functional SQL server instance in the cloud.  The majority of the feature sets are already present with more advanced features in testing now.  We see patterns of use including offsite backup, cloud based usage (for other parts of Azure or other cloud provided tools), and usage as a SQL based service bus, using synchronization tools provided by Azure to the on premises version of the database.
  • Windows Azure Compute – a Windows Services level with scalability unmatched by any other vendor in the industry.  With this tool, we see patterns of use including large, complex business processing who’s data is backed by either SQL Azure or Azure based storage tools like BLOB/TABLE/QUEUE, on demand scaling of business processes to meet seasonal demand and usage as a toolset to augment the internal business processes and data.
  • Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 126 other followers

%d bloggers like this: