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Understanding The Azure Platform March 2010


Understanding The Azure Platform Technical overview

Understanding The Azure Platform Technical overview

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  • Slide objectives: Ensure that the audience understands our experience and investments in running and operating services.Speaking Points: IntroMicrosoft hasn’t been running services quite as long as we’ve been making software – but we have been in the business for a while and at huge scale. Just a few numbers from our consumer businessLive Search: 2.16B queries per month, 41 languagesMSN: 550M unique users, 10B+ page views per monthLive ID: 1B+ Authentications/dayMessenger: 8.2B messages/dayMicrosoft has rapidly expanded its data center operations since embarking on the Software + Services strategy in 2005, and willcontinue to do so for the foreseeable future. Initially the company focused on leased facilities. Now we design and build our own data centers. These will soon be the largest and most advanced such facilities in the world—the Northlake facility near Chicago, for instance, will cover more than 500,000 square feet and deliver significant gains in energy efficiency and environmental performance. Data CentersThis is a listing of just the new Microsoft-owned data centers. Designing and building these facilities ourselves allows Microsoft greater control over power efficiency and related environmental impacts. The list below is partial; Microsoft does not comment on exactly how many data centers are operating worldwide. Quincy, WA: Complete, approx 500K sq ft, 27MW, uses entirely hydro-electric powerSan Antonio, TX: Opening Fall 08, approx 475K sq ft, 27MW, uses recycled water for coolingChicago, IL: Opening Spring/Summer 09, approx 550K sq ft, up to 60MW when full, 1st floor up to 220 double-stacked containers, 2nd floor standard raised-floor data center space, will use outside air for coolingDublin, Ireland: Opening Summer 09, approx 570K sq ft, up to 27MW, will use outside air for coolingDes Moines, Iowa: Recently announced purchase of land in the Des Moines area with the intent to build a data centerInnovation:With the Chicago data center, the entire first floor will house containerstrucks will haul up to 200 containers into the building and back them into their slotsFacilities personnel will hook up Internet connections and power and cooling equipment; then each of the containers will be up and runningContainers provide: Energy efficiency, Cost, Deployment speedNotes:
  • The components of the Azure Services Platform can be used by local applications running on a variety of systems, including various flavors of Windows, mobile devices, and others. Those components include:  Windows Azure: Provides a Windows-based environment for running applications and storing data on servers in Microsoft data centers.  Microsoft .NET Services: Offers distributed infrastructure services to cloud-based and local applications.  Microsoft SQL Services: Provides data services in the cloud based on SQL Server.  Live Services: Through the Live Framework, provides access to data from Microsoft’s Live applications and others. The Live Framework also allows synchronizing this data across desktops and devices, finding and downloading applications, and more.
  • Windows Azure runs on a large number of machines, all located in Microsoft data centers and accessible via the Internet. A common Windows Azure fabric knits this plethora of processing power into a unified whole. Windows Azure compute and storage services are built on top of this fabric. The Windows Azure compute service is based, of course, on Windows. For the initial availability of this service, a Community Technology Preview (CTP) made public in the fall of 2008, Microsoft allowed Windows Azure to run only applications built on the .NET Framework. The company has announced plans to support unmanaged code as well, i.e., applications that aren’t built on the .NET Framework, on Windows Azure in 2009. In the CTP version of Windows Azure, developers can create .NET-based software such as ASP.NET applications and Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services. To do this, they can use C# and other .NET languages, along with traditional development tools such as Visual Studio 2008. And while many developers are likely to use this initial version of Windows Azure to create Web applications, the platform also supports background processes that run independently—it’s not solely a Web platform. Both Windows Azure applications and on-premises applications can access the Windows Azure storage service, and both do it in the same way: using a RESTful approach. The underlying data store is not Microsoft SQL Server, however. In fact, Windows Azure storage isn’t a relational system, and its query language isn’t SQL. Because it’s primarily designed to support applications built on Windows Azure, it provides simpler, more scalable kinds of storage. Accordingly, it allows storing binary large objects (blobs), provides queues for communication between components of Windows Azure applications, and even offers a form of tables with a straightforward query language. Running applications and storing their data in the cloud can have clear benefits. Rather than buying, installing, and operating its own systems, for example, an organization can rely on a cloud provider to do this for them. Also, customers pay just for the computing and storage they use, rather than maintaining a large set of servers only for peak loads. And if they’re written correctly, applications can scale easily, taking advantage of the enormous data centers that cloud providers offer. Yet achieving these benefits requires effective management. In Windows Azure, each application has a configuration file. By changing the information in this file manually or programmatically, an application’s owner can control various aspects of its behavior, such as setting the number of instances that Windows Azure should run. The Windows Azure fabric monitors the application to maintain this desired state. To let its customers create, configure, and monitor applications, Windows Azure provides a browser-accessible portal. A customer provides a Windows Live ID, then chooses whether to create a hosting account for running applications, a storage account for storing data, or both. An application is free to charge its customers in any way it likes: subscriptions, per-use fees, or anything else. Windows Azure is a general platform that can be used in various scenarios.


  • 1. Understanding Azure
    David Gristwood
    Application Architect, Microsoft
  • 2. Why a Cloud Platform?
    Reduce capital & operations costs
    Simplify application deployment & management
    Simplify scaling to internet scale
    Cost effectively handle peak loads
    Focus on new functionality & not infrastructure
  • 3. Azure is Live…..
  • 4. The Azure Philosophy
  • 5. Azure is about Scale
    • Azure is designed from the ground up for true Internet scale
    • 6. Global presence
    • 7. Ride the “network effect”
    • 8. LinkedIn: 16 months for first million users, 11 days for most recent million
    • 9. Facebook: 5 years to hit 250m users, 8 months to double
    • 10. Scale up and scale down
    • 11. Supports the “Scale Fast, Fail Fast” model
  • 12. Characteristics of Azure Applications
    “Scale & Elasticity”
    • Need massive scale
    • 13. Need high reliability
    • 14. Have variable load
    • 15. Have short or unpredictable lifetime
  • 16. Helps your Systems Scale
    • Most architecture is hidden inside code
    • 17. Azure encourages you to define your application into constituent parts
    • 18. Azure can scale the parts of your application as appropriate
  • 19. Flexible Architecture
    • Systems evolve over time
    • 20. Cloud is not an “all or nothing” proposition
    • 21. Azure makes it easier to extend to the cloud
  • 22. Opening up the Cloud
    • Allow developers to apply their existing skills to the cloud
    • 23. Support for .NET, Ruby, PHP, Java
    • 24. Interoperability with any platform, tools or technology
  • 25. Natural Platform Evolution
    • Windows Server 2008
    • 26. Virtualisation
    • 27. Windows Services, such as IIS, logging, diagnostics, etc
    • 28. Visual Studio & .NET
  • Flexible Business Model
    • No up front hardware purchase
    • 29. Pay as you go costing model
    • 30. Ideal in current economical climate
  • 31. Data Centers
  • 32. Windows Azure Platform Availability
    Northern Europe
    North Central USA
    Eastern Asia
    Western Europe
    South Central USA
    Southeast Asia
  • 33. Delivering an Efficient & Sustainable Cloud
    Microsoft has run Online Servicessince 1994
    1st MSFT datacentre built in 1989
    Running Online Services 24x7x365
    MSN launched beta in 1994/public in 1995
    Global service delivery to 59 markets/36 languages
    ∙ 30B Live ID authentications/month ∙ 2B Bing queries/month
    ∙ 10B MSN page views/month ∙ 240B Messenger messages/month
    Global Infrastructure to Run Your Services World Wide
    Quincy, WA: Approx 500K sq ft, hydro-powered
    San Antonio, TX: Approx 475K sq ft, recyclable water
    Chicago, IL: Approx 700K sq ft, water economization
    Dublin, Ireland: Approx 303+K sq ft, air economization
  • 34. Chicago Datacentre – Scalable, Sustainable
    One of world’s largest datacentres using containers, on-line on July 2009
    Cost $500 million, 700k sq ft facility (approx 16 football fields)
    30 MegaWatts today, 60 MW for future use
    ISO 27001:2005 Accreditation
    SAS 70 Type I and II Attestations
    40 ft containers with 1800-2500 servers
    Density of 10 times amount of compute in equivalent space in traditional datacentres
    Optimizes efficiency, reduces wastes and carbon footprint
    Delivers an average PUE of 1.22
    Plug-and-play infrastructure = Rapid Deployment
  • 35. Dublin Datacentre
    • First Mega Datacentre built outside the US, on-line on July 2009
    • 36. Cost $500 million, 303+sq ft facility and growing
    • 37. EU Datacenter Best Practice Award Winner
    • 38. Stand-alone Server Pods
    • 39. Environmentally Sustainable
    • 40. Free Air-Cooling via Air-Side Economization
    • 41. 50% less energy use vs. traditional facilities
    • 42. 1 % water use vs. traditional facilities
    • 43. 1.25 PUE
    • 44. 5.4MegaWatts today, 22.2 MW for future use
    • 45. ISO 27001:2005 Accreditation
    • 46. SAS 70 Type I and II Attestations
  • Windows Azure
  • 47. The Azure PlatformThe Big Picture
    SQL Azure
    Windows Azure
  • 48. Application
    SQL Azure
    Windows Azure
  • 49. Azure Development
  • 50. Windows Azure for Application Developers
  • 51. Development Fabric and Storage
    Local Machine
    Windows Azure Simulation Environment
    Development Storage
    Development Fabric
  • 52. Visual Studio 2010
  • 53. Visual Studio 2010
  • 54. Visual Studio 2010
  • 55. Portal
  • 56. Azure Building Blocks
  • 57. Azure Compute Building Blocks
    Worker Role
    Web Role
    System Host
    IIS Host
    Your Code
    Your Code
  • 58. Windows Azure Roles
    RoleEntryPoint represents role, RoleEnvironmentrepresents Azure environment
    OnStart for initialization
    Run for work
    GetHealthStatus to report application health
    RoleEnvironmentChanging to respond to number of instances in the service
    StatusCheck event to be removed from LB rotation
  • 59. Azure Storage Building Blocks
    Blobs &Drives
  • 60. Common Azure Pattern
    Worker Role
    Web Role
  • 61. Windows Azure Blobs
    Provide simple interface for storing named files along with metadata for the file
  • 62. Windows Azure Blob features
    REST based API
    PutBlob, GetBlob, DeleteBlob, CopyBlob, SnapshotBlob, LeaseBlob, etc
    Block Blob for streaming + commit-based writes
    Sequence of blocks, size limit 200GB per blob
    Page Blob for random read/write
    Array of pages, size limit 1TB per blob
  • 63. Windows Azure Drives
    Page Blob formatted as a NTFS single volume Virtual Hard Drive (VHD)
    NTFS APIs providing durable file storage
    Drives can be up to 1TB, up to 16 can be mounted
    Can upload VHD via Page Blob then mount
    Ease migration of existing Windows applications to Azure
    Durability and survival of data on application failover or hardware failure
  • 64. Windows Azure Tables
    Structured storage via entities, containing sets of properties
    Genre = …
    Title = …
    Genre = …
    Title = …
    Name = …
    DOB = …
  • 65. Windows Azure Tables
    Provides Massively Scalable Structured Storage
    Billions of entities (rows) and TBs of data
    Familiar and Easy to use API
    WCF Data Services, LINQ
    Each entity can have up to 255 properties
    PartitionKey & RowKey as key and index
    Timestamp for optimistic concurrency
    No fixed schema for all other properties
    Property is stored as a <name, typed value> pair
  • 66. Partitions and Rows
  • 67. Partitions and Rows
    Server A
    Table = Movies
    [MinKey - Comedy)
    Server A
    Table = Movies
    Server B
    Table = Movies
    [Comedy - MaxKey)
  • 68. Queues
    Provide reliable storage and delivery of messages
  • 69. Azure Features
  • 70. Service Management API
    Provide Lights-Out Service Management
    Manage services programmatically via REST-based API
    X509 client certificates for authentication
    Viewing, creating, deleting, swapping, modifying configuration settings, etc on deployments
  • 71. Windows Azure Diagnostics
    Cloud is much harder than single server
    Dynamic environment, no local access
    Azure Diagnostics built for monitoring & data collection
    Focus on what to collect and when
    Designed for Azure
    Based on standard APIs
    Traces, logs, crash dumps, IIS logs, perfcounters, ETW, etc
    Upload to Azure storage as required
    Logging & Diagnostics
  • 72. Service Management CmdLets
    PowerShell cmdlets wrapping Azure Service Management and Diagnostics API
    Simple to script out deployments, upgrades, scaling
    • Deploy new services
    • 73. Upgrade services
    • 74. Manage storage accounts
    • 75. Transfer diagnostics information
    • 76. etc
  • Service Upgrade Models
    Rolling upgrade (aka “In-place”)
    Roles are updated across update domains one at a time
    Service remains available during upgrade
    Real-time hot swap (aka “VIP Swap”)
    Virtual IP swap between staging & production
    Swap service endpoints of old/new version
    Enables complex architectural changes
    Planned downtime
    Stop and replace service with new version
  • 77. Azure Content Delivery Network
    Better performance and user experience by caching Azure blobs at strategically placed locations
    18 locations globally (United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America) and growing
    Content Delivery Network
    Edge Location
    Edge Location
    Edge Location
    Windows Azure Blob Service
  • 78. The Fabric
  • 79. Fault Domains
  • 80. SQL Azure
  • 81. 49
    “SQL Server in the Cloud”
    “Database as a Service”
  • 82. SQL Azure vs SQL Server
    Scalable, reliable, robust, SQL Server technology foundation
    Same SQL Server core database service
    Same TDS access
    Supports subset of SQL Server 2008 T-SQL
    Limited to 1Gb or 10Gb database
    Different pricing model
    No Reporting Services, Analysis Services, etc
  • 83. T-SQL
  • 84. SQL Azure related projects
    Codename "Houston"
    Web management tooling
    SQL Server Management Studio 2008 R2 works today
    Codename "Dallas“
    “Information as a service”
    Codename "Sydney“
    Punch holes through firewalls to integrate cloud and on-premise databases
    SQL Azure Data Sync
    For Sync Framework
  • 85. Codename “Dallas”
  • 86. Information as a Service
    Data or functionality that is “of value to many” – enabling applications, reports, BI analysis, etc…
    Examples include GIS/Spatial, traffic, movie show times, crime, real-estate sales, financial data, navigation, census data, reviews, etc…
    Various Classifications:
    Commercial: clean, supported, and regularly updated from ISVs and Content Providers
    Trusted Public Domain: clean, unsupported data from academia and governments (Census, FDA, …)
    Crowd Sourced: unreliable data in the public domain from anyone and everyone
  • 87. Information in the Cloud
    Codename “Dallas”
    Atom 1.0, RAW
    Data Provider
    Data Consumer
  • 90. Accessing Data from “Dallas”
  • 91. AppFabric
  • 92. “Infrastructure to help build and manage applications more easily”
    Windows Server AppFabric
    Caching capabilities (“Velocity”)
    Workflow + service hosting (“Dublin”)
    Windows Azure AppFabric (“.NET Services”)
    Service Bus
    Access Control
  • 93. Service Bus
    Exposing internal applications on the Internet isn’t easy
    Network address translation (NAT) and firewalls get in the way
    The Service Bus:
    Provides a cloud-based intermediary between clients and internal applications
    Provides a service registry that clients can use to find the services they need
  • 94. Service Bus
  • 95. Access Control
    Different organizations identify users through many different techniques
    Applications can be faced with a confusing mess of security related code
    The Access Control Service:
    Implements a security token service (STS) in the cloud
    It accepts one token and issues another
    An administrator can define rules for how this claims transformation is done
  • 96. Access Control
  • 97. Commercial Information
  • 98. Azure Pricing
    Money & Architecture are rarely divorced
    Pricing for launch reflect our costs
    Biggest cost is Windows Azure compute
    c.f. Supermarket checkout model
    Deals and bundles should follow
  • 99. Windows Azure Platform Consumption Prices
    Pay as you go and grow for only what you use when you use it
    Elastic, scalable, secure, & highly available automated service platform
    Highly available, scalable, and self managed distributed database service
    $9.99/month(up to 1 GB DB/month)
    Web Edition
    Per service hour
    Per database/month
    + Variable Instance Sizes
    Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus & Access Control
    Scalable, automated, highly available services for secure connectivity
    Business Edition
    Access Control
    Service Bus
    $99.99/month(up to 10 GB DB/month)
    $0.015/10k Message Operations
    Per GB stored & transactions
    Per database/month
    $0.015/10k Message Operations
    Per Message Operation
    Per Message Operation
    $0.15 GB/month
    $0.01/10K transactions
    Prices shown in USD only
    International prices are available
  • 100.  
    Windows Azure Instance Sizes
    Variable instance sizes to handle complex workloads of any size
    X Large
    Per service hour
    Per service hour
    Per service hour
    Per service hour
    Unit of Compute Defined
    Equivalent compute capacity of a 1.6Ghz processor (on 64bit platform)
    8 x 1.6Ghz
    4 x 1.6Ghz
    2 x 1.6Ghz
    1 x 1.6Ghz
    (high IO)
    (high IO)
    (high IO)
    (moderate IO)
    14 GB memory
    7.0 GB memory
    3.5 GB memory
    1.75 GB memory
    2000 GB
    (instance storage)
    1000 GB storage
    (instance storage)
    500 GB storage
    (instance storage)
    250 GB storage
    (instance storage)
  • 101. Windows Azure Platform Data Transfer
    Priced per GB transferred/month (prices shown in USD)
    North America Region
    Asia Pacific Region
    Europe Region
    $0.10 GB Ingress
    $0.15 GB Egress
    $0.10 GB Ingress
    $0.15 GB Egress
    $0.30 GB Ingress
    $0.45 GB Egress
    N. Europe
    N. Central – US
    E. Asia
    W. Europe
    S. Central - US
    S.E. Asia
    No Charge For Off Peak Ingress Promotion (ends 6/30/10)
    On-board to Windows Azure platform at no charge
    Off peak times defined as: 10pm-6am Mon-Fri & from 10pm-Fri to 6am-Mon for weekends in each designated regional time zones below
    WET = UTC
    North America
    PST = UTC-8
    Asia Pacific
    SST = UTC+8
  • 102. Azure Resources
  • 103.
  • 104. © 2010 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries.
    The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION.