Introduction to MicrosoftWindows Azure Platform Ramkumar Lakshminarayanan
Azure Key ServicesThe first one is Windows Azure which is the Cloud OS fromMicrosoft.The second service is the AppFabric which enables theintegration of on-premise services with the Cloud.The third service is a Database on the Cloud called SQLAzure which is based on Microsoft SQL Server.The latest addition to the platform is a service Codenamed“Dallas” which is a marketplace to publish, discover,consume and analyze premier content.
Windows Azure Platform is designed for thedevelopers building applications on the Microsoftplatform.Can also be leveraged by developers buildingapplications on Java and PHP environments.
Windows AzureWindows Azure is the heart & soul of the AzurePlatform. It is the OS that runs on each and everyserver running in the data centers across multiplegeographic locations.Windows Azure abstracts the underlying hardwareand brings an illusion that it is just one instance of OS.Because this OS runs across multiple physical servers,there is a layer on the top that coordinates theexecution of processes. This layer is called the Fabric.
In between the Fabric and the Windows Azure OS,there are hundreds of Virtual Machines (VM) thatactually run the code and the applications.As a developer, you will only see two services at thetop of this stack. They are 1) Compute and, 2) Storage.
Applications are expected to run within one of thetwo roles called Web Role or Worker Role. Web Roleis meant to host typical ASP.NET web applications orany other CGI web applications.Worker Role is to host long running processes that donot have any UI.
Windows Azure offers a Compute and Storageservice.Compute service is consumed by deploying a WebApplication in a Web Role and long running process inthe Worker Role.Storage can be consumed through Blobs, Tables andQueues.
App FabricWindows Azure platform AppFabric was earlier calledthe .NET Services.This service enables seamless integration of servicesthat run within an organization behind a firewall withthose services that are hosted on the Cloud.It forms a secure bridge between the legacyapplications and the Cloud services.
AppFabric also brings the federated identity to theCloud based applications.The two key components of AppFabric are1) Service Bus and, 2) Access Control.
SQL AzureSQL Azure can be treated exactly like a DB serverrunning in your data center without the overhead ofmaintaining and managing it by your teams.Because Microsoft is responsible for installation,maintenance and availability of the DB service,business can only focus on manipulating andaccessing data as a service.With the Pay-as-you-go approach, there is no upfrontinvestment and you will only pay for what you use.
Microsoft Codenamed “Dallas” This service is an exchange setup by Microsoft for parties that can publish useful data/content and parties that can consume this data in their applications. Data can be published in a variety of forms including BLOBS, CSV files, Spreadsheets and RSS feeds. The dataset published on Dallas can be consumed directly through tools like Microsoft Excel or can be integrated into custom applications by calling the REST based API.
By integrating the .NET Platform, Windows Azure lotof features for the application developers.