I did a tutorial on Windows Azure Platform last week. Here is the initial post with my slides. Will post all the code shortly.
VPR03: Windows Azure Platform for Developers: A Complete Look with a Practical Spin
Today, every developer must know how to develop for the Windows Azure Platform. Every company is in the hosting business today, thus they must either provide the infrastructure for global reach, or rent it to reduce up front capital costs, IT management overhead, and the ability to scale on demand. The Windows Azure Platform is Microsoft’s cloud computing initiative supplying an operating system in the cloud—hosted in Microsoft data centers—in addition to data storage and other infrastructure and application services. It provides businesses with on-demand hosting, storage and management features in fashion with utility computing. In this workshop, developers will get a top to bottom view of the platform with a practical look at each of the platform features. We’ll explore Windows Azure, Windows Azure Storage (tables, blobs, queues), look at Windows Azure AppFabric features and also SQL Azure. You’ll learn how to build and deploy applications and services to the cloud with familiar development tools; you’ll learn about storage options offered by Windows Azure Storage and how that compares to SQL Azure; and you’ll learn how to employ features of AppFabric including the Service Bus, Caching and Access Control. This workshop is intended to give developers a jump on Windows Azure with practical guidance and tips for each feature. It will get you up to speed with the platform and then some, while also preparing you for sessions at the conference that dive a little deeper into equally important aspects of the platform with a continued focus on practical guidance.
Interested in how a service level agreement can help you keep track of your overall health in the cloud? My session at Dev Connections reviewed the things you need to care about, even as developers, to help produce metrics that support a robust 24x7 operation. Building an SLA can help even if only used internally. For supporting code on diagnostics and performance counters you should look for my forthcoming post for my tutorial.
VWA03: The Cloud, the SLA and the Code
Here’s the thing...you need visibility into any cloud application. Rest assured someone at the top has their job on the line if things go wrong and you can’t foresee the issue or recover quickly. One of the best ways to gain visibility is to write your own Service Level Agreement (SLA) that captures the necessary performance and diagnostic statistics; process and escalation procedures; backup and recovery procedures; and much more. Of course you also want to leverage the capabilities of your provider since they also provide many aspects of these services. This session focuses on what developers can do to help produce information useful to the SLA to support the end goal. You’ll learn the must-do list for rigging your Windows Azure cloud applications with diagnostics, learn how to monitor that information, and see how it relates to the SLA.
Want to know how you can secure aspects of the Windows Azure Platform? I did a session on this at Dev Connections last week, here’s the description.
VS18: Security Architecture in the Cloud
Cloud computing offers a number of useful services including Software as a Service (Saas), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Companies can leverage these services in different ways: they can go all-in hosting their applications and data in the cloud; they can leverage infrastructure services to compliment on-premise and cloud systems; and there are many hybrid solutions for combining on-premise and cloud services. The decision as to which assets are trusted to the cloud is highly dependent on the risk assessment for placing the asset in the cloud. Companies need to maintain adequate control and protection over each asset no matter where it is hosted. The architecture and design phase is also critical to determining where assets will be hosted (on-premise or in the cloud) and how each asset will be secured. You need a clear picture as to how each asset is accessed both from an administration and usage perspective, a risk assessment for those usage patterns, and options for mitigating those risks and securing your assets. This session will lay out popular architectural scenarios for leveraging the Windows Azure Platform including Windows Azure, Windows Azure AppFabric, and SQL Azure and for each scenario discuss security concerns at each tier – on-premise or in the cloud – and recommended techniques for securing relevant assets. Among security concerns to address will include identity and access management, transfer protection, data and content protection, key management, infrastructure security, auditing and compliance.
Azure pricing spreadsheet sample: pricing.xlsx
I delivered a session at Dev Connections (www.devconnections.com) last week called Pricing the Cloud. The session used a fictional sample to estimate various usage in Azure to plug in to the pricing tools online. The pricing tools don’t help you with application specific estimates that you plug in to the tools, such as how much bandwidth will you use, how much table storage, etc. This session walked you through how to estimate these things in general, and my link above shows you a pricing worksheet that can be used to show you the details that go into these estimates. Every company worksheet could look different, as your tables, media use, services and so forth will vary. Hope this helps to get you moving in the right direction!
In case you missed it, here is the abstract for my session.
VWA08: Pricing the Cloud
Michele Leroux Bustamante
By leveraging services in the cloud, startups can easily bootstrap their operations in a cost effective manner. Existing systems can also leverage the cloud in its entirety or for specific aspects of the system to reduce infrastructure management costs and to support potentially scale-out requirements as system usage increases. Windows Azure platform offers many services from application hosting, data storage and content delivery via Windows Azure, to relational data storage with SQL Azure, to infrastructure services related to messaging, caching and security with Windows Azure AppFabric. Pricing each of these services to estimate your costs requires some thoughtfulness around how you will use each service within your architecture, and some predictions about the number of users, payload traffic and number of transactions. How then can you estimate our costs, or price your own offering to customers when there are so many variables? Pricing is not a perfect science and each business will have its own level of tolerance for cost absorption vs. costs to be deferred to customers. In this session we will break down the pricing model of the cloud, look at ways to quantify your service using various architectural examples, and look at ways you can track usage, validate costs and ultimately collect your costs across the various Windows Azure platform properties to gain perspective on what you need to charge your customers for those services.