Well, we finally did it. After many months of redesign, reconsideration, rewrites, and recombination we've let loose on the web our first release of the Cloud Design Patterns guide.
The guide is a combination of design patterns that are especially applicable to cloud-hosted applications and services. It explores the patterns in detail, provides good practice advice for when to use each pattern (and the issues to be aware of), and many have a working code example based on Windows Azure that you can download and play with.
We also included a series of guidance topics that describe specific areas of concern around building applications for the cloud, particularly on how the distributed nature of these kinds of applications has an impact on design and implementation. These guidance topics include messaging, autoscaling, metering, and multiple data center deployment. There's also a series of topics related to distributed data management such as replication and synchronization, partitioning, consistency, and caching.
We had a huge amount of feedback from the product groups, advisors, and customers during the development of the guide. This not only helped us select the most useful and popular patterns and topics, but also ensured that the topics provide good practice advice and cover the edge cases that may not be immediately obvious in cloud applications.
For example, implementing features such as load-levelling and autoscaling require you to consider many aspects of how this can affect your operations and costs, while partitioning data can have a big impact on maintenance and the performance of queries if you don't plan ahead and choose the appropriate partitioning strategy before you start.
Over time we expect to extend the range of patterns and topics in the guide. Let us know what you think. Or if you have a favorite topic or pattern that you think should be included, send me a note.
"Cloud Design Patterns" from Microsoft patterns & practices is at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn568099.aspx.