Let’s walk through the PowerPoint together

 

  Notice there is an overview slide deck to kick things off. I’m going to be code-focused in these posts so I am not going to spend a lot of time on background teachings. But I will summarize parts of the deck below that have resonated with my audiences. You can find it under “Presentations.” But of course I will need to add my own twist.

  image

Slide 2 (Slide 1 skipped)


 

Is interesting because it shows you continuum of how we’ve moved from on premise to hosted to cloud. At the end of the day it is about saving money. There are some good points here that make sense.

bullet

Developers like the cloud because of high level services taking care of coding headaches

bullet

The cloud is good because it is so easily scalable and available

bullet

Decision makers like the cloud because it is “pay as you go”

bullet

Hosted servers are good because you save from buying hardware, compared to on-premise

bullet

Hosted does not have as much automation and high level services compared to cloud so you end up having to write more plumbing code.

 

Slide 3


 

Defines the entirety of the Windows Azure Platform. This is a great slide because it shows the main pillars in a simple way.

We will focus on Windows Azure and the parts known as “Compute” and “Storage.”

I have already blogged extensively about integrating with SQL Azure.

 image

 

Slide 5 - 9


  How the data center works. Note the Fabric Agent.

image


  The fabric controller:

bullet

Owns all the data center hardware

bullet

Uses the inventory to host services

bullet

Similar to what a per machine operating system does with applications

bullet

Provisions the hardware as necessary

bullet

Maintains the health of the hardware

bullet

Deploys applications to free resources

bullet

Maintains the health of those applications



  PDC has a great talk about this here by Frederick Smith:
hyperlink2  

Fred @ PDC


  There some great things this fabric controller must do. Here is a list of tasks YOU (the developer) do not have to do.

bullet

Worry about having enough machines on hand - Resource allocation

bullet

Algorithmicly define how machines are chosen to host services

bullet

Responding to hardware failures which will always occur

bullet

Procure additional hardware if necessary

bullet

IP addresses must be acquired

bullet

Applications configured

bullet

DNS setup

bullet

Load balancers must be programmed

bullet

Locate appropriate machines

bullet

Update the software/settings as necessary

bullet

Only bring down a subset of the service at a time

bullet

Maintaining service health

bullet

Logging infrastructure is provided to diagnose issues


image

Slide 10 - Understanding Web Roles and Worker Roles

 image


  This is important to realize the difference about what is public facing and what is not.
  The slide illustrates that web roles are hosted in IIS. You can note that PHP is supported. Note that web roles are hosted in IIS 7 w/ Windows Server 2008 x64.
  Worker roles do processing and can run native code if necessary. Worker roles can listen to TCP Ports.

 

 

Slide 11


  Provides a sample architecture for a auction/bidding application. Notice that we have 102 web facing interfaces, 2 of them for administrative purposes. But we also have a number of worker roles doing what they do best, “work.”

bullet

Resizing Images

bullet

Processing auctions

bullet

Performing notifications



  Also notice the web apps listen at different ports, depending on whether you are administrator.

 

image

Slide 12


  Addresses storage options. Very important topic. Here are some additional points you can make.

bullet

Blobs, tables, and queues hosted in the cloud, close to your computation

bullet

Authenticated access and triple replication to help keep your data safe

bullet

Easy access to data with simple REST interfaces, available remotely and from the data center

bullet

All access to storage services takes place through the storage account. The storage account is the highest level of the namespace for accessing each of the fundamental services. It is also the basis for authentication.

bullet

The Blob service provides storage for entities, such as binary files and text files

bullet

Containers and blobs support user-defined metadata in the form of name-value pairs specified as headers on a request operation.

bullet

The Queue service provides reliable, persistent messaging within and between services. The REST API for the Queue service exposes two resources: queues and messages

bullet

When a message is read from the queue, the consumer is expected to process the message and then delete it. After the message is read, it is made invisible to other consumers for a specified interval. If the message has not yet been deleted at the time the interval expires, its visibility is restored, so that another consumer may process it.

 

hyperlink2  

MSDN - The Azure Storage Service API


  Storage Explorer
hyperlink2  

Storage Explorer Download at CodePlex

image


  The REST APIs allow you to access the Blob, Queue, and Table objects

image

 

Slide 13

  Is here to emphasize the importance of partition keys and how they can lead to more storage instances. This is an animated slide.
image

 

Slide 15

  Is all about pricing.

bullet

Compute

bullet

Storage

bullet

Transactions

bullet

Data Transfer


hyperlink2  

Azure ROI Calculator

 image

Slide 16 – SQL Azure


  Is about SQL Azure, MS’s relational offering in the cloud.

 image


  Microsoft SQL Azure delivers on Microsoft’s SQL Server® Data Platform vision of extending the Data Platform capabilities in cloud as web-based services.
  SQL Azure enables a rich set of services for relational database, reporting, and analytics and data synchronization with mobile users, remote offices and business partners.
  Consider it as a subset of SQL Server 2008 On-Premise. Some features are absent from the cloud version.
  Here is where you can learn about Similarities and Differences between SQL Azure and On-Premise SQL Server.

bullet

Easy provisioning and deployment

bullet

High availability/scalability

bullet

Pay as you go

bullet

SLAs and Fault Tolerance

bullet

Global presence

bullet

Same code as you’ve always written



  More examples of leveraging existing skills. There are some caveats, however. For example, not 100% of the stored procedure capabilities are available in SQL Azure relative to on-premise SQL Server.

hyperlink2  

Click here for Guidelines and limitations for SQL Azure

 

bullet

No physical admin required

bullet

Transact-SQL (T-SQL) support

bullet

Integrate existing toolsets

bullet

It is just a connection string

bullet

Creating, accessing and manipulating tables, views, indexes, roles, stored procedures, triggers, and functions

bullet

Execute complex queries and joins across multiple tables

bullet

Insert, Update, and Delete


  But that is not all. You also get key stuff like:

bullet

Constraints

bullet

Transactions

bullet

Temp tables

bullet

Basic functions (aggregates, math, string, date/time)



  Many familiar programming models are supported, which gives you the ability to connect up to SQL Azure from PHP.

bullet

Support for tracking billable metrics in real time and for historical analysis

bullet

Managed ADO.NET data access

bullet

Native ODBC

bullet

Support for PHP



  Full support for SQL Server 2008 R2.

image 

  These databases all live in a Microsoft Data Center. This means I can use all the great tooling with SQL Server Management Studio right out of the box.

image


How about an early preview of upcoming features

image


  OData is an emerging standard you can explore here.

bullet

The Open Data Protocol (OData) is an emerging standard for querying and updating data over the Web.

image

bullet

OData is a REST-based protocol whose core focus is to maximize the interoperability between data services and clients that wish to access that data.

bullet

It is thus being used to expose data from a variety of sources, from relational databases and file systems to content management systems and traditional websites.

bullet

In addition, clients across many platforms, ranging from ASP.NET, PHP, and Java websites to Microsoft Excel and applications on mobile devices, are finding it easy to access those vast data stores through OData as well.

 


SQL Azure Data Sync

hyperlink2  

Click here to download the Data Sync Framework

 

  Enables synchronization between an on-premise SQL Server database and SQL Azure.

bullet

Process of synchronizing with the cloud

bullet

Tuned for SQL Azure and a stand-alone utility for SQL Server that enables synchronization between an on-premise SQL Server database and SQL Azure

bullet

Use the Visual Studio plug-in that demonstrates how to add offline capabilities to applications which synchronize with SQL Azure by using a local SQL Server Compact database


image


Project Houston


  SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is a tool you get when you install Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. There may be scenarios

However, there are scenarios that may require a web based approach to database management tasks. That is where project “Houston” comes into play.

 

bullet

Project “Houston” provides a web-based database management tool for basic database management tasks like authoring and executing queries, designing and editing a database schema, and editing table data.

bullet

Navigation pane with object search functionality

bullet

Information cube with basic database usage statistics and resource links

bullet

Table designer and table data editor

bullet

Aided view designer

bullet

Aided stored procedure designer

bullet

T-SQL editor


How SQL Azure Works in the Data Center


  To target a specific instance of SQL Azure, you simply modify the connection string. Think of SQL Azure running on a pool of servers that can be accessed with a mere change to a connection string

 image

The Level of Abstraction in SQL Azure Simplifies Coding


  There are 3 distinct layers of abstraction that make programming against a relational database easy.

  Layer 1 : Client Layer
  The client layer can reside on-premise in your datacenter or be hosted in Windows Azure
  Because SQL Azure provides the same tabular data stream (TDS) interface as SQL Server, you can use familiar tools and libraries to build client applications for data that is in the cloud

  Layer 2 : Services Layer
  The services layer functions as a gateway between the client layer and the platform layer, where the data resides. The services layer provides three functions: provisioning, billing and metering, and connection routing.

  Layer 3 : Platform Layer
  The platform layer includes the physical servers and services that support the services layer. The platform layer consists of many instances of SQL Server, each of which is managed by the SQL Azure fabric.

image


  Notice how you can switch your “Single Primary” if “Replica 1” fails. We are on replica 2 as our Single Primary.

 image

Reliability


  SQL Azure is very reliable because you are really running 3 instances behind the scenes. To the developer it is really just one logical server. But underneath the covers, there are really 3 machines running behind this logical server.

 image


  Notice that the internal SQL Azure systems keep the systems balanced across various machines.

image

 

Note a few things


bullet

Client connects through HTTP, with support for REST

bullet

Typically you would use ADO.NET, just as you did with on-premise SQL Server

bullet

You just edit web.config to change your connection string


Everything is the same as before (w/ On-Premise SQL Server)

 

image

 


  The point of this diagram is that SQL Azure is just as easy to use whether you are working with traditional application code (thick client/on-premise) as it is to use through a web based interface running in Windows Azure.

 

image


  At PDC Eric Smith and Chuck Lenzmeier provided us this view. Half the picture is automated. The deployment and operating of the SQL Azure database is fully automated.

 

 

image


See How to teach cloud computing – The Windows Azure Platform – Step 3 for continuation