Golden Eggs

Original image by Mykl Roventine

Guest blog post by Windows Azure MVP Cory Fowler (@SyntaxC4)

Remembering back to when I was in the Audience in the Community, the one thing I always wanted to find out about was Best Practices for the Particular Technology I was listening about. I’m sure a number of people feel the same way.

Best Practices are hard to introduce in a talk as you’re typically only speaking to 10% (if that) of your audience and leaving the other 90% scratching their heads. For this reason, I am providing this blog post as a resource to find allow people interested in Best Practices to proactively seek them out with a little bit of Guidance.

Getting in the Know

Let’s face it, you may want to know the Best Practices from the beginning as you think you’re doing yourself a favour by knowing how to be a smooth operator. STOP, Let’s take a moment to step back and thing about this.

Just because something has been outlined as a best practice doesn’t guarantee that it is for your particular situation. Part of Identifying a Best Practice is knowing your options for a particular situation. Once you know you have the right fit for your particular situation then you can extend your implementation to leverage a Best Practice to Guarantee that you’ve solidified your feature in it’s Best Possible Functioning Implementation.

My First Tip for seeking out best practices is to Know your Platform & Your Options.

There are a number of resources for getting to know Windows Azure on my blog [which I’ve recently installed Microsoft Translator to provide great content for all to read] and the Windows Azure Team Blog.

Further Research is Necessary

As good as the content is that you read online, you will want to turn to a number of printed [or electronic] books. Here are a few books that I would suggest.

AzureInAction Manning Books – Azure In Action

This book is not about Best Practices. However, it provides the best explanation of the Windows Azure Internals to date. The first few chapters provide insight into the Fabric Controller and the Windows Azure Fabric.

I would consider this an initial “Deep Dive” Starter read to get into Microsoft’s Cloud Computing initiative and an understanding of Windows Azure’s offerings in the Platform as a Service (PaaS) Cloud Space.

   
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Microsoft Patterns & Practices

My most recent read was Moving Applications to the Cloud by the Microsoft Pattern and Practices Team. This book was very insightful as to some of the Practices that Microsoft has been implementing while moving into the cloud, obviously obfuscated through a hypothetical company Adatum and their Expenses Tracking System aExpense.

This book got me thinking about a number of great architecture concepts and some great value add code that can be re-used over a number of Projects.

   
Developing-Applications-for-the-Cloud-on-Windows-Azure

I enjoyed the previous book so much that I will be picking up the other guidance book from Microsoft, Developing Applications for the Cloud.

I’m going out on a limb to say that based on the previous book, I’m betting that this book will be rather insightful, hopefully providing more guidance on Architecting Applications for Windows Azure.

The Cloud Developer Tool Belt Reference Guide

This next resource might not be something you will read end to end. I would say that this is definitely an item you should be referring to when designing your Cloud Architecture.

AzureScope: Benchmarking and Guidance for Windows Azure is an all encompassing guide for Best Practices, Benchmarks, Code Samples next to which my Essential Guide for Getting Started with Windows Azure post look like one of those rings you pick up at the cash register of your local dollar store.

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Conclusion

Hopefully this post will help those in my audiences that I am unable to reach out to at this point with that Best Practice Deep Dive. I have no doubt that Cloud Computing is the future of Application Deployment and Hosting. I also believe that Microsoft is putting forth a very strong offering with Windows Azure. Regardless your technology, the Best Practices provided in this document will provide you with some thought provoking reading material which after all is most likely one of the main contributing factors in choosing Software Development as a Career.

Happy Clouding!

- Cory

This post also appears on SyntaxC4's blog.