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PDC 2008 – A lap around Windows Azure

PDC 2008 – A lap around Windows Azure

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Manuvir Das presents, a bit stressed since Windows Azure launches in a hour : and click sign in (it works on a first come, first served basis).

What is the Cloud ?

A set of connected servers on which developers can install and run services but also store and retrieve data.

Think of the task you need to do when you build and run Desktop Applications : select hardware, software, tests, create job scheduler, maintenance procedure… There is a lot of Service Glue & operations.

Windows Azure is an operating system for the cloud so that you spend more time writing business .

What does Windows Azure provide ?

A set of connected servers (abstract execution env, shared file system, resource allocation, programming env )Support for Utility Computing  (24/7 operation, pay for what you use, simpler and transparent administration).

  • Automated Service Management : you define rules and provide your code, the platform follows the rules : deploys, monitors, and manages your service
  • A powerful service hosting environment with load balancing
  • A scalable & available cloud storage
  • A rich and familiar developer experience

Démo : Thumbnail Generator, attend ES29 for implementation details.

Automated Service Management

The cloud application lifecycle is : Develop & Model

The service topology and size, health constraints and configurations settings.

Deploy & Run the Model

Monitoring the Service Health

To maintain the service health, you need to detect failures, violation of services constraints, replace failed / missing resources transparently. This is made possible by abstraction : service declares logical resources in the model, and APIs map logical resources to physical entities. Service code calls those APIs.

In raw mode, you can build your own VM and manage the service yourself ! Go to sessions ES02, ES19.

Scalable, available Cloud Storage

First, you need simple and essential storage abstractions :

  • large items of user data : blob, file streams…
  • Service state : simple tables, caches…
  • Service communication : queues, locks…

With an emphasis on

  • Massive scale, availability and durability
  • Geo distribution and goe-replication

This is not a database service in the cloud. More informaition ? attend ES04, ES07 sessions.

Rich, Familiar, Developer Experience

We deliver a simulated cloud env on the Desktop with support for a variety of programming langages : ASP.NET, .NET languages, native code, PHP…

An ecosystem of tools and support :

  • Integration with Visual Studio, Eclipse…
  • Logging , alerts, tracing…
  • Samples, documentation, MSDN, forums

More information in ES01, and ES07 sessions.

To learn more about Windows Azure and Best Practices, attend ES03. 

What do you get today ?


An open release of the Deskstop SDK, which is a limited preview of the cloud infrastructure (Free usage, with quotas)


Among the key features, you get a VM with dedicated resources (Dedicated 2Go of RAM, reserved CPU …)


For 2009, the calendar is  


Windows Azure will find its Business Model with Consumption based billing and Strict SLAs with financial guarantees


Azure will get global reach with presence in multiple data centers and geo distribution


Among the service hosting options, Azure will support  native code.