Well, my vacation time is quickly coming to an end, and soon it will be the New Year!I'm consistently asked what the default date/time sttings are when deploying to Windows Azure. It may not be obvious to developers new to the platform. All Windows Azure servers utilize UTC time, and 'en-US' locale settings out-of-box. It is recommended to maintain applications that can convert local time (UTC) into the desired time/date formats.
You can see this by using remote desktop to "peer into and inspect" settings on your Windows Azure deployments. You will find that the server localization settings (Control Panel) are indeed set to "United States" for location, and "English (United States)" for Language Settings.For date/time settings, "GMT Greenwich Mean Time : Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London" is the default selection, no matter which data center you are deployed to as well.
The Fabric Controller maintains operating system time synchronization for the system when roles are first booted. You could, with the latest SDKs. utilize administrative access startup scripts to change the localization settings (including local server time), but it is not recommended you do so. Doing so will introduce instability and the fabric controller may determine your role is out of sync. You will likely end up cycling your roles as fabric attempts to bring them to goal state in such a case. A better strategy is to write our applications to be aware that they actually run with UTC and default US CultureInfo settings.
For more info on manipulating Date/Time settings with .NET Framework 4.0, refer here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/5hh873ya.aspx
Another huge shortcut tip: Using Remote Desktop is extremely helpful to diagnose issues with Windows Azure, including ensuring an application you might want to script during startup, will actually install and run on the virtualized role images. You can Edit your Remote Desktop connection files (.rdp) by right-clicking the file saved to your desktop, and selecting Edit. This will enable you to map your local drive to the VM, so you can seamlessly transfer files to and from the role instance you are connected to.
I'm consistently using PowerShell, or Snippet Compiler (created by Jeff Key, and available at http://www.sliver.com), to output settings, or programatically manupulate objects.PowerShell is already on the Windows Azure role instances for your enjoyment, and Snippet Compiler take a few seconds to copy & paste into the C:\Applications folder on the VM to "play with".
Season's Greetings! Eric
Don't forget to get the newest SDK, packed with features, out at:
and here are some upcoming Azure bootcamps and events:
Azure Bootcamps - Sign up now and get your Cloud Power flowing.
Grand Rapids, MI
Little Rock, AR
Overland Park, KS
Downers Grove, IL
Des Moines, IA
St. Louis, MO
Azure Firestarter Series in East Region
- Tampa, FL – 11/8 - http://bit.ly/AzTampa
- Atlanta, GA – 11/10 - http://bit.ly/AzAtlanta
- Charlotte, NC – 11/11 - http://bit.ly/AzCharlotte
- Rochester, NY – 11/16 - http://bit.ly/AzWHenrieta
- Waltham, MA – 11/30 - http://bit.ly/AzWaltham
- New York, NY – 12/1 - http://bit.ly/AzNYC
- Malvern, PA – 12/7 - http://bit.ly/AzMalvern
- Chevy Chase, MD – 12/9 - http://bit.ly/AzChevCha
Azure Roadshow in Central Region
- Cleveland, OH, 15-Nov-2010, Register Here
- Southfield, MI, 18-Nov-2010, Register Here
- Columbus, OH , 29-Nov-2010, Register Here
- Cincinnati, OH, 30-Nov-2010, Register Here
- Nashville, TN, 1-Dec-2010, Register Here
- Memphis, TN, 2-Dec-2010, Register Here
For many of you using Windows Azure, you may have noticed there is no good way to get from the new portal experience to your billing. (You may have not noticed yet, if you like to pay bills without reviewing your statements, and that's fine too.)
We're aware of the issue, and there is a good explanation behind it, in that there are some more features to come which will make interacting with billing data ont he platform much easier. For now, however, you will have to either revert back to the old portal experience (which will be deprecated soon), or use this direct link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=168901
Hope that helps.
[ Update - 16 Dec 2010 ] We have added a Billing link back on the new portal, so you should have direct link access to the MOCP portal to check bills, etc. Enjoy!
Today we have released an updated version of the Windows Azure Platform Training Kit & Courses – you can download the training kit here or walkthrough the hands-on labs on MSDN here.
The December release of the training kit includes several new and updated hands-on labs, demo scripts, and presentations for the Windows Azure November 2010 enhancements and the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio 1.3. These new hands-on labs demonstrate how to use new Windows Azure features such as Virtual Machine Role, Elevated Privileges, Full IIS, and more. This release also includes hands-on labs that were updated in late October and November 2010 to demonstrate some of the new Windows Azure AppFabric services that were announced at the Professional Developers Conference including the Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control, Caching Service, and the Service Bus.
Some of the specific changes with the December update of the training kit include:
§ [Updated] All demos were updated to the Azure SDK 1.3
§ [New demo script] Deploying and Managing SQL Azure Databases with Visual Studio 2010 Data-tier Applications
§ [New presentation] Identity and Access Control in the Cloud
§ [New presentation] Introduction to SQL Azure Reporting
§ [New presentation] Advanced SQL Azure
§ [New presentation] Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket
§ [New presentation] Managing, Debugging, and Monitoring Windows Azure
§ [New presentation] Building Low Latency Web Applications
§ [New presentation] Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus
§ [New presentation] Windows Azure Connect
§ [New presentation] Moving Applications to the Cloud with VM Role
As part of this update, we have included three sample Training Agendas that cover one-day, two-day, and four-day workshops. As such, you can leverage the materials included in this kit to host your own events by choosing the format most appropriate to you.
You can download the December update of the Windows Azure Platform Training kit from here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=130354
Additionally, we continue to publish the HOLs directly to MSDN to make it easier for developers to review and use the content without having to download an entire training kit package.
You can now browse to all of the HOLs online in MSDN here: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=207018
If you have any feedback, please send it to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org