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  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #25 - The Client Layer

    It’s been a great ride, and in this final session of my Practical Azure series on Channel 9 MSDN DevRadio I cover that final, topmost section – the Client Layer - in the feature map I introduced months ago. Given the recent announcements at Build and the transformation of Microsoft into a “Devices and...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #24: Windows Azure Mobile Services

    Well, this one went a bit longer than most, but only because Windows Azure Mobile Services has so many cool features that are relevant to just about anyone building mobile applications today - regardless of platform. Join me for this pre-Build 2013 session , in which I build a Windows Phone 8 application...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #23: Windows Azure Media Services

    Ok, I admit it, of all the episodes in this series, Windows Azure Media Services is one I dreaded the most. It’s just not a feature I’d ever really touched nor one that I’d presented on. Of all the services in Azure it’s probably the most niche one, but it’s actually quite cool and gave me some appreciation...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #22 - Windows Azure Marketplace

    The Windows Azure Marketplace is a textbook example of "eating your own dog food." As the One-stop shop for premium data and applications hosted on Windows Azure , the Windows Azure Marketplace provides a platform on which third-parties, like you, can host services and data sets for sale and...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #21 - HDInsight

    “Big Data” is undeniably one of the more prevalent buzzwords of the last year or two, and given the scalability inherent to the cloud, it’s a natural fit for Windows Azure. Microsoft's specific foray into this burgeoning technology is the HDInsight service (previously known as Hadoop on Azure). With...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #20 - SQL Reporting Services

    One of the many values of the cloud is the ability to leverage services that on-premises would require non-trivial hardware and software configurations and to be able to tap into those services in a just-in-time and pay-as-you-go manner. SQL Reporting Service is just such a capability, offering a feature...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #19 – Windows Azure Virtual Network

    The latest episode of Practical Azure covers the topic of networking in Windows Azure : a means to connect disparate cloud services you’ve deployed as well as to join on-premises assets with the cloud services you’re hosting in Windows Azure in one big happy, virtual network! Download: MP3 MP4 (iPod...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #18 – Windows Azure Service Bus

    It was incredibly hard to distill a feature as powerful and versatile as the Windows Azure Service Bus into a 10 minute-ish segment, but I gave it a shot. Hopefully this latest episode of the Practical Azure series on MSDN DevRadio provides a few usage scenarios that will resonate in your own projects...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure – Discover the Cloud and Win Cash!

    Over the past few months, I’ve been working with a lot of student and professional developers enabling them to take advantage of promotions for building applications for Windows 8 and Windows Phone, such as the ongoing Keep the Cash .  If your head’s a bit more in the cloud – like the Windows Azure...
  • Blog Post: Two Azure Hands-on Opportunities

    The other day I posted on some of the newest development in Windows Azure , and if that’s spurred you on to learn more, there are two great immersive (hands-on) opportunities coming up in Boston and beyond. Saturday, April 27th is the day of Global Windows Azure Bootcamp , a one-day, deep dive class...
  • Blog Post: A triple-A day: Awesome Azure Announcements

    For the clouderati, today was a banner day for Microsoft with the Windows Azure team announcing the general availability of its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering. Azure Virtual Machines and virtual networking capabilities have actually been around for a while, and many have been leveraging...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #17: Identity

    The latest segment of my MSDN DevRadio series, tackles the topic of identity in the cloud and how to leverage Windows Azure Active Directory to federate on-premises user credentials or host your own in the cloud. Download: MP3 MP4 (iPod, Zune HD) High Quality MP4 (iPad, PC) Mid Quality MP4 (WP7, HTML5...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #16: Windows Azure Traffic Manager

    Ever since Microsoft announced Windows Azure Traffic Manager , for me the term conjures up an image of the dancing traffic cop in Providence, Rhode Island.  While Traffic Manager may not have Tony’s visual impact, there are certainly some similarities in the roles: keep the traffic, whether it be...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #15: Windows Azure Virtual Machines (Part 2)

    We looked at Windows Azure Virtual Machines in the last episode from the perspective of creating a VM from a base operating system image, installing software (the Mongoose HTTP server ) and configuring some settings, such as the firewall to enable HTTP traffic. In this follow-on episode , I take that...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #14: Windows Azure Virtual Machines (Part 1)

    Three seems to be a popular number in Windows Azure – three data center regions, three types of storage, three replicas of your storage maintained at all times, and three ways to deploy an application. In past episodes of MSDN DevRadio , I covered Web and Worker roles (the Platform-as-a-Service model...
  • Blog Post: Web Camp Spring Tour – March 27th

    If you follow Scott Guthrie’s blog , you’ll be aware of some recent releases in both the ASP.NET and Windows Azure segments of the Microsoft stack, and in about two weeks you can immerse yourself in all that goodness - with a free, all-day Web Camp on Wednesday, March 27th at the Microsoft Office, 1...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #13: Windows Azure Queue Storage

    Although Windows Azure Queues are part of the Windows Azure Storage trifecta (along with Blobs and Tables ), they play their primary role as a means of scaling processing in the cloud, by enabling Web Roles and Worker Roles to operate in a decoupled, asynchronous fashion. It’s a key pattern for building...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #12: Caching

    “I feel the need. The need for speed" sums ups the role of caching in distributed applications. When your application involves database lookups or service calls, every millisecond of latency adds up, particularly for high demand, “internet scale” solutions. Do you really need to execute a database...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #11: Worker Roles

    Web Roles and Worker Roles, they’re the yin and yang of high performing Windows Azure applications. I covered Windows Azure Web Roles in the last session of Practical Azure , and now it’s time to dive into its workhorse sibling: Worker Roles . Whereas Web Roles are the public face of your application...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #10: Web Roles

    You’ve got some awesome ASP.NET web sites (or even PHP or node.js), but they’re running in your data center, and you’re not getting the economies of scale or the failover and high availability that Windows Azure offers. Fear not! With Windows Azure Web Roles, you can bring your web applications and services...
  • Blog Post: Set up Your Windows 8 Privacy Policy in Five Minutes (or Less)

    There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the fact your Windows 8 application will fail certification if it’s network-capable and you don’t have a privacy policy . I can’t fix the first two, but I can help with the last one. If you read the full text of the requirement , you’ll note that...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #9: Windows Azure Web Sites

    One of the awesome things about Windows Azure is choice. When you deploy an application to the Microsoft cloud you can leverage one of three models, Virtual Machines (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), Cloud Services (Platform-as-a-Service) and Web Sites . For the next several episodes of Practical Azure...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #8: SQL Data Sync

    Cabaret not withstanding, it’s data that makes the world go ‘round, and one of the incredibly awesome capabilities you have when using SQL Server and SQL Database in Windows Azure, is the ability to move rather seamlessly between on-premises assets and the cloud. In previous episodes, I covered the concepts...
  • Blog Post: Practical Azure #7: SQL Database Federations

    The cloud is all about scale, and when it comes to Windows Azure SQL Database you can have your ‘relational cake’ and eat it too. SQL Database Federations , an implementation of the sharding pattern, is the way to go not only for large data requirements, but also for building multi-tenant applications...
  • Blog Post: Rock, Paper, Azure Challenge: It’s BACK!

    It’s the return of Roshambo in the Cloud! The Rock, Paper, Azure team is back with the latest version of the on-line competition and a six-week sweepstakes where you could win one of five $50 Gift Cards weekly and even a Microsoft Surface at the end of the six-week run! How’s it work? The Rock, Paper...
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