J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

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  • Blog Post: Windows Azure at a Glance

    This is my quick lookup table of Windows Azure at a glance.   I use it to very quickly hop and out of Windows Azure and to help me stay oriented among the capabilities and features. It’s not fancy.  It’s just a simple list of Windows Azure functionality grouped by meaningful buckets.  ...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure How-Tos Index

    The Windows Azure IX (Information Experience) team has made it easier to browse their product documentation.  Beautiful.  They added a Windows Azure How-To Index of their content to the MSDN Library.  I think it’s great to see a shift to more How-To and task-oriented content.  I think...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Developer Guidance Map

    If you’re a Windows Azure developer or you want to learn Windows Azure, this map is for you.   Microsoft has an extensive collection of developer guidance available in the form of Code Samples, How Tos, Videos, and Training.  The challenge is -- how do you find all of the various content...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Application Patterns

    This is a quick visual tour of some whiteboard solutions and common application patterns for Windows Azure.  It’s a look at some of the most common whiteboard solutions for Web applications, Web services, and data on Windows Azure.  Here are the app patterns at a glance: Pattern #1 - ASP.NET...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure App Types

    When you’re building applications, it helps to have a lay of the land so you can see the forest from the trees.  This is a quick visual tour of some whiteboard solutions and common application patterns for Windows Azure. Canonical Windows Azure Application Here is a simple and common Azure application...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Security Notes Posted to the Security TechCenter

    Our Windows Azure Security Notes are now available under the Highlights section on TechNet’s Security TechCenter . It’s a collection of common applications scenarios for Web applications, Web services, and data on Azure, and it’s a map of common threats, attacks, vulnerabilities, and countermeasures...
  • Blog Post: Now Available: Windows Azure Security Notes PDF

    Windows Azure Security Notes (PDF) is a collection of our notes and learnings from exploring the cloud security space and working through Windows Azure security scenarios.   Note that this is not a guide and it’s not a Microsoft patterns & practices deliverable.  It’s simply a way...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Security Threats and Countermeasures at a Glance

    Cloud security has been a hot topic with the introduction of the Microsoft offering of the Windows Azure platform.  One of the quickest ways to get your head around security is to cut to the chase and look at the threats, attacks, vulnerabilities and countermeasures.  This post is a look at...
  • Blog Post: SQL Azure Partitioning Pattern

    While working with a customer at our Microsoft Executive Briefing Center (Microsoft EBC), one of the things we need to do was find a simple and effective way to partition SQL Azure. The problem with SQL Azure is that depending on your partitioning strategy, you can end up allocating increments that you...
  • Blog Post: Now Available: Microsoft Windows Azure Guide

    The Microsoft patterns & practices Windows Azure Architecture Guide - Part I is now available on MSDN.  This guide focuses on a migration scenario.  It walks through migrating a custom expense tracking and reimbursement system to the cloud. Chapters Introduction to the Windows Azure Platform...
  • Blog Post: Azure Canonical Application Architecture

    While working with a customer last week at our Microsoft Executive Briefing Center (Microsoft EBC), one of the things we need to do was find a simple way to whiteboard the architecture.  We walked through a lot of variations of application patterns, but the customer ultimately wanted to see one...
  • Blog Post: How To Enable SSL on Windows Azure

    As part of our Azure Security Guidance project, we tested setting up SSL during our exploration.  To do so, we created a self-signed certificate and deployed it to Azure.  This is a snapshot of the rough steps we used: Step 1 - Create and Install a test certificate Step 2 - Create a Visual...
  • Blog Post: REST with ACS

    This is a draft of our REST with ACS application scenario for your feedback.  It’s a whiteboard sketch of how to secure a REST service on Azure. As part of our patterns & practices Azure Security Guidance project, we’re putting together a series of Application Scenarios and Solutions. ...
  • Blog Post: WCF Security Scenarios on Azure

    As part of our patterns & practices Azure Security Guidance project, we’re putting together a series of Application Scenarios and Solutions.  Our goal is to show the most common application scenarios on the Microsoft Azure platform.  This is your chance to give us feedback on whether we...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET Security Scenarios on Azure

    As part of our patterns & practices Azure Security Guidance project, we’re putting together a series of Application Scenarios and Solutions.  Our goal is to show the most common application scenarios on the Microsoft Azure platform.  This is your chance to give us feedback on whether we...
  • Blog Post: Application Scenarios and Solutions

    As part of our patterns & practices Azure Security Guidance project, we’re starting off by focusing end-to-end application scenarios. We’re taking a crawl, walk, run approach by starting with the simplest combinations of application types and authentication, authorization, and communication patterns...
  • Blog Post: How To Use ASP.NET Forms Auth with SQL Server on Windows Azure

    This post is a quick step through of creating a Windows Azure cloud project that authenticates using ASP.NET Forms Authentication with SQL Server as the user store. The core steps are very much the same as my previous post How To Use ASP.NET Forms Auth with Azure Tables .   The key difference...
  • Blog Post: Getting Started with Windows Azure

    While ramping for Windows Azure, we created a quick set of steps to get other team members quickly started with Azure.  The goal is tight – get Azure running on your local box and be able to explore and run the Azure SDK samples. Installing the Azure SDK and the Visual Studio Tools for Azure Here...
  • Blog Post: VMs for Web and Worker Roles in Windows Azure

    This is my current mental model for Virtual Machines (VMs) for Web and Worker Roles in Windows Azure: On Windows Azure, you run your application in Web and Worker Roles.  Each instance of a Web or Worker Role runs in a VM.  You define how many instances of each Web or Worker role you want to...
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure Platform at a Glance

    This is my first attempt at parsing and summarizing the Windows Azure Platform, so I expect it to evolve as I iterate on it. The Windows Azure platform is a set of cloud computing services for creating and consuming cloud applications and services.  The key components of the Windows Azure Platform...
  • Blog Post: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

    In cloud computing, you might hear the terms SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. These are simply different logical layers in the stack. You can visualize it like this: As you move up the stack, you increase abstraction. As you move down the stack, you increase control. Here is a brief summary of each term: Infrastructure...
  • Blog Post: Visual Model of Cloud Computing

    “All models are wrong, some are useful.” – George Box This is a simple visual model we’re using on our patterns & practices Azure Security guidance team to dialogue around cloud computing concepts. Here are the key things to know: Characteristics are simply the three key characteristics we defined...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Defined

    “Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson It’s tough to talk about clouds until we have a simple, working definition. While ramping for Azure Security guidance , we defined the cloud as follows: A cloud is a managed infrastructure providing network, compute...
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