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  • Blog Post: Azure VM Role is dead, long live VMs…

    I notice so many people using the terms “Windows Azure VM Role” and “Windows Azure Virtual Machines” interchangeably; as if they are the same thing. They’re not. And maybe that’s what describes a tiny bit of the confusion regarding the death of VM Role. Windows Azure Virtual Machines are often described...
  • Blog Post: Video: Explanation of Pop-up Labs in the Cloud

    Devs, IT Pros, Architects, Marketeers, Salespeople, Business-oriented people – they are all rapidly becoming part of the pop-up lab phenomenon. Until now it was very difficult for private individuals with an interest (whether casual or professional) in large-scale IT, to build large IT labs – the capital...
  • Blog Post: The Rise and Rise of Pop-up Labs in the Cloud

    Young children read pop up books; books whose pages pop up in to some form of structure for the child to admire and then pop back in again when the page is turned. As the page is turned it produces a different structure. Perhaps the first one was a lion or a space-rocket. The next page would probably...
  • Blog Post: Event: "Apps + Cloud" for the device developer who is too busy to learn (UK)

    18th March – Reading, UK. You’ve got your beautiful new app ready to run on a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device, and are ready to hook into an infrastructure cloud service for the back-end. Your main concern is making sure it’s reliable - you can’t risk even a small chance of an outage of your...
  • Blog Post: Video: TIGA Gaming Conference: Games plus Cloud. Rob Fraser���s talk.

    I was at the TIGA gaming conference with Rob Fraser who was a speaker addressing “realising the opportunity afforded to games developers by exploiting the cloud”. I took a couple of FlipCams and screen capture software to edit together this talk. A couple of rough edges here and there, but very watchable...
  • Blog Post: UK Windows Azure Dev Camps

    Who is this camp for? You’ve probably heard of Windows Azure but not done anything with it. Maybe you’ve seen a few demos at an event or an online video. Maybe you’ve even got as far as trying the introductory lab in the freely downloadable training kit. But now you are at the stage of wanting to get...
  • Blog Post: Event: Free UK Windows Azure Developer Camps

      Just a reminder that the first of the latest round of free UK Windows Azure Developer Camps kicks off next week in our London Office in Victoria. The Windows Azure Developer Camp will take you from knowing nothing about the cloud to actually having deployed a simple application to the cloud and...
  • Blog Post: Video: Another of my “cartoony” videos, this time explaining Windows Azure Virtual Machines.

    A description of the new elements in the Virtual Machines features of the Windows Azure June 2012 release, all done in that cartoony format that the original June Release Azure Video was done in.   Planky
  • Blog Post: Video: Cloud Services Talk from UK’s Cloud Day: London, 22nd June

    Anybody who was there knows the demo in the talk I gave timed out. So I’ve done it again and added it to the talk using the magic of video editing! With all the excitement around the IaaS features such as Virtual Machines and Virtual Network, and then the added cool of Azure Websites, it seemed to me...
  • Blog Post: Video: Complete Overview of the 2012 Azure Release

    Includes IaaS Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, Web Sites, Cloud Services, Identity, Service Bus, Cache and so on.
  • Blog Post: Windows Azure June 2012 Training Kit available

    I just heard from James Conard in our corporate headquarters that the June 2012 version of the Windows Azure training kit has been officially released. The June 2012 update includes 42 step-by-step hands-on labs and 20 presentations covering the new Windows Azure features.  Some of the highlights...
  • Blog Post: How do I sign up to the new Azure features if I already have an Azure subscription?

    I can see there’s a bit of commentary along the lines of “how on earth do I actually sign up to these new features with my existing Windows Azure subscription… Well, it’s a less-than-two-minute video screencast to find out.
  • Blog Post: The difference between Azure VMs and Azure VM Role

    All compute resources in Windows Azure run on virtual machines, but not all virtual machines are the same. VM Role You send your own OS image, along with any attendant software, service packs, patches, updates and applications already installed, to Windows Azure. Let’s call that image the “golden image...
  • Blog Post: Video: The most common issues support sees for Windows Azure

    Markus McCormick, an escalation engineer working in Microsoft support in the UK talks about the most common support issues they see coming in to the support centre. He gives advice on how to avoid these pitfalls. If you are new to Windows Azure – don’t deploy any service in to production without watching...
  • Blog Post: Article: I’ve built a SaaS solution on Windows Azure: now, how do I know what to charge my customers?

    When we move from writing shrink-wrapped software that a customer runs a setup.exe in their own datacenter to the completely different world of providing the software’s functionality as a service over the Internet, probably our first port of call is to base it on a cloud platform like Microsoft, Google...
  • Blog Post: Video: Windows Azure Connect: a real-world solution

    K3 Retail are the UK’s biggest Microsoft Dynamics partner. They’ve built a system that allows them to expose on-premises applications and data such as Dynamics, SQL Server Reporting Services, Email and File-Servers to a cloud-based IIS web application. This video show how they are doing this in the real...
  • Blog Post: Event: Free UK Windows Azure Bootcamp: Online

    We’re going to be running an online version of the popular Windows Azure Bootcamp on the 21st May. We’re very aware that the London and Liverpool bootcamps due to run in Early May are now full so we thought by running a similar, slightly shortened version of the bootcamp through Lync, anybody who didn...
  • Blog Post: Video: How one company migrated to Windows Azure

    At The Races were running a high-volume website in the UK that was characterized by very peaky predictable bursts. They knew when the peaks would occur (specific horse-races in the calendar) and they had a good idea of the numbers of additional users they’d have to handle. What an excellent candidate...
  • Blog Post: Phone developers should use the cloud

    When you think about the monetization (awful word!) of apps for the phone, you can narrow it down to either: The app is free – it was fun building it, I don’t want to be rich. The app is paid for and entirely standalone. It doesn’t rely on any service that is firmly rooted in terra firma. The app is...
  • Blog Post: Video: Business Agility and Cloud Platforms

    How do you explain a cloud platform’s place in business agility to somebody with a technical background but who is now working in a more business-decision-maker role? Say an IT Manager? MOre than likely he/she was a developer or IT pro in their day. They have an understanding of technology but their...
  • Blog Post: Open Source goes multi-instance on Windows Azure

    You may know there is a collection of Open Source Software packages ready and waiting to be installed in to Windows Azure. A project which built “accelerators” for popular CMS systems such as Umbraco, Drupal, Wordpress etc has been live and kicking for some time. The Umbraco CMS has just gone through...
  • Blog Post: A new way to package old apps for Windows Azure: increase abstraction.

    Web Role, Worker Role and VM Role are all designed to solve problems along the continuum of abstraction <==> control that I talked about in a previous post : We call it abstraction because the technology forces a greater separation between the OS and the application. A traditional application might...
  • Blog Post: Why is Windows Server App-V a good thing for cloud computing?

    With all the pzazz of a Vegas Showgirl, Server App-V was announced at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas last week. Well, OK, Brad Anderson stood there in polo-shirt and chinos to make the announcement but he was as excited as a Vegas Showgirl when he did it… Watch the keynotes on video...
  • Blog Post: Cloud Virtual Networks: PaaS and IaaS approaches

    As applications that are used by employees of large corporate enterprises start to work their way in to the cloud, it becomes obvious that a need to integrate the network and security infrastructures of both environments becomes important. I’ve made a number of posts ( here , here and here ) on this...
  • Blog Post: VIDEO: Zane’s take on SaaS, PaaS and IaaS

    Andrew Fryer and Simon May from the team I work in managed to catch up with Zane Adam, General Manager of Virtualisation and Windows Azure on his last visit to the UK. Luckily, I interviewed him on video giving his take on SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. Click the image to view the video – just over 10 minutes...
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