With all the buzz around Windows Azure, you may have wondered how to host your Silverlight application in the cloud. Since Silverlight controls are essentially static content, hosting them is as easy as uploading some files to the cloud.

When it comes to building WCF services to provide data to your Silverlight control, the story gets a little more complicated. The fact that the Azure cloud is a load-balanced environment as well as the deployment mechanism for setting up a service in Azure pose some unique challenges to hosting WCF services.

To help with this, our team has posted a Code Gallery site with 3 Silverlight-specific samples that you can run in the cloud and also on your local machine. The samples exercise the following features:

The third example hosts our chat sample in Azure for a massively-distributed free-for-all chat experience, and you can try it here. Try opening up this link across multiple machines and browsers and watch them all chat together.

Which brings me to probably the most useful thing we published: a list of known issues with hosting WCF services and Silverlight clients in Azure. Check out this page, and especially the sections “Hosting WCF Services” and “Hosting Silverlight Clients”. The page contains some workarounds we gathered from across the web, and is guaranteed to save you a bunch of head-scratching if you try WCF on Azure for yourself.

Cheers,
-Yavor