Windows Azure

As you may already know, we (Microsoft) have announced that we will have ‘general availability’ of our version of cloud computing, Windows Azure, on the opening day of the Professional Developer’s Conference (Nov 17).

As we prepare to ‘go-to-market’ with Azure, I’ve been doing some preparatory reading and wanted to share with you.  First I’ve finished ‘Cloud Application Architectures’ by George Reese (O’Reilly).  The focus of this book is on implementing using Amazon’s cloud services (EC2 and/or S3), there is also some coverage of RackSpace and GoGrid.  The focus of the book is on architecture, i.e. designing for availability, scalability, securability, etc…I found this short book to be a well-written introduction to these areas.

Book cover of Cloud Application Architectures

The second book that I read is ‘Cloud Security and Privacy’ by Tim Mather, Subra Kamaraswamy and Shahed Latif (O’Reill).  I was lucky enough to meet two of the three authors recently.  They attended my talk on SQL Azure at Silicon Valley Code Camp in Mountain View. This book does a great job covering all aspects of cloud data security considerations.  It focuses on explaining security concepts deeply and does not focus on a a particular cloud provider.  I particularly like the chapters on regulatory issues and on auditing.

Book cover of Cloud Security and Privacy

Since I have yet to find a dedicated book on Windows Azure, I am also working through the freely downloadable ‘Windows Azure Platform Training Kit’ as preparation.  I am finding a wealth of information there and am particularly liking the Hands on Labs, Demos and Presentations sections of the kit.

Windows Azure Platform Training Kit

In addition, MSPress has approached me about writing a book on SQL Azure and I am working on the proposal now.  To that end, I’d be interested to hear from you about what topics would be of most interest.  Also, the Azure team has asked me to record a series of ‘How do I…SQL Azure?’ screencasts (similar to those I did for my last SQL Server BI book ‘How do I…BI?’) as a companion to my book.

Let me know what you are interested in seeing / reading!