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Microsoft Releases Azure at PDC 2008

by Tony P. on October 28, 2008

The Microsoft Professional Developers Conference started on Monday at the Los Angeles convention center. The big announcement is the release of the Azure Services Platform. Microsoft described it as the operating system for cloud applications. What is a cloud application you ask? Well it’s an application that is running on a layer of computers on the Internet. The computers are spread all over the world. They are very powerful, they are secure and they are fault tolerant. If you wanted to create your own powerful and highly available cluster of computers it would be very expensive. What Microsoft did was create the infrastructure and they allow anyone to upload their applications and have them run on their cloud.

Most small web sites do not require the resources that are made available on the cloud. Web sites that get a lot of traffic could benefit from this new service. Say you have a web site that will sell tickets for a popular concert. On average your web site can be run on a single server. Now let’s say you are about to offer tickets for a very popular concert. You expect there to be millions of attempts to purchase tickets and you will need hundreds of servers to carry the load. Taking advantage of a cloud service would be an inexpensive way to allow your application to function during the period of peak activity. The day before the tickets go on sale you could go to your application configuration on the cloud and easily increase the number of computers your application runs on. There is no need to purchase extra computers, configure them to work together, deploy your application to all the computers. The cloud takes care of this for you.

One cool feature Microsoft showed at the conference was the ability to publish a web application to Azure directly from Visual Studio. It was no different than publishing to an FTP site or the local file system.

The Azure service is still in its infancy. Microsoft is not charging for the service and they have a long list of feature they plan to add. It will take several years before hosting applications on the could will become mainstream but will happen sooner or later. Microsoft has taken the first steps to become a leader in this field and I’m sure they will prosper from it.

Tony P
Software Developer
SoftCom Technology Consulting Inc.

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{ 5 comments }

Stoddard December 21, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Azure might not be as famous as some of Microsoft’s other programs, but in teh future it might be seen as a major step in terms of getting people onto the cloud.

Randy5 December 22, 2010 at 4:08 PM

I can’t wait until everyone is using cloud programs like Azure. I think mobile technology in general will be much faster and less buggy.

Rusher January 17, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Hopefully, if you get Azure now you’ll never have to pay for it.

Texas2Step September 6, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Or, hopefully you’ll never have to pay for Azure no matter when you get it! (Not too likely, though.)

OhDonna September 19, 2011 at 8:57 AM

The Microsoft PDC 2011 took place last week — did anyone attend?

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