Windows Azure is an “operating system for the cloud”
What is the cloud?
- a set of connected servers
- on which developers can:
- install and run services
- store and retrieve data
What we do today for services:
- Respond to hardware failures
- Handle increase in traffic
- Add storage capacity
- Diagnose service failures
- Apply OS patches
- Perform live upgrades
- Expand to new locale
For the desktop, it’s not quite this bad, since we have an operating system that performs abstractions, provisioning, resource allocation. Windows Azure attempts to provide these infrastructure services for the cloud, freeing developers to write business logic rather than plumbing.
What does Azure provide?
The same facilities that a desktop OS provides, but on a set of connected servers:
- abstract execution environment
- shared file system
- elastic resource allocation
- programming environments
- 24/7 operation and support
- Pay for what you use (not for excess capacity)
- Simpler, transparent administration
How does this map to features?
1. Automated service management
- the service model: service topology and size; health constraints; configuration settings
- deploy and run
- maintain health: keep service responsive and healthy by detecting failures, replacing failed/missing resources transparently; made possible through abstraction
- provides a balance between control and ease of use, while catering for a full range of scenarios
2. A powerful environment for hosting services
- all of the hardware: servers, load balancers, etc
- virtualized and direct execution
3. Scalable, available cloud storage
4. A rich, familiar developer experience
Scalable, Available Cloud Storage
Simple, essential storage abstractions with an emphasis on massive scale, high availability with geo-distribution and geo-replication forthcoming
Cloud storage is not a database service in the cloud
CTP includes a simulated cloud on the desktop, support for .NET languages, VS integration, logging, alerts, samples, documentation
Release will include an SLA and consumption-based business model, geo-distribution, and service hosting options.
Check out the Windows Azure beta!