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Ray Ozzie, chief architect at Microsoft, opened the keynote. Here are my random notes:

Ray thanked everyone for coming to the event and stressed how important we all are in Microsoft's success. He then stressed his work as an ISV in the past and how he also sat in the audience like we are today.

PDC is about Microsoft's take on the revolutions happening in the world. It is about combining the best aspects of combining software along with the best aspects of services. Tomorrow Ray will talk on stage about Windows 7. Today is about back-end infrastructures. It is about data centers in the cloud.

"What's the big deal about the cloud?" - these concepts seemed to be around forever.

** It is quite interesting that Microsoft has seemed to take a not from the Apple presentation playbook. The slides they are using for Ray is not just slide after slide of bulleted list of items. Instead, it is just some simple images that he discusses through.

Applications are becoming more complex. The web is a key demand generation - communications with each other is now quite present in these applications. The web is now key to revenue for many companies.

He is now building a case for Microsoft's cloud services and data centers that are being planned. He is talking about how difficult it is for customers to set up all the data centers themselves and service a global market. Serving the world of the web will benefit from a system built for this purpose. Microsoft's own web sites grew up independently and organically. Ray then made a case that their experience with all these properties gave them the lessens learned for this next phase. This is a new tier in our infrastructures architecture.

  • The first tier is you - the most important .... :)
  • The second tier is the company
  • The third tier is the global infrastructure that Microsoft is proposing.

Microsoft wants to use their system experiences to be used by the world. He admits that Amazon was first with their services and he "tips his hat" to them for what they have done.

Announcing Windows Azure

This is the new name for Microsoft's Cloud Services. You can use your existing tools - Visual Studio, etc. You would expect an open environment for your work. You will also be able to use resources and capabilities from others. This needs to be different than other things Microsoft has done in the past. This is setting the stage for the next 50 years of systems. This is laying the new ground work for this.

New ways of mining the data. A new world of horizontal scale.

Windows Azure will be released today as a community technology preview (CTP). This will only have a small portion of what they are thinking. They are betting on this themselves and they will be moving their properties to the same systems. The Azure Services Platform will include things like:

  • Live Services
  • Microsoft .NET Services
  • SQL Services
  • SharePoint Services
  • Dynamics CRM Services

They will deal with federation services and more. We are getting access to this new CTP. The next speaker is the head of the cloud services infrastructure - interesting that he wore a suit with bright shiny red shoes. Ok .....

Windows Azure provides scalable hosting. Azure manages everything from the infrastructure. Azure manages all these complexities for you. They take care of every aspect of the data center for you.

** I wonder what hardware they are using for this?

Windows Azure takes care of automated service management. At the heart of Azure is the Fabric Controller - takes care of the management. ** Sounds like the Matrix, doesn't it?

Fabric Controller manages services, not just servers.

  • Model you service
    • Roles and groups
    • Channels and Endpoints
    • Interfaces
    • Configuration Settings

All service models are defined in an XML configuration file. When you interact with Azure - the code for your service and the service model that guides the fabric controller to manage the lifecycle of your app.

All Azure components are built to be highly available. No single processor can bring our system down. You work is replicated across multiple machines with no human intervention. You can easily build your service by relying on Microsoft's subsystems.

Developers will have a rich developer experience. You will use the same tools and you will be working locally at first (in a Cassini-like approach). All the cloud speakers have red shoes ... hmmmm.

Building a cloud service will give you two projects from Visual Studio. Your configuration project for transporting to the cloud and then a standard project that we are all aware. You can use the "cloud on your desktop" on your local machine. To publish to the cloud - right click on the project and select Publish and this will take you to the Azure site.

You will also get a "package file". Basically your DLL and configuration file.

Example is from by Jonathan Greensted. This is a mobile-based application. In his demo - he showed how he scaled to 20 servers from 2 by changing 2 to 20 in a browser and pressing save.

Azure is an open platform

  • Command line interfaces
  • REST protocols
  • XML file formats
  • Managed and native code
  • They welcome 3rd party-tools

Windows Azure

  • Functionality will be introduced in a staged way
  • Enterprise ready and hobbyist friendly

Now introduced is Bob Muglia - VP of tools and frameworks

This is the fifth generation of computing

  • 1970s - Monolithic
  • 1980s - Client/Server
  • 1990s - Web
  • Today - SOA
  • 2009+ Services

SOA is a core block for cloud computing. If you look at most SOA applications - most don't scale out well - they weren't designed for this. The idea of building them out in a scale-out way. If we design them to scale out in the beginning it will be a big difference.

Services Requirements

  • Interoperability, Business Processes
  • Identity and security
  • Data management and compliance
  • Services management

One of the goals of Azure is to make it possible for you to build your applications using these patterns. Reducing your costs - management costs, etc.

Microsoft .NET Services

  • Service Bus - allows you to connect your own-presence system to the cloud
  • Access Control - the need to have federated access that exist in a heterogeneous way. Allows federation across these other identity providers
  • Workflow Services - Having workflow that scales across multiple services.


  • Users control their own identities
  • Single, federated identity platform
  • open and interoperable
  • New services that build upon Active Directory - called "Geneva"

Want to make client-based access control as easy as possible.

Code name "Atlanta" which is a system center that allows you to see the stats within their system. They can see CPU utilization, server availability, average LSASS CPU utilization.

Another interesting change is that the Microsoft .NET logo has changed from the following:


Now the new logo is the following:


Not bad - the reason for the new logo is to tie it more to the cloud services offering - Azure. Much of those logos are blue focused as well. I like it.

Posted on Monday, October 27, 2008 12:04 PM | Back to top

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