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PDC 2010 (Microsoft Professional Developer Conference) was held in Redmond a couple of weeks ago and it marked a significant milestone for Windows Azure – One Year Anniversary since its production announcement at PDC 2009.
In review, the Windows Azure platform, composed of Windows Azure and SQL Azure, and Windows Azure AppFabric is supported by a rich set of development tools, management and services from Microsoft Corp. You can learn more here. It is a Platform as a service (PaaS) and is where Microsoft thinks developers and businesses will ultimately gain the true value of the cloud.
The conference included some announcements highlighting significant updates to the Windows Azure Platform. Here is a summary of those announcements with links to resources to learn more. Warning – long list / post!
Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role eases the migration of existing Windows Server applications to Windows Azure by eliminating the need to make costly application changes and enables customers to quickly access their existing business data from the cloud. Microsoft announced Virtual Machine Role support for Windows Server 2008 R2 in Windows Azure. A public beta will be available by the end of 2010.
Server Application Virtualization enables customers to deploy virtualized application images onto the Windows Azure worker role (single role, single instance) rather than the VM Role. Through this approach, customers can more easily migrate their traditional applications to Windows Azure without the need to rewrite them or to package them within a VM. Once the application is deployed with server application virtualization on Windows Azure, customers can benefit from the automated service management capabilities of Windows Azure including automatic configuration and ongoing operating system management. Server Application Virtualization for Windows Azure will be available as a community technology preview (CTP) before the end of 2010, and the final release will be available to customers in the second half of 2011
Constructing VM role images in the cloud. Microsoft is enabling developers and IT professionals to build VM images for VM role directly in the cloud. This will be offered as an alternative to the current approach of building images on-premises and uploading them over the Internet. This update will be available in 2011.
Support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 SP2 in the VM Role. Microsoft supports Windows Server 2008 R2 in the Guest OS. In 2011, Microsoft will add support for Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 SP2.
SQL Azure Reporting allows developers to embed reports into their Windows Azure applications, including rich data visualization and export to popular formats, such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and PDF, enabling the users of these applications to gain greater insight and act on their line-of-business data stored in SQL Azure databases. A CTP will be available to customers by the end of 2010. The final release of SQL Azure Reporting will be generally available in the first half of 2011.
SQL Azure Data Sync is another important building block service to help developers rapidly build cloud applications on the Windows Azure platform using Microsoft’s cloud database. It allows developers to build apps with geo-replicated SQL Azure data and synchronize on-premises with cloud and mobile applications. A CTP will be available by the end of 2010. A final release of SQL Azure Data Sync is set to be released in the first half of 2011.
Database Manager for SQL Azure is a new lightweight, Web-based database management and querying capability for SQL Azure. This capability was formerly referred to as “Project Houston,” and allows customers to have a streamlined experience within the Web browser without having to download any tools. Database Manager for SQL Azure will be generally available by the end of 2010.
Windows Azure AppFabric helps developers rapidly build cloud applications on the Windows Azure platform.
- AppFabric Caching, which helps developers accelerate the performance of their applications.
- AppFabric Service Bus enhancements will help developers build reliable, enterprise quality delivery of data or messages, to and from applications to third parties or mobile devices.
CTPs were available at PDC, and both of these important building-block technologies will be generally available the first half of 2011.
Windows Azure Marketplace is a single online marketplace for developers and IT professionals to share, find, buy and sell building block components, training, services, and finished services or applications needed to build complete and compelling Windows Azure platform applications.
DataMarket is best thought of as a market within the Windows Azure Marketplace. It provides developers and information workers with access to premium third-party data, Web services, and self-service business intelligence and analytics, which they can use to build rich applications. Today there are more than 35 data providers offering data on DataMarket, with over 100 more coming soon.
At PDC 2010, DataMarket (formerly code-named “Dallas”) was released to Web, and a Windows Azure Marketplace beta will be released by the end of the year.
TFS on Windows Azure. Microsoft demoed Team Foundation Server on Windows Azure, which shows that steps have been made toward cloud-hosted Application Lifecycle Management. A CTP will be available in 2011.
Windows Azure AppFabric
- Windows Azure AppFabric Access Control enhancements help customers build federated authorization into applications and services without the complicated programming that is normally required to secure applications beyond organizational boundaries. With support for a simple declarative model of rules and claims, Access Control rules can easily and flexibly be configured to cover a variety of security needs and different identity-management infrastructures. These enhancements are currently available to customers.
- Windows Azure AppFabric Connect allows customers to bridge existing line-of-business (LOB) integration investments over to Windows Azure using the Windows Azure AppFabric Service Bus, and connecting to on-premises composite applications running on Windows Server AppFabric. This new set of simplified tooling extends Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 to help accelerate hybrid on- and off-premises composite application scenarios, which are critical for customers starting to develop hybrid applications. This service is freely available today.
Windows Azure Virtual Network. New functionality is being introduced under the Windows Azure Virtual Network name. Windows Azure Connect (previously known as “Project Sydney”) enables a simple and easy-to-manage mechanism to set up IP-based network connectivity between on-premises and Windows Azure resources. The first Windows Azure Virtual Network feature is called Windows Azure Connect. A CTP of Windows Azure Connect will be available by the end of 2010, and it will be generally available in the first half of 2011.
Extra Small Windows Azure Instance. Also announced was the Extra Small Instance, which will be priced at $0.05 per compute hour in order to make the process of development, testing and trial easier for developers. This will make it affordable for developers interested in running smaller applications on the platform. A beta of this role will be available before the end of 2010.
Remote Desktop enables IT professionals to connect to a running instance of their application or service to monitor activity and troubleshoot common problems. Remote Desktop will be generally available later this year.
Elevated Privileges. The VM role and Elevated Privileges functionality removes roadblocks that today prevent developers from having full control over their application environment. For small changes such as configuring Internet Information Service (IIS) or installing a Microsoft Software Installer (MSI), Microsoft recommends using the Elevated Privileges admin access feature. This approach is best suited for small changes and enables the developer to retain automated service management at the Guest OS and the application level. Elevated Privileges will be generally available to customers later this year.
Full IIS Support enables development of more complete applications using Windows Azure. The Web role will soon provide full IIS functionality, which enables multiple IIS sites per Web role and the ability to install IIS modules. The full IIS functionality enables developers to get more value out of a Windows Azure instance. Full IIS Support will be generally available to customers later this year.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Roles. Windows Azure will now support Windows Server 2008 R2 in its Web, worker and VM roles. This new support will enable customers to take advantage of the full range of Windows Server 2008 R2 features such as IIS 7.5, AppLocker, and enhanced command-line and automated management using PowerShell Version 2.0. This update will be generally available later this year.
Multiple Admins. Windows Azure will soon support multiple Windows Live IDs to have administrator privileges on the same Windows Azure account. The objective is to make it easy for a team to work on the same Windows Azure account while using their individual Windows Live IDs. The Multiple Admins update will be generally available later this year.
Dynamic Content Caching. With this new functionality, the Windows Azure CDN can be configured to cache content returned from a Windows Azure application. Dynamic Content Caching will be available to customers in 2011.
CDN SSL Delivery. Users of the Windows Azure CDN will now have the capability to deliver content via encrypted channels with SSL/TLS. This update will be available in 2011.
Improved global connectivity. Microsoft will add new Windows Azure CDN nodes in the Middle East and improve existing connectivity in the U.S. and Brazil in 2011.
Improved Java Enablement. Microsoft plans to make Java a first-class citizen on Windows Azure. This process will involve improving Java performance, Eclipse tooling and client libraries for Windows Azure. Customers can choose the Java environment of their choice and run it on Windows Azure. Improved Java Enablement will be available to customers in 2011.
Windows Azure AppFabric Composition Model and Composite App Service provides an end-to-end “composite” application development environment to help developers streamline the process of assembling, managing and deploying various home-grown and third-party services that span the Web, middle tier and database in the cloud. A CTP will be available in the first half of 2011.
Microsoft also announced the following developer and operator enhancements at PDC 2010:
- A completely redesigned Microsoft Silverlight-based Windows Azure portal to ensure an improved and intuitive user experience
- Access to new diagnostic information including the ability to click on a role to see type and deployment time
- A new sign-up process that dramatically reduces the number of steps needed to sign up for Windows Azure
- New scenario-based Windows Azure Platform forums to help answer questions and share knowledge more efficiently
These Windows Azure enhancements will be generally available by the end of 2010.
Finally, a great offer for partners:
“Windows Azure Platform Cloud Essentials for Partners” is an offer that replaces Microsoft’s existing partner offers. This offer will go live on Jan. 7, 2011, and provide free access to the Windows Azure platform, including 750 Extra Small Instance hours and a SQL Azure database per month at no additional charge. Partners can sign up for the Cloud Essentials Pack at Microsoft Cloud Partner.
Can’t make it to Los Angeles for The Underground @ PDC? You will miss hanging out with the Lakers Girls, 500+ techies, drinks, etc.; but you can still be a part of the action!
The Underground will live stream these special presentations so no matter where you are, you can to hear from Microsoft and tech community leaders announcing Microsoft’s Technology roadmap and newly released developer strategies. Tune in and don’t miss our special keynote from Scott Guthrie!
Wednesday, November 18 at 7:00 PM
LIVE at www.undergroundatpdc.com
Today, 11/17 (and tomorrow) will be very big days for announcements @ Microsoft PDC 2009.
Announcements are expected around various key cloud technologies (Windows Azure, SQL Azure, .NET Services, etc) along with some surprises that promise to be unexpected (even to most of us Microsoft employees).
You can watch today’s live Keynote at 8:30am PST (11:30am EST) here: http://microsoftpdc.com/, they will be using Silverlight and Smooth Streaming so it should be a wonderful experience.
Also during the day Channel9 folks will be holding live sessions with your chance to participate and ask questions over Twitter. The biggest names in Microsoft development will be there and the full schedule is online here:
The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) has been Microsoft’s premier gathering of leading-edge developers and architects. Attendees come from around the world to learn about the future of Microsoft’s platform, exchange ideas with Microsoft product and technology experts and network with fellow professionals.
This year, you’ll hear more details about our services platform, the future of Windows, the web, devices, and our next generation of developer tools. And as always, some of the most exciting announcements are closely guarded secrets until the event. Join us at PDC09 and be among the first to see the future of Microsoft technology!
Save the date: Conference | Nov 17–19
Where: Los Angeles Convention Center
Registration opens in early August.
Join the PDC09 mailing list here.
The Windows Azure platform, which includes a cloud services operating system – Windows Azure, a Web-based relational database in Microsoft SQL Azure (formerly SQL Services), as well as connectivity and interoperability services with .NET Services. Today, we announced a consumption-based pricing model, allowing partners and customers to pay only for the services that they consume. Here is a summary of that pricing:
- Compute @ $0.12 / hour
- Storage @ $0.15 / GB stored
- Storage Transactions @ $0.01 / 10K
- Web Edition – Up to 1GB relational database @ $9.99
- Business Edition – Up to 10GB relational database @ $99.99
- Messages @ $0.15/100K message operations, including Service Bus messages and Access Control tokens
Bandwidth across all three services will be charged at $0.10 in / $0.15 out / GB.
Additionally, the Windows Azure blog outlined an enterprise-class guarantee backed by a service-level agreement that covers service uptime, connectivity, and data availability:
“For compute, we guarantee that when you deploy two or more role instances in different fault and upgrade domains your Internet facing roles will have external connectivity at least 99.95% of the time. Additionally, we will monitor all of your individual role instances and detect within two minutes when a role instance’s process is not running and initiate corrective action. For storage, we guarantee that at least 99.9% of the time we will successfully process correctly formatted requests that we receive to add, update, read and delete data. We also guarantee that your storage accounts will have connectivity to our Internet gateway.”
Today, we also announced that Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and .NET Services will be commercially available at the Professional Developers Conference 2009, which goes on between November 17 and 19, 2009.
The nature of software development is radically changing… Are you ready?
Microsoft is bringing the PDC (Professional Developers Conference held in Los Angeles in this last October) to you! For just $99, you’ll get the best of the PDC in your own backyard and hear all of the exciting announcements around the Azure Services Platform and Windows 7. Attend the event in San Francisco on 2/19!
Sessions include the latest developments in .NET, Silverlight, Surface, Parallel Programming, Live Mesh, and more. You can find more about the sessions here.
Register today so you can stay current in an ever-competitive job market, enhance your engineering skills and gain access to the next generation of tools and technology. The cost to attend is just $99. And, did we mention that attendees will get some cool giveaways?
Don’t miss this premier developer event. Visit www.MSDNDevCon.com to learn more and register today!
If you did not have the opportunity to attend the PDC, then the MDC is the place for you!
I could not resist. A fellow colleague of mine, passed along a blog that referenced a post by someone that workeds on Google Gears, who had attended PDC and witnessed the Azure coming out party. Dion Almaer, writes in his blog, “I have had the pleasure to be at PDC this week and Microsoft put on a great show. As they showed their vision of unification around Windows (cloud, Web, PC, mobile) through great developer tools, there was excitement. Windows Azure looks great.”
He then goes on to discuss some of the competitive implications:
“…Microsoft is executing. This show set the stage “this is where we are going, and look how far we have come.” The Office on the Web demo showed that. Works in all browsers, with enhanced Silverlight support. Very nice indeed. What a wake up call to the rest of the Web? …
For those of us who worry about handing Microsoft control of the browser, plugins to other browsers, the cloud, the server model, and more…. I won’t lie to you. I am cautiously observing. Silverlight adoption worries me. We can’t fight Microsoft with “don’t choose them, remember what they did to you before?” Fear is lame. Instead, this is a wake up call to Adobe, Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, IBM, Sun, [insert other developer / platform players] to get kicking.
We can’t just be Open, we have to be better!”
That is absolutely correct. As cloud platforms build out and business starts to evaluate this utility to power and deliver their solutions, it will be evident that what will be important are practical considerations (not just if its open). Enterprises will be evaluating completeness in platform, reliability, scalability, compatibility with existing applications, vendor stability, vendor commitment to vision, and so on!
Enterprise customers will not put up with cloud outages like the recent Gmail outage several weeks ago that lasted 30 hours, and made some headlines.
Yes, Google – Its Game On!
Cloud computing is a disruptive force that has the potential to change everything, but how do we take advantage of it? At Microsoft, cloud computing is a major component of our technology strategy and platform, and you will hear more about Microsoft’s cloud platform at PDC. Join us for a discussion (after the PDC) on how Microsoft’s platform can be leveraged to create a new class of applications that are more connected, dynamic, and can extend existing IT investments towards cloud computing.
Facilitated by Microsoft, the premise of this group is to provide an open forum where architects can meet to discuss technologies with their peers. This forum will provide first-hand experience and best practices that will enable its members to learn from each other and transfer knowledge. Please join us for this great opportunity to learn, share and network with your peers and other company leaders.
Microsoft and Cloud Computing – Cloud computing represents the new wave of innovation that will significantly transform many aspects of computing as we know today. During this session, we will discuss Microsoft’s outlook and strategy in moving towards cloud computing; providing the next-generation cloud-based platform for building services in the cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Platform – Discussion on key components of the new Microsoft Cloud Services platform with an overview of .NET Services, SQL Server Data Services, and Foundational Services. A key component in cloud computing is the ability to compose multiple cloud-based services from different organizations into a logical unit to serve a specific purpose. However, connecting, orchestrating, and managing services in the cloud still require a level of sophistication similar to enterprise SOA implementations. We will take a look at an implementation of multiple-enterprise business applications utilizing Microsoft Cloud Services to facilitate cloud-based transactions that connect and span heterogeneous organizations.
Live Services Platform – Discussion on Microsoft’s Live Mesh platform, a platform designed combine the world of the web and the world of digital devices. You will learn about the underlying service architecture behind this mass-scale cloud service and client platform, including services such as: FeedSync-based synchronization, accounts and security, P2P communications, pub-sub infrastructure, and the Mesh Operating Environment (MOE).
11:45 AM Arrival
12:00 PM Lunch and announcements
01:00 PM Microsoft and Cloud Computing
02:30 PM Microsoft Cloud Services Platform
04:00 PM Live Services Platform
05:15 PM Raffle and close
Register for a date and location near you! To register, please click on the link below or call 1.877.MSEVENT (1.877.673.8368).
November 18, 2008 | Mountain View, CA
1065 La Avenida, Building 1
Mountain View, CA 94043
Registration Link: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/InviteOnly.aspx?EventID=5D-BC-15-14-81-B7-05-DA-F3-EE-3A-14-5E-8B-0D-10&Culture=en-US
Event ID: 1032393291
December 18, 2008 | San Francisco, CA
835 Market Street, Suite 700
San Francisco, CA 94103
Registration Link: http://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/InviteOnly.aspx?EventID=5D-BC-15-14-81-B7-05-DA-9F-C0-E7-E4-23-88-67-BE&Culture=en-US
Event ID: 1032393296
Back in December 2007, I wrote a post on Cloud Services that was prompted after I read an article in Business Week on another companies ambitions and “wisdom” in the clouds. Today, we are seeing more being written about Cloud computing and cloud platforms, and there is strong validation that the future of computing will include significant innovation and value in web/cloud platforms.
A leading industry analyst firm has listed Cloud Computing as one of the “Top 10 Disruptive Technologies for 2008 – 20012. The firm calls Cloud Computing “A style of computing in which massively scalable IT-enabled capabilities are provided as a service across the Internet to multiple external customers.”
Merrill Lynch recently issued a research note: “The Cloud Wars: $100+ billion at stake” (07 May 2008). It states that by 2011 the volume of cloud computing market opportunity could amount to $160bn, including $95bn in business and productivity applications (email, office, CRM, etc.) and $65bn in online advertising.
Forrester Research Report (March 7, 2008) – “Is Cloud Computing Ready for the Enterprise” concludes that “Cloud Computing is looking like a classic disruptive technology.” It highlights the huge popularity with emerging business, and how enterprises are starting to experiment with solutions that are service enabled in the cloud.
David Chappell recently wrote (see his blog to download) a short paper that does a pretty good job introducing us to Cloud Platforms. I agree with some of the conclusions Chappell makes; “The attractions of cloud-based computing, including scalability and lower costs, are very real. If you work in application development, whether for a software vendor or an end user, expect the cloud to play an increasing role in your future. The next generation of application platforms is here.” Mary-Jo Foley believes David’s paper provides us with some clues about what the we are planning to unveil at this October’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC).
PDC is your chance to dive deep into the heart of the Microsoft platform and get the latest information on all of our current and emerging technologies.
Ray Ozzie will be the featured Keynote speaker on the first full conference day, and there will be over 160 technical sessions. Get involved today with PDC08 by registering early to get your discount, and joining the PDC social media outlets: