So day 2 started with a keynote that had “Windows Azure” written all over the stage, so that was promising (see overview of day 1).
By the way, if you’ll compare the stage to yesterday’s keynote you’ll see the stage is empty – that is because all the demos are in the cloud
Some of the stuff shown in the keynote:
- Mobile Services.
this feature was rolled out in August, but the demo was very good and managed to show the highlights of Mobile Services in a couple of minutes. Really great demo, I recommend you watch it.
- Web API and SignalR.
Most of these stuff are already known for a couple of months, but the release of SignalR in ASP.NET 4.5 is a bit new.
- Media Services.
A not so used feature of Windows Azure (at least by me), but sounds cool for people wanting to publish media through Windows Azure.
Team Foundation Services (not to be confused with the other TFS – Team Foundation Server) has been released. If you have a team of under 5 people the service is free, for bigger groups, it is currently free, but next year prices will be announced (free for MSDN subscribers).
- Hadoop and HDInsight.
There is a new SDK and HIVE is also queryable now with LINQ.
Some other announcements:
- Caching – The Windows Azure Caching is out of preview and is now GA (general availability)
- SDK 1.8 – The October SDK is out with some new stuff
- .NET 4.5 in Cloud Services – Last week it was announced that Web Sites support .NET 4.5, and now Cloud Services (Worker/Web roles) also support it.
After this very long but cool keynote I went on to pick my sessions. Had to skip the first set of sessions because they were mostly introduction-level. After lunch I went on to see Mark Russinovich’s session about IaaS in Windows Azure (Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks). I’m familiar with some of this stuff, but hearing Mark is always much fun, and you also get to see some of the inner tools that are used by the Windows Azure team.
My next session was the Advanced IaaS session. It was a lot more technical than the introductory session (duh). Using PowerShell and other Command-Line tools to control Virtual Machines in Azure.
Sorry for the lousy picture, I sat in the back. Also for the odd slide, I missed the photo-op of the summary slide.
My last session for the day was about building highly available solutions in Windows Azure (part II). The session was nice, showing some tips for properly using retry policies for SQL Databases and Windows Azure Caching. There was also some tips about diagnostics in Windows Azure Web apps, nice content.
Waiting for day 3 for more Windows Azure sessions, and for our Windows Azure Insiders Post-Conference.