PDC 2010, Day 1: Keynotes: Windows Azure

October 28, 2010

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Windows Azure and PaaS


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President of Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, Bob Muglia, comes to the stage.
He starts by reviewing the different types of cloud computing:



  • Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

Then he dives in to the the advantages of PaaS vs. todays platforms:



  1. In today’s platform you must deal with server, VM, network, storage and your application. Whereas in PaaS you only think of the application (no infrastructure).

  2. In today’s platform you must take care of your servers, apply patches, service releases, new upgrades and their possible consequence on your application. Whereas in PaaS this is all done for you and Microsoft will stay compatible when upgrading their service infrastructure.

  3. In today’s platform you need to write lot’s of code for compose your helper services yourself to make them work. Whereas in PaaS, you got a list of existing services provided by Microsoft that you can use.

  4. In today’s platform every problem has solutions that are different in many ways: network topology, operating system, storage, etc.. Whereas in PaaS the solution is always standardized, at lease from these perspectives.

  5. In today’s platform you need to plan your solution for peak load. Whereas in PaaS you can scale on-demand.

  6. In today’s platform you build the application to avoid & recover from failure. Whereas in PaaS you build your application to expect and withheld failure.

Windows Azure is the operating system for PaaS.It manages the underling hardware and provides services.


Some More Windows Azure News


All the services that are now available in the cloud will be made available to the private cloud.


Microsoft is making their cloud open to anyone. That means that java is a first class citizen on Windows Azure. You can also build Windows Azure applications using eclipse. Support for dynamic languages like PHP and Ruby exists.


Now there is a showcase by Chris Ford from Pixar Animation Studios that shows how they use Microsoft’s cloud and integrate it into their main, award-winning, rendering engine.


The reason you need cloud computing for the render process in the first place is that rendering takes lot’s of CPU processing. For example, if the movie Toy Story 3 was rendered on a single CPU, it would take approximately 277 years to finish the rendering.


Pixar chose Windows Azure for its cloud solution for the following reasons:



  • Scalability – They need lot’s of computers for doing this type of cloud.

  • Sustainability – They need the solution to be available two years later.. not every company can do such promises.

  • It works – Microsoft cloud simply works.

More Applications to the Cloud


Bob Announce:



  1. Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role – Allows to easily move a Windows Server 2008 R2 image into the cloud.

  2. Server Application Virtualization – Wraps the application and deploy to azure

New features in the coming version of Windows Azure



  • Extra small instance

  • Remote Desktop

  • Full IIS support

  • Virtual Network

  • Multiple administrators

Now came Mark Russinovitch to present a demo that uses some of these applications. Mark shows how to use the new Windows Azure management console and how to customize installation of a role to the machine.


New TFS


Bob Muglia announce that next year Microsoft will provide TFS as a service.
The demo is presented by Brian Harry which showed us that basically, after you configure your account over the web, the user gets the same UX like with the regular TFS and it also includes support for continues integration over the cloud, etc.


New and Updated Services


The following services are either new or updated:


Windows Azure AppFabric:



  • Access Control Service

  • Caching

  • Service Bus

SQL Azure



  • Reporting

  • DataCenter

We saw a demo by Don Box and Jonathan Carter that uses some of these new services.


Also announcing: Windows Azure MarketPlace which includes DataCenter, and a Composition Service that supports WF.


That’s it for now,
Arik Poznanski.


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