Windows Azure - The Cloud Computing Platform; OS for the Cloud Era

At PDC08 keynote, Ray Ozzie, Chief Software Architect at Microsoft has just announced the CTP launch of Windows Azure - The Cloud Computing Platform. In his words, its the 'World of parallel computing and world of horizontal scale" and Azure is the answer to cloud computing needs for the service age. It's a hosted 'app-engine' style cloud services housed in the microsoft data centers, first in the US and then internationally. However, its offers WAY beyond what an "app-engine" can do.

Windows Azure, dubbed as "the operating system for the cloud" allows, Windows Azure manages the complexity of data center management and cloud hosting and allows you to focus on the app development. The key features/points as are follows.

  • Automated Service Management
  • Scalable Hosting
  • Manage Services, not just servers
  • Service Model and Code
  • High Availability
  • Rich Developer Experience (test it from ur local machine using Visual Studio)

Windows Azure Hello World app can be seen here.

Ray demonstrated adding new nodes to the cloud via the management console. In his words, "it's (adding nodes) is so easy, even a CEO can do it". It's going to be an open platform offer REST Command line interfaces and management instrumentation via Windows Azure Development Fabric. The Operating System for the Cloud leverages Oslo based modeling which "fundamentally modifies the way we code today". A strong statement, let's see how it unfolds over time.

I am blogging this at a time when there are only 256 entries if you Google "Windows Azure" which is going to change very very fast. I'll keep posting as we at PDC gets early access to Azure CTP and get to host and play with this exciting new platform.

Azure Service Platform

Windows Azure

Photos of the presentation are here.