2012
06.07

I am live blogging so refresh for updates.  I’m not interested in the coder stuff so I’m only recording what’s of interest to me as an IT Pro.

VMs

He creates a persistent Windows VM where you can install anything you want that runs on Windows.  Then he creates a Ubuntu VM from a Mac, choosing the distro from a library.  The web console looks quite attractive and simple.

He can RDP into the Windows VM and SSH into the Linux VM.  You can mix PaaS and IaaS on Azure to create a service.

You can integrate with existing systems in your own data centre or another service provider via the new VPN capability.  When you create a network … you specify your own address space and it doesn’t clash with other tenants’ address spaces.  THIS IS NETWORK VIRTUALISATION from WS2012.  Creating the VPN looks easy … specify your local VPN and it’ll produce a script for you to run o your local endpoint.  Nice!  Give the person who thought of that a nice bonus.

VM Portability: VMs are using VHD.  You can upload a VM from your data centre to Azure without export/import.  You can also download a VHD to local without export/import.  This means you don’t have lock-in.  You can move to local private cloud or to other service providers.  Big plus over PaaS.

The VM persistent storage is triple replicated.  There are always two backup copies that can auto startup/connect if you get a bad disk.  Replication to another data centre (e.g. Dublin to Amsterdam) is available for geo fault tolerance.

Websites Hosting 

You can build and deploy websites using things like FTP or TFS.  It’s a shared multi tenant environment that can scale out to dedicated instances.  A web site is quickly created.  A web site connections profile is saved, allowing easy connection of Visual Studio.  Publish the project and a new website is uploaded, using the same type of persistent Azure storage as VMs.  A republish just uploads the changed files.  There is real near time metrics of the site via monitoring.  You can customise this monitoring.  That was .NET.  Then he switches over to a Mac with a different run time platform, NodeJS or something.

Without writing code, he creates a site from templates: WordPress, etc are in there.  MySQL is supported on the backend.  Free MySQL instance with every Azure instance.  The template does all the setup/deployment work for you – you just have the final wizard to configure/secure it.

If the blog scales?  By default it’s in a multitenant instance.  You can fire up more processes in this instance.  You can also scale out to get reserved instances – basically dedicated VMs under the Azure hood.  Azure does all the load balancing stuff for you.  Nice way to transition from ultra basic to BIG.

I’ve just checked out the Web hosting plan.  Yes, you get 10 free web sites.  But that does not cover SQL Server space or network bandwidth – additional cost.  When I plugged in some numbers, my current 10 site hosting plan by a local company with excellent support is 1/3 cheaper.  I guess Azure will be good if you’re planning on scaling out your website.

And it went all dev after that.  That’s all folks.

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