There are lots of buzz going on around Windows Azure and Cloud Computing that beginners have started to ask me whether it’s another version of Windows or Microsoft has invented Cloud Computing or not.
Cloud computing is here with Windows Azure! Well, that’s not true. Microsoft may have the largest community of developers, and Windows Azure is a major blow in cloud space. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are the inventor of it. The main concept of Cloud computing dates back to 60s. Even we have been using Cloud computing daily probably even noticing it.
Gmail, is a perfect example of cloud computing. It was launched in 2004 offering 1GB storage for free. To take email to the new level from its competitors that used to offer 2-4MB back then, they had to employ a very clever technology. And that is cloud. It currently offers over 7GB of free storage and hosted email solution for organizations. Offering 7GB does not mean it allocates full 7GB space for each email account, rather it scales its storage as required. That level of optimization was possible by the cloud.
So, we’re not talking about cloud that causes rain, rather it’s the cloud on the internet where mighty web-based applications live. You can consider cloud like a matrix of servers virtually connected to each other, waiting for your command to fulfill your request. It is also known as utility computing.
Now, let’s talk about Windows Azure which is Microsoft’s cloud offering. How many times have you seen Microsoft’s sites go down? I have seen only once or twice in my entire life. Their datacenters are extremely reliable. Who wouldn’t love to host her website in Microsoft’s datacenters? Windows Azure allows us to do just that. And yes, Microsoft is in hosting business!
• You can write your apps in scalable fashion
• Your apps get necessary infrastructure support that you can very easily configure anytime
• There’s no maintenance nightmares
• No worries about distributing database across the datacenters
• And Leaving all those hassles unto Windows Azure, you can focus on your application
What does it mean to a developer who doesn’t use Microsoft tools? Well, Windows Azure is for all. It is available to not only .NET developers, but also non-Microsoft languages and tools users like Python, PHP, Java, Eclipse, and so on. It also provides an interoperable environment with support for common internet standards such as HTTP, REST, RSS, SOAP and AtomPub to consume, integrate and expose services to the applications. I hope this gives you an introduction to cloud computing and Windows Azure. We will dig deeper into Windows Azure in future episodes.
Transcript of the video: http://CodeTV.net/19/what-is-windows-azure/