Welcome to my new website about Windows Azure.
This website continues my previous website, Cloudy Thoughts. This time the title, url and technology, used to host the site on, are more suitable to the topic of the site, Windows Azure. Windows Azure is Microsoft’s Cloud Computing platform. Microsoft has over a decade of experience running large scale datacenters for hosting services like Hotmail, Live, etc. Over the last 4 years, Windows Azure has grown to a very all round Cloud Computing platform that supports IaaS as well as PaaS solutions. Additionally, Windows Azure offers a wide array of services that help us achieve Cloud solutions that best fit our business.
Microsoft now offers the ability to set up virtual machines based on a number of provided images (Windows as well as Linux) as well as our own images. This makes migrating existing systems to the Cloud extremely easy and it allows for a more phased migration path moving from IaaS to PaaS. This also enables us to run mixed workloads (SharePoint, SQL Server, MySQL, Postgres, etc…) on mixed platforms (Windows or Linux) in a single Cloud environment.
As Microsoft is realizing that companies will never move to the Cloud entirely, they provide the tools to build high-end hybrid solutions. One of the new features announced this month is Virtual Networks. With Virtual Networks we can connect Cloud Services (PaaS) with Virtual Machines (IaaS) in a VPN. We can also easily connect these VPNs with our on-premises network by downloading a configuration script for your hardware VPN device.
Now, because migrating existing web applications to Windows Azure still required us to implement some minor changes to these web applications in the past, Microsoft came up with the ultimate PaaS solution, Windows Azure Websites. With Windows Azure Websites you can set up a hosting environment in seconds and deploy directly from TFS or Git. It’s possible to just deploy over FTP as well. Besides deploying your own web application, Windows Azure Websites comes with an extensive gallery from you can choose some of the most popular CMS systems (Joomla, Drupal, WordPress, Umbraco, OrchardCMS, etc…). You will have your blog up in no time just like I did with this blog.