Chapter 3. Analyzing the Windows Azure Operating System

Windows Azure is a "cloud layer" operating system that runs on thousands of Windows Server 2008 physical instances in Microsoft data centers. It's not required that you know how the Azure operating system (OS) works to develop and deploy applications or services to the Windows Azure Platform. However, a basic understanding of Windows Azure's architecture can aid you in designing complex applications that take advantage of OS features to achieve maximum performance, scalability, and security.

A Quick Tour of the Windows Azure OS

The data center's physical servers run an advanced, custom version of Microsoft's Hyper-V hypervisor technology that virtualizes the physical instances to deliver a clustered runtime fabric, called the Azure Fabric Controller (FC), which handles application/service deployment, load balancing, OS/data replication, and resource management. The FC deploys projects, adds instances automatically to meet demand, manages project software upgrades, and handles server failures to maintain project availability.


Early Azure CTPs don't implement dynamic service instance management in response to changes in demand. You specify the number of instances in the ServiceConfiguration.cscfg file and then redeploy the modified file to the project in the Azure Service Portal.

The host virtual machine (host VM) controls access to the hardware of the physical server and supports multiple guest VMs in a multitenanted environment. ...

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