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Microsoft Virtualization Secrets by John Savill

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Using Platform as a Service with Windows Azure

In Chapter 1, I talked about the main types of cloud service, with Platform as a Service (PaaS) falling between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions, which require organizations to manage the operating system and other functions such as networking, and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, which require basically no maintenance effort from organizations other than configuring which users can use a service and which capabilities should be available. A PaaS solution takes care of everything—from the development and runtime environment, database, security, and availability through the storage, virtualization, and operating systems, down to the very infrastructure fabric such as network, storage, and computer. The only component an organization needs to focus on with a PaaS solution is the application itself; everything else related to maintenance, scalability, and availability is handled by the service. This frees developers to focus on making the best application to meet the requirements as long as they adhere to certain rules required by the PaaS.

The Microsoft PaaS solution is Windows Azure, which, despite being a Microsoft product, actually provides support for both Microsoft and third-party development environments and languages. These include .NET with Microsoft Visual Studio, Ruby, Python, Java, and PHP. Windows Azure is built with a number of components that make the environment both feature-rich and flexible, enabling ...

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