WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?
Understanding Windows Azure
Building, testing, and deploying applications using Windows Azure
Storing data in Windows Azure tables, blobs, and queues
Using SQL Azure from your application
Understanding the AppFabric
Over the past couple of years, the adoption of cloud computing has really taken off with Google, Amazon, and a host of other providers entering the market. Microsoft's approach mirrors their own approach to desktop, mobile, and server computing, in so far as they are offering a development platform on top of which both ISVs and Microsoft itself can build great software. Without going into a formal definition of Cloud Computing, it is important to recognize that you might choose to run your application in the cloud for a number of reasons. These include the need for high availability, the ability to scale to meet the demand for your application, and of course, cost reduction.
This chapter is broken into three sections that cover the Windows Azure Platform, SQL Azure, and the AppFabric. The Windows Azure Platform hosts your web application, allowing you to dynamically vary the number of concurrent instances running. It also provides storage services in the form of tables, blobs, and queues. SQL Azure provides a true database service hosted in the cloud. Finally, you can use the AppFabric to authenticate users, control access to your application and services, and simplify the process of exposing services from within your organization. ...