IN THIS CHAPTER:
Up to this point we have been talking about strategy — the direction you head long term. Now we are going to support this long-term strategy with the concrete cloud technology platform that should help you to determine the right tools and services available for your selection from the myriad of cloud vendors and service providers. Of course, we are not starting out this journey, we are well into it, and so in this chapter and in the remainder of the book, we are going to focus on the Microsoft Windows Azure platform, which is one of the core components of the broader Microsoft vision for the new era — the Cloud OS. We will also talk about how it can help you understand what core work must be done in order to build sound, reliable, and high-performing hybrid cloud architectures.
To understand what Windows Azure offers, it's useful to group its services into distinct categories. Figure 4-1 shows one way to do this.
This chapter walks through the technologies shown in the figure, describing what each offers and how you might use it when building hybrid cloud architectures.
We'll begin by taking a step back and looking at existing applications today. Fundamentally, we need to talk about the differences between traditional ...