A deeply introduction of Windows Azure Platform – Part 1: Overview
Using cloud computing can make a lot of sense. Instead of buy and maintain your own machines, why we just don’t use the internet-accessible servers offered today? For some applications/solutions, both code and data might live in the cloud, where some other company manage and maintain the computers you are using. In other hand, you can just have applications that run inside an organization (called on-premises), where data are stored in the cloud or relay on other cloud infrastructure services.
Well, whether an application runs in the cloud, uses services provided by it, or both, same kind of application platform is required. Viewed broadly, an application platform can be thought of as anything that provides developer-accessible service for creating applications or storing data. At the world of on-premises Windows, this includes technologies such as Windows Server and SQL Server. To make use of all the cloud benefits, a cloud platform must also exist.
This is what Microsoft Windows Azure platform provides. It’s a group of cloud technologies, each providing a specific set of services to application developers. The following picture shows its components:
The Windows Azure platform supports applications, data, and infrastructure in the cloud, together with a cloud marketplace.
The Windows Azure platform today, has four parts:
• Windows Azure: A Windows environment for running applications and storing data on computers in Microsoft data centers.
• SQL Azure: Relational data services in the cloud based on SQL Server Data Services.
• Windows Azure AppFabric: Cloud-based infrastructure services for applications running in the cloud or on premises.
• Windows Azure Marketplace: An online service for purchasing cloud-based data and applications.
All four of these components run in Microsoft data centers located around the world (two in North America, two in Europe and two in Asia). Developers that makes use of the platform can control which data center runs their applications and stores their data, enabling them to place both closer to their users.
Each part of the Windows Azure platform has its own role to play. This overview series will describe each one of the four, first at a high level, then in a bit more detail. The deal here is to provide a deeply big-picture introduction to this cloud platform.
See you in next post of the series.