Windows Azure

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Windows Azure
Part of the Windows family
Windows Azure logo.png
Windows Azure
Developer
Microsoft
WebsiteOfficial website
Releases
Initial release1 February 2010; 2 years ago (2010-02-01)[1][citation needed]
Source modelClosed source for platform, Open source for client SDKs
 
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Windows Azure
Part of the Windows family
Windows Azure logo.png
Windows Azure
Developer
Microsoft
WebsiteOfficial website
Releases
Initial release1 February 2010; 2 years ago (2010-02-01)[1][citation needed]
Source modelClosed source for platform, Open source for client SDKs

Windows Azure is a Microsoft cloud computing platform used to build, deploy and manage applications through a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. Windows Azure allows for applications to be built using many different languages, tools or frameworks and makes it possible for developers to integrate their public cloud applications in their existing IT environment. Windows Azure provides both Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services and is classified as the “Public Cloud” in Microsoft's cloud computing strategy, along with its Software as a Service (SaaS) offering, Microsoft Online Services.

Contents

Overview

Windows Azure is Microsoft's application platform for the public cloud. Windows Azure can be used to build a web application that runs and stores its data in Microsoft datacenters. It can connect on-premises applications with each other or to map between different sets of identity information.

In June of 2012 Windows Azure released the following new features:

The Windows Azure Platform provides an API built on REST, HTTP, and XML that allows a developer to interact with the services provided by Windows Azure. Microsoft also provides a client-side managed class library which encapsulates the functions of interacting with the services. It also integrates with Microsoft Visual Studio, GIT and Eclipse so that it can be used as the IDE to develop and publish Azure-hosted applications.

Windows Azure became commercially available on 1 Feb 2010.[citation needed]

Services

Implementation

Windows Azure uses a specialized operating system, called Windows Azure, to run its "fabric layer" — a cluster hosted at Microsoft's datacenters that manages computing and storage resources of the computers and provisions the resources (or a subset of them) to applications running on top of Windows Azure. Windows Azure has been described as a "cloud layer" on top of a number of Windows Server systems, which use Windows Server 2008 and a customized version of Hyper-V, known as the Windows Azure Hypervisor to provide virtualization of services. Scaling and reliability are controlled by the Windows Azure Fabric Controller so the services and environment do not crash if one of the servers crashes within the Microsoft datacenter and provides the management of the user's web application like memory resources and load balancing. Access to Windows Azure libraries for .NET, Java, Python and Node.js is now available under Apache 2 open source license and hosted on GitHub. A new Windows Azure SDK for Node.js makes Windows Azure a first-class environment for Node applications, and a limited preview of an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure enables Hadoop apps to be deployed in hours instead of days.

History

October 2008 (PDC LA)

March 2009

November 2009

February 2010

June 2010

October 2010 (PDC)

Dec 2011


June 2012

Datacenters

Some datacenters have servers grouped inside containers - each containing 1800-2500 servers. [4] [5]

The location of the data centers [6][7] are:

The CDN nodes are located in 24 countries.[8][9][10]

Success Stories

As of July 2010, Microsoft had completed 6,000 installations of Azure in Ireland.[11] Executives at Microsoft hoped that this figure would rise to 100,000 installations by 2011.[11] Examples of companies using Azure in Ireland are Aer Lingus and HR Locker. “Aer Lingus is using Azure to create an interactive web application that integrates route maps with their reservation and booking process”.[12] HR Locker, a Web 2.0 provider of HR solutions to small- to medium-size companies, was built on the Azure platform. HR Locker chose to use Azure in order to improve scalability, backup, security and the various other issues associated with hosting.[13]

The $500 million facility[14] is one of the largest construction projects in Ireland over last 12 months and has generated approximately 1 million man-hours of work with a peak workforce of around 2,100 workers. The data center will also provide approximately 35-50 jobs in the Dublin area. The facility, which began operating on July 1, 2009, currently covers 303,000 square feet (2.815 hectares), with 5.4 mega watts of critical power available to deliver services to consumers and business customers. Over time, the data center can expand to a total of 22.2 mega watts of critical power to support future growth.

Privacy

Microsoft has stated that, per the USA Patriot Act, the US government can have access to the data even if the hosted company is not American and the data resides outside the USA,[15] however Windows Azure is compliant with the E.U. Data Protection Directive (95/46/EC). To manage Privacy and Security related concerns Microsoft has created a Windows Azure Trust Center[16] and Windows Azure has several of its services compliant with several compliance programs including ISO 27001 and HIPAA. A full and current listing can be found on the Windows Azure Trust Center Compliance page[17].

Competitors

Outages

There was an outage on 2012-02-29 because of bad code when handling dates.[18]

References

Windows Azure Cloud Computing Platform: Technology Partner selection Guide

External links