Azure Experience

by November 14, 2011 07:47 PM

This post is in response to a request to know the details of my experience with Windows Azure.

Production Experience

As of today (11/14/2011), I have no experience developing production applications for a company or customer.

Functional Experience

Being the code dork that I am though, I have played...

  • Windows Azure - I've deployed a couple of live sites to azure just to make sure I understood what it meant to code to, deploy to, and live in Windows Azure.
    • My personal site (http://www.robtennyson.us) - at one point I had written a micro CMS that I thought I might use going forward as my personal website. To manage the images linked from my posts, I took advantage of blob storage. All other content I stored in table storage. I've since switched back to BlogEngine.NET. Shared hosting for such a small site is cheaper and I found that backing up my site to be much more straight forward.
    • My business site (http://www.irohservices.com) - when I first started my business I thought I'd be cool and host my online presence in Azure. I started by creating something similar to what I had done previously for my personal site (Azure hosting, blob, and table storage). It didn't take long for me to decide that I wasn't going to put in the time to create a rich experience so I switched to WordPress and hosted it alongside my personal site. In addition to the time constraint, I switched for similar benefits as on my personal site (cost and backing up). Creating my custom theme and playing with PHP has been fun as well.
  • Windows Azure AppFabric - During my time with Microsoft, I created a caching proof of concept taking advantage of Windows Azure AppFabric (not Windows Server AppFabric - though I understand it to be almost identical from the developer's perspective). This turned out to be crazy easy to do. I haven't yet played with the other benefits AppFabric affords (ACS and Service Bus).

Summary

  • Windows Azure Compute
    • Web Role - two public sites 
    • Worker Role - played with - never needed in production
    • VM Role - no experience
  • Windows Azure Storage
    • Table - two public sites
    • Queue - no experience
    • Blob - two public sites
  • SQL Azure
    • SQL Azure Data Sync - no experience
    • SQL Azure Reporting - no experience
  • Content Delivery Network - no experience
  • Azure AppFabric
    • Access Control - no experience
    • Caching - proof of concept
    • Service Bus - no experience
  • Windows Azure Fabric Controller - no experience
  • Azure Market Place - no experience
  • Azure Virtual Network
    • Azure Connect - no experience
    • Azure Traffic Manager - no experience

So there you have it. The most interesting thing about my experience with Azure has been blob and table storage. If I had just gone with SQL Azure, I don't think much at all would have been different from the perspective of the developer. Once the connection string is set, data access is still just data access in code.

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