Azure Miniseries #4: Monitoring Applications

In this screencast, we'll take a look at monitoring Azure applications by capturing event logs and performance counters. We'll also look at using PowerShell to deploy and configure applications using the management API. Finally, we'll take a sneak peek at Azure Diagnostics Manager, a tool from Cerebrata that allows you explore event logs and look at performance counters visually. Here are some links from the screencast: Windows Azure Cmdlets Cerebrata (Cloud Storage Studio and Azure D... [More]

Azure Miniseries #3: ServiceConfig vs web.config

One of the challenges developers will face when developing Windows Azure web applications is: where do I put my settings?  In the ServiceConfiguration file or the web.config? There isn’t one correct answer.  The challenge of keeping everything in the web.config is that it makes changes and deployment much more difficult.  Because the web.config is part of the deployment, any change to the file also requires a redeployment.  If you use a build system that targets your dev/stage/QA/prod e... [More]

Azure Deployment Follow-up

In my recent screencast on Azure deployment, I focused mainly on deploying manually through the Azure web interface.   You can also use the management API to deploy/configure/reconfigure your applications programmatically from your custom code or via powershell scripts. The one thing you cannot do via the web interface that you can do programmatically is change the WAD (Windows Azure Diagnostics) performance counter and logging information.  This is really useful because many times, you prof... [More]

Azure Miniseries #2: Deployment

In my first Azure Miniseries post, I showed setting up a new cloud service project and migrating an existing ASP.NET application into Azure.   Before I dive into other topics, I figured I’d jump to the end and discuss deployment – getting your Azure application into the cloud.   Link to original post with download links.

SQL Azure Logins

SQL Azure currently has fairly limited management capabilities.  When you create a database, you receive an administrator account that is tied to your login (you can change the SQL Azure password, though).  Because there is no GUI for user management, there’s a temptation to use this account in all your applications, but I highly recommend you create users for your application that have limited access.  If you limit access to only stored procedures, you need to specify execute permissions.&... [More]

WCF in an Azure WorkerRole

The other day, a colleague got in touch with me looking for help in getting a WCF service working in an Azure WorkerRole.   It would work locally, but not deployed in the cloud.   This is a common problem I’ve run into – for example, calling Open() on a ServiceHost will work locally, but no in the cloud due to permissions. I wasn’t much help in getting John’s situation resolved, but he pinged me about it a couple days later with the solution.  The first is to make sure your service... [More]

Azure Miniseries #1: Migration

I’m starting to put together some short form screencasts on Windows Azure related topics.  I’ll use my blog to dive into specifics or display code samples/downloads where appropriate – but first up is a quick look at getting a project setup and migrating existing applications into an Azure webrole.

MSDN Events and Roadshows Coming Soon…

Top line:  March 3rd, we’ll be in Raleigh, and March 5th, we’ll be in Charlotte for our next MSDN Event and Southern Fried Roadshow.  This time it’s a full day of Azure – if you have an interest in cloud computing, be sure to come out!  See you then! MSDN Events presents:  Take Your Applications Sky High with Cloud Computing and the Windows Azure Platform Join your local MSDN Events team as we take a deep dive into cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform. We’ll start with a ... [More]

Azure SLA Confusion

Azure SLA is something that gets discussed quite a bit but there’s something that I see causing a bit of confusion.  The SLA for Azure compute instances states: For compute, we guarantee that when you deploy two or more role instances in different fault and upgrade domains, your internet facing roles will have external connectivity at least 99.95% of the time. Some folks (for example, this post) incorrectly conclude that you need to deploy your solution across 2 or more datacenters to get this SL... [More]

Thoughts on Windows Azure Pricing…

There are a LOT of posts out there talking about Azure pricing.  There’s the Azure TCO Calculator, and some good practices scattered out there that demystify things.  Some of these bear repeating here, but I also wanted to take you through my math on expenses – how you design your app can have serious consequences on your pricing.  So let’s get the basic pricing out of the way first (just for the Azure platform, not AppFabric or SQL Azure): Compute = $0.12 / hour Storage = $0.15 / GB ... [More]

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