Birth of a brand-new architect paradigm shift: cloud computing

Being an architect in 2009 is a privilege because we are witnessing the birth of a fundamental new computing platform and an event like that is fairly rare since it is only the fifth time or so since the mainframe period back in the 1950’s (other platform shifts are mid-range computers, PC’s, Client/Server networks, mobile platform, internet applications). Cloud computing looks indeed like the biggest change to hit our industry in many years. The advent of cheap, scalable computing power available over the Internet will affect almost everybody who works in IT. Taking advantage of this shift requires understanding this new approach and how to exploit it in the best way for the situation of your enterprise and this will be a strategic task for most architects in 2009. The incarnation that Microsoft is giving to this platform is the Azure Services Platform which is a comprehensive term that encompasses the Windows Azure computing platform, the Azure .NET Services, SQL Services and Live Services.

A comment that I often get (and that I fully agree with) is that  Azure is a great platform but that there are a lot of moving parts, a lot of complexity as you'd expect, but that once you start to get you head around Azure it also makes a lot of sense. And when it further starts to marinate into your brain you start to see the new possibilities that are coming your way at the ICT horizon.  The following links are a fine selection to help you getting more insight in the platform and what it can bring you:

More info for starters about Azure:

Some useful blogs to subscribe to:

Team blogs:

  • Windows Azure – Windows Azure team official blog.  Yes, nothing there now, but more will come, so subscribe. J
  • Cloud Compute Tools Team – The team that built the Visual Studio integration for Windows Azure.  Points to lots of good resources by individual team members.

Microsoft bloggers :

External blogs:

  • AzureFeeds – Aggregation of a bunch of feeds (including most of the above)
  • David Burela – Playing with Silverlight and WCF in Windows Azure services
  • Mike Amundsen – Currently doing some work against Windows Azure tables

Useful general Microsoft architecture links:

The future looks so Azure, don’t miss it!