Azure videos worth watching

Last week at MIX09, several new announcements were made for Windows Azure. First, Full Trust support was announced, which opens up native code running in Windows Azure. Along with this capability came the announcement of FastCGI support. This allows any FastCGI application (like PHP) to run in Windows Azure. Finally, we announced plans for multiple datacenters and geo-location support in April. This will allow the customer to choose a particular region to co-locate their compute and storage closer to their customer base. 

During MIX, we also announced the timeframe for commercial availability as well as SLA and pricing. For SLA & Pricing model, we shared Summer 2009. For commercial availability, we have announced Fall 2009.   

MIX Video Session Content

 Seeing through the Clouds: Introduction to Azure Service Platform

While not specifically about just Windows Azure, James Conard covers cloud services from a high level and how the Azure Services Platform fits into this picture. This talk is recommended for customers new to cloud computing concepts and wishing to get a feel for the breadth of the entire Azure Platform.

 Overview of Windows Azure

Manuvir Das covers the goals and value of the Windows Azure service in this introductory video. Additionally, this video gives a great overview of the pieces that comprise the service as well as the general architecture of applications running in the cloud. For customers looking at Windows Azure for the first time, this is an excellent introduction.

 Building Web Applications with Windows Azure

Steve Marx delivered a developer focused session at MIX09, covering the programming model as well as demoing a PHP application running in Windows Azure live. See the live application called Tweval. This sample was used during this session (as well as other sessions) as a way for users to rate the session using Twitter. Steve covers the architecture of this sample at roughly the 61 min mark in the video.

 Windows Azure Storage

Everything you could want to know about storage in Windows Azure is covered in this comprehensive session by Brad Calder. Topics covered include the design goals, security model, programming model, as well as the blob, queues, and tables APIs. Be sure to check out the table performance tips around the 40 min mark.

 Using the Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio

In this very practical session, Jim Nakashima covers the tooling story for Windows Azure inside Visual Studio and walks through how to create cloud applications. In very short order, Jim covers the tooling, debugging, development fabric, and how to use the new native code features.

 Windows Azure SDK Update

In order to support the new features, an updated SDK and Tools for Visual Studio were released at MIX. New samples in the SDK include both PHP and native code solutions. Download here:

 Windows Azure SDK and Tools Visual Studio (combined installer)

Windows Azure SDK only

Please note: the Window Azure Tools for Visual Studio has been updated since the initial MIX release. Make sure you have the latest version dated 3/301.

New and Interesting Windows Azure Applications

 Azure Application Monitor

Azure Monitor lets you monitor your Azure-hosted applications in real-time. It includes a library for capturing runtime process information to cloud table storage; and also a desktop application for viewing the captured information in real-time.

 WPF Client for the Windows Azure Blob Storage

Azure Blob Client is a WPF application written in Visual Basic 2008 which allows developers to easily manage files on their Blob Storage service on Windows Azure, for both the local Developer Account and your own account on the Internet.

 If you know of new and interesting Windows Azure content that would be of broad interest, please let me know and I will feature it in later updates.

 Relevant Blog Postings

 PHP + ASP.NET in Windows Azure

Quickly Put PHP on Windows Azure without Visual Studio

Using 3rd Party Programming Languages via FastCGI

Walkthrough: Enabling Full Trust to Call Native Code on Windows Azure

Hosting Roles under .NET Full Trust