Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali!

Today is the day when everybody burst crackers and Microsoft Azure is buzzing like any cracker in the IT industry. Let's explore what it is and how it can help you and your organization.

Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables developers to quickly build, deploy, and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters.

In simple words, Azure provides you Infrastructure as well as basic software like Operating System (Windows, Linux etc.), Visual Studio, SQL in cloud. For Azure, you pay as per your usage and can avoid huge capital cost that you traditionally invest in building the infrastructure.

MicrosoftAzure-Sujata Computers Pvt Ltd

What applications one can build on Azure?
You can develop, test and deploy all kinds of application that you traditionally do in your own on-premise (traditional) infrastructure. You can buy cloud infrastructure as per your applications' requirement and pay-as-you-use for the infrastructure that Microsoft provides in Azure.

What are the example of scenarios in which Azure can be used?
There are many but below are the ones that I have come across frequently -
1.You need scalability in your infrastructure so that if the load increases, you do not have to run to buy and install extra hard-disk or storage, RAM, bandwidth etc. Azure will automatically scale itself up or down depending on the demand of the application.

2.You are going to host the application in cloud. In Azure, you can straight-away start hosting the application as soon as you build it.

3.You are an software outsourcing service provider and your client sits in other country. Azure gives you the flexibility in terms of your client can see the progress of the application development and can make corrections if things are not going as per your client's requirement. Secondly, your client does not have to pay for the whole infrastructure that you might have built traditionally for the development of application. Client will pay only as per the usage of the Azure.

How does the development happens on Azure? Do you need any additional skills to develop an application?
Not really, you should know .Net programming languages to develop Azure application. You can also download latest Azure SDK and use it along with Visual Studio which is available in Azure itself. Because the Azure environment is much like the standard Windows environment, it's easier to create a cloud version of an existing Windows application.

Topics that we will cover in this blog are -

1.How to try Azure?

Step 1: To start the trial of Azure, you will require Live ID which can be signed up here, if you don't already have one. It is the same ID that you use for accessing VLSC portal on which your organization's Microsoft license details.

Step 2: You can sign up for free trial here: Note - You will need valid credit card details with you to activate the trial. Contact Sujata Computers Pvt Ltd, if you do not have credit card but want to see and try Azure. As you can buy Azure through Volume License as well.


Free Azure account to using the free developer tools, and covers each of the six major offerings from Azure:
Virtual machines
Website development
Mobile Services for authenticating users and storing data
The Cloud Services API development and deployment tools
Data Services, which incorporates SQL, Table, and Blob storage
App services like Service Bus for messaging.

2.Creating Virtual Machine on Azure

Creating Virtual Machine (VM) on Azure for Windows and Linux is almost same and easy as soon as you get an access to Azure.
Provide the public facing DNS name for the Virtual Machine, select from Azure platform supplied list of VM images, enter a user name, password, and the region.

For detailed guide on how to create VM for Windows on Azure click here.

For detailed guide on how to create VM for Linux on Azure click here.

3. Creating and deploying Azure website

Select the New->Websites option within the Preview portal:
Provide the name of the Website you want to create, choose where in the world you want to run it, and then click the “Create Website” button and it will be ready to use in seconds.

4.Mobile Apps on Azure

Please watch below video (approx. 7 minutes) to understand how simply existing windows application can be transformed into Mobile app.  You can also read this blog here.

5.Pricing and parameters to be considered while buying Azure

Taking advantage of resources in the cloud allows you to decrease your costs for building and expanding your on-premises infrastructure. You can also reduce the cost of IT administration because the hardware and its security as well as maintenance is being taken care of for you, off-premises. The cost of creating, testing, debugging, and distributing Web-based applications goes down because you have to pay only for the computer processing time and storage space you need at a given time.
Windows Azure pricing will be based on consumption, with a per-hour fee that's dependent on the size of the instance for Azure computing services and per-month or per-transaction fees for Azure storage services based on data size.

You can purchase Azure through three options -
Pay-as-you-go online

Volume license through Sujata Computers Pvt Ltd - for this, you will not mandatorily need credit card.
Enterprise Agreement (EA), if your organization have one.

Here's the calculator for pricing of Azure in INR (Indian Rupees) -

Having in mind the above mentioned key points in moving application to Windows Azure, I highly encourage you to play around and test. I will post another blog post if something rather important comes out from the deep ocean of Azure knowledge I have. But for the moment, these are the most important check-points for your app.

If you have questions – you are more than welcome to comment!

For More Details, Please Read:

  1. All the videos, documents for beginners are available here - www.windowsazure4beginner.com
  2. Development & Deployment Azure Guide -http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/ee336122.aspx
  3. step-by-step migrating VMware to Windows Azure -http://blogs.technet.com/b/canitpro/archive/2014/07/15/step-by-step-migrating-from-vmware-to-windows-azure.aspx
  4. Guide to create Virtual Machine with Linux on Azure -http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/articles/virtual-machines-linux-tutorial/
  5. Expert's blog on Azure and Mobile services - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brunoterkaly/archive/2014/04/13/how-to-create-universal-applications-with-azure-mobile-services-that-leverage-push-notifications-and-database-insertion-and-data-retrieval.aspx

What I describe here is absolutely my sole opinion, based on my experience. You are free to follow these instructions at your own risk. I describe key points in migrating an application to the Windows Azure Platform-as-a-Service offering – the regular Cloud Services with Web and/or Worker Roles.
Once again, have a Happy & Safe Diwali!

Warm regards,
Paresh Lodha