Windows Azure is Microsoft's Cloud Computing offering that serves as the development, service host, and service management environment for the Windows Azure Platform. The Platform is comprised of three pieces: Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and AppFabric.
- Windows Azure: Cloud-based Operating System which provides a virtualized hosting environment, computing resources, and storage.
- SQL Azure: Cloud-based relational database management system that includes reporting and analytics.
- AppFabric: Service bus and access control for connecting distributed applications, including both on-premise and cloud applications
Last week, I wrote about the successful launch of first cloud application http://ganesansenthilvel.cloudapp.net/ in Windows Azure. Now, letz shift our gear towards azure storage. Storage Services provides 3 main services:
- Blob: Best for blobs like binary files and text files, so think picture storage, rich media storage, documents, etc.
- Queue: Reliable and persistent messaging between services, so think about this in terms of having a worker role (business tier) communicate with a web role (presentation tier).
- Table: Structured storage, so think more along the lines of storing entities
Read an interesting article, which compares two cloud storage offerings (google vs microsoft) from price, speed, usability, service level agreement and to developer support