Microsoft Azure; Get Started

We have already talked enough about cloud. If you haven’t gone through the introduction part and very naïve to cloud, I would suggest you reading it here. From now we will talk only with respect to Microsoft Azure. We will start getting ready to start the development.

 

Prerequisites

For you to be in cloud, below are the tools / requirements you have to meet.

·         Windows Vista and above.

·         Visual Studio 2008 or above.

·         Windows Azure tools for Visual Studio.

·         SQL 2008 R2.

·         App Fabric for Windows Azure.

·         Azure account (if you want to test on cloud and not on simulated environment).

 

Signing up Microsoft Azure account

For developers who want to develop and test their applications on cloud, there is an introductory offer from Microsoft which will offer base service at no cost. However, if you exceed the limit you will get charged on your card. Below are few things you have to keep in mind if you are not interested in punching your card or paying too much. This introductory offer is available till March 2011.

·         25 hours of computing.

·         500 MB of storage and 10,000 storage transactions.

·         1 GB of database.

·         500 MB in / out data transfers.

 

Few steps to avoid / reduce charges if you are using the account for testing.

·         Charges are acquired hourly for application and therefore even if you access for 1 second, you will accounted for 1 hour.

o    I would advice you to remove the application from the cloud storage as the time will start ticking as soon as you upload.

·         Always have a fixed size for the database and disable auto grow.

 

Services from Azure

·         Windows Azure

o    Compute (Services for computing application).

o    Storage (Services for storing files / data).

·         SQL Azure (The relational database over cloud).

·         App Fabric

o    Claims for cloud and hybrid application.

o    Messaging service and controlling.

 

Platform details

Please do remember about the platform you are working as listed below.

·         Windows Azure runs on Windows 2008 R2.

·         As said it runs on Windows 2008 R2, every application you write and work is 64 bit application.

·         Always remember you cannot specify any of your cloud URL as IP based and it has to be specified using the unique name you provide; the IP will be always dynamic.

 

What’s next

In our next part, we will discuss on the windows compute services.

Azure Tutorial; Be in cloud (Part 2) [Pre-requisites]