In our previous articles we have seen on What Microsoft Windows Azure is all about and also we have seen some of the core components of the building block of the Azure platform. Here in this chapter we will see how Azure platform is scaled and on the services which are mainly used to build the Azure application. Let us start with seeing a small block of service which is incorporated to play a major role in the Azure Application development. [more]
Figure 1 – Windows Azure Framework
The above platform architecture has 2 major layers, the base layer is the Windows Azure which takes care of the complete cloud management for the application and top layer which holds the list of services are completely connected over the Azure layer with the fact that each of the services will be running on their own virtual machines and the platform consumes the services whenever required. The major of the services used in the top layer of the above image and their uses are as follows.
· Microsoft .NET Services – This service in Windows Azure is something similar to the high level class libraries provided by Microsoft in .NET Framework which are used by the developers with much productive. Now we have the code name of AppFabric instead of Microsoft .NET Services. In Windows Azure, .NET Services include 3 main components like Access Control, Service Bus and Workflow Services.
· Microsoft SQL Services – This service is now called the Microsoft SQL Azure, the SQL database services with reporting and data sync over the cloud and on premises.
· Microsoft Life Services – This service is use consistently for the end users to share, store the documents, videos, images, etc. over the web that will be used in home pc’s, office pc’s, mobile phones, tablets etc.
· Microsoft Share Point Services – This service is used for central application platform for common enterprise web requirements over the web. This service is widely used for management and provisioning of intranet portals, extranets, websites, document & file management, collaboration spaces, social tools, enterprise search, business intelligence, process integration, system integration, workflow automation.
· Microsoft Dynamic CRM – This service is also used mainly for the collaboration purpose over the web by making a central application platform.
The Azure platform actually can be used both on the cloud as well as on premises with the effective way of running over the local system. As shown in the figure below (Figure 2) we can see the services which can be access locally as well over the cloud which provides a much efficient way to use the services. In today’s world we have Mobile application development plays a major role where Microsoft has already provided the support over consuming the service over Windows Phone 7 mobile and also provides support over other mobile OS as well. Consider an example of using a local application on to on premises environment where we need to consume the LIVE Service API to incorporate the Windows Live Authentication mechanism where we can use the services locally, so basically the local application harness the cloud services to authenticate the user without using any custom authentication mechanism. This is just an example where we can have multiple scenarios these services plays a major role by providing a cloud environment between the application services.
Figure 2 – Windows Azure on Premises and Cloud Architecture
In the above figure we can see the Windows Azure cloud provides the option to make use of the services. At high level we can easy understand the framework of the Windows Azure, it’s basically the service or a platform which hosts the application and provides the access to the application over the web. Which is something like a Windows based compute and storage available and accessible over the internet which is basically deployed over the Microsoft data centers. In our earlier chapter we have seen in detail on how Windows Azure is a PAAS and the 3 main components that are involved in Windows Azure namely Compute, Storage and AppFabric. Now in this chapter we are going to see in depth on the components that are available and play some vital role in Azure framework, but still the Compute, Storage and AppFabric are the core components to concentrate on.