The Windows Azure Platform allows Independent Software Vendors(ISV) to run their applications and
store their data in Microsoft Data-centers rather than in their own or in other hosted facilities. This model has plenty of benefits associated with it, some of which are highlighted here in this post.
By default, an application running on the Windows Azure Platform reserves following for itself:
- 99.9% uptime (availability) of the application and data.
- Rapid provisioning of the application to new customers.
- Avoid cost of purchasing hardware and software licenses. Rather, Microsoft charges on a monthly basis depending upon the usage by the ISV.
- Due to this very nature of the platform, flexibility becomes a very important benefit. Azure platform supports the biggest and the smallest customers, all alike.
- Very less administration burden on the ISV and the customer.
- Simplified version updating of the applications.
- Reduced cost for the customer.
Along with the advantages of moving any application to cloud, Azure has additional benefits for .Net
based applications, specifically web applications. The existing .Net web applications can be easily ported
to Azure, which is primarily based on .Net. This means lesser resources spent on training for a completely different development model.
Benefits of using Azure:
- The infrastructure has been planned for minimum usage, and high usage is dynamically taken care by increasing the resources of Azure virtual machines.
- Total cost of ownership is much less than a separate independent deployment.
- Improved user experience due to non-degradation in performance during high application usage.
- Faster time to deliver the final product due to usage of existing .NET skills.
- The server management, such as upgrades, patches, anti-virus, etc is all taken care of by Microsoft. This leads to minimal efforts for the ISV or the customer to do the same.
Azure provides us with capacity on demand
computing [low server load], data centers located around the globe [low catastrophic risks], and the capability to integrate with other platforms [scalability].
Microsoft is responsible for managing and maintaining the entire infrastructure, you can focus on building and deploying your application. Applications can be easily monitored,scaled up or scaled back as and when required. By moving applications to the cloud, we give up some control, but benefit from reduced costs, increased flexibility, and scalable computation and storage.
Windows Azure provides APIs built on HTML, XML and REST so as to allow a developer to interact with the services available. Whats even more exciting is the integeration of Microsoft Visual Studio. This is a treat for the developers who are used to working on this worldclass IDE.
Azure platform currently supports ASP.NET framework. It can also support PHP websites. JAVA and Ruby SDK enable developers to integrate with AppFabric Internet services, which is a part of five services provided by Azure used to develop applications for the cloud.