Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Getting started in the Cloud

I haven't posted in a while because I've just started with my new company, Chamonix IT Consulting. Chamonix covers a number of core competencies such as architecture, systems integration, BI, portals and collaboration, and traditional app dev. However, one of the most exciting competencies is our focus on cloud computing. In fact, Chamonix practices what it preaches, and all of our LOB systems are cloud-based - we don't have a single on-premise server to host our LOB systems.

Over the last few weeks I've been rapidly ascending into cloud and getting my head around what it all means from an architectural and business perspective, what are its strengths and weaknesses, and when and how a client might consider a cloud solution as opposed to traditional on-premise. Having all of your LOB systems cloud-based certainly helps in this regard, as you experience the pleasure and the pain first-hand.

To get a deeper perspective on some of the challenges for developing in the cloud, we decided to prototype a relatively simple resource management application that we'd deploy to Microsoft's Windows Azure platform. It's certainly proved to be an eye-opening exercise with a number of challenges, some related to cloud technologies, some related to emerging technologies on the Microsoft platform that could be used on-premise or in the cloud.

Over the next few weeks I'll post about some of our experiences, some of the challenges and how we've overcome them, and my overall take on whether we were successful in what we set out to achieve or not. So you know what's in store, here's a summary of some of the technologies we've touched and I'll be mentioning:

  • SQL Azure
  • Windows Azure (Web Role)
  • Azure Platform AppFabric Access Control Service
  • OpenID & oData
  • ASP.NET 4.0
  • Entity Framework
  • WCF RIA Services
Until next time!

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