Attended Azure Boot Camp at Ahmedabad on 30th april 2011

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30 Apr, 2011: It was time for Azure boot camp in Ahmedabad and I was looking forward to learn more about Azure from Mahesh Dhola, President of Ahmedabad user group and Gaurav Mantri, Azure MVP and Founder of Cerebrata.

The event started with Mahesh Dhola delineating event plan which seemed very interesting. He also informed the audience about an amazing windows competition (http://www.microsoft.com/india/azurecontest/ ) which is specifically for Indian developers.

Mahesh Dhola informing participants about an Azure contest!

Now, it was time for the session ‘Introduction to cloud computing and windows Azure’ to be delivered by Gaurav Mantri. He began by outlining the benefits of cloud computing in general. He compared traditional hosting methods with cloud hosting by giving thought provoking examples.

Gaurav Mantri presenting on 'Introduction to cloud computing and Azure'

For instance, he took a scenario for gaming Industry. Let me try and describe the scenario for you, so that you also can appreciate the beauty of windows Azure. Suppose a startup plans to roll out a Game. Now first let’s see the traditional on premise hosting model. Here, the challenge that they face is the upfront cost on infrastructure to deploy the Game. Now assume that the game becomes a decent hit and there is increase in demand but unfortunately the available infrastructure is not able to accommodate growing demand. So the startup purchases required infrastructure and sets it up. But the process is not instantaneous as the company has undergo the process of buying infrastructure, setting up network, installing required software’s and deploying application. Now, say the demand for the Game suddenly decreases because a rival firm has rolled out a similar but better game. So now, the startup is now sitting on an Infrastructure that is worthless to them now.

Now alternatively say, that the startup had decided to host the application on Window Azure. With the pay as you go model, there is no upfront cost. You pay for what you use. Also, Azure provides the elasticity to rapidly scale up and down. Here, in our example, the startup could just provision new instances as demand rises. Moreover, since Azure is a PaaS, the startup does not have to carry out tasks like OS patch, network administration and they can focus on things that they do best that is Build applications! And if unfortunately, the game does not take off, the startup could just decide pull the plug and delete all the provisioned instances. Thus opting for Azure makes sense when the load is unpredictable. He also described other load patterns for which Azure fits perfectly. But at the same time, it is very crucial to evaluate whether the cloud hosting model suits your needs.

After the excellent introduction to world of Azure, he shifted his focus to second session ‘Deep dive into windows Azure compute and storage’. Here he talked specifically two key components of Azure that are compute and storage.  He described three components of Azure compute that are Web role, Worker role and the VM role (Beta). He differentiated each of the roles by giving their use cases which really helped better understand the need of each role. Next, he talked about the Azure storage which also has three components that are blobs, tables and queues. Each of the option was discussed in detail with code examples. Also different use cases were discussed which really help better understand each of the components. Thanks!

Now, Post lunch, we had a session from Mahesh Dhola. He took a session on ‘End to End application development with windows Azure storage and compute’. He started by summarizing the Azure stack and then moved on to describe the new Azure management portal. After that he showcased the application that he had built and deployed on Azure specifically for this session. He had used different components of Azure stack like web role, Azure tables, Azure queues to build his application. I learned a lot as he painstakingly explained how each and every code piece formed an Azure application! Thanks!

Mahesh Dhola presenting on 'End to End application development with Azure storage and compute'

Thanks for such a wonderful event! I learned a lot!

Thanks to Jalpesh Vadgama for images! URL: http://weblogs.asp.net/jalpeshpvadgama/archive/2011/05/05/windows-azure-camp-at-ahmedabad-overview-a-great-event.aspx