I always wanted to write a small post which would help others getting started with Windows Azure. So here is my post which I wrote for Geekzone VS 2008 blog
The Azure Services Platform is designed to help developers quickly and easily create, deploy, manage, and distribute web applications and services. Windows Azure is a cloud services operating system that serves as the development, service hosting, and service management environment for the Azure Services Platform.
Windows Azure provides developers with on-demand compute and storage to host and manage web applications on the internet through Microsoft data centers.
How do I get started?
Below are the tools you need to install in your development machine to get started with Windows Azure
The Windows Azure SDK has all the necessary binaries, libraries and documentation that you need to build Windows Azure applications.
Windows Azure Tools for Visual Studio 2008 extends Visual Studio to build, debug, package Windows Azure applications.
The local Cloud depot
In order to publish your applications to the cloud, you need to have a valid Windows Azure account. You can apply for your account here, but in the meantime, you can make use of the local development fabric from the Windows Azure SDK.
The development fabric simulates Windows Azure cloud (fabric) in your local development machine and allows to run and test your Windows Azure applications.
Windows Azure Roles
Windows Azure roles are discrete scalable components built with managed code. There are two roles available in Windows Azure
- Web Role
- A web role is an application that listens and responds for web requests via HTTP or HTTPS endpoint
- Worker Role
- A worker role is an application which runs as a background processing application and does not expose any endpoints
Every Windows Azure application we build is always associated either with a web role or worker role or both.
Read more here