Book: Programming Windows Azure: Programming the Microsoft Cloud
I hate the term the cloud. I really do. In a surprisingly short period of time, I’ve seen the
term twisted out of shape and become a marketing buzzword and applied to every bit
of technology one can conjure up. I have no doubt that in a few years, the term the
cloud will be relegated to the same giant dustbin for bad technology branding that the
likes of SOA and XML-based web services are now relegated to. Underneath all that
marketing fluff, though, is the evolution of an interesting trend. Call it the cloud or
Something-as-a-Service—it doesn’t matter. The idea that you can harness computing
and storage horsepower as a service is powerful and is here to stay.
As a builder of things, I love technology that frees up obstacles and lets me focus on
what I want to do: create. The cloud does just that. Whether you’re a startup or a huge
Fortune 500 company with private jets, the cloud lets you focus on building things
instead of having to worry about procuring hardware or maintaining a storage area
network (SAN) somewhere. Someday, we’ll all look back and laugh at the times when
trying to run a website with reasonable traffic and storage needs meant waiting a few
months for new hardware to show up.
My involvement with this book started in early 2009. Windows Azure had just come
on the market and other cloud offerings such as Amazon Web Services and Google’s
App Engine had been out for some time. I saw a lot of people trying to grapple with
what exactly the cloud was, and try to cut through all the marketing jargon and hype.
That was no easy feat, let me assure you. I also saw people trying to wrap their heads
around Windows Azure. What exactly is it? How do I write code for it? How do I get
started? How do I do all those things I need to do to run my app? I hope to answer
those questions in this book.