On December 11th Microsoft Austria organised the "On Cloud Nine - The Developer Roadshow" event at the Microsoft Austria office. The two presenters were Michael Koester from Microsoft Germany and Clemens Reijen from Microsoft Corporation. All Slides and backup material will be distributed later via codefest.at (as well as the video recordings)
The main idea of this day was to present 5 scenarios on from a developers point of view - I think, thats a good idea to engage more devs in this topic!
- Keynote by Michael Koester
- Scenario 1: The Cloud Developer Desktop
- Scenario 2: Using Cloud Dev/Test Sandbox Environments
- Scenario 3: Scaling the ALM infrastructure using the Cloud
- Scenario 4: ALM in the Cloud with Team Foundation Service
- Scenario 5: Building Cloud Applications with Windows Azure
The Keynote was a bit too high-level (announced as level 100 as I remember) and thus not very useful (remember: this event was intended for developers).
One argument for using the Cloud though was "If your code is not fully efficient, just throw more (cloud) resources on it" - WTF? I strongly hope, that this is NOT an official recommendation from Microsoft ...
Scenario 1: The Cloud Developer Desktop
Since I have tried hard to set up a development VM in Azure for some time (see here and here) the there was not much new Info for me. Though I got two interesting pointers from Michael Koester on how to improve the performance and I will blog about these soon.
One thing was remarkable though: to get the promised SLA of 99.995% uptime, you have to configure an Availability Set for your VM. That was known - but: In order to get this working, Azure is basically running BOTH VMs to guarantee the uptime. This means, you are charged twice for VM minutes.
Scenario 2 / Scenario 3 / Scenario 4
Many demos were shown on how you configure your VM to get access to on premise resources, how to structure your Cloud Services and how to manage your infrastructure with PowerShell. Unfortunately he mentioned many times, how "uncomfortable" PowerShell is - also his demos were failing quite often. I expected a bit more than "Be prepared to see a lot red in your PowerShell console" ...
Clemens Reijen stressed the capability to be agile and fast - a new team member should do a meaningful (!) check during his first day! Thats quite a challenge I would say. But at least it looks like the infrastructure (account, project creation, source control, etc) is not the biggest hurdle anymore.
They also touched licensing topics which is important if you want to use Windows Azure in your company for real (e.g. how to organise the billing)
Scenario 5: Building Cloud Applications with Windows Azure
This was a short wrap up on whats new in using Azure in a PaaS fashion (as it was provided by Microsoft since 3 years) - this was very high-level and just presented the main building blocks a dev can use. I would like to see a whole day on this stuff since it can save a significant amount of time if you know how to integrate these instead of building your own ...
MSDN Benefits for Windows Azure
Again and again it was stressed, that - if you have a MSDN subscription - you can use Azure resources for about 75€ / month for free! (e.g. thats 3 VMs for 16 hours / day!) These resources can not be pooled and accumulated if you have not used them - but you can use this to play around and explore the stuff!
Similar to my Visual Studio 2013 VIP Launch event wrap up I got some important pointers in some areas. The "Tips and Tricks" slides are a good sum up of each topic, but: having direct access to the presenters again proved to be a very valuable possibility to grab their knowledge :)