Windows Azure and it’s implications on Software Architecture

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It’s the first offical day of PDC2008 in Los Angeles.  I’ve just listened to Ray Ozzie’s (pronounced as Ahhh-zeee) keynote on Microsoft’s vision for cloud computing.  I seem to recall something similar being announced at PDC2001, but I’m sure they really mean it this time.

I wondered what Dave Cutler was up to lately.  Apparently he’s helped build “Windows Azure”, previously known under the code name “Project Red Dog”, along with Amitabh Srivasta, an operating system exclusively run at Microsoft Data Centers (“the cloud”).

I think Microsoft have outlined how they intended to provide services in both the traditional “in house” sense, and a hosted sense.   With the Microsoft Online Services (Exchange, Sharepoint, Crm etc) Microsoft hope to provide an alternative for customers who dont have the resources to run their own datacenter.

So what’s this got to do with application architecture? 

Microsoft will be providing hosted versions of all their applications.  Windows Azure provides Microsoft based developers to provide hosted versions of their own applications.   Although platforms such as GoogleApps look really interesting, a platform that allows the hosting of Microsoft technologies without redevelopment is more compelling.

Primarily it seems that the application architecture that would suit this environment best is that of a scaleable SOA or Web based application.  This doesn’t rule out any client architecture particularly, but an asp.net based application would certainly have an advantage.

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