Lately Windows Azure has seen a lot of updates, in my opinion some rearrangements and re-categorization of its features. Talking about any operating system, it should provide with 2 main things the Processing power and the storage. These are the main things Windows Azure or any Cloud Computing Platform offers. Certainly with the competition between the Cloud Providers, the services added to the Platform are so considerable and these are the main things that differs the cloud providers from each-others – certainly other than the costs. If you remember, the compute node, one of my pervious blog posts, it was all about the node that was charge of processing power of your application. I have also mentioned before several types of roles, the WebRole and the WorkerRole, maybe the VM Role.
However my point now is that all these kind of roles are now considered as Windows Azure Cloud Services. Each roles run separately on different Virtual Machine where you can make its Configuration and Service Definition and control the number of instances, directly from the xml files or from the portal itself – New Addition.
What exactly a role mean? If you understand the concept of the OOP, I think you will get what I mean, if you create a class with a certain attributes and functions. You can create from it a number of objects, maybe they can be different from each other’s, but always have the same characteristics as they share the same functionalities. The same concept goes for the role, this where you can develop your application with any programming language. After that you can create the number of instances you want and maybe make some intercommunication between them – Certainly this will depend on your business, application and traffic needs. Remember that everything costs money on the Cloud, if you develop a well-structured application it could save you a lot of money otherwise it could cost you a lot.
Watch out that to develop on Windows Azure now you have to be working with .Net Framework 4.0 or above, because simply after the release of Windows Server 2012 and the upgrades done on the Virtual Machines of the Windows Azure Cloud Services, it will not allow lower that .Net Framework 4.0 to run on it.