Or your application may want to be “cloud ready” from the beginning. The vision may begin with a set of servers, each doing a specific task, each that can be scalable to meet demand, provide reliability. As soon as you take that second step, it’s time to look to well known practices.
Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices team has put together architectural guidance to help you design your cloud applications, Cloud Design Patterns: Prescriptive Architecture Guidance for Cloud Applications. Each pattern is provided in a common format that describes the context and problem, the solution, issues and considerations for applying the pattern, and an example based on Azure.
It also discusses the benefits and considerations for each pattern. Most of the patterns have code samples or snippets that show how to implement the patterns using the features of Microsoft Azure.
Although the guidance helps you adopt Azure, the patterns are relevant to all kinds of distributed systems, whether or not they are hosted on Azure or on other cloud platforms.
Moving applications to the cloud provides you with a cloud infrastructure for backup and resiliency. When you move to the cloud, you move from a standard physical implementation tool, including data centers, software, hardware, networking and servers – and move to a service, where much of the infrastructure is maintained for you. Cloud offerings such as Microsoft Azure provide you with a standard configuration. If your application fits those parameters, migration is easier. Other times, the application may require particular settings in Internet Information Services.
Although not all applications will seamlessly move to the cloud, a tool from Microsoft Azure Websites Migration Assistant offers you a way to determine what challenges you may face in moving your application to Azure. The Azure Websites Migration Assistant help you migrate your on-premise app to the cloud in a few clicks.
For example, if you want to move a departmental application from Windows Server 2003 running ASP.NET 2 running a version of SQL locally, you might not think of that being a candidate for migration to the cloud.
Windows Server 2003 will reach end of support on July 14th 2015. If you are currently your websites on an IIS server that is Windows Server 2003, Azure Websites is a low-risk, low-cost, and low-friction way to keep your websites online, and Azure Websites Migration Assistant can help automate the migration process for you.
Azure Websites Migration Assistant can analyze your IIS server installation, identify which sites can be migrated to Azure Websites, highlight any elements that cannot be migrated or are unsupported on the platform, and then migrate your websites and associated databases to Azure.
Applications can be deployed to Azure Websites.
This week, Microsoft compiled a series of announcements that noted improvements and updates to its Azure platform. I wanted to call out several key new features of interest to developers and cloud development managers:
- Updates to SQL Database making it easier to migrate your applications to the cloud.
- Azure Active Directory Application Proxy allows publishing of on-premises web applications on Azure Active Directory. Through an easy and secured process, web applications hosted on-premises can now be published via Azure Active Directory. Apps allow for single sign on.
- Azure Site Recovery now has the ability to replicate and recover virtual machines (VMs) directly to Azure without requiring System Center Virtual Machine Manager.
- To help developers using Visual Studio easily incorporate the benefits of big data within their applications, we’ve added a deeper tooling experience for HDInsight in the most recent version of the Azure SDK. Developers can use this extension to visualize and query their Hadoop clusters, as well as manage applications that integrate with Hadoop directly in Visual Studio. Learn more.