Tagged: Cloud

CloudDays™ – Introduction to Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN)

cdnAzure Content Delivery Network (CDN) is designed to send audio, video, applications, images, and other files faster and more reliably to customers using servers that are closest to each user.  If you want to put binary files and blobs closer to your user, then CDN can be the right solution.

The CDN caches publicly available objects at strategically placed locations to provide maximum bandwidth for delivering content to users.

Essentially, when a user wants some content, the first user gets the data from the source server. When you use a CDN, that data is then cached at a site near the user. So subsequent users can get the data from the cache instead of going all the way back to the source server. For example, if a picture stored in a blob is in a European data center in Azure, a user in Portland Oregon would be able to access the file from a server set up in Seattle, making your image load much faster.

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CloudDays™ – Quick Start to Azure Redis Cache

redisAzure Redis Cache helps your application become more responsive even as user load increases and leverages the low latency, high-throughput capabilities of the Redis engine. This separate distributed cache layer allows your data tier to scale independently for more efficient use of compute resources in your application layer.

Redis is an open source, BSD licensed, advanced key-value cache and store. It is often referred to as a data structure server since keys can contain strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets, bitmaps and hyperloglogs. Redis supports a set of atomic operations on these data types.

Microsoft Azure Redis Cache is based on this cache and store. It gives you access to a secure, dedicated Redis cache, managed by Microsoft, providing the best of both worlds: the rich features and ecosystem of Redis, and reliable hosting and monitoring by Microsoft.

You can use Redis from most programming languages used today.

Azure Redis Cache leverages Redis authentication and also supports SSL connections to Redis.

The purpose of this article is to help you decide if Azure Redis is the right technology for your project. The Azure documentation is pretty good to help you get started, but is spread all over the place, so this article focuses on the steps to get started, and gives you a peek into what your code looks like. (If you are like me, you can often tell if the technology is a good fit by seeing code.)

NOTE: Of course, you can use Redis without Azure. For more information on that, see Distributed Caching using Redis Server with .NET/C# Client.

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CloudDays™ – Choosing the Right Azure Cache Technology

azurecloudMicrosoft Azure Cache is a family of distributed, in-memory, scalable solutions that enable you to build highly scalable and responsive applications by providing super-fast access to your data. But what do you choose?

This post provides you with an overview of the options you have when you are considering caching technologies.

Microsoft Azure Cache is available in the following offerings.

Microsoft offers a strong recommended choice for these caches. “Microsoft recommends all new developments use Azure Redis Cache.”

That said, this post discusses each to give you a quick overview. This article also introduces you to one other cache.

Here’s the short answer:

  • Use Azure Redis Cache when you want to cache string, hashes, .NET classes, data.
  • Use CDN when you want to cache audio, video, applications, images, and other files.

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CloudDays™ Quick Start – Designing Your RESTful API Part 3: Best Practices

imageIn the previous posts, you learned how to design your RESTful API. In this post, you will learn about the best practices of versioning, analytics, how to set up your API root, what your consumers are expecting for results,  why and how filtering should work, and caching.

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CloudDays™ Quick Start – Designing Your RESTful API Part 2: The Verbs, Responses, Response Status Codes

imageIn the post Designing Your RESTful API Part 1: The Nouns, you learned the importance of resources, request headers, and the request body when you defined your RESTful API. In this post, you will learn about the five or so request verbs and what is send back to the client in the response body and the response status code.

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CloudDays™ Quick Start – Designing Your RESTful API Part 1: The Nouns

imageEverything is a resource in REST. As you learned in Choosing Between RESTful Web Service, SOAP, Representational State Transfer (REST) is an architecture style or design pattern for creating web services which allow anything connected to a network to something else on the network using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

In this post, you will learn the how to define your resource identifier. In the following post, you will learn how to use the HTTP verbs and response codes. And along the way you will learn many of the principles of a good RESTful API.

Let me second what As Thomas Hunter II writes:

The easier your API is to consume, the more people that will consume it.

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CloudDays™ Quick Start – Choosing Between RESTful Web Service, SOAP

imageRepresentational State Transfer (REST) is an architecture style or design pattern for creating web services which allow anything connected to a network to something else on the network using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP).

Typically we think of a RESTful Web Service as one that will get and set data. It works a lot the same way as a web page, but your user doesn’t see the data until it’s time to be displayed.

REST principles are based on the same underlying principles that govern the Web. Those principles are:

  • User agents interact with resources, and resources are anything that can be named and represented. Each resource can be addressed via a unique Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
  • Interaction with resources (located through their unique URIs) is accomplished using a uniform interface of the HTTP standard verbs (GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE). Also important in the interaction is the declaration of the resource’s media type, which is designated using the HTTP Content-Type header. (XHTML, XML, JPG, PNG, and JSON are some well-known media types.)
  • Resources are self-descriptive. All the information necessary to process a request on a resource is contained inside the request itself (which allows services to be stateless).
  • Resources contain links to other resources (hyper-media).

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Azure – 24 Must Know Cloud Patterns With Sample Code

azurecloudYour application may start with a single idea as a single website. It will often have a website, some business logic tied to a database. Those stand alone applications have a way of adding features.

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.

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SQL Database Improvements, Azure Active Directory Deployment of On Prem Apps to Cloud, HDInsight Tooling Top Azure Announcements

azurecloudThis 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.

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Windows Azure Goes PCI-Compliant

azurecloudWindows Azure has been validated for compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) by an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).

The PCI DSS is the global standard that any organization of any size must adhere to in order to accept payment cards, and to store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data. By providing PCI DSS validated infrastructure and platform services, Windows Azure delivers a compliant platform for you to run your own secure and compliant applications. You can now achieve PCI DSS certification for those applications using Windows Azure.

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