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Archive for October, 2011

Roles in Windows Azure

Posted by Paul on October 14, 2011

Roles are an important concept in Windows Azure and learning them is the base for further programming. There are mainly 3 roles in Windows Azure.

  • Web Role
  • Worker Role
  • VM Role

Web Role

It provides a web front end solution. This is similar to an ASP.NET application. While under hosting the Azure provides IIS and required services.

Worker Role

It provides a background service solution. This can be thought as a windows service application. We can use this role to run background operations like database management tasks, report generation etc. It can run lengthy operations.

According to msdn, the Web Role can be considered as a Worker role loaded with IIS. Similarly the worker role can be used to host other application platforms.

VM Role (Virtual Machine Role)

The Web Role and Worker Role are executed on virtual machines. The Virtual Machine Roles provides the user to customize the virtual machine on which the web and worker roles are running. The VM role runs a virtual hard disk (VHD) image which can be created and uploaded by the user. Through the VM role the customers can run scheduled tasks and other windows services.


Application Overview

From the above we can summarize that a Windows Azure application will be containing web roles, worker roles and vm roles.


The case of application is similar to our ordinary solutions where a project include

  • Web Application in ASP.NET
  • Background Services in Windows Services
  • Configuration

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Windows Azure Introduction

Posted by Paul on October 14, 2011

Windows Azure is picking speed in the market and the businesses seem to shift to this new paradigm. Surely this is changing the way game is played.

Windows Azure provides a Windows Server based computing environments for applications. The applications deployed on Windows Azure are getting executed on Virtual Machines.

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s answer towards Cloud Computing.

The advantages provided by Azure would be many:

Platform as a Service

As the Azure platform provides the software the business organizations can save high amount of software licensing costs. This will reduce the operating expenses of the company or they can divert the expense to provide more features to their application. Similarly the hardware costs are also reduced.

So one may raise a question that the current ASP.NET deployment can also be made without purchasing any softwares and by paying yearly rent. In this case if additional processing power is needed then more IT support for Load balancers, Programming for Caching, Testing efforts are needed. These all overheads are addressed in Windows Azure.


The Windows Azure is designed to provide availability of the application in the mid of any software upgrade or hardware failure. This can be achieved through instance management.


In the current situations of ASP.NET, the need for load balancer arise additional costs of programming and testing. These additional requirements and costs can be reduced through the Azure platform. The load balancers are deployed in the Azure platform so that the IT support/developers can be freed from these tasks and concentrate on the business features.

Vertical and Horizontal Scalability

Scalability can be vertical and horizontal. Vertical Scalability infers increasing the resources like CPU, memory etc. Horizontal Scalability infers increasing the number of application instances.

Uneven Demand Processing

In the case of business applications which requires high computing power during peak times (during Christmas Season, Year End, Demo Launch etc.) the Azure provides advantage of upgrading or downgrading the hardware resources.


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