Pie in the Sky (October 7, 2011)
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This week’s reading list is lengthy and heavy…perfect for a rainy weekend (as is forecast for the Seattle area). This week’s list includes two white papers, one looking at a class of algorithms for distributed load balancing, and the other looking at Windows Azure as a NoSQL data store. When you finish those papers, there’s plenty more…everything from how to run multiple websites in a Web role to lessons learned about scaling. Better brew some coffee…
- Running Multiple Websites in a Windows Azure Web Role: Wade Wegner shows how you can multiple websites in a Web role by editing your service definition (.csdef file).
- Sharding and IDs at Instagram: Though not Azure-specific, this is an interesting look at one way to implement sharding.
- Environments for Windows Azure Development: A look at using Windows Azure abstractions to provide the best mix of flexibility and control for your "environments" (development, test, UAT, staging, production, etc.).
- We built a cloud platform for PHP. Wait… what? Juozas Kaziukenas introduces Azure+, a could platform for PHP that reduces many of the obstacles for developing and deploying PHP applications to Windows Azure.
- Windows Azure Use Case: Mobile Development: Buck Woody writes, "One of the most natural development use-cases for the Windows Azure platform is with mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and even embedded computers in cars and other devices...The reason this paradigm works so well is that most mobile devices are not as powerful as larger computers - they simply don’t have the room to power the device, keep it cool, and hold the components that they would like. So leveraging the computing power, data and networking capability from a massively distributed system is a natural fit."
- Creating a quick Todo listing app on Windows using IIS7, Node.js and Mongodb: A step-by-step walkthrough showing how to setup Node.js and Mongodb to create a simple Todo listing application.
- Blob Download Bug in Windows Azure SDK 1.5: "Update: We have now released a fix for this issue. The download blob methods in this version throw an IOException if the connection is closed while downloading the blob, which is the same behavior seen in versions 1.4 and earlier of the StorageClient library. We strongly recommend that users using SDK version 1.5.20830.1814 upgrade their applications immediately to this new version 1.5.20928.1904."
- Join-Idle-Queue: A Novel Load Balancing Algorithm for Dynamically Scalable Web Services: A whitepaper proposing a novel class of algorithms called Join-Idle-Queue (JIQ) for distributed load balancing in large systems.
- NoSQL and the Windows Azure Platform (download link): This whitepaper by Andrew Brust (published in April) is worth reading again. From the abstract: "An introduction to NoSQL database technology, and its major subcategories, for those new to the subject; an examination of NoSQL technologies available in the cloud using Windows Azure and SQL Azure; and a critical discussion of the NoSQL and relational database approaches, including the suitability of each to line-of-business application development."
- Introduction to the Windows Azure Platform: This is the best overview of the Windows Azure Platform that I've come across.
- Fall 2011 and BUILD Azure Related New Features: A high level description and timeline on key Azure features and tools announced during the months of August and September.
- Windows 8 To Dish Up Azure Services: News about Windows 8 and Windows Azure - "...Windows 8 will give developers the tools to build desktop or tablet applications that take advantage of advanced services in Azure, such as data caching, cloud-to-client messaging, and identity management."
- Cloud Computing Free for Startups! Deals for startups on Windows Azure.
- Deploying/running PHP on Azure Virtual Lab: This 1-hour lab walks you through deploying a PHP application to Windows Azure using Eclipse.
- When "clever" goes wrong: how Etsy overcame poor architectural choices: Though not cloud-specific, this is an interesting "lessons-learned" post about scaling.
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