Azure ramping up

The Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing site is ramping up piece by piece.

The Microsoft Windows Azure cloud computing site is at, as you might have guessed; that redirects to, as you might also have guessed.

As of a couple of minutes ago, I was able to register for the Azure Services CTP, but not able to download the Windows Azure SDKs and tools. I haven't yet received a registration confirmation. An hour ago, I wasn't even able to start my registration.

[See the Azure announcement news from the PDC as reported by InfoWorld | Keep up with all the developments at Microsoft's 2008 Professional Developers Conference in InfoWorld's special report. ]

I'll update this post when I see the situation change.

Update 3:55 EDT: The Azure White Paper is available here as a Word 2007 file. Highlights: For the CTP in 2008, Azure will only run ASP.NET and other .Net executables. In 2009, there will be some support for unmanaged code. Here's the architecture diagram:


Azure storage is not based on SQL Server: instead, it is a REST-based API.

Azure is intended to be used with .Net Services, which used to be called BizTalk Services; with SQL Data Services, which are built on SQL Server; and with Live Services, which include access to Hotmail contacts and a bunch of other services.

Update 4:10 EDT: The Windows Azure SDK is now available for download. The prerequisites are:

You'll also want the Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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