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Q&A: Where does high performance computing fit with Windows Azure?
Answer I have been asked a couple of times this year about taking compute intensive operations to Windows Azure and/or High Performance Computing on Windows Azure. It is an interesting (if slightly niche) area. The good news is we have a great paper from David Chappell on HPC Server and Windows Azure integration. As a taster: A SOA application running entirely on Windows Azure runs its WCF services in Azure Worker nodes. Download now Related Links: Other Q&A posts on my team blog Don’t forget ......

Posted On Monday, March 7, 2011 10:18 AM

Q&A: Where can I get architectural guidance on building applications for the Windows Azure Platform?
This question has come up a lot in recent weeks as early adopters move from prototyping with the platform to actually needing to deliver real applications. Whilst fundamentally you are using the same approaches and best practices for the Windows Azure Platform as you would use for a Web application or service (A good IIS7/ASP.NET based architecture is likely a good Windows Azure Platform architecture), there is still plenty of differences which impact on architecture. The good news is we are now ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 23, 2010 10:51 AM

Q&A: How do I cancel my Windows Azure Platform Introductory Special? (or any Subscription)
Short answer: Don’t! Just kidding :-) Long answer: I believe it is the same process as for other Microsoft Online Services – but I have never tried it. Hence please post a comment if you follow this successfully or not and I will amend. From search for “cancel” and you get: What I am not clear about is whether an Introductory Special is classed as a trial. Either way, the answer is to contact support and ask to cancel. I would suggest you are fully ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 9, 2010 3:14 PM

Q&A: What is the UK pricing for the Windows Azure CDN?
The pricing for Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) was announced last week. The prices are: £0.091 per GB transferred from North America & Europe locations £0.1213 per GB transferred from other locations £0.0061 per 10,000 transactions CDN rates are effective for all billing periods that begin subsequent to June 30, 2010. All usage for billing periods beginning prior to July 1, 2010 will not be charged. To help you determine which pricing plan best suits your needs, please review the ......

Posted On Friday, June 4, 2010 1:39 PM

Q&A: Can you develop for the Windows Azure Platform using Windows XP?
This question has come up several times recently as we take several hundred UK developers through 6 Weeks of Windows Azure training (sorry – we are full). Short answer: In the main, yes Longer answer: The question is sparked by the requirements as stated on the Windows Azure SDK download page. Namely: Supported Operating Systems: Windows 7; Windows Vista; Windows Vista 64-bit Editions Service Pack 1; Windows Vista Business; Windows Vista Business 64-bit edition; Windows Vista Enterprise; Windows ......

Posted On Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:13 PM

Q&A: Does it make sense to run a personal blog on the Windows Azure Platform?
I keep seeing people wanting to do this (or something very similar) and then being surprised at how much it might cost them if they went with Windows Azure. Time for a Q&A. Short answer: No, definitely not. Madness, sheer madness. (Hopefully that was clear enough) Longer answer: No because It would cost you a heck of a lot more than just about any other approach to running a blog. A site that can easily be run on a shared hosting solution (as many blogs do today) does not require the rich capabilities ......

Posted On Thursday, May 20, 2010 10:45 PM

Q&A: How do I find out the status of the Windows Azure Platform services?
The Windows Azure Platform includes a status dashboard as well as RSS feeds for individual services and regions. You get to see the current status: As well as the history of an individual service: As I’m based in the UK, I subscribe to the North Europe feeds for each of the services: AppFabric Access Control AppFabric Service Bus SQL Azure Database Windows Azure Compute Windows Azure Storage Related Links: UK Azure Online Community – join today. UK Windows Azure Site Start working with Windows Azure ......

Posted On Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:53 PM

Q&A: Do I get charged compute hours for every role in my Windows Azure Hosted Service?
[Advert: Interested in Azure? Based in the UK? Be amongst friends ->] [Check out my other QandAs] A common question I get is “Do I get charged compute hours for every role type in my service?” The short answer is “Yes you do”. Now for the longer answer… Every role type is created as at least one Virtual Machine instance on the Windows Azure Platform – more if you have instance count > 1 for a role. In this hosted service example I have 2 WebRoles and 3 WorkerRoles with ......

Posted On Monday, February 8, 2010 11:39 AM

Q&A: How can I calculate the TCO and ROI when considering the Windows Azure Platform?
[In the UK? Why not join] Awareness of the existence of the Windows Azure Platform TCO and ROI Calculator remains pretty low based on some conversations I have had lately at events. It is available in both online and offline versions and aims to help measure the potential savings of product development or migration to the Windows Azure Platform. Lets take a quick example of a brand new car insurance site (Based on my depth work with… car insurance sites!). In brief: We will ......

Posted On Monday, February 8, 2010 3:37 PM

Q&A: I have a new business idea. How can I implement it cheaply using the Windows Azure Platform?
[Advert: Interested in Azure? Based in the UK? Be amongst friends ->] I have been asked this one a few times recently. The question is often driven by the realisation that that the Windows Azure Platform is actually a little more expensive that alternatives such as shared hosting/dedicated hosting in the early stages of a new application – i.e. when you have no/few users and you don’t need all that elasticity and high availability isn’t really a priority. It turns out ......

Posted On Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:09 AM

Q&A: What are the UK prices for the Windows Azure Platform
Lots of folks keep asking me for UK prices and to be fair it does take a little work to find them (You need to start here and bring up this pop up) Hence for simplicity, I have copied them here (as of Jan 29th 2010). Note that there are several rates available. The following is “Windows Azure Platform Consumption” Windows Azure Compute Small instance (default): £0.0728 per hour Medium instance: £0.1455 per hour Large instance: £0.291 per hour Extra large instance: £0.5819 per hour Storage £0.091 ......

Posted On Friday, January 29, 2010 10:03 AM

QandA: How do you avoid being charged unnecessarily for Windows Azure compute hours?
[Check out my other QandAs] You would reasonably expect to be charged for the use of the Windows Azure Platform for any application you have built which is live on Azure. But you will a) want to minimise that cost and b) you would probably like to avoid it all together while doing development or learning about Azure. These “tips” should help you minimise the cost: Make the most of January 2010 You can use the Windows Azure Platform at no charge throughout January and get an insight into the billing. ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 20, 2010 12:13 PM

QandA: When do I get charged for compute hours on Windows Azure?
[Check out my other QandAs] This question keeps coming up. Hence I will have a stab at explaining it. Nothing deployed = no charge First I think we can all happily agree that the following service on Windows Azure won’t be costing me anything :) Deployed and running and being used = charge If we have code deployed and being used then you will be charged. Seems reasonable. Note that Staging and Production cost the same. Deployed and running but no one is using it = charge You will be charged even ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:23 PM

QandA: Is the ADO.NET Entity Data Model designer fixed in .NET 4?
[I haven’t done QandAs for a long while – very remiss of me.] Anyway, I have been asked this one so many times lately that I felt a more public answer was needed. The short answer is: Mostly. Certainly it is good enough to get work done. The longer answer is below… History In the first version of Entity Framework (which came with .NET Framework 3.5 SP1), the Entity Framework Designer was… bad. I mean very bad. I mean dumbly bad. We had a decent enough runtime but the design surface just wasn’t up ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 24, 2009 1:25 PM

Q&A: Is there an Entity Framework provider for IBM DB2?
This one has come up a few times lately, hence I felt it would be worth surfacing here. Short answer is - “yes”. Longer answer is described in detail over on IBMs site along with a detailed description of the limitations. Note that this also supports IBM Informix Dynamic Server and IBM UniVerse and UniData (U2) Data Servers ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 17, 2009 3:58 PM

QandA: How can I use LINQ with new data types in SQL Server 2008 such as the geospatial types?
This one has come up a few times. LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities in V1 do not currently support the newest types added to SQL Server 2008 nor do they support your own User Defined Types. More specifically: LINQ to SQL does not support the hierarchyID, geospatial, table or time types. UDTs are not supported. It does support the new DateTimeOffset , DateTime2, and Date types (NB: I have not tried this and I think it may require SP1) LINQ to Entities does not support hierarchyID or geospatial. I haven’t ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:21 PM

QandA: How do I debug ADO.NET Data Services?

It is great that so many folks have started investigating Data Services and the Entity Framework as a result of the MSDN events we have been delivering. Which does also mean I keep getting asked “Why doesn’t mine work?” kind of questions.

The good news is the team did a comprehensive post to help you diagnose your issues.

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:19 PM

QandA: How do I use ADO.NET Data Services with LINQ to SQL and enable read/write
ADO.NET Data Service gives you the ability to do: Read/Write with ADO.NET Entity Framework Read only with LINQ to SQL The reason it is read only for LINQ to SQL is that Data Services needs to object model that it is exposing to implement IUpdatable. LINQ to SQL does not. There is a solution – you need implement IUpdatable for LINQ to SQL. This isn’t necessarily as bad as it sounds – if you can narrow down the implementation to how you are using LINQ to SQL. MikeT had a stab at doing just this back ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:18 PM

QandA: How to return multiple result sets from a stored procedure using LINQ
This one has come up for both LINQ to SQL and LINQ to Entities. The scenario is a reasonably common one. How to handle something like this: CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[ReturnMultipleRS] AS select * from customers select * from products LINQ to SQL: The solution is to add a method to the DataContext using a partial class. Thankfully the Swiss MSDN team have already explained this one in great detail. Enjoy. LINQ to Entities: The easiest approach is to download the ADO.NET Entity Framework Extensions which ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 21, 2009 2:47 PM

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