@home: Most Common Problems #1

Jim and I are nearly done with the @home with Azure series, but we wanted to document some of the biggest issues we see every week.  As we go through the online workshop, many users are deploying an Azure application for the first time after installing the tools and SDK.   In some cases, attendees are installing the tools and SDK in the beginning of the workshop. When installing the tools and SDK, it’s important to make sure all the prerequisites are installed (available on the download page... [More]

Best Buy Employees: Hear Me

Today I made a fairly exciting trek to Best Buy to buy some printer ink.  I live on the edge! While I was checking out and paying with my credit card, the cashier asked to see my ID.   I admit, I’ve shown it in the past, and it has always irritated me.  It doesn’t irritate me because it’s inconvenient to take my license out of my wallet, but rather, because it doesn’t do anything but put me at risk. Merchant agreements (at least with Visa cards) basically say the merchants can’t demand... [More]

Windows Azure Guest OS

In a Windows Azure project, you can specify the Guest OS version for your VM.  This is done by setting the osVersion property inside the ServiceConfiguration file: If you don’t specify a version explicitly, the latest Guest OS is chosen for you.  For production applications, it’s probably best to always provide an explicit value, and I have a real world lesson that demonstrates this! MSDN currently has a Guest OS Version and SDK Compatibility Matrix page that is extremely helpful if you’re t... [More]

Scaling Down – Text Version

I caught some Flak this weekend at the Charlotte Code Camp when Justin realized my recent Scale Down with Windows Azure post was principally a screencast (aside from the code sample).   So Justin, I’m documenting the screencast just for you! :) First, a good place to start with this concept is on Neil Kidd’s blog post.   Go ahead and read that now … I’ll wait.  Most of this code is based off of his original sample, I’ve modified a few things and brought it forward to work with the ... [More]

Scaling Down with Windows Azure

Awhile back, Neil Kidd created a great blog post on scaling down in Windows Azure.  The concept is to multithread your Azure worker roles (and web roles, too) – even if you have a single core (small instance) VM, most workloads are network IO blocked, not CPU blocked, so creating a lightweight framework for supporting multiple workers in a single role not only saves money, but makes sense architecturally.  In this screencast, I updated Neil’s concept a bit, and bring it forward to work with the ... [More]

Finally, at last, done with Webhost4Life

I’ve recently completed my migration from Webhost4Life!  Woohoo!  For a long time, I’ve felt a bit captured because they’ve hosted my blog, email for a few domains, etc.  It’s difficult to make the move. I’ll say this upfront:  if you need $10/mo hosting, it’s hard to beat and easier than hosting at home.  So right away, before I slam webhost4life too much, I understand the cheap price and you can’t really expect the moon.  If you’re hosting your kid’s sports league site, the ... [More]

Book Review: Azure in Action

Most of the people who know me know I’ve invested a lot of my time in Windows Azure.  “I’m all in.”  :)   Last year, we began doing presentations on Azure after it was announced at PDC 2008.  Over the months, from SDS to SQL Azure, PDC 2008 to PDC 2009, the platform evolved and of course, is now under general availability.  I went through a lot of trials and tribulations as I migrated Worldmaps and the created @Home with Windows Azure applications.  Learning any new plat... [More]

.NET Rocks this Thursday

The .NET Rocks guys are coming on Thursday to Duke, and it’s not too late to register!  Here’s some more info, and to register, go here: http://dnrrtp.eventbrite.com/ Carl and Richard are loading up the DotNetMobile (a 30 foot RV) and driving to your town again to show off their favorite bits of Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0! Richard talks about Web load testing and Carl talks about Silverlight 4.0 and multimedia. And to make the night even more fun, we’re going to bring a mystery rock star from ... [More]

Register To Attend A Windows Azure Virtual Hands-On Workshop

@HOME WITH WINDOWS AZURE I’m really excited to announce a project my colleagues Jim, John and I have been working on.  We wanted to come up with a project that would: 1) be fun for users to learn Azure, 2) help illustrate scale, 3) do something useful, and 4) be fun to develop (from our end).  I think we got it!  Here is a rundown: Elevate your skills with Windows Azure in this hands-on workshop! In this event we’ll guide you through the process of building and deploying a large s... [More]

MSDN Flash Forward …

Many of you reading this are already subscribed, but if you didn’t know about MSDN Flash, be sure to check it out!  Flash is a semi-weekly newsletter (delivered via email) with links to upcoming events, developer news, etc.  It’s a great way to stay connected to the development community.  (One note: be sure to enter your zip code when subscribing – it ensures we get the right events for your area!) Here in the southeast, Glen Gordon and I partner up on contributing content to Flash, and wri... [More]

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