The value proposition of Windows Azure is very unique. It can be articulated to the qualification of three major feature sets with different patterns of implementation to introduce a broad range of solutions to the information technology space. Those three feature sets include:
- SQL Azure – a fully functional SQL server instance in the cloud. The majority of the feature sets are already present with more advanced features in testing now. We see patterns of use including offsite backup, cloud based usage (for other parts of Azure or other cloud provided tools), and usage as a SQL based service bus, using synchronization tools provided by Azure to the on premises version of the database.
- Windows Azure Compute – a Windows Services level with scalability unmatched by any other vendor in the industry. With this tool, we see patterns of use including large, complex business processing who’s data is backed by either SQL Azure or Azure based storage tools like BLOB/TABLE/QUEUE, on demand scaling of business processes to meet seasonal demand and usage as a toolset to augment the internal business processes and data.
- Windows Azure Web Services – IIS backed by the powerful .Net 4.0 engine to support the smallest to the largest web sites with scale to match and the pricing services to exceed any in the industry. Usage that we’re seeing now are seasonal load shifts – the ability to quickly ramp up and ramp down the capacity of transactional websites without the need to procure large quantities of standby hardware. Additionally, when combined with the other service offerings in the Azure cloud, much more robust web services, not just for public consumption, can be realized.
The essence of the Windows Azure platform is ‘not sexy.’ It is a consumable, massively scalable utility. By paying only for what you use, small and large businesses alike can realize the massive scalability and processing potential that has never before been dreamed in the industry.