Monday, November 16, 2009

Dr. McCloud Blog Launched

You may have seen some tongue-in-cheek but technically serious cloud articles on this blog from time to time under the pseudonym "Dr. McCloud". Dr. McCloud's practice is growing at a phenomenal rate and he now has his own blog at We wish Dr. McCloud well as he evangelizes the masses about the goodness of cloud computing with Windows Azure and overcomes discomfort with his excellent bedside manner. The Doctor is In.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Upcoming O.C. Azure User Group Nov 2009 Meeting on Rich Internet Applications

The next Orange County Azure User Group Meeting is Thursday 11/19/2009 6:00-08:00 PM.

The topic for the November meeting is Rich Internet Applications. RIAs are the new wave in application development: they provide a rich user experience, are often hosted in the cloud, are highly scalable, and leverage new thinking and new technology in their design. At the meeting, we'll see RIA demos and create our own RIA using Microsoft's Azure, Silverlight, and .NET RIA Services technologies. We’ll also have an update of Azure announcements made at PDC 2009.

Pizza, beverages, and give-aways will be provided. RSVP at

As usual, we're meeting at QuickStart Intelligence in Irvine:

QuickStart Intelligence
16815 Von Karman Ave., Ste 100
Irvine, CA 92606

Monday, November 2, 2009

Goodbye, LifeTracks (259 days of uptime in the cloud)

With the Azure Northwest Data Center closing, I reluctantly shut down my longest-running Azure application today, LifeTracks. LifeTracks was my first significant Azure application, written over Thanksgiving 2008. Though it was pretty raw compared to what I can do today with Azure and preceded my Silverlight days, I was still rather proud of it. It incorporated Windows Live ID authentication, Windows Azure hosting, and Windows Azure Blob storage and was one of the first Azure demo applications.

LifeTracks is also where I learned some important Azure best practices. Initially, when I would show someone the app it would sometimes not be available. I would re-deploy and it would be fine for a while, but before long it would again not be available. At first I chalked this up to the platform being in its early stages, but someone from the Azure product team explained that the problem was more likely that I was running a single instance which was probably being frequently taken down for patching. Azure has a very nice system for sequencing patches and updates, but if you're only running a single instance that doesn't help you.

On February 16th I upped my deployment to 2 instances, and there was a night and day difference. LifeTracks has run uninterrupted from 02/16/09 to 11/02/09, 259 days of rock solid uptime in the cloud. Even the partial outage Azure experienced in March didn't take down LifeTracks. I think this shows how reliable Azure has been even during this preview period.