I shared my notes internally at Readify and since there was such a good response to it, i'm going to post the notes online for all the keynotes and sessions I watch.


  • New “Windows Azure”. Easy to build and debug on our own PCs with VS2008 and provision our apps into the cloud in minutes
  • Integration between on premise apps with the cloud, and seeing it more with windows server (on premise with Azure)
  • Identity federation. Using “Geneva” to federate from on premise Active Directory with your cloud services.
  • ALL of Microsoft products will be hosted online on Azure, being auto updated so we don’t have to worry about it (CRM, Exchange, sharepoint, OCS, etc.)
  • I think it is called Azure, because it is a bluish colour (so all of their apps are that colour) and that is the colour of the sky which the clouds are in? Or maybe I’m thinking too much…

Ray ozzie on stage

Why people have been able to bet on Microsoft’s platforms previously

  • “Microsoft always builds it’s own key apps on their own platforms”
  • “Sheer scope of Microsoft’s reach. So their apps are able to reach critical mass”

Today, they’ll talk about servers, and services in the cloud, Tomorrow they are going to talk about frontends in the client on PC/phones

“Is the cloud overrated?”

Previously we kept IT in house, have our servers and networks. Now we are externalising it, and delivering it to our customers.

Customers first expected to just interact with us. Now the customers want to interact with each other through wikis, etc. want richness

Software dev and operations are becoming more and more intertwined.

Due to ‘peak capacity’ they need to overspend on hardware/capacity which usually goes wasted and idle

Are at risk to diastaers such as data cables being cut/earthquakes etc. So if you try to duplicated datacentres then even more cost. Latency is an issue also.

Ok you are talking about problems, I read “the big switch” shush now.

Conclusion. Yes cloud makes sense

20 mins in, he still hasn’t said anything…

Moving to clouds make sense…

  • Tier 1: you on your PC
  • Tier 2: Enterprises datacentres
  • Tier 3: Web tier. Externally facing IT to the customers. This is the cale of the web. Needs computation/storage every explicitly targeted to scale

Microsoft wanted to build a new way to build a platform for Tier3 (the web)

Then EC2 jumped in before Microsoft, so they hope to learn from EC2’s learnings. But Microsoft want to be on an even LARGER scale and vision than EC2. They have been working on it for years.

Announcing a new “Microsoft windows in the cloud” Windows Azure

  • Tier 1:Windows Vista/Mobile
  • Tier 2: Windows Server
  • Tier 3: Windows Azure

Will handle provisioning and geo-locational issues.

Previous stuff were built for “Scale up” situations

Need to build a new platform for the next 50 years of apps on the cloud. Need to worry about how to auto scale, model deployment, etc.

Windows Azure is NOT a piece of software you run on your own servers, but is run/housed on a bunch of Microsoft data centres

Windows Azure are being released into CTP today. Only a fraction of features are being shown.

Is being built to be able to quickly release new and many features from here on. It will be their highest scale, most economical way to host things in the cloud. Allows us to reach out to clients with sync, etc.

Live services, .net services, Sql data services, sharepoint services, CRM services (all sit on top of)
Windows Azure (the bottom layer)

30mins in. he’s finally said “enough with the high level stuff, lets go into some real stuff”

Amitabh Srivistava comes on stage

“Windows Azure is a scable windows environment for you to host things in the cloud”

Each processor is virtualised with a really efficient hypervisor

Employ LOTS of security: Code security, hypervisor, IP filtering, etc.

Desktop OS’s abstract away the complexities of control of the hardware

Azure abstracts away the complexities of running things in multiple virtual PCs

“Fabric controller manages services, not just services”

Model your service

  • Roles and groups
  • Channels and endpoints
  • Interfaces
  • Configuration settings

Can use this to construct complex apps

Shows a diagram which looks like a screenshot of VS2008 Architect. Shows a service model of how the interfaces are being exposed through endpoints.

You get the fabric controller to automatically control your app

High availability

Built to be fault redundant, etc. no single CPU failure will bring it down

Load balancing etc (duh this is the cloud and what EC2 are doing)

Azure services

  • Service management
  • Virtualised compute
  • Blobs
  • Tables
  • Queues
  • Locks

Rich developer experience

Can use VS2008 to run and debug on our own desktops without having to initially deploy it to the cloud!!!!

*brings Steve marx on stage*

He is going to demo “Hello World” on Azure

Uses a computer which has the Azure SDK installed

Clicks the cloud template

Gives him 2 project

Top project is info about his cloud app with configuration settings

The 2nd app is a standard ASP.Net web app

Puts a label onto the Default.aspx

Goes into the codebehind to change the label at runtime

Hits debug, casinni spins up and you can debug it like usual

“Cloud on the desktop”

To deploy to the cloud, all he does is rightclick the top project and select “publish” it packages it up and takes him to the azure servies developer portal

Then he just uploads the package file, the configuration file and create with a URL

Uploads it into production. Then it takes a few mins to provision everything



New software app that runs on windows mobiles

Uses Bluetooth to connect to other people

Software shows you who is around you, what they are interested in.

Since this is something that can be used by heaps of people they chose Azure to host it

Bluehoo is running in a silverlight app, showing you the people around you that are discoverable.

Mobile app talks to a REST interface hosted in the cloud.

The silverlight app shows the info on your PC, web, mobile, etc.

The architecture: The messages go into queues, worker processes take them off the queue to process. This allows it to scale

To scale up, he just goes into the config screen, and tells it to scale up from 2 to 20 servers. “Azure is wonderful as it helps start-ups be able to compete”

Amitabh Srivistava comes back on stage

Is an open system. XML,REST. Eclipse will be able to hook in. Starting off with just .net apps. Will move onto native code.

Bob Muglia comes on stage

We are in the “5th” generation of computing

Monolithic -> something, something -> SOA(nowish) -> Services(futurish)

We are now having to worry about apps that will scale out from the start

Services requirements

  • Interopo, business process
  • Identity & security
  • Data management & compplience
  • Services management

“We live in a world of federated identities that need to be rolled in”

Another 5 mins of talking about how we need to do this at lower cost

.Net services:

  • Service bus - lets you connect your on premises applications with the cloud
  • Access control - allows federated identity providers in AD, etc. both on premises and into the cloud
  • Workflow services – taken from WF and putting them into the cloud


  • Every app requires identity
  • Single, federated identity
  • Oh a new codename “Geneva”. Enables federation between AD and the cloud

SQL Data services:

  • Data syncrhonisation to sync from on premise into the cloud
  • Geospatial, and other analytical stuff
  • Reporting
  • ETL
  • (sounds like the entire SQL server feature set in the cloud)

Shawn Davison comes on stage

Is going to show how he built a “Product recall website” for manufacturers (when you have bad toys that are defective)

Legacy – lots of point to point and VPNs, etc.

Going to be working with 1000s of customers that have their own proprietary systems we need to hook into and their own identity/authentication

Showing the services bindings between us and the other partners. The “Access control rules” between him and the partners. The partners can use their own identities!

show the XOML that is being hosted inside the workflow services through the Azure web interface

Shows the application he built (an asp.net app) and puts in a product recall due to battery issues. It then went through a workflow, and into the .net services bus. Then all of the partners were notified

Flicks to a silverlight app. And shows how the partners are getting the messages. Is querying SQL data services.

Bob is on stage by himself (we are now over 1 hour in)

Talking about System Centre. It collects a lot of data.

People using it want to share the data and learn from others.

“Atlanta” is an app that uses Azure. New frontend for Systems Centre, can access info about things that are happening in their own environment “DHCP issues inside our network”, “CPU usage is down”. But now lets you compare against others

Service bus is used to connect the on premise stuff up into the cloud through firewalls.

He is now using Linq to query data from SQL data services. Looks like he is passing a string into SQL server which is the LINQ query. I THINK he is using LinqToEntities

Is pulling the data out into ASP.Net. then shows in silverlight, then uses SQL Report services

Know that everyone will still use on premise stuff. So windows server will be using a lot of things that are hosted on Azure moving forward and integrate with it (“Atlanta” is a good example of connecting on premise with the cloud)

Dave Thompson comes on stage

Problems with our customers are that they only update every other release. So we have problems with them upgrading (Think MYOB V1, v2, v3)

“Microsoft Online Service”

Exchange online, CRM online, sharepoint online, etc.

ALL of Microsoft products will be available through online

Easier to stay up to date because Microsoft does it for them.

Can provision and use in MINIUTES not weeks/months

Coca-Cola & Energizer have both entrusted their operations with Microsoft.

Talks about how federation works  (meh some pic of AD pointing to the cloud)

Talks about extending cloud apps (CRM, etc. by using web services)

Federated Identity control allows people to be in control of their own identities.

First he is  going to be an IT administrator, then a developer, then a project manager, then a customer.

Is the IT guy

  • Shows how to use the services connector
  • Is a simple wizard the IT guy uses on the computer. Select the URL, say who can access it. And that is it! Just 2 screens
  • Communicates with the federation services.
  • He now has federated identity.

Is now the developer. Now he just opens up CRM online

  • Auto authenticated for him, no logon screen
  • It has been customised and it is showing us the CRM customisations
  • Can download the WSDL files to develop applications to interface with it.

Is now a product manager

  • Looks through some orders
  • Clicks approve on the order, kicks off workflow. And auto creates time sheets
  • They customised version of word. With a customised ribbon control. It connects to CRM, shows all of the projects. Shows the data, selects it. And auto insterts it into the status report. Then he clicks submit to publish it to sharepoint.

Now he is the customer

  • Goes to the portal to see how his project is going
  • Has scorecards, etc.
  • Can see how much it has cost them so far because of the timesheets/orders, etc.

In summary, showed how CRM & Sharepoint were connected.

The identity management from the company and the customer allowed a seamless integration

Ray Ozzie comes back on stage to close and give a summary

“When it is released commercially, costs primarily derived from apps resource consumption and a specific service level we agree to provide. Competitive with marketplace and variety of service models.”

Will be intentionally releasing a restricted number of services. And then bringing in more and more.

By David Burela