Foreword – Yousef Khalidi
Microsoft's Windows Azure platform, an operating environment for developing, hosting, and managing cloud-based services, established a foundation that allows customers to easily move their applications from on-premises locations to the cloud. With Windows Azure, customers benefit from increased agility, a very scalable platform, and reduced costs.
Microsoft's cloud strategy has three broad tenets: to offer flexibility of choice for deploying services based on business needs; to provide enterprise-level services with no compromises on availability, reliability, or security; and to support consistent, connected experiences across devices and platforms. Windows Azure is a key component of Microsoft's cloud strategy.
Windows Azure builds on Microsoft's many years of experience running online services for millions of users, and on our long history of building platforms for developers. We focused on making the transition from on-premises to the cloud easy for both programmers and IT professionals. Their existing skills and experience are exactly what they need to start using the Windows Azure platform.
Microsoft is committed to Windows Azure, and will continue to expand it as we learn how all our customers around the globe, from the largest enterprises to the smallest ISVs, use it. One of the advantages of an online platform is that it allows us to introduce innovations quickly.
I'm excited to introduce this guide from the Microsoft patterns & practices team, proof of our commitment to help customers be successful with the Windows Azure platform. Whether you're new to Windows Azure, or if you're already using it, you'll find guide a great source of things to consider. I encourage you to get started exploring Microsoft's public cloud and to stay tuned for further guidance from the patterns & practices team.
Foreword for the Third Edition
Since its first beginnings, and since I reviewed the original edition of this guide from the patterns & practices team, Windows Azure has continued to mature by offering exciting new services and capabilities. Now that we have achieved general release, with a comprehensive SLA, we have seen a huge uptake of the platform across all sectors of our industry.
In my original foreword I talked about our commitment to the enterprise. We have proved not only that we can deliver on these commitments, but go beyond them to offer even more innovative features; including many that make migration of existing on-premises applications to the cloud much easier. The business case for Windows Azure continues to prove itself, and there is even more to come!
Distinguished Engineer, Windows Azure