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What is cloud development? (overview)
Cloud computing refers to computers and applications that run remotely and are accessed over the Internet. In cloud computing, virtual machines run in large data centers and replace physical PCs and servers. By aggregating the computing needs of many users within a single center, economies of scale are achieved that result in significant benefits such as lower power utilization, simpler setup and maintenance, and easier upgrades to capacity and performance. Many applications can run unchanged as you redeploy them from local desktops or servers to the cloud.
Watch this video about the Microsoft cloud offerings, and then prepare your environment by installing the tools you'll use to build your first Azure application.
Now that you know what the cloud platform is, watch this next video to learn about the tools and technologies for cloud development, including three key building blocks for cloud development based on the Azure platform: Windows Azure, SQL Azure, and Windows Azure Windows Azure.
get the tools
Clicking this button installs:
Web Platform Installer (runs the rest of the installation)
Visual Web Developer 2010, if you do not have Visual Studio 2010
Windows Azure provides the core computing and storage capabilities for cloud-based applications. You can use the Microsoft tools and technologies you are already familiar with to build your applications, including .NET, C++, ASP.NET, WCF, and Visual Studio. Windows Azure provides the virtual CPU and storage needed to power your applications, enable them to communicate with one another, and efficiently deliver stored data to end users.
After you view this video, you're ready to move on. Or, you can view the next two videos in this series to learn about SQL Azure and Windows Azure.
SQL Azure provides relational database capabilities, enabling applications to store and manipulate relational data in Microsoft hosted data centers. Also available are SQL Azure Reporting (a version of SQL Server Reporting Services) and SQL Azure Data Sync, which enables data synchronization between local and cloud-based databases.
Windows Azure provides infrastructure services to enable you to build sophisticated distributed applications in the cloud. Services include: Service Bus, used to enable your applications to expose interfaces in the cloud that can be accessed by other applications; Access Control, which enables your applications to support authenticated access from a range of digital identities (e.g. Active Directory, Windows Live, Google or Facebook accounts); and Caching services for enhancing the performance of your Windows Azure applications.