none
A few misunderstandings +.Is it possible to set caps on usage?

    Question

  • Hi, I would like to use Windows Azure. Is it possible to set caps on how much I want to spend at maximum per month? I understand that the service would go down entirely if the cap is reached, however for me this would be preferable to huge automatic costs.

    I'm also not quite sure I understand scaling with Windows Azure. As I understand it, the biggest advantage of cloud computing and Windows Azure is, that it scales depending on my load. But if I only purchased an extra small instance, there would be no scaling, would there? Or would it automatically put me into more expensive plans?

    It's a little hard to see the advantages for me. (for example, compared to a VPS, which start at ~50€ a month...look at this: http://www.hosteurope.de/produkt/Virtual-Server-Windows-MAX?PHPSESSID=67645e7a232a65d6781159120dd6b48c). What exactly is Microsoft doing for me through Azure? Can I install Java on the cloud and run my custom apps on there?

    Also, I have gone through a lot of info articles already, but is it possible to use non-windows database solutions with Azure? I'd like to try MongoDB.



    Friday, March 18, 2011 10:07 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    I am not sure of your 1st question if we can set caps on when you reach some max amount. Will have to check if some related APIs available.

    To your 2nd question about auto scaling, at the moment it doesn't scale automaticaly based on load. Rather scaling is manual through service config file only (# of running instances are always equal to # of instances mentioned in the service config file). Also it promises SLA's only when you have opted for more than 1 instances. If you only purchased an extra small instance, it will not scale and it never moves to some other plan automatically.

    <<What exactly is Microsoft doing for me through Azure? >>

    I am not sure of VPS but Azure is Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offering from Microsoft which provides the environment to deploy the apps and other services. It has a number of other useful services. Development is still done using Visual Studio though the programming  model is different based on Roles.

    <<Can I install Java on the cloud and run my custom apps on there?>>

    You can build java apps for Azure. Installation is possible on VM role only with VM role limitations. MS has provided Windows Azure SDK for java and recently launched the Starter kit for Java as well  CTP of the Windows Azure Starter Kit for Java.

    <<is it possible to use non-windows database solutions with Azure? I'd like to try MongoDB>>

    Non-windows database solutions not supported directly. Hybrid solution (on-premise and on Cloud) kind of scenario very much possible.

    --Parkash K.

     

     

     
    Friday, March 18, 2011 10:54 AM
  • <<is it possible to use non-windows database solutions with Azure? I'd like to try MongoDB>>

    Non-windows database solutions not supported directly. Hybrid solution (on-premise and on Cloud) kind of scenario very much possible.

    --Parkash K.

    What do you mean by "hybrid"? I assume you mean, that I can run my website on Azure, but I have to run the database on a different host? I imagine that this would create a weird kind of overhead, wouldn't it? Each time I want to get something from my database, I would need to get it from provider X, and then transfer it to Azure (=Provider Y). That's one more way to travel for the data right? 

    I have searched the net a little more, and it appears to be possible to run MongoDb on Azure, but that will remain to be seen. It's not that important right now, I have to program the website first. Aftewards I can still decide if I want to put it onto Azure or onto a VPS.

    Are there any other advantages of Microsoft Azure compared to VPS? I have to confess, I'm rather new to the whole web thing. Oh my God, that sounds horrible.. well, for example: Is an "internet flat rate" always equally fast or does Microsoft have a better access to internet / faster upload rates? If I purchase a VPS from a smaller company, there is a chance that their internet is worse, right... Basically, I'm a little clueless as to what the absolute advantages of having Microsoft as a partner are.

    Thanks for your answers

    Friday, March 18, 2011 11:37 AM
  • Yes you understood "hybrid" correctly.

    VPS, I hope it's Virtual Private Server, is just used for hosting say some web site/app only. Azure is much bigger/broader than that in terms of functionality it provides and in terms of it's objectives. As I told earlier it's Platform as a Service. It has it's own OS running on the cloud. It has many other components/services that are part of it and many need to be added & are part of Azure roadmap. SQL Azure, Windows Azure Storage, Windows Azure AppFabric etc are some of them...

    Why somebody would go for Azure? probably for the following reasons:

    1) No upfront infrastructure cost 
    2) Pay-per-use model
    3) Application admin is not your headache (things like applying OS patches etc automatically handled by Azure)
    4) Azure may not be for every application that we build but it really makes sense for apps with spikes in usage. It also makes sense for apps that are highly compute intensive.And above all it's an attractive option for Small & Medium Business guys who can't spend huge infra costs.
    5) For Developers - Development is done using the very same Visual Studio IDE and the same familiar languages like C# etc.
    6) On top of this, all the apps running on Azure are backed by MS SLA's. 

    You can check out the below intro whitepaper which talks about Azure and it's components in detail: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9752185

    As far as Internet speed/upload is concerned, Azure has nothing do with that. It's upto your internet provider bandwidth availablity.

    Hope it helps.

    --Parkash K.

    Friday, March 18, 2011 1:23 PM
  • Hi, I would like to use Windows Azure. Is it possible to set caps on how much I want to spend at maximum per month? I understand that the service would go down entirely if the cap is reached, however for me this would be preferable to huge automatic costs.

    I'm also not quite sure I understand scaling with Windows Azure. As I understand it, the biggest advantage of cloud computing and Windows Azure is, that it scales depending on my load. But if I only purchased an extra small instance, there would be no scaling, would there? Or would it automatically put me into more expensive plans?

    It's a little hard to see the advantages for me. (for example, compared to a VPS, which start at ~50€ a month...look at this: http://www.hosteurope.de/produkt/Virtual-Server-Windows-MAX?PHPSESSID=67645e7a232a65d6781159120dd6b48c). What exactly is Microsoft doing for me through Azure? Can I install Java on the cloud and run my custom apps on there?

    Also, I have gone through a lot of info articles already, but is it possible to use non-windows database solutions with Azure? I'd like to try MongoDB.




    1) Setting a maximum per month - it is not posisble to do today

    2) If you only allocate 1 instance there would be no scaling.  Azure does not automatically scale you, so you have nothing to fear.  On the other hand, the whole point of cloud is that you do scale up when needed and scale down when not needed.  And Azure provides a number of API's to help deal with that.  But it does not automate the process because it does not know when it needs to -- every application is different.  Knowing when to scale up is much harder then the issuing actual scale up/down command.  There are some auto-scaling services/applications available that help you do that when you are ready for that.  Link to one in my sig.

    3) Comparing VPS to Azure is hard, because it is not apples to apples.  Simply because Azure is targeted toward applications that have outgrown traditional VPS models.  Here is a good rule of thumb: if your app needs (or will need) 3+ VPS machines to handle peak load, and your low-load can be handled by 2 VPS machines, you will see greater benefits from Azure than with respect to VPS.  Because with VPS you will be paying for 3 static machines all the time.  With Azure you'll be paying from 2 to 3 instances (assuming you only go down to minimum SLA-required).  The bigger the discrepancy between peak load and low-load is, there more you'll save.  VPS can't even compare here, because it'll take you hours or days to provision a new VPS machine and you'll be charged for it a monthly fee.  It takes 10 minutes to provision a new Azure machine and you're charged for it by hour.  Architectural models are totally different.

     


    Auto-scaling & monitoring service for Windows Azure applications at http://www.paraleap.com
    Friday, March 18, 2011 7:48 PM
  • Thanks, that's good advice. Do you happen to have any anecdotal knowledge on how many concurrent users one can roughly expect from a VPS with about 2x2Ghz, 4gb ram, 100Mbit ? It's a news site with a large forum basically. I really have no idea, but I would hope it's significantly more than 100.

    When you say 3+ VPS machines, I am not quite sure how that is possible. Doesn't everything have to be on one machine unless it's cloud? 

    I'm not sure if the location matters, is a VPS in England going to be slow for the U.S? (I guess it must be, but Windows Azure would have the same problem, just alleviated a little because of the CDN network right)

     

     


    Saturday, March 19, 2011 12:35 AM