Windows Azure Camp at Trivandrum – A revisit

Last month Microsoft conducted Azure Camps all across India and Trivandrum edition was on April 30th at Zenith Hall, UST Global, Technopark. Myself, Shiju and Yanesh was scheduled to speak about Cloud Computing and Windows Azure, Microsoft’s offering for the cloud.

Since I was busy at my workplace,I was able to start the preparations only by the last week of April and was scheduled to deliver three sessions,

1. Introduction to Cloud Computing and Azure Overview

2. Azure Platform

3. Services, Tools Needed and Management Portal.

So the days prior to the event was pretty hectic and in some days worked into the wee hours of the morning. By Friday night everything was ready and good to go and I was eagerly looking forward to meet some people as a community event was happening here after a long time. Started off from the home very early next day as I needed to pick Shoban en route to Technopark.

We reached the venue around 9.30 and Shiju, Satheesh and Salim were there waiting for us. They appear to be little concerned about the attendees as there were only a very few present and prospects of more coming looked very bleak. So we all decided to wind up the session by noon and decided to start the event by 10.30. So we played couple of videos of Windows Azure to give a preview for the attendees regarding cloud computing and Windows Azure.

By 10.30 there were around 25 people were present and without wasting any more time, we decided to start the event. Through my talk, I envisaged to give a brief introduction about cloud computing, current deployment scenarios, pros and cons in the current approach. Then I went on to introduced Azure, Microsoft’s offering for the cloud to them. Also I explained to them how we can solve the issues by using Azure. In the next section I showed them how a cloud data center is built and then talked about the various services offered in the cloud. The presentation is given below

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The next part of my talk was about the Azure Architecture and it was centered around the Azure Storage service and main components Compute Service, Storage Service and Management Portal. Then I explained various blocks and its functionality inside each component in details. Although I had prepared some demos to show the working of a worker and web role, time constraints forced me to abandon that one and decided to wind up my session by giving an intro about the management portal.

For explaining the management portal, I decided to do a live demo. For that I used a live which I had created specifically for the event and used it for creating my azure account. Then I logged on to the portal and gave an intro about the each sections in the portal

To explain more about management portal and creating and deploying applications, I invited Shiju to the stage to deliver his session. Shiju is an MVP in ASP.NET MVC and blogs regularly about MVC, EF, .NET 4.0 at http://weblogs.asp.net/shijuvarghese. He has also got experience in developing application for the cloud and his technical know how and expertise helped the audience in understanding the deployment procedure. After that he talked about the SQL Azure and App Fabric and I think the last one little too much for the audience since they were new to cloud computing and Azure. So we decided to wrap up the event with Q&A section and boy o boy we got a variety of question from the crowd ranging from simple to very advanced ones. After that we all went to have lunch and had a good tech discussion on topics ranging from everything, from cloud to Silverlight to TechEd to consulting etc etc…

Some snaps from the event…

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One final note…. I should my sincere thanks to lot of people in preparing my decks as I had used some of their presentations as my reference. The names comes to my mind are Saranya Sriram(@sharan779), Dhananjay Kumar(@debugmode_), Abhijit Jana & Abhishek Sur

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