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How We Tested Windows Azure

By Tom Henderson and Brendan Allen, Network World
June 20, 2011 06:08 AM ET

Network World - We controlled our Microsoft-supplied Azure account from our laptops (MacBook Pros, sometimes running Window 7 VMs) and through our network operations center resources (numerous Dell, Tyan, and HP servers; 10GB Extreme Switch, Compellent SAN, 100Mbps connection hosted at

We installed the Azure related development environment on a Windows 7 VM, which includes SQL Server 2008 R2 Express, IIS7, Visual Studio 2010 Express, Azure SDK, and other components using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

Then we proceeded to create a CGI Web role using Visual Studio. We created a simple test PHP app connecting to the SQL Azure database to make sure we had it working correctly. We also had to get all the configuration settings correct in Visual Studio's config files. Afterwards, we setup the Wordpress blog to use SQL Azure as the database, and added a plug-in, which used Azure Storage for uploaded images/files. We then found about how rebooting an instance causes local drive storage — where our WordPress pilot application was stored — to go away. Even application monitoring claimed the application was working despite the fact that the HTML was missing.

We also pushed the buttons and clicked AppFabric features, and learned Azure and SQL Azure navigation, provisioning, and management components.

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Read more about security in Network World's Security section.

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