On October 27th 2008 Microsoft announced Windows® Azure™
the comprehensive cloud environment from Microsoft. With
Windows® Azure™ Tools for Microsoft® Visual Studio®
you can build, debug and deploy services and applications
for Windows Azure.
Windows Azure offers a scalable hosting environment for
the Internet, built on geographically distributed data centers.
It handles load balancing and resource management, and
automatically manages the life cycle of a service based on
requirements that you establish. With the service, you include
code specifications for the service topology, the number of
instances to deploy, and any configuration settings. Windows®
Azure™ deploys the service and manages upgrades and failures
to maintain availability.
The Windows Azure environment is designed as a utility
computing model, so that you pay only for the resources
used by your service, while benefitting from the reliability and
performance provided by the hosting environment.
Windows Azure Tools provide the means to create services
and applications within the framework of Visual Studio. That
includes a project model specifically for Windows Azure, as
well as the debugging capabilities of Visual Studio. With Visual
Studio, you can build a package containing your service, and
use Windows Azure Tools to deploy the package to Windows
Azure through the Windows Live Developer Portal.