Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hitting Scott Guthrie's Laptop

I had the opportunity to take in some of today's AspConf, including Scott Guthrie's keynote demo of Azure.  I can't help feeling that something significant is happening.
Azure is taking away the barriers to rolling out applications in much the same way that Web 2.0 made anyone with a blogger account an author.  As Scott Guthrie pointed out, it used to be a pretty involved process getting a SQL Server instance procured.  Now it's a seven second operation that costs $5 a month for 100 MB.  Got an idea? Roll it out!

A diverse, but select, group of best of breed applications are instantly deployable throgh Azure. Git is in, Mercurial is not.  Wordpress and Linux made the cut.  And if you're in, magic happens.  Seeing Scott Guthrie open a Git Bash window was pretty sweet, but seeing the "git push" commands drive builds in Azure space was truly magical.  Click an earlier Git commit on the Azure portal, and you've rolled back your application to an earlier state.  Something we've been struggling towards with Continuous Integration tools like Team City was suddently there, fully realized.

Then there's scalability.  Need more database power? Slide the bar to the right  to spin up another 100 instances of SQL Server.  Of course, this is going to require a whole new set of skills for developers, who are going to  have to design solutions in a way that each piece can be scaled independently. And the concept of scaling itself has changed.  It is no longer a static projection of need over the next two years, it's now a dynamic response to need.

The wow moment for me came when Scott was showing off Service Bus.  He was demonstrating how you can integrate backend applications with Azure-provisioned web sites through a secure web service layer.  He deployed the web site in six seconds, which is pretty nifty, and then opened a web service from his laptop that returned Northwinds data.  Every time he clicked on a Northwinds customer, his console recored the request, so you had a nice visual of the traffic coming in.  Then he shared the URL.  When you are watching a webinar, you can forget for a moment that you are seeing something live, so it was a bit of jolt when I entered the URL and realized I was being served data from his laptop.  Hey, I'm part of the show.  And that's the point.  


  1. Felt the same way, bro. This dramatic simplification of Azure provisioning and deployment vs. say, 2 years ago, just has to be Scott's imprint.. you see why they put the man on the project. Magic was highly-likely to happen, and it did.

  2. DOn't know about magic - git push heroku master has been around for years.

  3. Scottgu is the man! You can see that most of the stuff were his ideas :).