Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Nate Vickery, Stackify Blog, XebiaLabs Blog, Jyoti Bansal, Flint Brenton

Related Topics: Silverlight, Java IoT, IBM Cloud, PowerBuilder, Weblogic, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog, Machine Learning , Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Log Management, Server Monitoring, @CloudExpo

Silverlight: Blog Feed Post

The Difference Between Web Hosting and Cloud Computing

Azure completely changes the way people think about building scalable and reliable web applications available on the Internet

Cloud Hosting Journal on Ulitzer

Yesterday a friend of mine was asking me what I've been doing lately in my spare time. When I mentioned that I'd been doing a lot of messing around with Windows Azure, he was naturally curious. After explaining what Azure is, he asked me what the difference was between Windows Azure, a cloud computing environment, and traditional web hosting scenarios.

On a really high level, he's got a valid point : With Azure you can develop your application offline locally and then when you're done you can publish it to a remote host. To the casual observer, this looks exactly like what you might do with a web hosting company that provides space on an IIS box and let's you use ASP.NET and maybe even a little SQL server database.

The beauty, of course, is that to the end user it doesn't matter. To someone using your website, they don't (and shouldn't) care whether your website is being hosted in Windows Azure or a traditional web hosting server environment. The real difference is the underlying plumbing.

In a traditional web hosting environment, the company to whom you're paying your monthly fees has a bunch of Windows Server boxes (virtual or otherwise). Each of these has IIS on it and the .NET Framework. When you rent a website space from them, they create a virtual directory/IIS application (possibly even an App pool if they're nice) for you. So, on their system your application might be at server203/customer909312093 and they very nicely provide a DNS mapping so that www.yourapp.com points to that location on their system and the end users never know about how this plumbing works. The key architectural points to consider here at that there is a single point where your application resides - 1 IIS server, 1 app pool, 1 application/virtual directory within that pool. There is a single SQL server instance, also hosted in a single physical location, and a single database within that SQL server instance that contains your stuff. It is a classic example of the client/server model, with the server parts being hosted by the web host company and the client parts being browsers and other web consumers.

Cloud computing is different. By its very nature it is distributed. When you develop a web application in Windows Azure, there is a chance that there might be 10 different instances of your application running in 10 different data centers throughout the world. This application could be pulling data from partitioned storage in 5 different data centers throughout the world. There can be 5 different instances of the "engine" (a worker role; C# class) running in 5 different data centers, all working on processing the information that your application is taking in and spitting out. Writing a scalable, robust, reliable application in Azure involves being mindful of the architecture of "the cloud", but you don't need to worry about things like how to implement hot failover. You don't have to worry about things like what happens when your web-hosted site gets crushed under the "Digg" effect or "Slashdotted" - if that happens on Azure you just go to the admin site and bump up the number of running instances of your web role and maybe your worker role (you can scale them differently).

Azure is a game-changer. It completely changes the way people think about building scalable and reliable web applications available on the Internet. In addition, other Azure services like the .NET Service Bus allow websites sitting "in the cloud" to securely and reliably communicate with servers sitting inside your corporate infrastructure without opening firewall ports or causing security problems. This allows scenarios like you being able to build an e-Commerce website that sits in the cloud and it can communicate new orders directly to your internal fullfillment system without requiring you to create a gap in your security. The list of scenarios is endless.

The bottom line here when thinking about web hosting vs. Azure is this: Do you want to put up some HTML that might have a limited amount of interactivity or are you trying to publish an actual application? If you want to build an application in the cloud then Azure is your tool... it's not a tool, it truly is an Operating System - an Operating System and SDK for building cloud applications.

Obviously I will be posting more details about Azure, cloud computing, and code samples :) Some of what I've got planned is still under wraps and I can't spill the beans just yet.

More Stories By Kevin Hoffman

Kevin Hoffman, editor-in-chief of SYS-CON's iPhone Developer's Journal, has been programming since he was 10 and has written everything from DOS shareware to n-tier, enterprise web applications in VB, C++, Delphi, and C. Hoffman is coauthor of Professional .NET Framework (Wrox Press) and co-author with Robert Foster of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Development Unleashed. He authors The .NET Addict's Blog at .NET Developer's Journal.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...