In 2006, Amitabh Srivastava was a corporate vice president in Microsoft’s Windows division, working on redefining the organization’s engineering processes. Ozzie had recently been named the company’s chief software architect and the two had their first meeting one late afternoon in Building 34 on Microsoft’s campus.
Srivastava has always had a rule: If he’s in town, he never misses dinner at home with his family – or if he needs to, he tells his family he’ll be late. That evening, Srivastava lost track of time. He missed dinner and never called home to say he’d be late. The one-hour meeting began at 4 p.m. and went until 8 p.m.
“By the end of that meeting, I was convinced software wouldn’t be shipped as it had been. My personal realization was, ‘I’m working on the wrong thing,’” Srivastava recalled.
At the time, Srivastava’s office was across from Cutler’s, and the two often got to the office early. Soon after the meeting with Ozzie, Srivastava recalls telling Cutler, “I don’t know what needs to be done, but I know there’s something changing dramatically and we’ve got to rethink our approach.”
After a few more weeks of discussions, Srivastava knew Microsoft needed to build an operating system for the cloud, and he identified his first task: Recruit Cutler.
“So I go to Dave and he says ‘I think I’m ready to retire,’” Srivastava said. “I said, ‘Dave, not quite. This is different. This could change the world.’”
Cutler didn’t say yes to Srivastava, but he also didn’t say no. “I had worked with Dave long enough to know that when he didn’t say no right away, that was a good sign.”
Srivastava developed a plan for Cutler and him to visit every team at Microsoft running a cloud service, from MSN and Hotmail to Xbox Live and the company’s cloud data centers.
The due diligence process took a few months as Cutler and Srivastava listened to the pain points and band-aid approaches teams had taken to keep their cloud services running. After the tour, Cutler and Srivastava never had a formal discussion about him joining the team. Cutler was on board.
Two years later, on Oct. 27, 2008, Ozzie stood on stage at the company’s Professional Developer’s Conference in Los Angeles and announced a technology preview of Windows Azure (now Microsoft Azure).
At PDC 2008, Ray Ozzie announced a technology preview of Windows Azure (now Microsoft Azure).
Amitabh Srivastava on stage at PDC 2008, wearing the “Project Red Dog” sneakers that Cutler designed.
Windows Azure Pack (WAP) is a collection of Windows Azure technologies, available to Microsoft customers at no additional cost for installation into your data center. It runs on top of Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 and, through the use of the Windows Azure technologies.
Services that are available out of the box with WAP:
A region, is a geographical region on the planet, potentially multiple datacenters in close proximity, networked together. Those datacenters are sometimes called availability zones. An availability zone, has its own independent power and networking. It is set up to be an isolation boundary. If one availability zone goes down, the other continues working. The availability zones are typically connected to each other through very fast, private fiber-optic networks.
Within the availability zone, the VMs are deployed on machines, that are organized in racks. Each rack has its own router. The virtual machines on one single physical machine may run multiple containers.
When an incoming request comes to the endpoint, it is usually first delivered to a load balancer to route the traffic to an instance of a service. The goal is to run the code on different VMs that are not close to each other to reduce the chance of single point of failure. The unit of single point of failure is called a fault domain. With this hierarchy, when:
Availability Zones is a high-availability offering that protects your applications and data from datacenter failures. Availability Zones are unique physical locations within an Azure region. Each zone is made up of one or more datacenters equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking. To ensure resiliency, there’s a minimum of three separate zones in all enabled regions. The physical separation of Availability Zones within a region protects applications and data from datacenter failures. Zone-redundant services replicate your applications and data across Availability Zones to protect from single-points-of-failure.
Azure services that support Availability Zones fall into two categories:
To achieve comprehensive business continuity on Azure, build your application architecture using the combination of Availability Zones with Azure region pairs. You can synchronously replicate your applications and data using Availability Zones within an Azure region for high-availability and asynchronously replicate across Azure regions for disaster recovery protection.
Each Azure region is paired with another region within the same geography, together making a regional pair. The exception is Brazil South, which is paired with a region outside its geography.
Figure 1 – Azure regional pair diagram
|Asia||East Asia||Southeast Asia|
|Australia||Australia East||Australia Southeast|
|Canada||Canada Central||Canada East|
|China||China North||China East|
|India||Central India||South India|
|Japan||Japan East||Japan West|
|Korea||Korea Central||Korea South|
|North America||North Central US||South Central US|
|North America||East US||West US|
|North America||East US 2||Central US|
|North America||West US 2||West Central US|
|Europe||North Europe||West Europe|
|Japan||Japan East||Japan West|
|Brazil||Brazil South (1)||South Central US|
|US Government||US Gov Iowa||US Gov Virginia|
|US Government||US Gov Arizona||US Gov Texas|
|US Department of Defense||US DoD East||US DoD Central|
|UK||UK West||UK South|
|Germany||Germany Central||Germany Northeast|
Table 1 – Mapping of Azure regional pairs