On the 5th day of Windows Azure Platform Christmas my true love gave to me Connect.
What is Windows Azure Connect?
Connect is a component of Windows Azure; that, well allows you to connect things. Doesn’t sound amazing, does it? Well, let’s have a closer look. If you’re a Network Administrator or a Dev, you’ll love this.
Windows Azure Connect allows you to connect (using IPSec protected connections) computers/servers in your network to roles in Windows Azure and the best bit; the roles take on IP addresses as if they were resources in your network.
NOTE: It doesn’t create a VPN connection
So, for example, you could have a web application running on Windows Azure that has a back-end database to store; for instance, customer information. But, what if you don’t want to store the database in Azure, well you don’t have to. With Connect, you can leave the database on your network; Connect will do the rest. Well, obviously after some human intervention
Also after Connect is configured, you have the ability to use existing methods for domain authentication and name resolution. You can remotely debug Windows Azure role instances and you can also use existing management tools to work with roles in the Azure Platform e.g. PowerShell.
Connectivity between different networks and applications isn’t a new concept by any means, but what Connect provides, is a simple, secure, non-nonsense, no VPN way of bridging the gap between your network and The Cloud.
Tomorrow’s installment: SQL Azure - Database
P.S. If you have any questions, corrections or suggestions to make please let me know.