Day 3 - Windows Azure Platform - Fabric Controller

by Kev Ritchie 3. December 2010 00:01



On the third day of Windows Azure Platform Christmas my true love gave to me the Fabric Controller.

And I’m quite glad she did, as this is one the most fundamental aspects of Windows Azure.

I briefly mentioned on day one about the Fabric Controller and one of the main functions that it provides (Virtual Machine/Role scaling). Today I’ll expand a little on that.

What is the Fabric Controller?

The Fabric Controller is a new innovative technology that acts on-demand and is, in many ways the brain of Windows Azure. It controls, maintains, allocates resources…well to cut it short, it looks after your Azure application and environment for you. That’s not to say it will make a badly written application better Winking smile

So, expanding on Virtual Machine scaling, let’s say for instance, when you deploy your application to Windows Azure, you specify that you want a single Web Role, the Fabric Controller spins that Virtual Machine (VM) up for you, nice Smile Now the magic, imagine that you have a web application; let’s say an e-Commerce site, and it handles quite a large user base everyday. If the application or the server the application was on happened to fail or throw an unhandled error, it could be quite costly. Well, with the Fabric Controller, if it notices that your application (Web Role) has failed, it will spin up another VM to maintain the total number of instances required for your application; seamlessly. Nicer! Smile

One of the other features I really love about the Fabric Controller is its ability to maintain, upgrade and patch the environment (VM) in which your application runs. No more tedious administration tasks!

With just these little snippets I’ve given you, you can really see why Windows Azure is the perfect PaaS (Platform as a Service).

Tomorrow’s installment: CDN (Content Delivery Network)

P.S. If you have any questions, corrections or suggestions to make please let me know.

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