First of all – welcome everyone, including myself, to this blog! 🙂
In this first post I want to give some background to the application that I am developing and will be referencing in several coming posts.
The application – called Am I Interesting – is a Facebook app, which to me is a perfect fit for cloud computing and Windows Azure. The application rates users’ activity on Facebook and gives them a percentage rating and a corresponding title, from Facebook Disaster to Facebook Phenomenon. You can rate yourself and your friends and (soon) post an image that compares yourself to selected friends.
This application is a perfect fit for cloud computing and Windows Azure both from a technical and economical perspective.
From a technical perspective, the cloud gives me the ability to architect and host an application that can scale if/when usage increases, which can happen really fast with social apps on Facebook. I’ve seen applications grow to almost a million active users in just a couple of weeks, and with Windows Azure I will have no problems scaling quickly to that volume of usage (as long as my application is properly architected of course ;)). The choice to go with Windows Azure, compared to other cloud platforms, has a lot do to with my .NET background and the ease of getting started. There are many more specific reasons, like the excellent tooling support, and I intend to highlight some of those in coming posts.
From an economical perspective, particularly as I’m developing this as a private educational hobby project, I can start out really small, with just a couple of instances (to secure uptime and the SLA), and get by with a low monthly charge. As a holder of an MSDN Premium subscription, I can get by even cheaper as the subscription includes a good amount of server hours, transactions and traffic volumes. When traffic increases and I need to scale up, I have hopefully worked out a business model that generates at least enough revenue to cover my expenses :).
On the About page, there is some additional information about this blog. My goal is to post a new entry every week, so please let me know if there is something in particular that you would like me to write about!