If you are a .Net development shop, look no further. Solid services, constantly being improved and made cheaper.
June 24, 2014

If you are a .Net development shop, look no further. Solid services, constantly being improved and made cheaper.

Darryl Whitmore | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 10 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Modules Used

  • Websites
  • SQL Database
  • Service Bus
  • Storage

Overall Satisfaction with Windows Azure

I used Azure Websites for my service's ASP.Net MVC website. I published the website from Visual Studio 2012 & 2013 and it worked like a charm.

I used an Azure SQL Database for the website's membership (login) data. Again, worked great.

I configured the SQL Database for weekly automatic export to an Azure Storage account for backup purposes. The export ran without issue 99.999% of the time. There were a couple instances, over the course of a couple years, in which the export failed and I received an email to this effect. In these cases, I went into the Azure portal and reran the export manually.

I used Azure Service Bus Queues to queue email jobs. Email jobs were generated by the website when users used a "send invitation" function to email an invite to friends. Email jobs were also generated by a separate back end process that ran on-premises, and not on Azure. Another on-premises back end process pulled the email jobs from the Azure Service Bus queue and sent out the emails. The Azure Service Bus queue worked great and was very solid. The Service Bus Queue API used to enqueue and dequeue jobs took a little time to understand, but beyond the learning curve, I had no problems with it. Very solid.

I would highly recommend Azure. Besides the solid performance of the services that I used, they are constantly pushing prices down, evolving the existing services, and rolling out new services. New announcements of lower prices and service improvements come nearly every two weeks. It is a very impressive operation, top to bottom, from the physical data centers to the website portal that you use to interact and configure your services.
  • Competitive and aggressive pricing
  • Constantly evolving and improving services
  • If you are a .Net shop, it fits you hand-in-glove
  • I'd use more services if they cost even less than they do
  • Some services are confusing and difficult to understand, such as Web Roles and Web Workers. Sometimes I wonder if I should/could be using these, but I don't quite understand them.
  • Improved development speed
  • Lowered infrastructure costs
Amazon offers a comparable range of services at competitive prices to Azure. As a .Net developer, however, the huge advantage of Azure is that it is .Net-centric. I can probably do everything I did using Amazon, but it is harder because you don't have the integration with .Net APIs and Visual Studio. Amazon seems to be Linux-y in its approach and terminology. It causes development friction to have to figure out how to use the services.
Have had a great experience, the integration with Visual Studio and my development processes is fantastic, they're constantly lowering prices and improving the service. I'm happy and have no reason to change.
For software organizations that need to test on a variety of hardware platforms, Azure Virtual Machines are excellent. You can spin up a machine for a specific niche test scenario, and when done, shut it down and you're off the clock.