The Pursuit of Happyness

the-Pursuit-of-Happiness

Yesterday I watched in Comcast, the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness“. Will Smith has superbly portrayed the character of a struggling salesman who takes custody of his son as he’s poised to begin a life-changing professional endeavour. The story is inspired by a true story of an investment tycoon (of the same name portrayed) Chris Gardener. An emotional story told very well, the boy (done by Will Smith’s real son Jaden Smith) has acted great especially in the scenes – where they are moving from place to place after a long day when they don’t have a place to sleep.

Don’t miss seeing this award winning movie.

Notes on Microsoft PDC 2008 – Azure under the hood

In this PDC2008 talk, Chuck Lenzmeier – the Architect in Azure team explains how the Virtual Images of OS works in the Azure cloud data centers. His Bio in PDC2008 says that Chuck has been with Microsoft since 1989, and worked on all versions of Windows from NT 3.1 to Vista. The below video really helps to understand how the Virtual Images are being managed to achieve Windows Azure manage while retaining absolute compatibility with existing OS, Software and Applications.

Click on this picture for the video of Azure Under the Hood

His co-speaker Frederick Smith from Microsoft explained the other aspects of Windows Azure.

Azure Under the Hood (2) Azure Under the Hood (3)

  • Windows Azure provisions and monitors hardware elements (Compute nodes, L2 Switches, LBs, Routers), hardware lifecycle management (burn in tests, diagnostics and repair, failed hardware are replaced) and capacity planning
  • Azure Fabric is highly available: Network has redundancy built in, services deployed across fault domains, load balancers route traffic to active nodes only, Fabric Controller state check-pointed periodically, FC state is stored on multiple replicas
  • PDC 2008 CTP release of Azure has Automated Service deployment, Three Service templates, change number of instances, simple service upgrade/degrade, Automated service failure discovery and recovery, external VIP Address/DNS name per service, Service network isolation enforcement & automated hardware management
  • For 2009 release will have ability to model more complex application, richer life-cycle management & richer network management

Notes on PDC2008 Sessions – HP Magcloud on Windows Azure

I was in the talk by Andrew Fitzhugh from HP’s Magcloud.com. The site is HP’s attempt to do on demand publishing of magazines and allow anyone to publish, sell and distribute magazines. An interesting statistics that was shown that in USA about 3.6Billion magazines were delivered to US News stands last year and out of which 2.3Billion was never read.

He talked about how Magcloud moved their front-end systems and portions of storage to Windows Azure.

Magcloud.com on-premises architecture Magcloud.com utilizing Windows Azure
Magcloud.com on-premises architecture Magcloud.com utilizing Windows Azure

Seeing the title I had good expectations, but the session turned out to be disappointing. The speakers completed the talk in 30 minutes and didn’t have anything more to talk or go into architecture or code details. The project seemed to me to a half-hearted attempt to test drive Windows Azure and was a simple project to showcase anything interesting.