Monthly Archives: October 2011

Cloud Architecture Patterns talk from New England Code Camp 16

I attended the 16th (!) edition of New England Code Camp on Saturday 29-Oct-2011. I presented a talk called Cloud Architecture Patterns for Mere Mortals in which I introduced some big architecture ideas – e.g., CQRS, NoSQL, Sharding, and Eventual Consistency – with specific examples of how to realize these patterns drawn from the Windows Azure Platform. My slide deck is here: new-england-code-camp-16-Cloud-Architecture-Patterns-for-Mere-Mortals-bill-wilder-29-oct-2011

I also attended some cool talks – Brock Allen spoke about WIF, David Padbury on node.js, and Dominic Denicola on various Async approaches like Promises. Good time as usual! No after-event celebrating – everyone is running for cover due to the Nor’easter!

If you are interested in learning more about the Windows Azure Platform, please come join us at a Boston Azure cloud user group meeting. Details at We meet every month to learn about Azure. Sometimes we learn through prepared talks, sometimes we hold training events, and sometimes coding/hackathons. We are the oldest such user group in the world, turning two years old this month. Hope to see you!

Our next meeting is Thursday November 17 (the Thursday before Thanksgiving), featuring a very Azurey talk by Chris Rolon of Neudesic.

Got Azure Question? I am also a Windows Azure MVP for Windows Azure and know a thing or two about the platform. I am happy to answer questions you may have. Feel free to contact me on twitter (@codingoutloud) or by email (which is my twitter handle at

Azure On!


OWASP Boston Security Conference

Boston Application Security Conference (BASC) hosted by the Boston chapter of OWASP (The Open Web Application Security Project).

For my part, I attended a number of interesting sessions (especially the frighteningly entertaining talk by Francis Brown on using Google and Bing to hack (or protect) web properties). Due to scheduling challenges, I missed Andrew Wilson‘s talk on Reversing Web Applications, which I wanted to check out.

For my part, I offered a Birds-of-a-Feather session on Securing Applications in the Cloud (with examples drawn from Windows Azure Platform). In this session, I reviewed both pros and cons of cloud deployments from a security point of view, and attempted to make the case that, ultimately, either your applications will simply be safer in the cloud, or at least if you want them to be sufficiently safe, it will be more cost-effective to let the specialists at Microsoft (or some other trusted cloud vendor) handle much of the dirty work.

This session was interesting for me to put together and then go through with an intimate crowd (due, at least in part I suppose, to (me) changing the scheduled time slot after the conference schedule went to the printer… D’oh! … that combined with the seeming invisibility of the BoF sessions generally). Anyhow, it was still fun to discuss, and here is the slide deck I used: OWASP Boston – BoF – Securely Running Applications in Cloud (examples drawn from Windows Azure Platform) – Bill Wilder – 08-Oct-2011.

Boston Azure Bootcamp was a Success!

On Friday September 30 and Saturday October 1 the Boston Azure cloud user group hosted the Boston Azure Bootcamp – with a few of our friends – and it was a big success.

Here are a few links that folks attending might have been told about, plus a couple of answers I offered to gather offline.

Where can I get the materials used in the Bootcamp?

  • The materials live here:
  • However, as I explained at the bootcamp, the actual materials used at our sessions were a mix of what is posted on the web and some slide decks that had been updated (mostly for the Azure SDK 1.5, but also other changes in some cases). So you can pull the materials as linked to above and you’ll be pretty close, but the updated ones are not yet publicly posted.

How can I see what’s in Windows Azure Storage?

How can I track changes/upgrades to Windows Azure Guest OS?

Does Azure use Hyper-threading?

Where can I learn more about the Windows Azure Platform?

Where can I read more?

Who should I thank for this event?

  • You can thank our TWO MAJOR SPONSORS: This event was provided free to you because our Gold Sponsor SNI TECHNOLOGY generously sponsored the food, and Microsoft NERD donated the space. Many thanks to these major sponsors!
  • SNI TECHNOLOGY logoWithout these sponsors this event would simply not have happened.
  • You can thank our swag sponsors: O’Reilly (books), Pluralsight (training), Cerebrata (licenses), Packt Publishing (books), and Microsoft (books and licenses).
  • And you can thank the Boston Azure Bootcamp team which included (in alphabetical order): Andy Novick (who led the SQL Azure segment), Arra Derderian (helped during labs), George Babey (“swag guy” – and helped during labs), Jim O’Neil (lab-time tech support, lecture-time answer-man), Joan Wortman (ran the registration), Maura Wilder (who led the Azure Table Storage segment – and helped during labs), Nazik Huq (“twitter guy” – plus made sure there was food – and helped during labs), and William Wilder (yes, that’s me; you can call me “Bill” but wanted to be listed last…). Also, many thanks to Martha O’Neil for baking us a cloudy cake. 🙂

We are planning another Boston Azure Bootcamp in 2012. Stay tuned!

Update 22-Oct-2011: Here is contact info for our Gold sponsors at SNI TECHNOLOGY:

October Azure Cloud Events in Boston Area

Are you interested in Cloud Computing generally, or specifically Cloud Computing using the Windows Azure Platform? Listed below are the upcoming Azure-related events in the Greater Boston area which you can attend in person and for FREE (or low cost).

Since this summary page is – by necessity – a point-in-time SNAPSHOT of what I see is going on, it will not necessarily be updated when event details change. So please always double-check with official event information!

updates: Added Tech Boston event + more details on Boston Azure

Know of any more cloud events of interest to the Windows Azure community? Have any more information or corrections on the events listed? Please let us know in the comments.

Events are listed in the order in which they will occur.

October Events

1. Mongo Boston

  • when: Mon 03-Sep-2011, 9:00-5:00 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Provided
  • cost: $30
  • what: The main Azure-related content is a talk by Jim O’Neilon using Mongo with the Windows Azure Platform – from the published program description: “MongoDB in the Cloud, Jim O’Neil – Developer Evangelist, Microsoft: MongoDB is synonomous with scale and performance, and, hey, so is cloud computing! It’s peanut butter and chocolate all over again as we take a look at why you might consider running MongoDB in the cloud in general and also look at the alpha release of MongoDB on Azure, a collaboration from 10gen and Microsoft.”
  • more info:
  • register:
  • twitter: @mongodb

2. Cloud Camp

  • when: Thu 06-Oct-2011, 5:15 – 8:30 PM (then after-party)
  • where: CloudCamp Boston #5 is Co-located with the OpenStack Design Summit. Intercontinental Hotel, 510 Atlantic Ave, Salon A (between Congress St & Fort Hill Wharf), Boston, MA 02210
  • wifi: (not sure)
  • food: (not sure, though food and beer were offered last time)
  • cost:
  • what: (from the event description on “CloudCamp is an unconference where early adopters of Cloud Computing technologies exchange ideas.  With the rapid change occurring in the industry, we need a place where we can meet to share our experiences, challenges and solutions.  At CloudCamp, you are encouraged to share your thoughts in several open discussions, as we strive for the advancement of Cloud Computing.  End users, IT professionals and vendors are all encouraged to participate.”
  • more info:
  • register: here
  • twitter: (not sure)

3. Boston Tech: What Can Cloud Do for YOU?

  • when: Mon 24-Oct-2011, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: “You’ve probably seen the “to the cloud” commercial and are aware of the hype
    that makes cloud computing sound like the next best thing since sliced bread,
    but do you really know what cloud computing is? And what it’s not? When does it
    make sense? And when doesn’t it? What does it mean to us as software developers,
    startup entrepreneurs, and end-users? And how do you sort through all of the
    vendors and offerings to determine whose cloud portfolio offers the most value
    to you? We’ll look at all of these questions and more as we spend the evening
    navigating through the cloudscape.” (text taken from the Meetup listing)
  • more info:
  • register:
  • twitter:

4. Boston Azure User Group meeting: Cloud Architecture Patterns

  • when: Thu 27-Oct-2011, 6:00 – 8:30 PM
  • where: Hosted at NERD Center
  • wifi: Wireless Internet access will be available
  • food: Pizza and drinks will be provided
  • cost: FREE
  • what: Featured talk: “There are some big ideas in software architecture that are particularly relevant for cloud platforms. In this talk we will introduce a few of these big ideas – eventual consistency, scale out, and design for failure – and discuss the implications of these big ideas on cloud application architecture generally, with specific examples of useful patterns and services drawn from the Windows Azure Platform.” There will also be a shorter opening topic.
  • more info: See our (new) Boston Azure site for more info
  • register:
  • twitter: #bostonazure

5. New England Code Camp #16

While not strictly an Azure-only event, there will be Azure content at this community-driven event. Hope to see you there!

Omissions? Corrections? Comments? Please leave a comment or reply on the Twitters!