Monday, 25 August 2014

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: Azure Recommendation

In 2013 I won a competition to go to TechEd. I have since killed the blog it was on - here is the winning blog entry republished from Enjoy!

Yo Boss!

Sorry for the unproffessional start to this email but over the years I feel we have come closer.... the server crash of 2010, the staging server version snuaffu of 2011, the disk error nightmare of 2012 - good times! As a developer I feel I need to be frank with you - our relationship needs to change. Not mine and yours! The relationship with our hosting setup...

I know it will be difficult. Those new boxes we get every year are fun to open, aren’t they? I love the smell of new servers in the morning....  What I don’t love is the ensuing build, re-build, testing, fixing, patching and endless hours of investigation that go with each glorious box that we open. I’m not sure that men spending this much time together, alone, late into the night is a good thing.

I am a simple man, ask my wife - I just want to develop. Your specs are complicated enough, I really don’t need any extra challenges. I want to do this for you at lightspeed.... Speed Of Light Development, a fitting acronym given you have probably already SOLD whatever we are developing.

Jeff doesn’t work at light speed. Jeff? You know Jeff.... or “The Server  Guy” if you prefer. I know Jeff well.... I think he would be my Best Man, if I ever got married again. You see, whenever I need a new environment or virtual machine I need to talk to Jeff. This happens a lot - and Jeff is really Support. Yeah, I know multi roles are great but  honestly, I think Jeff is just looking everything up on the Internet.... I’m fall guy when everything goes wrong, which sucks.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You have already made one decision that will help enormously - we develop our products in Microsoft .NET. Yeah, I know you are a bit fuzzy on what that means but trust me, its a good thing. And guess what? It could be so much better. Seriously, all it takes is to embrace uncertainty.

Yup, uncertainty. We could be BFFs. You see, when you are coming up with a product you simply don’t know how popular that will be. It is difficult to design a web application that will work the same for 10 people as it will with 100,000 people. Its difficult to plan for something that is uncertain. You need to be able to react - to come up with a plan and know you can deliver it.

This is not something you need to worry about, that’s our job - all we ask is you give us the tools. Give us Microsoft Azure and keep the ideas  coming. Let’s ditch the hardware headaches and simply focus on delivering more product to more customers.

Microsoft Azure will change the way we conceive of products and they way we put them together. It will change the way we do business, if you embrace it. Our tools already integrate seamlessly with this new world, all we have to do is press the button. Literally.

Need a staging environment for your new super-important client? We can create a new environment on demand in minutes. We can deploy directly from our existing development environments and we can integrate our existing source control system to continuously deliver software, again all in minutes. We can take that staging platform and promote it to production, no fuss, no downtime, no problem. All this we can do without  writing a line of code or playing with a single config file. And we did not have to talk to Jeff, which is definitely a bonus.

Our development environment will have a new suite of tools and services ready and waiting for us to exploit on your behalf. We can scale up and out immediately but more importantly we can start to design applications  that are designed to scale from their inception and tune them accordingly. We can concentrate on delivering what you want to sell and fluidly adapt to your business requirements, growing organically without  the current drama.

I know you have different concerns. Security, trust, support, costs etc and rightly so. Microsoft Azure was built by the guys who designed the software we already run our business on. We might have a great relationship with our hosts but from a regulatory perspective, we don’t come close to what we should be doing. Would you prefer that security of  our customers data was managed by the company which actually designed the entire software stack or er, Jeff?

By using Microsoft Azure we are sitting on top of a secured, patched, certified platform which is universal across all our deployments - development, staging or production. The costs are based on what we use and we can scale in real time according to how our customers use our products. Once we know our requirements we can purchase upfront and realise double digit savings on the monthly costs (which I know will be more important to you than some of the other stuff)

Jeff will be happy too. We can purchase support direct from Microsoft - which can also scale - meaning he is backed up by certified professionals who know their own environment inside out. And I won’t be answering phone calls at midnight on a Friday, which is handy. Jeff will  have a array of diagnostics allow him to monitor your business and keep everyone happy as well as give us the information we need to refine our products further.

And this is just the beginning. When your finally decide how you want to  take our product worldwide, we can deploy to a number of worldwide locations and use content delivery services to ensure that our content travels the shortest distance possible to all your new customers. We can  develop applications for mobile or tablets all backed by services on Microsoft Azure. With the vast amounts of data we will accumulate we can  start to mine data with Azure’s Business Intelligence tools to give you all those pretty graphs you love to see.

The future looks great too. Microsoft are supporting development communities and encouraging us to join in. Many of the libraries we already use are backed and many contributed to by Microsoft. And they actually want to know what we think so they can make Azure even better.

Actually, moving to Microsoft Azure will ultimately affect our relationship. I will see you a lot less. Not only because I will be busy but because I really don’t need to be in the office anymore. Microsoft Azure allows us to manage our business when and where we want - I suggest we start with Tahiti. I’m mentally there alreadyare you going to join me?

The Dev Guy

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