On a consultancy assignment last week my client was considering moving their ASP.NET deployment to the cloud but was a little concerned about their lack of knowledge of Azure. This is a valid concern and knowledge of Azure is required. However, the really interesting point to me was that the assumption was that Azure was the ONLY cloud option available to .NET developers wishing to deploy to the cloud.
For developers working with ASP.NET, deployment will typically be to servers running Windows Server, IIS and SQL Server database. The versions may vary but the basic configuration will be the same. What my consultancy assignment highlighted to me was that many .NET development teams are not aware that there are many cloud providers that support the exact configuration I have described above. For example, Amazon AWS provides a number of servers preconfigured with Windows Server, IIS and SQL Server, in their various versions and off the shelf. This provides organisations with an instantaneous, self provisioning cloud solution that exactly matches their current configuration. In addition the software requires no modification at all to run in the cloud environment as well as flexibility, for instance using Oracle, DB2 or MySQL rather than SQL server.
So in summary, Azure is one of many cloud computing options available to .NET developers, not the only one. Which one to choose is both a technical and a business decision and requires a core knowledge of Cloud Computing to make the correct choice. Its this kind of scenario which we discuss in the Learning Tree Cloud Computing course I wrote for Learning Tree. Written from a vendor independent position, it enables attendees to make their choice based on informed decisions.