Microsoft just announced a fun way to test the Microsoft Azure cloud. Azure includes a very large consortium of tools, applications, and services for building, managing, and using the cloud. The goal is to extend these tools to the Internet.
This will enable developers and businesses to test the cloud themselves without having to worry about installing any applications.
The test would be easy to do. All you need is an Azure customer account and a couple of developer tools. The first thing you can do is sign up for a trial account. This way you would have an opportunity to try out the application first hand and see how easy it is to use and setup.
When you sign up you get the dev tools for your specific cloud environment. There are several tools you can choose from. These include Visual Studio C# Server, Microsoft’s built-in build tool for the Visual Studio environment as well as the Microsoft Azure tools for building, deploying, and monitoring the web services applications.
You also get the chance to try out some interesting application demos like a game that makes use of the cloud database called Azure Workers.
All the resources you need are provided. You only need to configure the stress-testing scenarios that will be used in the Microsoft Azure cloud. The test runner comes with several scenarios. These scenarios include:
The process is extremely easy and simple. Once you have started the stress-testing application, you simply make a few clicks. You create the application and then let the machine do all the work. You don’t have to worry about anything else.
This is a great way to begin to learn more about the cloud platform. While this was primarily designed to allow easy provisioning of new environments, it also provides a quick reference for other scenarios as well.
If you are new to the cloud environment, you will find this scenario very easy to follow. In the future, you may even find it useful. If you are an expert at working in the cloud environment, you could take this test as a jumping-off point. As you become more experienced, you could continue with the scenarios and work through the lessons.
For example, if you have an IaaS application, such as Microsoft SharePoint or business intelligence, in your Microsoft Dynamics GP or Great Plains package. You will be able to install the test applications on your local machine. Then, as you get more familiar with cloud computing, you can add more test resources to simulate the behavior of a cloud application.
The trick here is that this is a quick and easy way to get a feel for what is possible. And by creating a demo on your local machine, you save a ton of money that you would have spent on hiring someone to do a test run. When the right time comes around, you can even create an unlimited number of resources and simulate multiple cloud environments. It’s an exciting time to be a technology guru!
So what kind of scenarios can you put into a Microsoft cloud-based test? Well, obviously the list is pretty long but here are some of the more fun examples:
Recreate a business intelligence dashboard using real data from your social media accounts. Then export your test data to your SaaS account and get started immediately. If you have an integration between MS CRM, MS ERP, and MS Dynamics GP then this is a piece of cake. You can create an MS cloud dashboard in minutes and export data from any of those into an Excel spreadsheet quickly.
This scenario is especially well suited for people who are new to cloud testing or people who are starting off and trying to learn and understand what makes the cloud tick.
Create a predictive mobile website that utilizes Microsoft’s Bing search engine. To do this you have to create a website that returns results from various sources such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo.
You can test this functionality by creating a fake version of a Bing search index and then exporting your test data into a SaaS account when it’s time to export the data for analysis.
Think about how you might test your ability to respond to customer reviews on the cloud. How might you use customer reviews to gauge user experience? You could also take your existing e-mail marketing campaigns and test how effective they are on the cloud.
For example, if you send out periodic newsletters on a regular basis to your list of subscribers then you could run an auto-responder campaign on the cloud to see how likely subscribers are to sign up for your list. E-mail marketing is one of the easiest things to get right on the cloud and Microsoft has made it incredibly easy to test out different features and configurations on the cloud without the need for any special software – just standard e-mail client software.