Microsoft begin rollout of Microsoft.com on Windows Azure

Hosting Microsoft.com is no easy feat. Hosting uncountable pages across many domains, the site is an extremely complex operation.

So it says something when Microsoft starts migrating its major web site to a different hosting solution. They are now doing just that though – the migration of Microsoft.com to Windows Azure, Microsoft’s own cloud computing, hosting and storage platform, has begun.

Initially the rollout will be limited to a product set called (somewhat cheesily) the Social eXperience Platform. SXP is a backend tool that allows the addition of social context to parts of Microsoft.com. It is mostly used on the Microsoft Showcase at the moment.

There are some extra tidbits of information in this announcement that developers working with Azure are bound to be interested in. One of these is that Microsoft developed their own application (confusingly) called Keynote which runs in the background testing the availability of the service from various points around the globe. There’s also some top tips from the team who did the development work, including one nugget that helps developers manage database connection reliability when Azure is automatically moving databases in the background (invalidating existing connection pools), and another that covers effective performance testing of your deployed application.

The full guide is available on TechNet, and Simon May of the UK evangelism team has a great summary on his blog.

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