Big Wish List for Windows Azure

At Lokad, we have been working with Windows Azure for more than 1 year now. Although Microsoft is a late entrant in the cloud computing arena, So far, I am extremely satisfied with this choice as Microsoft is definitively moving forward in the right direction.

Here is my Big Wish List for Windows Azure. It’s the features that would turn Azure into a killer product, deserving a lion-sized market share in the cloud computing marketplace.

My wishes are ordered by component:

Windows Azure

Top priority:

 Nice to have:

SQL Azure

Top priority:

Nice to have:

Table Storage

Top priority:

Nice to have:

Queue Storage

Nice to have:

Blob Storage

Nice to have:

Windows Azure Console

The Windows Azure Console is probably the weakest component of Windows Azure. In many ways, it’s a real shame to see such a good piece of technology so much dragged down by the abysmal usability of its administrative web client.

Top priority:

Nice to have:

New services

Finally, there are a couple of new services that I would be thrilled to see featured by Windows Azure:

This is a rather long list already. Did I forget anything? Just let me know.


Reader Comments (7)

Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas with us Joannes, really appreciate you taking the time to do this. Based upon the mails I saw earlier today I know a few folks on the team already read your post, but this afternoon I will be sure to share your wish list with other relevant members of the Windows/SQL Azure Team. Keep the ideas coming and thanks again, Mike | Mike Wickstrand | Senior Director, Product Planning | | Windows Azure | Microsoft | | Email: mikewic@microsoft.com | Twitter: @Wickstrand | | Blog: blogs.msdn.com/wickstrand/ | | Have a Windows Azure idea? Visit http://mygreatwindowsazureidea.com | February 8, 2010 | Mike Wickstrand


Joannes I completely agree with you on the billing front, its abysmal and doesn’t really tell you anything useful, especially if your app is multi tenanted. It would be far better for (e.g.) the storage billing to at least show you the container that was accessed so that you have a bit better granularity. Even better would be to show you the URL that was used then we might actually end up with something that is useful. The response on this poor billing has always been “Oh then run up some extra web/worker roles to act as counters” and there are 2 reasons why this is bad. First as all data is now coming through your web/worker role your code is now the weakest part of the download system (rather than hitting the massively scaleable blob storage directly), and secondly it costs $$$ to run up extra roles to handle the fact that the billing is weak. Howard. February 9, 2010 | Howard Smith


Excellent wish list Joannes. Hope MS folks are listening. February 9, 2010 | Sarang


@ Joannes: Great feedback. @ Mike: Good response. Nice to see the team being responsive to user suggestions. February 9, 2010 | Paul


Support for ASP.NET sessions in SQL Azure would be great - the custom ASP.NET session provider that works with Azure Storage is slow and buggy. I’m lobbying for this feature, so please vote here: http://www.mygreatwindowsazureidea.com/forums/34685-sql-azure-feature-voting/suggestions/472024-add-support-for-asp-net-sessions-in-sql-azure Please add support for ASP.NET sessions in SQL Azure. Although the membership and roles providers currently work with SQL Azure, the session provider does not. If we have more than 1 instance of our web roles we are forced to use the custom ASP.NET session provider that uses Azure Storage which is very slow and buggy. I have a whole thread on this in the forums: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsazure/thread/b87cadf1-2918-43d3-972f-0fb32f13d5ca February 10, 2010 | Emmanuel Huna


@Emmanuel ASP.NET sessions are indeed important. In my wish list, I have tried to focus on the Azure services themselves, as opposed to client libraries. It is very much possible for the community to fix a broken session provider, but faster CPU bust (for example) is beyond the reach of the community: the fix has to come from Microsoft. Then, the real question behind the ASP.NET Session issue is the fact that Azure does not provide “Caching as a Service”. I will try to post more about it. February 15, 2010 | Joannes Vermorel


You really have lots of great ideas. I agree that there are still lots of improvements and tweeking needed to be done in Azure. Keep those ideas coming and I’m sure these will help the developers improve the product. Duncan Samuel Online Invoicing June 11, 2010 | Duncan Samuel