On January 24th, Doug spoke at our Vogon Poetry Reading about Azure Service Fabric. This technology is something that we are very bullish on as the future of hosting.

Why do we like “the Fabric”?

  • The programming model closer mimics how we currently write software.
  • Reliability / scalability is basically baked into the fabric.
  • Azure itself runs on the fabric (you know it works).
  • The fabric can host almost everything we build that is new.

So, are you really going to immediately put everything into the Fabric? No. I think moving existing software into the Fabric might be more pain than it is worth. The existing platform solutions such as app services are great products, and we are not running away from those. We are moving toward a greater abstraction from the hardware / hosting. We are moving to services.

Doug Durham presenting on Azure Service Fabric

Doug mentioned that Fabric is the underlying hosting infrastructure that Azure is built on and some very powerful Azure services already run on it (such as SQL and Cosmos DB). That should give us all confidence that it is ready for prime time.

Azure Service Fabric also provides a “one box” dev experience, which is one of the things I like best about it. At Don’t Panic Labs, we care a lot about allowing developers to do all development on their own machines. So the fact that it can be fully emulated is a big plus in our book (plus it eliminates one of my biggest annoyances with most cloud technologies). This technology can run in Azure, on your machine, or you can even host it in your own data center. Truly a platform.

The programming model for the Fabric is super easy if you are used to developing with services. You basically create a service and then call methods on the service. There are a few more details, but overall it is pretty easy. If you are used to running code using WCF, running code in the Fabric will seem pretty familiar.

Doug provided examples of running code in the Fabric, and then he showed how to make that code run both in and outside the Fabric with a few simple tricks. Stay tuned for a future blog post covering how this is pulled off.

This last Vogon Poetry was pretty informative as to where we are going as a company from a technology perspective. Join us for the next Vogon Poetry on February 7th when Bob Whitmer takes us through User Story Mapping.

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