5/01/2011

Roles in Windows Azure : What is web role and worker role ?

After reading a lot of stuff about evolution of cloud and its economics, I finally started learning some real life stuff in the cloud world. Well I looked out for Enterprise lineant cloud services and I genuinely felt Microsoft is the choice for that. To go deeper , I started learning about the Cloud Operating System by Microsoft which is , Microsoft Azure ( PaaS ) .

As I started out reading about the hosted services in Azure , I came across a term which is called Role. Being a ASP.NET web developer, I was just confused with this role terminology in Azure. After giving some thought I am able to understand what is. For confused people like me :D, here is its definition .

Applications built on Azure should use atleast one of the roles below.

  •  Web role – A web role is a role that is customized for web application programming as supported by IIS 7 and ASP.NET. The benefit of using this type of role is that the IIS setup is done for you automatically by Azure. This role is best used for providing a web based frontend for your hosted service. It is not suited for long running processes
  • Worker role – A worker role is a role that is useful for generalized development, and may perform background processing for a web role. When you have a need for a background process that performs long running or intermittent tasks, you should normally go for Worker Role.
  • VM role – A VM role is a special type of role that enables you to define the configuration and updates of the operating system for the virtual machine. While a web role and a worker role run in a virtual machine, the VM role is the virtual machine, which gives you full control of operations. When you have long and complicated installations in the operating system or special setup issues, you should use this role. This role is especially suited for migrating existing applications to run as hosted services in Windows Azure.
I hope these definitions would have definitely helped you in understanding the roles in Azure.

If you want to learn about Creating a hosted service on Azure, please go to this link.

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57 comments:

Azure has placed different roles for various customizing purposes.

I haven't really tried that software but I've heard a lot of good stuff about it. Thanks for sharing.

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"Your post will appear to be quite relevant even to users when post title appears before blog title ." That's correct. Thanks for this tip, it's really a big help for bloggers out there.

The cloud is still an alien technology for most bloggers, moreso is Microsoft Azure. It's nice of you to share so much information about those two, Subhash. Great job.

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Microsoft Azure will definitely play a major role in the future of web development, and perhaps even make a huge impact on the Internet.

Perhaps, SEO consultant, Microsoft being great software developers, yet, there are many other web development software out there that do a great job and has remained a staple in the industry.

It's just like in web hosting users, you allocate some specific user to do their work on specific directories. Thanks for sharing this news and the link for creating a hosted service in Azure.

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Worker Role is any role in Azure that runs applications and services level tasks, which generally do not require IIS. In Worker Roles, IIS is not installed by default. They are mainly used to perform supporting background processes along with Web Roles and do tasks such as automatically compressing uploaded images, run scripts when something changes in database, get new messages from queue and process and more.

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