Q: I have developed my own commercial licensing system for a DNN Extension, which relies on the IP Address and/or Server name. What Impact will the DNN Azure Environment have on this?
A: Devices deployed through Windows Azure Cloud Services may keep the same IP address for long periods of time, but it is not guaranteed to be a fixed IP address. Any licensing system developed should provide the ability to recognise a change in IP Address on occasion. Devices deployed through Windows Azure Cloud services can be redeployed to a new Virtual Machine at any time, and this will result in a change in the server name. Licensing systems should not use the server name as part of their scheme.
Q: What is the difference between Windows Azure Websites and sites delivered on Azure through DNN Cloud Services?
A: Windows Azure Websites is a Cloud solution from Microsoft, which teams a Virtual Machine with a SQL Azure database and pre-installs the DNN Platform. This is more of an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) where a single server is deployed. DNN Cloud Services is a proprietary DNN Layer sitting on top of Windows Azure Cloud Services, which is a more dynamic environment that allows for scaling, redundancy, flexibility and adds more features (such as backups and restores, and in-place DNN updates).
Q: Why use SQL Azure? Why not just use SQL Server?
A: SQL Azure is Microsoft's answer to the question of a Cloud-delivered database service. This is similar to Amazon RDS, and eventually, people will come to see database services in the same way they now see Cloud file storage services. Once, you bought and provisioned extensive NAS devices and/or file storage services - now you just use cloud storage. The same will eventually occur with Cloud databases. It is possible to deploy SQL Server VM's within Azure and use them, but this results in lower uptime and requires extensive management, all of which are handled within Azure for SQL Azure. Most of the restrictions within SQL Azure are about ensuring high performing databases (such as not allowing tables to be created without a clustered index) and many are just good practice anyway.
Q: I don't understand how to use the DNN Dummy Caching Provider
A: The Azure Caching provider configured for use within DNN Cloud Services based Azure sites is a high performance, out-of-process caching provider. It does have the requirement that cached objects support binary serialization, however. The Azure caching provider has been configured so that it silently fails (does not disrupt site operation) if an object is not able to be cached. The Dummy Caching Provider has been designed to be a 'noisy fail' and throw an exception if an object is attempted to be cached that will not work in the Azure caching provider. It is a development tool to quickly flag up any issues that would remain silent (except for the DNN Event Log) in a production environment.