I just published on the Aditi site a new whitepaper on the specifics of how upgrades work in Azure.   Here’s the introl.  Unfortunately if you want the entire paper you go to the Aditi site and fill and fill have to request it to be mailed to you next day.  Sorry about that…



Managing deployments and updates to Windows Azure applications is a very similar process as to how it is done for on-premise applications.  You can upgrade your application on every server all at once.

Windows Azure offers the concept of a “VIP-swap” where you can deploy or update your Azure application in one shot. Or you can do it incrementally with custom-defined granularity across groups of Azure servers.

Azure provides the concept Update Domains to help you manage this process of updating your application in a sequential manner.  The option you choose is based upon your business and application requirements for system availability to users as well as your tolerance for having more than one version of your application available to users during the upgrade process.

A common thread of discussion facing IT Ops personnel new to Windows Azure are:

  • How to manage application changes with respect to deployment, updates, and down times?
  • How does one update a service when only some parts of its configuration need to change?
  • What about down time and do I need to take my whole application down to update just a part of it?
  • Can I update it incrementally over the range of servers?
  • Do I deploy an application directly into user circulation within an environment or can I verify base functionality before making it public?

Answers to this question are complex even if you are managing all your servers yourself on-premise. On the Azure Cloud, it can get even more confusing. The deployment issues revolve around a few key Azure concepts – VIP swaps, deletion/redeploy of a service, service updates, and update domains.

Click on the link below to download this whitepaper for an in-depth guide on how to manage application changes with respect to deployment, updates, and down times on Windows Azure.