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Windows Azure Websites - Shared and Reserved mode

I think that we all of us already heard about Windows Azure Websites. This new feature of Windows Azure offers us the possibility to deploy websites very fast. Even for the first deploy, the deploy time can be very low.
What I would like to talk about today is the two different modes of Websites. The first one is Shared Website Mode. What does it means is that we don’t have a dedicated compute power. All the processor power is shared between our websites and other websites. From the performance perspective the performance will not be great. Is like hosting the websites to a classic hosting, that for 400$ per year host your application on IIS.
The other mode is the Reserved one. For this case we have dedicated resources that are allocated only to our application. We don’t share processor, memory or anything else. For this case we have 3 types of sizes (Small, Medium, Large) that we can set. Also we can specify the numbers of reserved instances from 1 to 3.
An interesting thing at Reserved mode is that even if we have dedicated resources we don’t have control to the machine. Our application is hosted on the IIS. This is why when we create a website on Windows Azure, the initializing time is very very low. For each reserved size, in this moment we have the following resources allocated: 1, 2, 4 cores and 1.75, 3.5, 7GB memory. The storage space is the same for all, 10GB.
Let’s wee when we could use Shared and Reserved mode. For the case when we create a demo application, or we have a blog or a site that is not very visited we can use Shared mode. When the traffic increases we should go with Reserved mode. A nice there will be a moment when we will not be able to use the website because our application need more resources and we will need to use a web role. The switch between them is not so simple if we didn’t use a web role until now. In the future I expect some tools that will make this migration automatically for users.


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