When things go wrong with Windows Azure
I recently started with Windows Azure, and really tried to start digging into it today. Unfortunately, everything went wrong.
Windows Azure is turning into one stubborn system to get to do much with. It all started with trying to redeem my coupon code for a free three month trial. I tried for three weeks to get the verification system to come up out of maintenance, until I got so frustrated that I went ahead and gave Microsoft my credit card number so I could get to the three month trial before they started charging me for using the system.
Then there was today, while I was able to spin up a virtual disk and successfully login, today I was unable to bring up a simple blank template WordPress Website from the website gallery. And a Drupal 7 installation has simply hung, it will not instantiate, it will not fail, it will just sit there as part of the job creation waiting for something to happen.
This is where things get interesting, and you can watch the video below, originally I had intended this as a training video, but it ended up being a blooper reel as I wait for things to happen, or not happen as it ends up being.
I am sure that Windows Azure has some good points to it, again I was able to spin up a Virtual Hard Drive and successfully login to it, but I am looking at 4 things I have tried to do, one I had to work around because the coupon code server has been down for maintenance for weeks, one succeeded, one failed outright, and one is simply hung and me without a power button anywhere to reset that bad boy like I would with any other computer.
I am really hoping that this is an isolated experience with Azure and that the rest of it will perform flawlessly, but if you are planning on working with Azure, test everything first before making any kind of commitment to it. Programmers, admins, and architects will probably be freaking out at this point, and while you can purchase Azure support, if you are just walking in to kick the tires and see what it does, this will make for a really interesting experience. One that Microsoft should really take to heart, it is worth kicking the tires, people are successful using it, but so far, I am having a really hard time making this thing do anything right out of the box.