Why would some1 want to run PHP on Windows Azure? Reading the interview I didn't see a single reason that would point out that I should even try to develop applications in Windows Azure/PHP. What I saw is only disadvantages:
1. Installing the software to run PHP on Azure (Windows Vista/Server 2008, IIS 7.0/ASP.NET). So idea is u need ASP to run PHP apps.
2. To have a php app ported you will have to make it compatible (sql queries and file maagement)
3. Price. Windows Vista/Server 2008 + IIS 7.0/ASP.NET + prices to have Azure running (is free atm, but we know it will cost to have it running: www.microsoft.com/azure/pricing.mspx)
So Azure looks nice, but that's about it (from my point of view).
My conclusion is that Microsoft just wants to "embrace the PHP community" only to promote their products (which costs you money) over the "classic" implementation with free open source products.
"Your Web world just got simpler. Windows Server 2008 with IIS 7.0 gives you the tools to simplify the deployment and management of all your Web applications and services—including both ASP.NET and PHP apps—while delivering greater security, stability, and availability."
Manuel Lemos - 2009-08-06 20:36:39 - In reply to message 1 from Andrei Orghici
Windows Azure is just a new cloud computing option to host PHP applications. The advantages and disadvantages are similar to run PHP applications on Google App Engine.
The point of using cloud computing to host PHP applications is explained in the interview, although it may not be clear for those not familiar with the cloud technologies.
The main point of these technologies is that they provide scalability out of the box.
If you have a site with a dedicated server and a relational database, once the server becomes too loaded, you need to evolve to a cluster architecture. You application code must be ready to access database clusters.
Setting up the database cluster replication and everything else specific to clusters is a major headache. That is why when you start a site and do not expect it need a cluster soon, you just install a database server in the same machine. However, if your site grows later to the point you need to setup a cluster, it is very inconvenient.
The cloud computing environments that provide scalability out of the box avoid all those problems. If your site is small now and you do not need a dedicated server, you just pay a small fee for what you use. If your site grows and you need large availability, you do not need to change anything in your site. The cloud server architecture is ready for that from the start.
Of course from the beginning you need to start using Azure Tables (BigTable on Google App Engine) and AzureBlobs to store what used to be written to files. That is necessary to guarantee scalability.
The relational databases rely on related tables be on the same server to perform joins. That severely limits scalability and transparent replication of data among servers that is possible in cloud computing environments.
Other than that, Windows Azure does not require that you run any software on your servers because all is running in the cloud servers.
As for the prices, Windows Azure is a host service, which obviously cannot be free, except for the community technology preview edition which is meant for evaluation of the developers.
There is nothing wrong in Microsoft wanting to make money. So does Google, Amazon, and any other hosting companies. Companies are businesses, therefore they are for profit organizations, not charities.