Windows Azure Accelerator for Web Roles
Azure is a great platform to build applications on, and it allows you to scale up very high without a huge investment in infrastructure. However, what if you want to use Azure to scale down very low? What do you do if you want to run 20 different small websites, but you don’t want to pay $1,200 a month for 40 extra-small web roles (2 per site to ensure availability)?
If that describes what you’d like to do, take a look at the Windows Azure Acclerator for Web Roles (WAAWR). It makes it easy to set up a single Azure web role that can host multiple IIS sites on it - 20, if you want, or more. You can set up 2 extra small instances of the accelerator role and only be out $60 a month for the instances. The initial deployment of the Accelerator takes several minutes, as is typical for Azure web role deployments, but deployment of each individual application is done even quicker and using the publishing tools built into Visual Studio. To see a demo of the WAAWR, watch Cloud Cover Show episode 51.
It’s a great tool, go check it out - I won’t rehash what’s already out there about it. Instead, I’m going to focus specifically on how to use Node.js with the WAAWR.
A short while ago, Ryan Cromwell, a coworker of mine, asked if Node could be run with the WAAWR. It seemed like it should, as WAAWR was just setting up IIS sites in Azure automatically, and Node could run in IIS alongside .Net apps, but I wanted to try it out for myself to be sure - and it worked without any problems. The following are the steps to take to get Node working with the Windows Azure Accelerator for Web Roles.