Hi Gabe et al.
A good idea to keep everything in one thread (and to reduce the size of your inbox!)
We have a new version of the SQL Azure runtime live now (update 5) I don't know if this is going to affect the connection pooling issues....
As far as I'm concerned looking at V4 on Azure I think between Microsoft and the Telerik ORM team that they have it covered. As long as the problem is not specific to Sitefinity I'm confident any problems will be ironed out quickly. The V4 DB structure is fine on Azure, just these connection pool issues every now and then.
As far as I can see the main stumbling block for running V4 on Azure is that App instances are read only so we can't store config in them which V4 seems to do lots of (App_Config). This is not ideal in a load balanced deployment either as you have to sync changes made on one instance to the others.
I did think we could write the config folders outside of the app in local storage and sync it to Azure Storage and any other instances but I think there is a more elegant solution. I think the way to go here is a fully DB based config, ie store everything in the DB so there is no local content change when you modify something in the site. This has the benefit of working out of the box on any multi server environment, Azure or not. I think I have seen mention of this already or am I dreaming Gabe?
However, the problem with this is that we don't really want to store large static assets in the DB or it will bloat very quickly and get expensive and slow.
So, build a content provider to store all static images/docs/videos/files etc in Azure Storage. This keeps the DB small, just config settings, and also all the assets can be made available through the Azure CDN so will speed up performance too. We can store system assets here as well, not just user content.
Individual instances are not persistent either so this way all your content is backed up, without it we would have to backup content from running instances anyway in case they get recycled.......
I was looking at a Wordpress Plugin today that allows you to use the Azure Storage and CDN from any Wordpress installation, so they are going this way too. Your DB is safe in SQL Azure and your content safe in Azure Storage and scaling is just a case of changing the number of instances and clicking save....
What do people think?