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On May 31, 2006, Microsoft announced the “Live Labs Relay” as a technology preview. That technology preview was literally a single machine under the lead developer’s office desk. The links quoted in the blog post are long since broken, but back then anyone could easily sign up and start playing with that service.
The Live Labs Relay seemed a bit like magic. It allowed creating a local web service that ran on your own Windows desktop or laptop in nearly any network environment, even residing behind firewalls and NATs, and made that service publicly discoverable and accessible from clients anywhere.
The magic is still alive. Today, the evolution of that Relay, which emerged exactly 10 years ago, lives on as a commercially available capability set as part of Azure Service Bus. Azure Active Directory, whose precursor “Live Labs STS” was announced on the same day and which ran on that exact same machine and Azure Service Bus, were the first publicly visible steps towards today’s Azure platform.
Azure Service Bus has grown up since then. A lot. The successors of that one machine are many dozens of large clusters, some with several hundred compute cores, available around the world and in all Azure regions. Service Bus Relay and Brokered Messaging handle hundreds of billions of message transfers each month, moving petabytes of data.
Service Bus also had babies. And now, they’re already adults. Azure Event Hubs is a large scale event ingestion service that moves trillions of events per week. Azure Notification Hubs distributes billions of push notifications to mobile devices. Azure IoT Hub allows connecting millions of devices, from thermostats to connected cars, to bi-directionally communicate with cloud-based systems.
It’s been a fabulous 10 years. Thank you for letting us build and run this service for you, and for giving us feedback and ideas to keep making Service Bus better.
We will keep working to stay on top of the most stringent enterprise requirements, especially around alignment with network security management practices, and we will make new protocol surface area investments to reach developers on any platform they prefer. You will see us creating more new services that open up scenarios or that simplify existing ones, and we will create new programming models that simplify the development of highly reliable and highly available distributed applications.
Happy anniversary, Service Bus!