New Windows Azure Services Unleashed!

We have recently announced a major set of updates to Windows Azure.

  • Windows Azure Web Sites – This feature makes building .NET, Node.js, Java and PHP web experiences easier and supports Git and FTP deployment techniques.  What’s even cooler is support for popular open source web applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco and Drupal
  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines – This feature enables customers to move existing application workloads that currently reside on virtual hard disks (VHDs) between on-premises environments and the cloud.  Azure VMs also sport support for Linux VHD images
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network – This feature enables the creation and management of virtual private networks (VPNs) into Windows Azure which allows organizations to extend their corporate networks into the cloud

These updates are pretty significant in the history of Windows Azure.  My favorite feature in this release is Windows Azure Virtual Machines & Network.  This capability should begin to bring Windows Azure on par with the capabilities currently provided by Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and will provide solution providers and customers with a compelling alternative to AWS to delivering Microsoft-based solutions.  At long last, customers and solution providers will be able to deploy solutions such as SharePoint on Windows Azure (a much needed and desired feature)  Having delivered solutions on both Windows Azure and AWS, this capability alone will level the playing field and present a compelling alternative for customers and solution providers as they look to the cloud to host/deliver Microsoft-based workloads.

We’ve also made significant updates to the Windows Azure Management Portal, which now sports a more streamlined HTML-5 based interface that can be accessed from a variety of platforms, browsers, and devices.

In addition to the aforementioned features, we’re also releasing the following:

  • Locally Redundant Storage – By default, Windows Azure storage accounts are set up to be geographically redundant.  Windows Azure customers that do not require the additional level of durability now can turn off Geo Redundancy and obtain significant savings.  Locally redundant storage is still highly durable, with multiple replicas stored within the same sub-region
  • SQL Reporting – SQL Reporting is a new BI service that allows you to publish reports to the cloud or embed reports directly within on-premises applications.

This is a really exciting time for Windows Azure.  These new features and updated services will greatly enhance cloud solutions developed/deployed on the Azure platform.

To learn more about these great capabilities, I strongly recommend you register for the Meet Windows Azure event today at 1pm PST and watch/listen as our very own CVP of Windows Azure, Scott Guthrie, discusses the new features in great detail.  And knowing Scott, he’ll have a lot of cool demos to show.  BTW, the event is being streamed live!  Register now!

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