Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

Summary: There were a lot of promised deliverables on the Azure cloud roadmap that Microsoft unveiled at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2010. This week, the Redmondians rolled out more of them, including a public beta of the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role.

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There were a lot of promised deliverables on the Azure cloud roadmap that Microsoft unveiled at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2010. This week, the Redmondians rolled out more of them, including a public beta of the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Role.

According to a December 14 TechNet blog post, Microsoft is providing the following test and final versions of five of the two dozen or so new Azure cloud features detailed at the PDC. This week's five:

  • Full Administrative Access (general availability)
  • Full IIS Access (general availability)
  • Remote Desktop (general availability)
  • Windows Azure Connect (Community Technology Preview test build)
  • VM Role (public beta)

Update (December 17): It turns out these are not new as of this week; these final and test releases were all out as of November 30. The December 14 post was not worded correctly, according to a Microsoft spokesperson.

The Windows Azure Virtual Machine (VM) Role is designed to ease migration of Windows Server apps to Windows Azure by allowing them to run virtually. The public beta will enable VM Role support for Windows Server 2008 R2 in Windows Azure. Apps running in VMs won’t be able to take full advantage of the elasticity, multitenancy, and other cloud functionality, but still will derive some benefits, such as automatic cloud backup for apps running on the Azure platform

Admin access enables multiple Windows Live IDs to have administrator privileges on the same Windows Azure account, so that teams can work on the same account while using their individual Live IDs. Full IIS support allows developers to enable multiple IIS sites per Web role and to install IIS modules. Remote desktop provides the ability to connect to a running instance of an Azure app or service so as to monitor and troubleshoot it. These three features were all slated to be generally available to customers before the end of 2010.

A Community Tech Preview build of Azure Connect (codenamed "Project Sydney") is designed to allow users to set up easily IP-based network connectivity between on-premises and Azure resources. Azure Connect is the first piece of what Microsoft is calling the Windows Azure Virtual Network. The final, generally-available version of Azure Connect is slated for the first half of 2011, Microsoft officials have said.

Microsoft made available earlier this month a second CTP test build of the SQL Azure Reporting Services it also promised at the Professional Developers Conference.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • RE: Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

    Hello,

    I find the current roadmap a little bit slower than Microsoft's competitors. However, I hope the strenght delivered by Azure satisfies the big goals to achive.

    may I ask you something in detail? are there news about Dynamics on Azure? I strongly think that best advantege form Azure is to offer AX services on the cloud.
    nafarrin@...
    • Slower is not bad

      @nafarrin@... these days MSFT has a bigger focus on quality, then releasing poorly implemented features that just infuriate the users.
      MSFTWorshipper
      • RE: Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

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    • RE: Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

      @nafarrin@... After all these years you should know that M$ promises high and delivers low, if it bothers to deliver at all. This is yet another contemptible decision by M$ that demonstrates that its supposed commitment to customers is barely even words. <a href="http://blog.arabaoyunlarimiz.gen.tr/">oyun blogu</a> <a href="http://www.kraloyun.gen.tr/ameliyat-oyunlari/">ameliyat oyunlari</a>
      Arabalar
    • RE: Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

      @nafarrin@... That is really a big question. Google's servers are the heart of Google's business. And it has long been a FEATURE, a FEATURE, not a LOOPHOLE, that one could privately modify the GPL code they use to run their business. Of course web applications are obviously SaaS. But where does one draw the line between those applications and the servers that host them? For example, take an insurance company running open source on their back end servers. At some point they decide to put a customer facing front end on those servers so that customers can access their accounts over the Net. Does that suddenly make that whole kaboodle Saas? If so, I am not sure I am comfortable with AGPL. In fact, I am not sure I am comfortable with this concept anyway since it undercuts one of the few provisions that make GPL software highly attractive to businesses that are not engaged in reselling the software itself. It really compromises the spirit of the GPL in some ways.
      arabaoyunlari@...
  • You're joking right? None of the others come anywhere close to offering

    what azure has. Not google, not amazon, not rackspace, not vmware, none of them. they're all stuck in the 90's world of iaas...
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Microsoft delivers more pieces of its Azure cloud roadmap

      @Johnny Vegas But at what cost. The thing about Google, Amazon, and others is that the core services are largely free and for specific features billing is fairly straight forward. They act as a single entity and so terms change very little as organizational use grows. Microsoft on the other hand is anything but straight forward. Departmentalized and segmented they often come across as bleeding profit from any avenue they can. As the marketing and terms for one component of Azure (say client managment) will most assuredly be handled independent of other components such as individual applications. Cloud computing with Microsoft will be an epic disaster for a growing company in the long run as they will be buried in hidden fees for CAL's, managment tools, and feature updates while their data and services are held hostage by the MS bureaucracy.
      Socratesfoot
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