Microsoft aims at enterprise cloud with AppFabric

Microsoft aims to ease the path of applications into the cloud, inside and outside the enterprise
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Microsoft last Thursday released the first beta of BizTalk Server 2010 and the release candidate for Windows Server AppFabric, both key offerings in the company's strategy to push private clouds.

"The role of application infrastructure has become a mission-critical function in all types of businesses today, which creates demand for high-performing, connected systems and applications," said Abhay Parasnis, general manager of Microsoft's business platform division, in a statement.

AppFabric, a new product, is an add-on to Windows Server that comes in two parts and is designed to aid application development and deployment across public and private clouds.

AppFabric Caching Services, formerly code-named Velocity, is a distributed, high-performance, in-memory object cache. The feature speeds up access to frequently used data by distributing it to a pool of cache servers, Microsoft said.

It supports features such as safe concurrent modifications and notifications to alert cache clients when data has been changed.

AppFabric Hosting Services, formerly code-named Dublin, provides tools for deploying, managing and controlling applications built using Windows Communication Foundation and Windows Workflow Foundation, Microsoft said.

The release candidate for AppFabric is available immediately, with the final release due in June. The product will be free to existing licence holders of Windows Server 2008, Microsoft said.

BizTalk Server 2010 is the latest release of Microsoft's enterprise service bus (ESB) product, which allows different enterprise applications to access one other's data, even when different formats and data stores are involved. The new version supports AppFabric, and adds support for platforms such as Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 R2, Microsoft said. It connects to more applications, including Oracle eBS 12.1 and SAP 7.

It adds a new unified management dashboard and support for features such as compressed backup and transparent data encryption, Microsoft said.

The beta is available immediately, with the final release to follow in the third quarter.

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