Microsoft makes available public preview of new Azure Batch service

Microsoft is commercializing technology it acquired earlier this year when it bought GreenButton in the form of a new Azure cloud batch service.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft is taking aim at IT pros with a new Azure Batch service that it's making available in public preview form on October 28.

Azure Batch combines technology from Microsoft's May 2014 acquisition of GreenButton with Azure to create a service that will help users execute large-scale jobs in the cloud.

Batch is an infrastructure service targeted at the developers who have had to produce their own custom services, according to Microsoft execs. Microsoft announced availability of the new Batch service at the kick-off keynote at Tech Ed Europe in Barcelona on October 28.

Azure Batch can provision and manage large numbers of virtual machines where tasks are to be executed. Batch is suited for traditional high-performance workloads like simulations and risk analysis, but also for workloads including file processing, rendering, transcoding and the like. Azure Batch also is targeted at jobs where bursting to the cloud is a key demand.

GreenButton, based in New Zealand, was an on-demand solution provider that enabled customers to manage compute-intensive workloads in the cloud. GreenButton's technology also allowed users to "cloud-enable" applications without having to recode existing software.

The company is on tap to announce some other Azure cloud-related technologies at Tech Ed Europe this week.

Azure Operational Insights — a new service that combines its HDInsight Hadoop-on-Azure service and on-premises System Center systems management product to collect and analyze machine data across cloud environments — is available today to those interested in trying out the preview. Azure Automation, a service for automating "time-consuming" tasks across Azure and third-party clouds so as to reduce risks that can happen when repetitive manual processes occur, is generally available as of October 28.

Azure Active Directory Application Proxy, a service that will be generally available by the end of 2014, will enable users to publish on-premises applications to external users via the cloud. And Azure Active Directory Connect, due in preview before the end of 2014, will streamline connecting on-premises assets to the cloud and synchronize directories to Azure Active Directory.

In other Azure news this week, Microsoft opened two Azure regions in Australia.

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