Project Brooklyn: Extending an enterprise network to the Windows Azure cloud

There's a new codename on the Windows Azure roadmap. And it involves bridging on-premises and cloud servers beyond what's available in Azure Connect.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

It's time for another new Microsoft codename, decoder-ring fans.

This week's entry: Project Brooklyn. (Thanks to Chris Woodruff of Deep Fried Bytes podcast fame for the pointer.)


Here's the reasoning behind the codename: The same way that the Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan and Brooklyn, Project Brooklyn is designed to connect enterprise networks to the cloud, and specifically the Windows Azure cloud. The overarching idea is Brooklyn will allow enterprises to use Azure as their virtual branch office/datacenter in the cloud.

From Microsoft description of what this is:

"Project 'Brooklyn' is a networking on-ramp for migrating existing Enterprise applications onto Windows Azure. Project 'Brooklyn' enables Enterprise customers to extend their enterprise networks into the cloud by enabling customers to bring their IP address space into WA and by providing secure site-to-site IPsec VPN connectivity between the Enterprise and Windows Azure. Customers can run 'hybrid' applications in Windows Azure without having to change their applications."

(The "into WA" part of this description means into Microsoft's own Azure datacenters, I'd assume.)

There's a video walk-through about Brooklyn, dating back to June's TechEd 2012 show, available on Microsoft's Channel 9 site. 

I believe Brooklyn was part of the wave of features Microsoft unveiled as part of its "spring" updates for Windows Azure. The service is still in preview, as of this writing. Update: The official product name for Brooklyn is Windows Azure Virtual Network.

Brooklyn got a brand-new mention this week in a blog post about High Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2012, which is built on top of Windows Server 2012. (Microsoft is accepting beta applicants for the HPC Pack 2012 product as of September 10.) Among the new features listed as part of HPC Pack 2012 is Project Brooklyn.

Brooklyn seems to be the follow-on to Windows Azure Connect. Azure Connect, codenamed "Project Sydney," was originally announced in November 2009. The networking component of Connect was described as allowing cloud-hosted virtual machines and local computers to communicate via IPSec connection as if they were on the same network. Windows Azure Connect, as it evolved, didn't support virtual addresses and virtual servers, however; it was more about establishing networks between individual machines.


Brooklyn fits with Microsoft's goal of convincing users that they don't have to create Azure cloud apps from scratch (which was Microsoft's message until it added persistent virtual machines to Azure earlier this year). Microsoft's intention is to make it easier for users to bring existing apps to the Azure cloud and/or bridge their on-premises apps with Azure apps in a hybrid approach.

And as to why am I writing about this now -- since it was unveiled a few months ago -- it's all about the disovery of the codename for this codename queen. 

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