Windows Azure–Yes, It’s for IT Pros Too!!

Yesterday, Microsoft announced previews of new Windows Azure services that help developers build applications that connect data to users across public and private clouds, take advantage of VHDs and deploy scalable websites quickly and cheaply.  With this release, I am confident that many IT Professionals will want to take a look at the new functionality and think about how to integrate them into your infrastructure strategy going forward.

In case you missed the announcements, here are the highlights:

  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines - Enable the moving of workloads on virtual hard disks (VHDs) between on-premises environments and the cloud. Windows Azure supports both Windows and Linux VHD images, which can be customized or chosen from a pre-populated gallery. With the commonly supported VHD format, developers and IT Pros can move existing workloads like a SQL Server database or an existing line-of-business application into Windows Azure to create greater scale, lower cost or deploy to new users.
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network - Enables the creation, extension and management of virtual private networks into Windows Azure. Organizations can now more effectively and securely extend their corporate networks into the cloud.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites makes building .NET, Node.js, Java and PHP web experiences easier and cheaper than ever while supporting deployment techniques like Git and FTP and framework applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco and Drupal that a number of use and web developers already know and trust.
  • The new tools that make up the new Windows Azure SDK (June 2012) include updated support for Java, PHP and .NET and adds Python support, while providing 100% command line support for developers using a Windows PC or a Mac.

The reality is that with the combination of System Center 2012, Windows Server 2012, and this release of Windows Azure provide the ability for organizations to scale their infrastructure on premise and online in a way that makes sense.  As I learn more about what is to come, especially on the ways you can leverage virtual networking to tie your on-premise infrastructure seamlessly with those elements migrated to Windows Azure, I will be sure to let you know.  For the time being, you may want to look into these upcoming events.

Tune into Meet Windows Azure, streaming live from San Francisco to, and discover the new Windows Azure services.

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Tune into Learn Windows Azure on Monday June 11 for a deeper dive.

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If you are as excited about this new release as I am (or even a little curious about the new features like persistent Virtual Machines, virtual networking, and more) read some more details on the Windows Azure Team blog and sign up for the free 90-day trial and test them out yourself.  I will be doing the same but will hold off a bit to let you get first dibs.

Have fun!


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