July 26, 2012 News Thursday: Windows Azure Storage, SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2, and more Server and Tools news!

Windows Azure Storage – 4 Trillion Objects and Counting
Windows Azure Storage has had an amazing year of growth. We have over 4 trillion objects stored, process an average of 270,000 requests per second, and reach peaks of 880,000 requests per second. About a year ago we hit the 1 trillion object mark. Then for the past 12 months, we saw an impressive 4x increase in number of objects stored, and a 2.7x increase in average requests per second. We expect this growth rate to continue, especially since we just lowered the cost of requests to storage by 10x. It now costs $0.01 per 100,000 requests regardless of request type (same cost for puts and gets). This makes object puts and gets to Windows Azure Storage 10x to 100x cheaper than other cloud providers. You can read more about this milestone on the Windows Azure Blog.

Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2
Microsoft today released SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 2 (SP2). SP2 includes a number of product improvements based on requests from the SQL Server community. Customers are highly encouraged to stay on a supported service pack to ensure they are on the latest and most secure version of SQL Server 2008 R2. To learn more about what’s new in SP2 or to download, check out the SQL Server Team’s blog.

Microsoft offers customers and partners HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) for Windows Azure
Windows Azure announced a new security, privacy and compliance update to the Windows Azure Trust Center.  Windows Azure has achieved one of the most important compliance milestones for healthcare-related customers, the HIPAA BAA (Business Associate Agreement).  This update enables the physical, technical and administrative safeguards required by HIPAA and HITECH laws, inside Windows Azure Core Services, by offering a HIPAA BA to its EA (Enterprise Agreement/volume licensing) customers and partners in the health industry.