Interesting changes in Windows Azure services

by Shijaz Abdulla on 03.06.2013 at 22:07

Here are some interesting changes to the Windows Azure services as of June 3, 2013:

  1. The following services to be billed by the minute versus being billed by the hour:
    a. VMs, Web Roles and Worker Roles
    b. SQL Server and BizTalk Server running in Virtual Machines (no longer rounding to the nearest hour and no minimums).

    Windows Azure is the only cloud provider today that bills you by the minute!

  2. The billing will stop for stopped VMs. No need to delete instances to manage and reduce compute costs.
  3. Reduced rates for MSDN subscribers when they use Windows Azure VMs.
  4. Public Endpoint Access Control Lists (ACLs) for VMs
  5. More Gateway Device Options when setting up Windows Azure Virtual Network: Citrix, F5 and WatchGuard.
  6. Windows Server 2012 R2 will be available after preview (also to be added to Virtual Machines Image Gallery, as a pre-built image).
  7. SQL Server AlwaysOn will be demo’ed during TechEd- to be generally available later this year for Virtual Machines. 

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DOHA EVENT: Data Availability in the Hybrid Cloud Era

by Shijaz Abdulla on 14.05.2013 at 20:57

Below is an invitation to a joint event between Qatar Datamation Systems, Microsoft, Commvault and HP focusing on Data Availability in the Hybrid Cloud.

It is time to re-think your IT investment and infrastructure to address the exponential growth and availability of data, there is a compelling need for a strategic alignment of the backup recovery, archiving and disaster recovery.
See beyond today and focus on sustained business operations that can withstand threats and pitfalls that befall today’s business establishment.
We are honored to invite you in collaboration with Commvault, Microsoft, and HP to demonstrate the approach for the unified Data Protection & Availability across the software, hardware and cloud stack. We will share our thoughts on what are ahead and compelling insights into investing in the business outcomes and the concept of the Hybrid Cloud Data Protection.

Date:
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Time:
8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Venue:
Sharq Village & SPA

Agenda:

08:45 – 09:30     Registrations & Welcome Refreshments
09:30 – 09:45     Keynote
09:45 – 10:45     Commvault: The exponential way forward in Data
                          Protection
10:45 – 11:00     Coffee Break
11:00 – 12:00     Microsoft: Realizing the Hybrid Cloud With Windows
                          Azure & SQL
12:00 – 13:00     HP: The Converged Storage Approach
13:00                 Lunch

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Windows Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) General Availability (GA)!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 16.04.2013 at 19:23

Windows Azure Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering hit general availability worldwide today.

Furthermore, to eliminate price as a discussion when comparing to the competition, namely Amazon, we made a new pledge to our valued customers. Quite simply, we will match AWS prices for commodity services such as compute, storage and bandwidth. We may charge less, but never more.

“If you had concerns that Windows Azure was more expensive, we’re putting those concerns to rest today.”

Steven Martin, Operations GM – Azure

The reason is simple. We want to remove price as part of the equation. We’d rather compete on the services we provide and the complete vision of the Microsoft Cloud OS which provides rich:

  • Infrastructure services
  • Platform services
  • Hybrid scenarios (move VMs from your datacenter to Windows Azure and back. Use common technologies across private & public clouds (Active Directory for identity, System Center for Management, Hyper-V for virtualization, .NET for development)

Furthermore, based on customer input, we are also announcing two new higher capacity virtual machines:

  1. A four virtual processor VM with 28 GB of memory
  2. An eight virtual processor VM with 56 gigabytes of memory!

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These configurations enable workloads with increasing compute demands.

Oh, and BTW, yes, Azure IaaS runs 100% on Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V.

Finally, it should be noted just how fast Azure is growing. Bill Hilf is quoted as saying that Azure is growing at the rate of 1,000 customers A DAY and today supports over 200,000 active customers.