Friday, June 8, 2012

Windows Azure v.Next–Azure Websites, Linux on Azure, Persistent VM and much more …

Building Cloud applications has never been easier! Ever! The recent news announced at MEET Windows Azure event just proved it! The most exciting, the most anticipating, the most wanted release of Windows Azure is now here! Check out the samples, get the tools and dive in the clouds!

Azure Websites

Did you want to run your Drupal site in Windows Azure? Or maybe your Joomla project, or the new Umbraco 5, don’t forget your small WordPress site. Now you can either built it from scratch, or just deploy it. How to deploy? Do you like Git, or FTP ? Whatever you like, whatever you are confortable with – Windows Azure Websites is the platform to run your site, be it small or large scale enterprise site! Here is just a screenshot showing you the sample gallery, where you can chose how to start your site, if you haven’t yet:

You say that Joomla runs on PHP and MySQL! You are correct, Windows Azure supports PHP for quite some time, actually (almost) since the beginning, but it is easier now. What about MySQL? Well have you heard of ClearDB? A company that have been providing database-as-a-service for MySQL based applications. Globally distributed, fault tolerant database as a service. They have been partnering with Microsoft to provide MySQL-as-a-service within the Windows Azure data centers. Well, ironically enough their site is down for the time I write this blog post. But, trust me, since the MySQL is running in Windows Azure, it will not be down Smile.
Oh, you have noticed – the Windows Azure Portal – reimagined! The whole portal now runs on HTML5 with METRO style interface. I have to admit that I like it much better than the old Silverlight based portal!

Persistent VM

It is not a replacement for Windows Azure VM Role, which still is stateless. It is a whole new feature, named Persistent VM. Having said that – it means, that all change you made to your VM after you deploy it to Windows Azure, will be reliably persisted across VM reboots, healings, recycling. How cool is that? Not only that, now with the Persistent VM feature, you would get a SLA for just 1 instance! What could you use that Persistent VM for? Just imagine – SQL Server, SharePoint, Linux …


What else you could do with Windows Azure now? You can, for example  run your Linux based VM! Yes, Linux on Azure! How cool is that, ah? Currently there are 4 distros you can chose from:
  • OpenSUSE 12.1
  • CentOS-6.2
  • Ubuntu 12.04
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2
But I am sure more will come soon!

Virtual Network

Connecting your own infrastructure to the cloud has never been easier. Windows Azure Virtual Network lets you configure network topology, including configuration of IP addresses, routing tables and security policies. It uses IPSEC protocol to provide a secure connection between your corporate VPN gateway and Windows Azure.
If I were you, I would go through the new Windows Azure Fact Sheet, go for the free trial to check out the Websites, and maybe even try the Linux VMs!
As a side note, something that is really on my head for quite a few years – finally we, in Bulgaria, will officially have Windows Azure!