Microsoft Courts Businesses With Enterprise-Grade Azure Cloud Updates
With new SSD-powered cloud storage options, Azure SQL Database upgrades and a slew of enhancements, Microsoft makes a play for big enterprise workloads.Microsoft has finally flipped the switch on a series of enterprise-grade updates to its Azure cloud computing platform, which the Redmond, Wash.-based company first teased in a cloud-themed press event on Oct. 20. Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, announced Azure Premium Storage, a high-performance cloud storage service backed by speedy solid-state drives, during the event. Today, customers can take the offering for a spin. Microsoft Azure's director of product marketing, Vibhor Kapoor, announced the Azure Premium Storage public preview in a Dec. 11 company blog post. The service "stores data on the latest technology Solid State Drives (SSDs) and offers up to 32 terabytes of storage per virtual machine," he explained. "Customers will be able to drive more than 50,000 IOPS off of each virtual machine with sub-millisecond latency for all read operations," said Kapoor. The SSD-based cloud storage foundation will allow businesses "to truly lift-and-shift" demanding enterprise applications, including SQL Server, Exchange Server and SAP Business Suite, he added.
Also new are upgrades to Azure SQL Database that yield dramatic performance gains, said Kapoor. "Internal tests querying over 600 million rows of data show Premium query performance improvements of around 5x in the new preview relative to today's Premium SQL Database and up to 100x when applying In-memory columnstore technology."