Microsoft Updates Windows Azure With Open-Source Support, More

Microsoft announced Windows Azure updates, including virtual machines, private networks, improved interoperability and more.

Microsoft announced a slew of new updates and services for Windows Azure, available June 7, that make it a more flexible, open and powerful platform and simplify building applications that span cloud and on-premises servers.

The releases mark another milestone in Microsoft€™s road map of embracing open-source software (OSS) tools developers know, love and want to use to build applications in the cloud, the company said.

Microsoft announced Windows Azure virtual machines, which enable infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities for Windows and Linux-based workloads, as well as the Windows Azure Virtual Network to provision and manage virtual private networks (VPNs) and securely extend on-premises networks into Windows Azure.

Meanwhile, Windows Azure Websites enable developers to quickly and easily build and deploy Websites with support for multiple frameworks and popular open-source applications. Microsoft also announced support for three new OSS data services: MongoDB, Solr and CouchDb. Those services can be enjoyed by platform as a service (PaaS) and IaaS developers and come from the industry experts in the field as Microsoft is partnering with leading companies such as ClearDB, Cloudant and Lucid Imagination.

The software giant also announced new tools, language support and SDKs, including updated support for Java, PHP and .NET, as well as the addition of Python as a supported language, giving developers more choices and flexibility in their application development. In addition, Microsoft has improved application services, including updates to Windows Azure Active Directory, the Content Delivery Network (CDN), distributed caching and support for Media Services. And there is new Windows Azure SQL Reporting for secure, flexible and cost effective cloud-based reporting. There also is an improved Windows Azure Management Portal.

This will all be available in 48 new countries, including Russia, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and the Ukraine. The rollout will be complete later this month, making Windows Azure the most widely available cloud platform in the industry with offerings in 89 countries.

In a June 6 blog post, Bill Laing, corporate vice president of server and cloud at Microsoft, said: €œTomorrow we will release previews of new Windows Azure services which simplify building applications that span cloud and on-premises servers. By combining infrastructure and platform services, these new capabilities of Windows Azure give you greater flexibility in how to build or bring your applications to the cloud. We will also add support for new operating systems, release new language libraries for .NET, Java, PHP and Node.js, and will make Windows Azure available in new geographies.€

Laing explained that these new capabilities simplify building and bringing applications of all kinds to the cloud and enable flexibility in the following areas:

  • increased data center capacity through secure VPN connections to the cloud;
  • easy operations and management from an improved Windows Azure Management Portal, with powerful operational capabilities for deploying and managing your cloud applications€”with similar management support from the command line;
  • cloud scale for building Websites with ASP.NET, PHP and Node.js;
  • support for additional operating systems and OSS language libraries for building cloud applications;
  • scale on demand by migrating existing applications to the cloud using portable, industry standard Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs)€”delivering global scale with maximum control;
  • secure connectivity between cloud and on-premises applications; and
  • the ability to develop, test and configure new applications in the cloud, and then deploy on-premises for production.