Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Microsoft Remakes Azure, Supports Linux

Running a 90-Day Free Azure Trial, Too

Microsoft has decided it wants to be popular.

It's remade Windows Azure as both infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) with Linux support - so the rumors were right - since public clouds are largely Linux instances.

The Linux distributions supported include OpenSUSE 12.1, CentOS 6.2, Ubuntu 12.04 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2. (Red Hat itself was, evidently, too much to ask for given it's a cloud rival and had its own cloud announcement this week but CentOS is a Red Hat clone.)

That should theoretically let Azure chase after Amazon, Rackspace, OpenStack and, as of Wednesday, Oracle, not to mention HP, Dell and everybody else.

Microsoft has also bought into the hybrid cloud, a concept Amazon only supports with Eucalyptus in tow. Azure will also have all-SSD block storage, something Amazon is only grudging with.

Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate VMs will obviously be supported. It says it still has to get all the third-party Windows apps over to Azure. 

Bill Laing, corporate VP for server and cloud at Microsoft, summarized the changes in a blog posting:

  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines - Virtual Machines give you application mobility, allowing you to move your virtual hard disks (VHDs) back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. Migrate existing workloads such as Microsoft SQL Server or Microsoft SharePoint to the cloud, bring your own customized Windows Server or Linux images, or select from a gallery. As a common virtualization file format, VHD has been adopted by hundreds of vendors and is a freely available specification covered under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise.

  • Windows Azure Virtual Network - Virtual Network lets you provision and manage virtual private networks (VPNs) in Windows Azure as well as securely extend on-premises networks into the cloud. It provides control over network topology, including configuration of IP addresses, routing tables and security policies and uses the industry-standard IPSEC protocol to provide a secure connection between your corporate VPN gateway and Windows Azure.

  • Windows Azure Web Sites - Build web sites and applications with this highly elastic solution supporting .NET, Node.js, and PHP while using common deployment techniques like Git and FTP. Windows Azure Web Sites will also allow easy deployment of open source applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco and Drupal to the cloud with a few clicks. (Expect MySQL and SQL Servers as backends.)

  • New tools, language support, and SDK - Windows Azure SDK June 2012 includes new developer capabilities for writing code against the latest service improvements with updated support for Java, PHP and .NET, and the addition of Python as a supported language on Windows Azure. Additionally, the SDK now provides 100% command line support for both Windows and Mac. (There will also be a new management portal.)

  • Availability in New Countries- Availability of Windows Azure is being expanded to customers in 48 new countries, including Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and Ukraine. Roll-out will be complete later this month, making Windows Azure one of the most widely available cloud platforms in the industry with offerings in 89 countries and in 19 local currencies.

Microsoft is running a 90-day free trial of Azure. During the preview period that started Thursday Linux VMs will be discounted. Depending on size they'll cost 13 cents an hour to 64 cents an hour.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...