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Azure PDC announcements in a nutshell

                              Microsoft-PDC-2010                   windows_azure

So both my predictions came true Smile There were a lot of announcements on the Azure platform and the developer toolset space, but I will highlight some of the main announcements in this post.



Like I mentioned in my previous post, cost has been a BIG pain point for developers wanting get their feet wet with Azure. Windows Azure will soon provide access to the new “Extra Small” Windows Azure instances as part of the “Cloud Essentials Pack” offer that will replace the existing partner offers.

This offer provides free access to the Windows Azure platform including 750 extra small instance hours and a SQL Azure database per month at no charge and will be available to Microsoft Partner Network members.

Availability: January 7th, 2011.


IaaS support

We knew this was coming. With the introduction of Virtual Machine Role, Windows Azure now supports the IaaS model. This should VERY effectively push all those IT decision makers who were on the fence over the cost involved with migration of existing Windows Server applications to Windows Azure and enable customers to quickly move their existing business apps and data over to the cloud.

Availability: End of 2010.

As an added bonus to this, Windows Azure will support constructing VM role images for the VM role in the cloud as well.

Availability: 2011.


Elevated Privileges and Full IIS

The new Elevated Privileges functionality for the Web and Worker role will provide developers the ability to run apps with Admin rights. Elevated mode should let you install dependencies which need admin mode while still running under the PaaS model.

Availability: End of 2010.

The Azure Web role will provide Full IIS functionality and the ability to install IIS modules.

Availability: End of 2010.


Server Application Virtualization

This is a BIG move; Microsoft is going to support deploying custom virtualized application images onto the Windows Azure worker role. Now customers can migrate their native applications to Windows Azure without the need to rewrite them. So customers can still benefit from the automated service and operation management capabilities of Windows Azure.


CTP: End of 2010.

Release: Second half of 2011.


Remote Desktop functionality

Windows Azure will support an out-of-the-box ability to connect and remote into a running Azure instance, this should help facilitate better monitoring and troubleshooting from a development and support standpoint.

Availability: End of 2010.


Windows Azure Connect (Project Sydney)

Windows Azure Connect aka Project Sydney essentially enables a simple mechanism to setup an IP-based network connectivity between on-premises and Windows Azure resources. This scenario enables a Hybrid model which I will cover in subsequent posts.


CTP: End of 2010.


There were a ton of other nice enhancements to the existing infrastructure and the developer experience, but I’ll cover them in a later post.


I love coffee!

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