Windows Azure 12/12/11 Announcement

windows_azure_smallEarlier yesterday, Microsoft announced a number of updates and improvements to Windows Azure that will help developers to more easily access Windows Azure and unlock the value of cloud computing as a development platform.

Additionally, today, senior Microsoft leaders will participate in a broadcast event: Learn Windows Azure to demonstrate how easy it is for developers to get started with Windows Azure and show how to build scalable cloud applications using Visual Studio.  The event includes a number of great hands-on demos as well.

In this release, we really focused on ease of use and creating more value for .NET developers as well as opening up new opportunities for open source developer to take advantage of Windows Azure.  Among the highlights:

  • New and Enhanced Open Source Software Experience-Windows Azure SDK for Node.JS makes Windows Azure a first-class environment for Node.JS developers that support hosting, storage, and service bus.
  • A new Hadoop Service Preview for Windows Azure brings Hadoop Big Data capabilities to Windows Azure and enables Hadoop apps to be deployed in hours instead of days.  To gain greater insights on data (structured, semi-structured and unstructured data), Hadoop on Windows Azure will enable customers to analyze data through familiar tools such as Excel and Microsoft BI tools such as Power View and PowerPivot.
  • Increased SQL Azure maximum database sizes in SQL Azure (at no additional cost) and a new sharding pattern to simplifies elastic scale-out.
  • Price reductions per gigabyte SQL Azure databases storage

You can find more details on the announcement here.

WHY DOES THIS RELEASE MATTER TO YOU? 

About one year ago, I was working with an ISV who wanted to migrate their commercial application to Windows Azure but was concerned that SQL Server database schema they relied on was not available in SQL Azure at the time.  With new SQL Azure sharding patterns, this partner’s concerns are being satisfied.  I’ll look forward to following with that partner and talking and showing off our new capabilities.

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