Build 2014: Azure bolstered by the addition of many new features

Build 2014: Azure bolstered by the addition of many new features

In San Francisco today, Microsoft announced the introduction of a total of 44 new features and services to Azure. It as Scott Guthrie who had the pleasure of making the announcements, including the ability to create, manage, debug and deploy virtual machines from within Visual Studio. This is something that developers will keenly embrace as it greatly simplifies workflow.

Azure Web Sites is gaining support for Autoscale and Traffic Manager, enabling webmasters to better control service load for better performance and efficiency. Security improvements are available thanks to the fact that sites are provided with a free SSL certificate.

On the mobile front, Offline Data Sync is now available, but there was also good news for anyone looking to create large, data-hungry sites -- Azure can now handle SQL data up to 500GB in size. With that amount of data, the introduction of a new recovery feature that automatically creates easily-restored backup of databases in case anything goes wrong.

To help with problem solving, Microsoft has also introduced a new map that provides an overview of the status of Azure services all over the world -- very handy for pinpointing the source of an issue.

During the keynote speech, some interesting figures were also revealed, such as the fact that there are more than one million SQL databases stored in Azure, and the service is used by 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies.