Microsoft rolls out 'massive amount' of enhancements to Windows Azure

Microsoft rolls out 'massive amount' of enhancements to Windows Azure

Microsoft has rolled out a massive amount of enhancements to Windows Azure today, adding quite a few new features to the service. Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise boss Scott Guthrie took it to a blog post today to detail all the new features.

Windows Azure, for those that did not know, is Microsoft's cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build your applications using any language, tool or framework and integrate them with your existing IT environment.

Of the new features rolled out today, Microsoft has rolled out the public preview of the ExpressRoute service, which enables dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity between Azure datacenters and on-premises IT environments. This allows you to connect your existing datacenters to Azure without having to flow any traffic over the public Internet.

Microsoft has also added free backup and restore capabilities for those on the Standard Tier, allowing you to save a snapshot version of your web app, along with any databases. You can manually perform backups, or setup an automated rule to have them backed up automatically and you can also choose to later restore a web site to a previous state. You can even create a new web site based on one of your original site's backups. 

Microsoft rolls out 'massive amount' of enhancements to Windows Azure

Other new features include the ability to use .NET as your backend language,  Notification Hubs integrated with Mobile Services, integrated PhoneGap support, Hadoop 2.2 clusters support, service outage notifications integrated within Management Portal, Active Directory single-sign-on (SSO) support with over 600 SaaS popular apps, new usage reports, and much more.

Here is a quick rundown of all the new features:

  • ExpressRoute: Dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity with on-premises
  • Web Sites: Backup and Restore Support
  • Mobile Services: .NET support, Notification Hub Integration, PhoneGap support
  • HDInsight: Hadoop 2.2 support
  • Management: Co-admin limit increased from 10->200 users
  • Monitoring: Service Outage Notifications Integrated within Management Portal
  • Virtual Machines: VM Agent and Background Information Support
  • Active Directory: More SaaS apps, more reports, self-service group management
  • BizTalk Services: EDIFACT protocol support, Service Bus Integration, Backup and Restore

Some of these new features are still in preview, but they are all rolling out right now. If you have a Windows Azure account, check out these new features.