What’s New on the Windows Azure Platform

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman

Slalom Consultant Joel Forman specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

Late last fall, Microsoft released its latest upgrade to the Windows Azure Platform, version 1.3.  This release, coinciding with the PDC conference, introduced several new features, some of which are in Beta or CTP states.  You can read about the release here.

Here are some of the highlights…

  • Full IIS: Enables multiple IIS sites per Web role and the ability to install IIS modules.
  • Start Up Tasks and Elevated Permissions: Assists in the ability to orchestrate installations and configurations needed to run your application on Windows Azure.
  • Remote Desktop: Ability to connect to a running instance of their application or service to assist in monitoring/troubleshooting.
  • VM Role (Beta): Ability to configure startup image for a VM to further assist with complicated installation scenarios.  It is important to note that this is not considered Infrastructure-as-a-Service, as the VM Role does not maintain state and is still controlled by the Fabric.
  • SQL Azure Reporting (CTP): A first version of Reporting Services-like functionality.
  • Windows Azure Connect (CTP): Mechanism to setup IP-based network connectivity between on-premises and Windows Azure resources (formerly Project Sydney).
  • AppFabric Caching (CTP): Distributed, in-memory, application cache service for Windows Azure and SQL Azure applications.

2011 will be an exciting year for the Windows Azure Platform, as we see these Beta and CTP features mature, and new ones take their place.

– Joel

Follow Joel on Twitter: @seattlejoel.

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About Joel Forman
Joel Forman is a Solution Architect at Slalom Consulting and specializes in cloud computing and the Windows Azure Platform.

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