Windows Server 2012 Now in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery; RemoteFX Media Streaming in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8

Windows Server 2012 is now available in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery. With this availability, you'll be able to deploy and manage applications and workloads both in your own datacenter and on Windows Azure.Windows Server 2012 brings hundreds of new capabilities to customers, perhaps most exciting are the hybrid cloud scenarios enabled by Windows […]

Windows Server 2012 is now available in the Windows Azure Virtual Machine Gallery. With this availability, you'll be able to deploy and manage applications and workloads both in your own datacenter and on Windows Azure.

Windows Server 2012 brings hundreds of new capabilities to customers, perhaps most exciting are the hybrid cloud scenarios enabled by Windows Server 2012, when used in combination with our newest System Center management solutions.

Also, on September 4th, Microsoft will host an online launch event where Microsoft executives, engineers, customers and partners will share more about how Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure can help organizations of all sizes realize the benefits of called the "Cloud OS," Microsoft revealed,

In the meantime, you can be up and running with Windows Server 2012 in less than 15 minutes using Virtual Machines on Windows Azure.

Sign-up for a free trial and take it for a spin!

Cloudant Data Layer for Windows Azure: Phot Album

If you need a highly scalable data layer for your cloud service or application running on Windows Azure, the "Cloudant Data Layer for Windows Azure" is what you may need,

From Cloudant's data layer "you'll get rich support for data replication and synchronization scenarios such as online/offline data access for mobile device support, a RESTful Apache CouchDB-compatible API, and powerful features including full-text search, geo-location, federated analytics, schema-less document collections, and many others," informed Doug Mahugh.

You can do development in any of the many languages supported on Windows Azure, such as .NET, Node.JS, Java, PHP, or Python. In addition, you'll get the benefits of Windows Azure's CDN (Content Delivery Network) for low-latency data access in diverse locations.

And, on top, with Cloudant's "you'll have no responsibility for provisioning, deploying, or managing your data layer," Mahugh said.

For a free trial of the Cloudant Data Layer for Windows Azure, create a new account on the signup page and select "Lagoon" as your data center location.

In other Windows Server 2012 news, a Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET) from the Remote Desktop Virtualization team, Alvin Lau, today posted a walkthrough about enabling a seamless multimedia experience with RemoteFX Media streaming in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

"Previously, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 introduced Windows Multimedia Redirection, which provided a great experience when playing multimedia content by using Windows Media Player (WMP) in a remote session. Since Multimedia Redirection was based on redirecting the native media stream to the client, the experience was great for supported video formats on LAN networks. To address these shortcomings, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 introduced RemoteFX Media Streaming, which uses host-side rendering techniques (which provide broad video format support) in combination with the industry standard H.264 codec (which benefits online media streaming) to seamlessly redirect video content," explains Lau.

In summary, RemoteFX Media Streaming delivers a smooth playback experience for all video content even on WAN networks.

Take a look at the following video which shows Windows 7 and Windows 8 remote desktops side by side. In both cases "the client computer is connected to the remote desktops by using a WAN link with 2 Mbps bandwidth, 250ms round-trip latency, and 0.5% random loss," Lau adds.

Here are the steps to RemoteFX Media Streaming:

  1. "On the server side, a combination of algorithmic techniques, heuristics, and application-provided hints are used to detect regions of the screen that contain video.
  2. The regions that contain video are then encoded by using the H.264 codec (or the RemoteFX Progressive Codec, which is used when the H.264 codec is not available on the client, a video has a low frame rate, etc.). Audio content, if available, is encoded by using the AAC codec. The encoded audio and video content is sent over the network to the client computer.
  3. Finally, the client decodes the audio and video content, attempts to synchronize the audio and video, and renders the content in a manner that is seamless with the rest of the graphics content (non-video applications, desktop, etc.)," Laun explained.