Windows Azure Web Sites Preview launched today include new features and enhancements of existing capabilities. The improvements rolled out today include:
- "A new low-cost Paid Shared site mode scaling option
- Support for custom domains with shared and reserved mode web-sites using both CNAME and A-Records (the later enabling naked domains)
- Updated usage quotas
- Continuous deployment support using both CodePlex and GitHub
- FastCGI extensibility
- as well as support for two additional node.js versions," blogged Server and Tools Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie.
All of these improvements are now live in production and available to start using immediately, Guthrie said.
Guthrie further said, that "We will also in the future enable Server Name Indication (SNI)-based SSL as a built-in feature with shared mode web-sites."
Adding, "We'll have even more new features and enhancements coming in the weeks ahead - including support for the recent Windows Server 2012 and .NET 4.5 releases (we will enable new web and worker role images with Windows Server 2012 and .NET 4.5 next month)," Guthrie said.
New "Shared" Scaling Tier in Windows Azure now allow to deploy and host up to 10 web-sites in a free, shared/multi-tenant hosting environment. "You can start out developing and testing web sites at no cost using this free shared mode, and it supports the ability to run web sites that serve up to 165MB/day of content (5GB/month). And, starting today, you can now elastically scale up your web-site beyond this capability using a new low-cost "shared" option as well as using a "reserved instance" option."
Support for A-Records let you now associate 'naked' domains to your Windows Azure Web Sites - meaning instead of having to use www.mysitename.com you can instead just have mysitename.com (with no sub-name prefix). "Because you can map multiple domains to a single site, you can optionally enable both a www and naked domain for a site (and then use a URL rewrite rule/redirect to avoid SEO problems)," Guthrie explained.
Also enhanced today is the UI for managing custom domains within the Windows Azure Portal, as well as validating ownership of custom domains is now easier with switching existing sites/domains to Windows Azure Web Sites with no downtime.
Continuous Deployment Support with Git and CodePlex or GitHub provides a really powerful way to manage your application deployments using source control. This support is enabled with all web-sites (including those using the "free" scaling mode).
The below two videos walkthrough how easy this is to enable this workflow and deploy both an initial app and then make a change to it:
Enabling Continuous Deployment with Windows Azure Websites and CodePlex (2 minutes)
Enabling Continuous Deployment with Windows Azure Websites and GitHub (2 minutes)