Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) General Availability

Windows Azure: General Availability of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), new VM sizes--larger memory VMs, reduced GA prices, Cloud services and updated documentation, Best Practices. Django in Web Application Gallery.

Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), a new Windows Azure service that lets customer easily migrate existing applications and infrastructure to the cloud--is now General Availabile.

The general availability release of IaaS for Azure include: new Virtual Machine and Virtual Network capabilities.

"This release is now live in production, backed by an enterprise SLA, supported by Microsoft Support, and is ready to use for production apps," Microsoft stated.

Windows Azure Virtual Machines

"Windows Azure is the cloud platform that embraces the power of "and". It is a platform built to leverage on-premises investments and the flexibility of the cloud so businesses can realize the promise of hybrid clouds. It is a cloud platform with both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings, so businesses can pick what works for them. And it is the cloud that delivers low cost and great performance - backed by today's announcement that we will match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services such as compute, storage and bandwidth," Microsoft wrote.

This release also includes some great new enhancements as listed below:

  • "New VM Image Templates (including SQL Server, BizTalk Server, and SharePoint images)
  • New VM Sizes -- including Larger Memory Virtual Machines (VMs) instances (28GB/4 core and 56 GB/8 core) to run most demanding workloads.
  • Number of new Microsoft validated instances to list including SQL Server, SharePoint, BizTalk Server, and Dynamics NAV plus more.

In addition, to match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services such as compute, storage and bandwidth--Microsoft also today, announced the reduction in GA prices on Virtual Machines and Cloud Services by 21-33% for IaaS and PaaS VMs)," informs Microsoft.

Update 04/19: Django, a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design is now available in the Windows Azure Web Application Gallery.

Once you are logged into the Management portal, you will need to create a new site "from gallery."

  • Choose "App Frameworks" category and then select Django. Click on Next.
  • Enter the site name, say "mydjango" and select the region. Click on the Complete and that's it. Your Django website is now being deployed
  • You can view the status of the deployment in the portal
  • Finally select your application and view the dashboard.
  • Click on the Browse button to browse the newly created site.

Django in the Windows Azure Web Application Gallery

Windows Server 2012 Essentials integration module for Windows Azure Backup is now available from Microsoft Download Center.

Update 04/25: Microsoft just made the updated technical documentation for deploying and running "SQL Server in Windows Azure Infrastructures Services" available online.

"Pre-installed SQL Server VMs are available for pay-per-hour usage in the Windows Azure gallery. Currently Enterprise, Standard and Web edition VMs running on Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 are available, with more SQL Server editions coming soon," Microsoft writes.

SQL Server editions running on Windows Server 2012 images are also on the way.

This documentation includes a series of articles and tutorials that provide detailed guidance on deploying SQL Server in Windows Azure Virtual Machines.

Update 04/26: Microsoft launched a new promotional video for Windows Azure IaaS and it shows two groups of employees engaging in an Middle Ages-style duel in the office, complete with lances that have stuffed animals at their tips.