Windows Azure SDK for Ruby, Improvements to Virtual Networks, VMs, Cloud Services

Windows Azure improvements rolling out today include Virtual Networks, Virtual Machines, Cloud Services and a new Windows Azure SDK support for Ruby and .NET.

Windows Azure's enhancements include the following new capabilities:

Virtual Networks: New Point-to-Site Connectivity, Software VPN Device and Dynamic DNS Support allows you to create a private, isolated network in Windows Azure and treat it as an extension of your on-premises datacenter. "For example, you can assign private IP addresses to virtual machines inside a virtual network, specify a DNS, and securely connect it to your on-premises infrastructure using a VPN device in a site-to-site manner," explains Microsoft.

Here's a visual representation of a typical site-to-site scenario through a secure Site-To-Site VPN connection:

Windows Azure: visual representation of the new point-to-site scenarios

Virtual Machines: Remote PowerShell and Linux SSH provisioning enhancements now enable you to configure whether remote PowerShell is enabled for Windows VMs when you provision them using the Windows Azure Management Portal.

This option is now available when you create a Virtual Machine using the FROM GALLERY option in the portal:

Windows Azure Virtual Machines: Remote PowerShell and Linux SSH provisioning enhancements

Cloud Services enable Remote Desktop support dynamically on Web/Worker roles. This can be useful when debugging issues.

"This support enable administrators to dynamically configure remote desktop support - even when it was not enabled during the initial app deployment. This ensures you can always debug issues in production and never have to redeploy an app in order to RDP into it," Microsoft said.

Windows Azure SDK for Ruby, provides access to Windows Azure Data Management services and some Service Bus services.

"For hosting Ruby web applications on Windows Azure, the officially supported method is to use a Virtual Machine running Linux. You can still use things like RubyRole to host a Ruby application in a Windows-based Cloud Service, however those aren't officially documented/supported," Micorosoft wrote.

In addtion, Azure now officially supports five OSS languages for developing cloud-based solutions.

Check out the Windows Azure SDK for Ruby Developer Center for more information.

Windows Azure: Cloud Services: Enabling Dynamic Remote Desktop for a Deployed Cloud Service

Update: On April 29, Microsoft officials revealed that Windows Azure had crossed the $1 billion threshhold. The official added that the Azure subscriptions have risen 48 percent in the past six months.

Microsoft had already said earlier this month that the company has 200,000 Azure customers.

Update 05/01: Windows Azure SDK v2.0 for .NET includes the following new features and enhancements:

  • "Web Sites: Visual Studio Tooling updates for Publishing, Management, and for Diagnostics
  • Cloud Services: Support for new high memory VM sizes, Faster Cloud Service publishing & Visual Studio Tooling for configuring and viewing diagnostics data
  • Storage: Storage Client 2.0 is now included in new projects & Visual Studio Server Explorer now supports working with Storage Tables
  • Service Bus: Updated client library with message pump programming model support, support for browsing messages, and auto-deleting idle messaging entities
  • PowerShell Automation: Updated support for PowerShell 3.0, and lots of new PowerShell commands for automating Web Sites, Cloud Services, VMs and more," informs Microsoft.

You can get the bits either inlined into the new Windows Azure SDK via the Web Platform Installer or, via NuGet using the keyword "WindowsAzure.ServuiceBus."

Here is a video demostrating What's new in the Service Bus .NET SDK 2.0:

In this second video, Scott Guthrie Discusses Windows Azure SDK 2.0: