Expansion of Windows Azure Services in Asia; AMQP 1.0 Support in Service Bus

Microsoft announces major expansion of Windows Azure services in Asia. General Availability of AMQP 1.0 in Service Bus! Node.js Library for Authentication with Azure Active Directory. Deploy SharePoint on Azure.

Microsoft plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to expand the Windows Azure footprint in Asia - specifically in China, Japan and Australia.

The announcement in China builds on the agreements we signed November 1, 2012, with the Shanghai municipal government and 21Vianet. CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday in Shanghai, announced "a Public Preview for the Windows Azure service, operated by 21Vianet in China, will be available for sign-up starting June 6."

Also, Ballmer said the company intent to open a new major region in Japan, "with two local sub-regions-- Japan East in the Tokyo area and Japan West in the Kansai area." In addition, to new major region in Australia, "with two sub regions in New South Wales and Victoria" announced earlier.

"These new regions will offer Japanese and Australian customers all the benefits of Windows Azure plus the disaster recovery, data sovereignty and improved performance benefits of local deployments. Customers in Australia and Japan can get started using Window Azure today knowing that they will have the ability to use the same resources locally when the new regions come online," Microsoft stated.

AMQP 1.0 support in Windows Azure Service Bus

Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) 1.0 is now added in Windows Azure Service Bus. "The support has been released as a general availability (GA) feature - and it is ready for production use, and backed by an enterprise SLA," Microsoft informs.

"With support for "AMQP 1.0," you can now use Windows Azure Service Bus to build applications using a variety of messaging libraries written using different languages and running on different operating systems - that can now all communicate using an efficient, binary, wire-level protocol," explains Microsoft.

The end result is really powerful middleware that can be used to build distributed systems, and glue together applications that span on-premises/cloud environments or run across multiple cloud providers.

Check out this page for more information on the Service Bus support for AMQP 1.0, or watch the video below:

Finally, Node.js Library for authentication with Windows Azure Active Directory is now available.

Node.js developers: add some Windows Azure authentication and access control to your Node app with the newly MS Open Tech's released open source library for Windows Azure Active Directory service.

"Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc., has developed the Node.js library in the form of Passport strategies and made the code available on github. You can use the Node Package Manager (npm) to use the library and package it into your Node.js. As most Node.js applications use Passport as the authentication middleware, we created this new library as a couple of Passport strategies that can be used similarly to other ones. These 2 strategies are SAMLp and WSFed," informs Microsoft.

Microsoft said it's also working with the Azure team to integrate this new Node.js library in the Windows Azure SDK.

The GitHub repository also contains source code examples and instructions to configure the Windows Azure service.

Update 05/25: Watch what's new with Windows Azure Virtual Networking:

Update 05/19: Building SharePoint farms and Internet facing websites that scale in real time is among the most popular ways to use Windows Azure Virtual Machines.

Now, Microsoft has made it easier to deploy SharePoint on Windows Azure by using Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets.

"Using the new Remote PowerShell functionality and the Windows Azure PowerShell Cmdlets, we have put together new sample PowerShell scripts," Michael Washam, senior program manager for Windows Azure, wrote. "You can use these new scripts to automate all the required steps when rolling out a SharePoint server farm, saving time and effort."

Washam said the sample scripts available in the Windows Azure PowerShell Samples GitHub repository "serve as a starting point for spinning up SharePoint farms and you can customize them for your own use case."

You can download and use the script here.