Microsoft quitely shared some details about the 2012 roadmaps for its Windows Azure and Office 365 cloud offerings. In a January 3, blog post MJF writes that Microsoft is using "Start, Build, Manage" to describe for customers and partners its path to the cloud.
Here are a few of the deliverables on the roadmap that will help enable these scenarios:
- "Consistent REST APIs for Windows Azure features and services, callable from any programming language (full SDK in Spring)
- SQL Azure Reporting Services (now a Q1 2012, rather than an end-of 2011 deliverable
- Ability to create a virtual private network (VPN) between on-premise servers and Windows Azure.
- Ability to import and export large amounts of data by shipping files on a drive into Windows Azure blob storage
- Same availability promise (99.9%) for single and multiple instances
- Ability to mount/unmount more easily drives on running instances
- Support for more easily developing Azure apps not just on Windows, but also on Macs and Linux systems
- Support for the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) for streaming workloads and other application areas
- The ability to easily set up WordPress and Drupal on Azure "without writing code"
- A preview of functionality allowing the creation, customization and management of private marketplaces
- Better Active Directory integration for migration: Both the ability to sign on using an on-premise Active Directory in Office 365, as well as technology that will help users migrate their line-of-business apps that are dependent on Active Directory to the cloud (supposedly "without making any changes")
- Support for more easily uploading and sharing videos in a central depository across an enterprise, as well as the ability to easily stream to any device (including those running not just Silverlight, but also Flash, HTML5, iOS and Android)," revealed MJF.
MFJ also reporting that Windows Azure is expected to gain support for a new persistent virtual machine that will enable support for Linux. "The persistent VM capability is set to be released as a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test-build in the spring of 2012, though nothing was officially confirmed on this so far," said MJF.
"The current VM role when rebooted or randomly recycled by the Azure platform loses any data stored -- any persistence," one Microsoft partner reportedly stated.
"So for applications that rely on the machine name or files/config that constitute "state" not stored in SQL Azure (or externally), this is a problem. This is also one of the technical reasons why you wouldn't try running SharePoint on the current Azure VM role."