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Microsoft Deliver Updates for Node.js, MongoDB, Hadoop, Solr and Memcached on Windows Azure; Released SQL Database Federations

Updates for Node.js, MongoDB, Hadoop, Solr and Memcached on Windows AzureMicrosoft announced update on a wide range of Open Source developments on Windows Azure. In a December 12 blog post, Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Open Source Communities, notes “We are extremely happy to be delivering new and improved experiences for Node.js, MongoDB, Hadoop, Solr and Memcached on Windows Azure.”

Adding, “this delivers on our ongoing commitment to provide an experience where developers can build applications on Windows Azure using the languages and frameworks they already know, enable greater customer flexibility for managing and scaling databases, and making it easier for customers to get started and use cloud computing on their terms with Windows Azure,” said Rabellino.

Highlights of this announcements includes:

  • Windows Azure SDK for Node.js is now released as open source, available immediately on Github. “These libraries are the perfect complement to our recently announced contributions to Node.js and provide a better Node.js experience on Windows Azure,” revealed Rabellino.
  • He says Microsoft will also be delivering the Node package manager for Windows (npm) code to allow use of npm on Windows for simpler and faster Node.js configuration and development. Windows developers can now use NPM to install Node modules and take advantage of its automated handling of module dependencies and other details.
  • Also, made available a limited preview of the Apache Hadoop‘ based distribution service on Windows Azure. “This enables Hadoop apps to be deployed in hours instead of days, and includes Hadoop Javascript libraries and powerful insights on data through the ODBC driver and Excel plugin for Hive,” he said.
  • Also, along with 10Gen and the MongoDB community, Microsoft has made available MongoDB running on Windows Azure. If you’re using the popular combination of Node.js and MongoDB, a simple straightforward install process will get you started on Windows Azure.
  • Java developers, take a look at the updated Java support, including a new and revampedEclipse plugin. You can now count on a much better experience thanks to new and exciting functionality such as support for sticky sessions and configuration of remote Java debugging, revealed Rabellino. Head over to the Windows Azure Developer Center to learn more.

    Java Windows Azure Introduction

  • If you are either using or are evaluating Solr, the company has released a set of code tools and configuration guidelines to get the most out of Solr running on Windows Azure.
  • Another great example of OSS on Windows Azure is the use of Memcached server, the popular open-source caching technology, to improve the performance of dynamic web applications. You can read this MemcacheScaffolder, which simplifies management of Memcached servers on the Windows Azure platform.
  • SQL Azure Federation available today provides built-in support for data sharding (horizontal partitioning of data) to elastically scale-out data in the cloud. Also, released today is a new specification called SQL Database Federations, which describes additional SQL capabilities that enable data sharding (horizontal partitioning of data) for scalability in the cloud, under the Microsoft Open Specification Promise, informs Rabellino. Adding, “With those additional SQL capabilities, the database tier can provide built-in support for data sharding to elastically scale-out data in the cloud,” he said.
  • New billing updates include a “completely free” 90-day trial period, with spending caps designed to simplify the sign-up process.
  • Updated Windows Azure Management portal for viewing in real-time of usage and billing. The new portal has a Metro-style user interface with deeper drill-down capabilities.
  • Revamped Dev Centers for multiple languages with helpful content and tutorials, a new sign-up process with spending caps.

    Windows Azure Portal Revamped

Microsoft also announced SQL Azure Q4 2011 Service Release (December 2011) update – all features outlined below will be coming earlier this fall:

  • Maximum database size for individual SQL Azure databases has been expanded 3x from 50 GB to 150 GB.

    SQL Azure Database increased to 150 GB

  • New price cap announced, which will lower the effective cost per GB for customers with large databases. Effective today, the “maximum price per SQL Azure DB is $499.95. This change allows customers with 50 GB databases and larger to continue to grow without additional costs. Customers that use 150 GB DBs will see their effective price per GB drop by 67%,” revealed Windows Azure team.
  • Updated DAC Import/Export Service CTP has been updated to address several issues since its initial release in the last SQL Azure service release. Customers can use this free service from the new management portal to easily import and export their database between SQL Azure and Windows Azure BLOB storage. More information including a sample implementation is available on the CodePlex.
  • Expanded support for user-controlled collations: “When creating a database, users can now specify which collation to use. Users can specify all valid collations returned from the fn_helpcollations() system function. This function is now enabled in SQL Azure,” said Microsoft Azure team.
  • If you explore the new developer center you’ll eventually land on a brand new how to guide which provides a concise introduction to ACS. If you are new to this space and want to get a feeling of what ACS can do, you’ll find the new guide useful. If you already know about ACS, you now have a nice, self-contained guide you can use with the ones in your team who need to ramp up.

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