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New Windows Azure Datacenter in “West US” and “East US” and Windows Azure Trust Center Announced

Microsoft has announced the immediate availability of two new data centers for Windows Azure to its U.S. based customers. Datacenter located in new Eastern U.S. and a Western U.S. facility are now offered for compute and storage.

Compute and storage resources are available in both the “West US” and “East US” locations. Microsoft plans to add SQL Azure to the two datacenters “in the coming months,” according to a April 5 post on the Windows Azure blog. The two new datacenters already are visible in the Azure Management Portal.

SQL Azure will be online in the coming months, according to the announcement.

Pricing for Windows Azure Compute and Storage remains consistent across all datacenters worldwide. As always, the best way to get started with Windows Azure is with a 90 day free trial.

While on Azure, Microsoft also launches this morning “Windows Azure Trust Center” with the goal of providing customers and partners with easier access to regulatory compliance information.

“Windows Azure Trust Center will be updated on a regular basis with announcements of additional compliance programs that Windows Azure is pursuing,” said Azure team.

Microsoft also announced additional contractual commitments to volume licensing (Enterprise Agreement) customers:

  • A Data Processing Agreement that details our compliance with the E.U. Data Protection Directive and related security requirements for Windows Azure core features within ISO/IEC 27001:2005 scope.
  • E.U. Model Contractual Clauses that provide additional contractual guarantees around transfers of personal data for Windows Azure core features within ISO 27001 scope.

Please contact your Microsoft account manager or Microsoft Volume Licensing for details.

Also, Windows Azure has completed another important milestone for its core features: a submission to the Cloud Security Alliance STAR registry.

“STAR is a free, publically accessible registry that documents the security controls provided by various cloud computing offerings. The Cloud Security Alliance published the Cloud Control Matrix (CCM) to support customers in the evaluation of cloud services,” the team posted.

In response to this publication, Microsoft has published a white paper to outline how Windows Azure security controls map to the CCM controls framework, providing customers with in-depth information on Windows Azure security policies and procedures.

In the latest segment of Trustworthy Computing’s Cloud Fundamentals Video Series, Tim Rains, Director, Trustworthy Computing joined by Kellie Ann Chainier, a Cloud Business Manager from Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector team. Kellie Ann discusses the new STAR assessment for Windows Azure.

Also, NoSQL databases are often employed in public, massively scaled Web site scenarios, where fast fetching of relatively simple data sets matters most. Relational databases get the nod for transactional, atomic writes, indexing of non-key columns, query optimizers, and declarative, set-oriented query.

NoSQL provide some or all of the following features:

  • Key-value stores.
  • Document stores.
  • Wide column stores.
  • Graph databases.

Andew Brust wrote a paper for Microsoft entitled “NoSQL and the Windows Azure platform — Investigation of an Unlikely Combination.” In the paper, Andrew makes the case that Azure Table Storage is in fact a NoSQL database. Of the various categories of NoSQL database discussed in the last section, Azure Table Storage fits most snugly with Key-Value Stores.

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