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Microsoft Adds Infrastructure-as-a-Service Support to Azure Cloud Platform

Microsoft has provided greater technical details about the upgrades to Windows Azure, which the company says makes it an Infrastructure-as-a-Service as then as a Platform-as-a-Service.

Developers, system administrators and other IT professionals were given a deep dive into Azure's new services via a Web cast the afternoon of June 7 that as well presented a discussion on how Microsoft is providing Linux operating system support in Azure alongside Windows within the Azure cloud environment.

Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Windows Azure application platform, demonstrated how new virtual machines could be created using a simple Wizard process and deployed on any server available. He described the Azure portal experience as "a as a matter of fact powerful and flexible way to do it."

"There's full support directly in the portal for creating any number of virtual machines using images we provide. Just like on a Windows machine, I can configure this Linux-based VM, capture it as a reusable image, at the time basically create any new number of VMs based on that and have everything pre-installed when I create it," Guthrie said.

The latest Windows Server versions supported in Azure

Besides the latest Windows Server versions supported in Azure, including the Server 2012 release candidate, Microsoft identified these Linux OSes that will as well be supported: OpenSUSE 12.1, CentOS-6.2, Ubuntu 12.04 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, SP2.

Windows Azure Virtual Machines-Virtual Machines will allow an enterprise to move its virtual hard disks back and forth between on-premises and the cloud. Users can transfer workloads just as SQL Server or SharePoint to the cloud or manage customized Windows Servers or Linux images.

Windows Azure Virtual Network-This feature allows users to provision virtual private networks in Windows Azure to move between on-premise and cloud environments. It provides control over such things as network topology, configuration of IP addresses and security policies and using the industry-standard IPSEC protocol.

Windows Azure Web Sites-This site building service supports .NET, Node.js, and PHP using common deployment techniques like Git and FTP. It will as well enable deployment of open source applications like WordPress, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Umbraco, and Drupal in a cloud environment.

New tools, language support, and SDK-The Windows Azure SDK adds new developer capabilities for Java, PHP, and .NET, as so then as the addition of Python as a supported language on Windows Azure. The SDK as well provides support for both Windows and the Macintosh.

Increased Global Availability-Windows Azure is being expanded to clients in 48 new countries, including Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Egypt and Ukraine, for a total of 89 countries and 19 different currencies.

Microsoft originally considered open source Linux to be an interloper, unfairly undercutting Microsoft's proprietary software model. Nevertheless in more recent years, Microsoft has come to see open source as a permanent fixture in the tech industry and has enabled greater interoperability with open source and Windows software. Microsoft offered interoperability with SUSE Linux at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco May 21.

More information: Eweek
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