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New Windows Azure Features and Services for spring

8 Jun

Yesterday, Microsoft announced previews of new Windows Azure services that help developers build applications that connect data to users across public and private clouds, take advantage of VHDs and deploy scalable websites quickly and cheaply.

Today, Scott Guthrie will host “Meet Windows Azure” to introduce these new services.  And on Monday, as part of TechEd North America and broadcast live online, Scott, along with Mark Russinovich, Quentin Clark, and Bill Staples will host “Learn Windows Azure” to provide deeper demonstration of the latest Windows Azure features and services to build, deploy, and manage applications in the cloud.

Among the highlights of the announcements made yesterday:

  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable the moving of workloads on virtual hard disks (VHDs) between on-premises environments and the cloud.  Windows Azure supports both Windows and Linux VHD images, which can be customized or chosen from a pre-populated gallery.  With the commonly supported VHD format, developers and IT Pros can move existing workloads like a SQL Server database or an existing line-of-business application into Windows Azure to create greater scale, lower cost or deploy to new users.  It has never been easier to move your applications to the cloud and boost them with virtually unlimited power, flexibility and reliability.
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network enables the creation, extension and management of virtual private networks into Windows Azure.  Organizations can now more effectively and securely extend their corporate networks into the cloud.  Did you ever wish you had an extra couple of servers for running a calculation job or to deal with a peak in user demand?  Now you can seamlessly add and remove computing resources to your network, as your need them.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites makes building .NET, Node.js, Java and PHP web experiences easier and cheaper than ever while supporting deployment techniques like Git and FTP and framework applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco and Drupal that web developers already know and trust. Why should it be hard to setup a website that can scale with user demand, that is always up and running, regardless of the technology you’re using?
  • Python support, new Tools  The new Windows Azure SDK (June 2012) includes updated support for Java, PHP and .NET and adds Python support, while providing 100% command line support for developers using a Windows PC or a Mac.  No matter what your development flavor is, you can build applications that take advantage of Windows Azure and all its building blocks – experience the openness and interoperability of Windows Azure.

 

To discover, learn and get started building applications on the Windows Azure platform, I encourage you to:

image Follow the live stream of “Meet Windows Azure” and discover the new Windows Azure services.
image Tune into Learn Windows Azure on Monday June 11 for a deeper demonstration of what’s new.
image Set up a trial account for getting free access to Windows Azure.
image Of course you want to play with these new features! How can you host your own virtual machine in Azure? What is needed to create a PHP web site using MySQL on Azure?
As of Monday June 11, the Azure Training Kit will be updated and guide you step-by-step through a series of hands-on labs.Download the tools now and get started!
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Is the public cloud still a bit hazy to you? This blog helps lift the fog.

6 Jun

When three developers with their heads in the cloud go to work on NET, Java and PHP, the stage is set for a fascinating roadtrip through Azure!
Hop on board and learn all about hosting apps and cloud data storage.

Like our bloggers, you have probably heard plenty of dry theory and unconvincing sales patter in your time. You undoubtedly prefer to get your information straight from the horse’s mouth with the kind of case studies and expert personal experience they provide.

Maarten has been busy putting together a whole load of reasons why those of you who work with .NET might be interested in tinkering with Azure.

François talks you through his personal journey from “cloud-sceptic, old-school Java developer to convinced, cloud-eager Java developer”.

Meanwhile, Michelangelo takes a developers’ perspective on how to run your PHP applications on Windows Azure, complete with spiffy diagrams and everything.

The beauty of the blog is that it’s interactive, so if you have any questions or comments, you can get involved right away.

Keep up-to-date with news on the capabilities of PHP, .NET and Java within Azure, and look forward to being part of a roadtrip through Azure with three friendly faces.

Check out the blog here, en stay tuned!

Book : Azure Case Studies 2011 by Microsoft UK

20 Feb

Interested in references of ISV customers using the Windows Azure Platform right now ? Check this great work of the UK Azure team. They compiled a book of 81 pages with the some of the Azure ISV references in the UK in 2011. Some really interesting ISVs showcasing their applications running live on Azure. See: http://www.koodibook.com/books/565 (switch to full screen).

This book is hosted on koodibook.com, a library of books, also running on the Windows Azure Platform.

Want to know how Azure can be of value for your business ? Want to be listed in the upcoming Belgian version of this book ? … contact me on kclaeys@microsoft.com

Azure Spotlight: Agilys myShopi combines mobile and cloud

9 Jan

Agilys LogoAgilys is a Belgian startup company, based in Braine-l’Alleud, involved in mobile development, building mobile applications and Internet sites.  They are a member of the Microsoft BizSpark program, giving them have access to Microsoft software, support and a worldwide ecosystem of peers and partners.

myShopi Logo

Are you always writing down the same shopping items again and again, only to find out afterwards that you didn’t bring that one important item. With the myShopi mobile application, Agilys has developed a consumer mobile application for Windows Phone 7, iPhone and Android that helps them manage their shopping list. You can even manage multiple shopping lists, for example to create a list per shop or for each family member.  Creating a new shopping list is simple and intuitive by selecting your items from a database of more than 1000 products, or by simply scanning the barcode of a product.  With the myShopi application, shopping has never been that easy!

myShopi screenshotWhen building and running a consumer mobile application, you may potentially reach thousands or even millions of users.  Sizing the server infrastructure for handling such an unpredictable number of users, potentially generating enormous spikes of user activity, is not an easy task.  Do you buy servers to handle 1000 users, with the risk of bringing the server down if you have 10-fold this number of users?  Or do you rather provision, and pay for (!), an infrastructure that can handle 1 million users but which might be idle most of the time?  In such scenarios, you need an infrastructure that can scale flexibly with user demand, adding resources or removing resources as your application load fluctuates.

The capability to scale flexibly with user demand is one of the reasons why Agilys has decided to deploy the application backend logic in the cloud on the Windows Azure Platform.  This provides them with flexible scaling but also with an infrastructure that is highly reliable to ensure that the application is available to their users at all times.

Another reason why Agilys has decided to move to the cloud is the fact that they want to focus on their core business, which is mobile development and not hosting a server infrastructure.  By hosting the application backend on the Windows Azure Platform, the provisioning and management of servers, network and storage capacity is being taken care of by the cloud computing platform.

Follow Agilys:

Agilys on Twitter

 

Do you want to be the next one to feature your cloud application here? You can get started with the Windows Azure platform in 2 easy steps:

1. Setup an Account:

Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure an SQL Azure. You can sign up and get the free trial from http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/.
Note: With the new spending limit functionality available you are assured that no charging is happening once your trial offer has expired.

2. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

Download the tools and learn how to create an application using .NET, JAVA, Node.js or PHP and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/

When all steps are executed successfully you should have your first application running on the Windows Azure Platform. Let us know about it and maybe you’ll be in the spotlights!

Windows Azure Logo

Azure Spotlight: Numeri’zik Robot Stream Goes Cloudy

21 Dec

Numerizik LogoNumeri’zik is a Belgian startup company that is involved in the digitization of media and new ways of communication. They are a member of the Microsoft BizSpark program, through which they have access to Microsoft software, support and a worldwide ecosystem of peers and partners.

Robot Stream LogoCompanies need to communicate to their employees about internal events, organizational changes, HR-related announcements, etc. Often email or other electronic communication is not appropriate and a more personal approach is needed. However, bringing all employees together in one physical location may not always be possible for different reasons.

NumeriBoxNumeri’zik has built the Robot Stream application, which provides companies and institutions with an Enterprise Radio that gives them an innovative, fun and informal way to communicate with their employees. Through Robot Stream, you can integrate information messages in a music stream and target them at all or specific groups of employees, regardless of their location. Whether it’s in the coffee corner, during lunch in the cafeteria, on the PC or smartphone, you can reach anyone, anywhere in the organization.

With support from the Microsoft Innovation Center in Mons, Numeri’zik has developed the Robot Stream solution using Microsoft’s Cloud Computing platform. The streaming server is hosted in Windows Azure and which can communicate with an on-premise Robot Stream appliance (NumeriBox).

By leveraging Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Numeri’zik can offer its customers a solution that is highly available without having to invest in and manage a server infrastructure. At the same time, as the number of Robot Stream users fluctuates the platform can flexibly scale up or down, optimizing the operational cost.

 

Follow Numeri’zik:

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Do you want to be the next one to feature your cloud application here?  You can get started with the Windows Azure platform in 2 easy steps:

1. Setup an Account:

Set up an account and obtain a free subscription for accessing the online portals for Windows Azure an SQL Azure. You can sign up and get the free trial from http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/.
Note: With the new capping functionality available you are assured that no charging is happening once your trial offer has expired.

2. Create your First application and Deploy it on the Windows Azure Platform:

Download the tools and learn how to create an application using .NET, JAVA, Node.js or PHP and deploy it on Windows Azure at http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/develop/overview/

When all steps are executed successfully you should have your first application running on the Windows Azure Platform. Let us know about it and maybe you’ll be in the spotlights!

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