Sunday, October 26, 2008

Microsoft Debuts "Azure" Internet Cloud Services Platform

Microsoft introduced its "Windows Azure" operating system and Azure Services Platform (Azure) for cloud-based computing using Microsoft global data center network. Microsoft said its aim is to provide developers with the on-demand compute and storage resources to host, scale, and manage Internet or cloud applications.

Over the past year, Microsoft has opened major data centers in Quincy, Washington, and San Antonio, Texas. Additional Microsoft data centers are scheduled to open in Chicago and Dublin, Ireland.

Azure makes use of existing Microsoft technologies, such as the Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio. Developers also access the Azure Services Platform using a variety of common Internet standards. Specifically, Azure provides an open, standards-based and interoperable environment with support for multiple internet protocols, including HTTP, REST, SOAP, and XML.

Key components of the Azure Services Platform include:

  • Windows Azure for service hosting and management, low-level scalable storage, computation and networking

  • Microsoft SQL Services for a wide range of database services and reporting

  • Microsoft .NET Services which are service-based implementations of familiar .NET Framework concepts such as workflow and access control

  • Live Services for a consistent way for users to store, share and synchronize documents, photos, files and information across their PCs, phones, PC applications and Web sites

  • Microsoft SharePoint Services and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Services for business content, collaboration and rapid solution development in the cloud.

Microsoft said the key advantage for developers is that its cloud-based approach allows them to pay only for the services they use, while reducing the capital costs associated with purchasing hardware and infrastructure.

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