Thursday, July 10, 2014

Microsoft's Azure Adds 8K Customers per Week, New Regions Activated

Microsoft continues to report growing momentum for Azure -- more than 8,000 customers and partners are joining Azure every week.

Next week, Microsoft is hosting its Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., and the company is looking to entice IT integration vendors with a range of Azure services they can sell to their customers.

Some highlights from blog postings by Microsoft:

  • Microsoft has just activated two new Azure regions online -- US Central and US East 2 regions in Iowa and Virginia, respectively.
  • Azure ExpressRoute is expanding to six more Equinix data centers worldwide. Azure ExpressRoute provides a dedicated, private connection with low latency from the colo to the Microsoft cloud.
  • Beginning next month, a new Microsoft Azure StorSimple service will provide a hybrid cloud storage solution for Microsoft's IT integration partners.  Azure StorSimple simplifies disaster recovery, consolidates management and brings on-premises data to the cloud for development and testing of new apps.
  • The Azure Machine Learning service is now available for preview. Partners can use the service to build advanced analytic cloud services for their customers.
  • Microsoft is adding IaaS functionality to its Azure Preview Portal to allow users to manage virtual machines, as well as single-click SharePoint deployment for the management of multiple virtual machines within the Portal.
  • A new Azure Event Hubs service can broker millions of events per second, allowing partners and customers to pull in, process and analyze data from cloud-connected smart devices.
  • Microsoft is planning to expand its Azure government cloud, including offering a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online U.S. government cloud offering.
  • A new service called Delve will bring machine learning and advance search capabilities to Office 365.

In May, Microsoft confirmed that Azure ExpressRoute connections will be available with partners AT&T, BT, Equinix, Level 5, TeleCity, SingTel and Verizon. Azure ExpressRoute ensures private connections between Azure data centers and on-premise infrastructure or colocation facilities by using an MPLS VPN or other secure tunnel. In addition:
  • Azure Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection. This enables customers to securely connect multiple on-premises locations. With new VNET-to-VNET connectivity, multiple virtual networks can be directly and securely linked to one another for disaster prevention.  Another new capability is IP Reservation, which allows the customer to reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP addresses—ideal for applications that need static public IP addresses or when there is a need to swap reserved IP addresses to update applications.
  • Azure Traffic Manager, now generally available, supports both Azure & external endpoints, for building highly available applications across Azure and on-premises.

  • Also effective today, two new compute-intensive virtual machine instances — A8 and A9 — came online.  Microsoft said these instances bring faster processors and interconnectivity, more virtual cores, and larger memory.