Back up your data on Windows Azure with free support from a Microsoft expert*
It takes only a few seconds to lose your data: a hardware failure or a virus may delete everything. If you want to put a plan in place to help prevent data loss, visit this Windows Azure Backup webpage to find out the best solution for you and request more information by using the code MicrosoftExpert. The first qualified 40 customers to fill out the form will be contacted and offered an hour of free assistance from a Microsoft expert, who will guide them through the use of Windows Azure Backup.
Announcing price reductions on Windows Azure Storage
Read Steve Martin’s blog, the official source for Windows Azure pricing, to learn more about Microsoft’s commitment to match Amazon Web Services prices on commodity services while providing best in class reliability and scalability.
Hello Azure Friday. Hello World!
Watch this week’s Azure Friday Windows Azure Web Site video “Debugging a total failure of a Hello World node.js demo” with Scott Hanselman. Scott will mess up a node.js demo and then spend 30 minutes debugging it, learning more about Azure in the process!
January 27–31: Windows Azure Week
Register to join Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) for Windows Azure Week January 27–31. This is a free, one-week, real-time intensive virtual conference. Get answers to your questions from the people who are building Windows Azure. You’ll learn what you need to start moving your existing applications to the cloud today.
Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager now generally available
Protect vital workloads running in your Microsoft System Center private cloud with Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager. By automating the replication of virtual machines to a secondary site, it provides automated cloud-based customizable recovery plans and recovery orchestration at your secondary site in the event of a service outage, as well as continuous health monitoring. Read Scott Guthrie’s blog to find out more and how to get started.
Guest OS family 4 availability and Guest OS family 1 retirement
Effective June 2, 2014, Windows Azure will stop supporting guest operating system (Guest OS) family 1 for new and existing Cloud Services deployments. Developers are advised to move to the latest/supported Guest OS families before this deadline to avoid potential disruption of their cloud services.
Using Guest OS family 4 in Windows Azure enables developers to deploy their cloud services using Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1, which is available as a default framework in Windows Server 2012 R2. Read about Windows Azure Guest OS Releases and SDK Compatibility Matrix. And find out how to Configure Settings for the Windows Azure Guest OS so that your cloud services stay up-to-date.
Ask “Dear Azure” today: the advice is free; the responses are legendary
Like that crazy uncle who bailed you out of a jam without saying a word to your parents, Dear Azure is here to help with a humorous “advice column” approach to answering questions about the cloud and Windows Azure. Ask a question or read the column!
Windows Azure validated for PCI DSS compliance
Windows Azure has been validated for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) compliance by an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). Designed to help prevent fraud through increased controls involving credit card data, certification is required for all organizations that store, process, or transmit credit card information. Now customers can reduce the complexity of their PCI DSS certification by using compliant services on Windows Azure. Download the PCI Attestation of Compliance for Windows Azure and Windows Azure Customer PCI Guide.
TechEd 2014: are you in?
Join your peers, industry experts, and thought leaders at TechEd North America 2014 in Houston, Texas, May 12–15 to learn the latest on Windows Azure. Advance your product knowledge and boost your proficiency with technical tracks including Datacenter and Infrastructure Management, Developer Platform and Tools, and People-centric IT. If there’s one conference that you can’t miss in 2014, this is it.
Register now for the next Global Windows Azure Bootcamp
In April 2013, the first Global Windows Azure Bootcamp took place at more than 90 locations around the globe! This year on March 29, we will again offer a one-day in-depth class to help thousands of people get up to speed on developing cloud computing applications for Windows Azure. In addition to this great learning opportunity, hands-on labs will feature pooling a huge global compute farm to perform research for charity!
Register now at a location close to you
How to send location-based mobile push notifications using Notification Hubs
In this episode of the Channel 9 Windows Azure Cloud Cover Show, see how to easily implement geotargeted push notifications using Windows Azure Notification Hubs. The sample implementation uses the Bing reverse-geocoding API to turn latitude and longitude into an address as the location of the user’s device changes. Learn how to send geo-based push notifications from any app backend, whether hosted on-premises or in Windows Azure.
New white paper on network security in Windows Azure
To build and manage solutions in the cloud that comply with industry standards and regulations, IT administrators need to understand the security mechanisms within Windows Azure. This new Windows Azure Network Security white paper offers insights into these inner workings and guidance on how you can take advantage of the platform’s features to best protect your information assets.
Download the white paper
Windows Azure Web Sites: Building Web Apps at a Rapid Pace
This new book by Tejaswi Redkar goes deep into Windows Azure Web Sites and discusses how to build web apps at a rapid pace. It’s based on Redkar’s years of experience building 100+ solutions on Windows Azure to help you build secure, scalable, and high-performing websites.
Get the book
Windows Azure Web Sites works great with Python and Django
One of the main strengths of Windows Azure Web Sites is its support for many frameworks and programming languages. For example, with Web Sites, you can easily develop Python applications using the Django framework directly from within the Microsoft Visual Studio development system. This blog post from Sunitha Muthukrishna, a Windows Azure Program Manager, discusses creating a Python/Django blog application that uses a MySQL database.
Read the blog
New blog platform in Windows Azure Web Sites: Ghost
Ghost is a popular blogging platform based on Node.js, and one of the more prominent competitors to WordPress. Recently, Windows Azure Web Sites added a built-in template for Ghost, making it possible to deploy a blog rapidly. This blog post by Karlkim Suwanmongkol shows how to do this. Also, you might be excited to hear that the WordPress app in the Windows Azure Web Sites Gallery has been updated to version 3.8 (“Parker”), which is a huge advancement and includes many new features.
Webinar series: Building a Next-Generation Software Business
The software market is undergoing seismic shifts driven by technology trends that include an explosion of devices and rapidly growing demand for cloud-based services. In this environment, independent software vendors face rapidly evolving customer expectations and ever-increasing competition. Join Harald Horgen, CEO of the York Group, for this interactive Cloud 9 webinar series to discuss changes that the cloud brings to a software business.
On demand from MVA: Windows Azure Web Sites—Deep Dive Jump Start
View the MVA training course called Windows Azure Web Sites—Deep Dive Jump Start and learn from expert instructors how to use Windows Azure to develop, deploy, and scale large-scale web apps in a matter of minutes.
Nearly Infinite Bandwidth with Windows Azure Web Sites
Listen to this TechNet Radio episode that demonstrates the features and functionalities found in the Windows Azure Web Sites service. Learn how you can spin up multiple web instances for additional scalability, discuss Shared versus Standard web site mode, and more.
Automated Application Architecture Deployment with Windows Azure IaaS
Join Microsoft Technical Evangelist Yung Chou for accelerated learning of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services and Windows Azure PowerShell cmdlets. During this TechNet Radio session, you will learn cloud computing concepts, deployment methodology, operation routines, and deployment scenarios.
Web Roles and SQL Database Disaster Recovery
Check out this Stack Overflow question and answer site to find out how to restore both web roles and Windows Azure SQL Database to different data centers in case of disaster. Get valuable tips from professional and enthusiast programmers on the Stack Overflow site.
Live event: Connect with devices using Windows Azure
Windows Azure Mobile Services helps you get up and running with mobile apps and connected device scenarios quickly and easily. Register for this free MVA event and join the product team to learn how you can build both consumer-facing and employee-facing mobile apps that scale, use Windows Azure Notification Hubs to send segmented mobile push notifications from any app back end, and use Windows Azure Service Bus to enable Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine scenarios.
"The way you can sort documents into different classes and groups of classes with metadata is fantastic."
—Blaine Ah Yuk-Winters, Project Manager
With M-Files Cloud Vault, the first professional Windows Azure platform document management solution running on Windows Azure, you won’t waste time searching for a document, re-creating information, or using the wrong version. Instead, you can just tag your documents and save them in your vault. They’ll automatically be saved in the cloud and made available to anyone with access, anywhere they are.
Plain Concepts is a company specializing in Microsoft technologies, agile methodologies, application lifecycle management, performance tuning, advanced debugging, software architecture, and user experience. Among our professionals, we count on seven Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), including two being Windows Azure MVPs who are dedicated to helping you with your our cloud computing projects.
Leading European airline improves service and scalability with hybrid cloud solution
"It was actually faster deploying to Windows Azure than it was to our own internal test environment in some cases. We can try new things quickly, with very low risk and cost."
—Bert Craven, Enterprise Architect Manager, easyJet
easyJet, a leading low-fare airline in Europe, wanted to offer new features without costly investment in on-premises infrastructure. To enhance its registration reservation system, the airline implemented a hybrid cloud solution that includes a seating allocation application that runs on the Windows Azure platform. Now, easyJet has a more flexible, scalable infrastructure that it can use to introduce new features quickly and affordably. And these new features have boosted customer satisfaction.
Read the full story
Global weather center increases global scalability and speeds time-to-market with cloud platform
"With Windows Azure, we gain velocity because we can be innovative without worrying about complex infrastructure. A proof of concept that might have taken three months to execute now takes three days."
—Chris Patti, Vice President of Technology, AccuWeather
AccuWeather, a leading provider of weather forecasts worldwide, needed a better solution for handling more than 4 billion daily data requests. To increase scalability, the company is delivering content from the cloud on the Windows Azure platform. As a result, the company has accelerated times for development and proofs of concept without worrying about provisioning infrastructure. It has also gained on-demand scalability, improved access to real-time weather data, and cut IT costs by up to 40 percent.
Read the full story