Announcing PCI DSS compliance and expanded ISO certification for Windows Azure, general availability of Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager and other updates to Windows Azure

Today, we are excited to announce two significant milestones that enhance customers’ ability to build secure and compliant applications on Windows Azure. Additionally, we are also announcing the general availability of Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager so our customers can enjoy the benefits of improved application availability.

Windows Azure Validated for PCI DSS Compliance Payment fraud continues to be a huge concern for the growing number of organizations that accept credit card payments. We are pleased to announce that Windows Azure has been validated for compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) by an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA).

The PCI DSS is the global standard that any organization of any size must adhere to in order to accept payment cards, and to store, process, and/or transmit cardholder data. By providing PCI DSS validated infrastructure and platform services, Windows Azure delivers a compliant framework for you to run your own secure and compliant applications. You can more easily achieve PCI DSS certification for those applications using Windows Azure.

To assist customers in achieving PCI DSS certification, Microsoft is making the Windows Azure PCI Attestation of Compliance and Windows Azure Customer PCI Guide available for immediate download.

Visit the Trust Center for a full list of in scope features or for more information on Windows Azure security and compliance.

ISO Certification expanded to Include SQL Database and Many More Windows Azure Features

Windows Azure has successfully completed its annual ISO audit. In addition to Windows Azure Cloud Services, Storage, Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks, the ISO audit scope has been significantly expanded to include SQL Database, Active Directory, Traffic Manager, Web Sites, BizTalk Services, Media Services, Mobile Services, Service Bus, Multi-Factor Authentication, and HDInsight among others. This includes the Information Security Management System (ISMS) for Windows Azure, encompassing infrastructure, development, operations, and support for these features.

This expanded certification reaffirms Microsoft’s commitment to implementing internationally recognized information security controls so that customers can comply with the laws and regulations applicable to their use scenarios.

Visit the Trust Center for a full list of in scope features or for more information on Windows Azure security and compliance.

Easily protect, monitor and recover your applications with Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Protecting application availability – especially against threats like regional disasters – can be a high-cost endeavor involving complex planning and the need to remotely monitor service availability.  This cost and complexity results in many applications which could benefit from protection going unprotected today.

Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager helps protect your on premises applications by automating the replication of virtual machines to a secondary location – and as of today, it’s now generally available.

It provides three key capabilities

  • Automated Protection – HRM leverages the capabilities of Windows Server and System Center to provide on-going replication of Virtual machines to your secondary site
  • Continuous Health Monitoring – Windows Azure provides remote monitoring of service availability, and acts as the central repository for your customized recovery plan
  • Orchestrated Recovery – In the event of a service outage at your primary datacenter, you can execute your recovery plan from Windows Azure to orchestrate the recovery of services at your secondary site.

These recovery plans enable automated disaster recovery orchestration by sequencing failover of different virtual machines and application tiers and providing customization through scripts and manual actions.

Several customers have already deployed Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager in their environments, including, Aston Martin, United Airlines, and Pošta Slovenije.  You can read more about specific capabilities in today’s blog posts from Brad Anderson and Scott Guthrie.

Learn more about Hyper-V Recovery Manager here.

Today, we are also releasing the following exciting updates

  • Preview release of key new features in Windows Azure Web Sites including Staged Publishing and WebJobs
  • Monitoring improvements with enhanced alerting support for Windows Azure Web Sites and SQL Azure Databases
  • Azure Mobile Services support for SenchaTouch for building cross-platform mobile apps and websites

Please review Scott Guthrie’s blog for more information