December 2012

Announcements

Announcing Reduced Pricing for Windows Azure Storage

We are happy to announce another price reduction for Windows Azure Storage–by as much as 28 percent-effective December 12. This follows our March 8, 2012, reduction of 12 percent, furthering our commitment to best overall value in the industry. Read full details.

Key Features of Windows Azure Active Directory Now Available at No Charge

To help make identity management in the cloud accessible and available to every business and organization in the world, we have announced that the Access Control and Core Directory & Authentication features of Windows Azure Active Directory are now available at no charge. Try out Windows Azure Active Directory today.

Media Services Encoding Reserved Units Preview

Take advantage of improved media task processing throughput by participating in the Windows Azure Media Services Encoding Reserved Units preview. Encoding Reserved Units allow you to process media services tasks in parallel at a rate equal to the number of reserved units purchased. For more information, please refer to the Media section of our Pricing Details page.

If you are an Enterprise customer, please refer to Enterprise Media Services pricing.

New Customer Support for Windows Azure

Back in November, we announced significant enhancements to Windows Azure support, which better reflect the needs of customers as they transition to the cloud and grow deployments. To help our customers transition to the new offerings, we offered Standard tier support at no cost through December 31, 2012. Now that we’re in the month of December, make sure that you have chosen the correct support option to meet your needs going forward. Read full details.

Did You Miss Windows Azure Conf 2012?

No worries. You can watch all of the Windows Azure Conf 2012 sessions on demand via Channel 9. Watch Scott Guthrie demonstrate in his keynote address how to build a variety of applications ranging from websites to mobile apps to multitier cloud services.

Congratulations to Fast Contest Winner Magnus Mårtensson!

Windows Azure users are fast. Want to see who's going the fastest using Windows Azure? Check out the rest of the contest video submissions from developers and others in the Windows Azure community.

Learning

Real-World Windows Azure with Mural.ly

In this episode of the Windows Azure Cloud Cover Show, Nick and Nate are joined by Johnny Halife-cofounder and lead developer at Mural.ly-who talks about how he builds, deploys, and scales the Mural.ly application on Windows Azure to handle thousands of users and millions of requests per day.

10 Ways to Ensure Windows Azure–Based Applications Are Architected for Success

This white paper describes the top 10 issues that arise when deploying to Windows Azure SQL Database and explains how to mitigate these issues. Learn More.

Windows Azure Mobile Services now supports iOS apps

Support for iOS push notifications was announced on December 5. There are two tutorials for adding push notifications to an iOS app using Mobile Services. The first tutorial provides a walk-through of the basics of sending push notifications to an iOS app. The second tutorial details how to use a table to store Apple Push Notification Service tokens that then can be used to send push notifications to an app’s users.

Check the Windows Azure blog and Scott Guthrie's blog for more details regarding the announcement.

Partners

ClearDB: MySQL Cloud Database Service

ClearDB is a powerful cloud database solution for Windows Azure that enables you to build apps with native MySQL. The ClearDB zero-administration, high-availability solution in the cloud lets you focus on building great applications instead of maintaining your database platform. Get started by creating your free database today.

AppDynamics: Monitor Your Windows Azure App

AppDynamics specializes in monitoring modern application architectures–including ones that are distributed, agile, and extremely hard to manage. With AppDynamics, Windows Azure users can now monitor, troubleshoot, and diagnose the root cause of performance issues in real time. Users can also automatically scale up or down in Windows Azure using performance metrics. Get your free trial of AppDynamics Pro for Windows Azure.

Success Stories

Stat Health Services E-Health Provider Uses Cloud Solution to Significantly Cut Costs and Improve Service

Stat Health Services helps cut healthcare costs by connecting doctors with patients for the treatment of minor medical conditions through the Stat Doctors online service. Stat Health chose to rebuild Stat Doctors in the cloud using Windows Azure from Microsoft. As a result, it has reduced its costs, helped employers and insurers lower the cost of healthcare, and improved the quality of patient service through better scalability and reliability. Read More.

Harvey Norman Retailer reduces the risk and capital costs of launching online bargain site with highly flexible cloud hosting

Harvey Norman wanted to launch a new online daily-deals business within eight weeks. Executives knew that website traffic volumes would be volatile and hard to predict, and they needed to avoid underinvesting or overinvesting in server infrastructure. Executives launched the custom-built site, named BiG BUYS, using Windows Azure. With an easy-to-use service management portal, executives can monitor site traffic and server utilization, quickly expanding server capacity to meet peaks in demand. Read More.