May 2013

Announcements

Give Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Network a spin

Windows Azure Infrastructure Services—including Virtual Machines and Virtual Network—help you meet growing business needs by providing on-demand, scalable infrastructure. With these generally available services, you can extend your data centers and workloads into the cloud, using your existing skills and investments. Watch this brief, animated video to discover how your organization can reduce today’s IT backlog while building tomorrow’s modern applications with Windows Azure.

Learn more at our Infrastructure Services page and get started today by visiting the Windows Azure Management Portal.

Windows AzureConf 2013: Highlights from the event on April 23

Delivered by our Windows Azure Community, including Windows Azure MVPs, Insiders, and select influencers, Windows AzureConf was a one-day, online event that focused on real-world scenarios. Scott Guthrie kicked off the day with an overview of Windows Azure and a demonstration of how to build a variety of applications, ranging from websites and mobile applications to multitier cloud services. Check out the top sessions featured below, or browse all the sessions.

Windows Azure SDK for Ruby

We're happy to announce the first release of Windows Azure SDK for Ruby (version 0.5.0), which brings the Ruby developer experience on Windows Azure one step further. With this first version of the SDK, you can easily build your Ruby applications to consume the following Windows Azure services:

  • Storage: Blob, Table. and Queue
  • Service Bus: Queue and Topic/Subscription.

Go get it! If you have the Ruby runtime installed already, just do gem install azure. Like all the other Windows Azure SDKs that we provide, the Windows Azure SDK for Ruby is a fully open source project hosted on GitHub. This is just the beginning of the work we’re doing to provide a great story for Ruby in the cloud. Here are a few links to get you started:

We’re going carbon neutral

This fiscal year, Microsoft set a significant new goal to be carbon neutral. As a result of that commitment, we’re one of the first companies to put an internal price on carbon emissions, which provides our business and operational groups with more awareness and incentives to conserve energy, reduce internal travel, and purchase renewable power. We’ll set efficiency targets to help reduce the amount of energy that we consume for data center operations. And we’ve made good progress: Last week, Microsoft was recognized as the second-largest green power purchaser on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership list.

CodeProject’s Windows Azure Developer Challenge

CodeProject is running a new challenge with great prizes. There are five challenges, and each is two weeks long. Completion of all five challenges will result in a web application that’s hosted on Windows Azure, uses Windows Azure Data Services and Virtual Machines, and provides a great mobile experience. In other words, everything that a modern, cloud-based application needs. Learn more today!

Learning

Jump Start Training—Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

This fast-paced Jump Start training course is designed to help IT departments extend their infrastructure to the cloud. Microsoft Technical Evangelist David Tesar and Windows Azure Group Technical Product Manager David Aiken will use a demo-rich, engaging, team-teaching style to illustrate how Windows Azure Infrastructure Services (which includes Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, data management services, and Windows Azure Active Directory) makes it possible to safely migrate, extend, run, manage, and monitor common workloads in the cloud. Sign up here.

New IaaS white paper: How to deploy and operate a Microsoft SharePoint 2013 server farm on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

With the Virtual Machines and Virtual Network services of Windows Azure, it’s now possible to deploy and operate a Microsoft SharePoint 2013 server farm on Windows Azure. This document discusses the key considerations, architecture, and operations required to do this successfully. The document assumes a basic working knowledge of SharePoint Server 2013 and familiarity with the services offered by Windows Azure.

Hybrid Windows Azure IaaS scenarios—Migrating SharePoint to Windows Azure

In Part 3 of their Windows Azure IaaS series, Matt Hester and Keith Mayer discuss common scenarios for IT pros to use Windows Azure as a hybrid solution between on-premises and cloud services needs. Tune in as they discuss disaster recovery, storage, and how to migrate your SharePoint-based environment to a VM running on Windows Azure.

Introduction to Windows Azure HDInsight service

This is a general introduction to big data; Hadoop; and Windows Azure HDInsight, the Microsoft service based on Hadoop. Check out part one of a two-part presentation, in which we introduce Windows Azure HDInsight.

Windows Azure Mobile Services technical training updates

There are two important updates from Mobile Services this month:

  1. We've got great new tutorial videos available for building both Android and Windows Phone apps using Mobile Services!

    For Android, Chris Risner walks through:

    For Windows Phone, Nick Harris walks through:

    New samples available for Windows Phone:

  2. Peter Laudati, Brian Hitney, and Andrew Duthie are back with part 5 of their Using Windows Azure to Build Back-End Services for Windows 8 Apps series. During this episode, they show how to quickly add the ability to implement push notifications for his GameLeader Service by using Windows Azure Mobile Services. Check out the full article.

    Watch Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

How will you take back your lunch hour?

With Windows Azure Virtual Machines, you can spend more time focusing on what's important. And maybe a few things that aren't.... watch the video.

Partners

Enabling cloud-powered IT without headaches (RightScale Cloud Blog Series, Part 3)

So far, you've made sense of your software development life cycle (SDLC), and you've used Windows Azure Virtual Machines and RightScale to automate your development and test environment deployments, but that's not the last step. In this third and final article in the RightScale blog series for Windows Azure, we'll show you how to utilize the cloud to perform environment-level and configuration-level testing so you can stay ahead of the curve with the latest and greatest releases of the technologies that you depend on.

Success Stories

Microsoft teams up with NBC Sports Group to deliver compelling sports programming across digital platforms, by using Windows Azure

NBC Sports Group announced that it’s partnering with Microsoft to use Windows Azure Media Services across NBC Sports’ digital platforms, including NBCSports.com, NBCOlympics.com, and GolfChannel.com. Microsoft will provide both live-streaming and on-demand viewing services for more than 5,000 hours of games and events on devices such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs. These services will allow sports fans to relive or catch up on their favorite events and highlights that aired on NBC Sports Group platforms. Read the full story.

Telenor uses Windows Azure Virtual Machines for fast, efficient, cost-saving development and testing of a companywide SharePoint 2013 platform

By enabling the instant provisioning of virtual servers for installing and configuring SharePoint 2013 to meet custom needs and designs, Windows Azure Virtual Machines provided the solution sought by Telenor. The expected three-month window to set up the development and testing environment for a system of this size was reduced to two weeks, a huge savings not only in time, but also in costs. By utilizing Windows Azure Virtual Machines, Telenor has dramatically reduced the cost of setting up test, development, and demo environments; reduced the time required to make the environments available to the project; and saved on long-term investments in hardware that would have been used only in the short term. Read the full story.