October 2013

Announcements

Give us your feedback on Windows Azure Infrastructure Services

Please help us make Windows Azure the best possible cloud infrastructure service and experience by participating in a brief survey.

When you complete the survey, your anonymous feedback will be used to understand your satisfaction with Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. We will also use the survey results for planning purposes, to ensure we are prioritizing future investments based on your needs as a valued customer. This Survey is provided by the Windows Azure Engineering Team.

Protect important server data off-site with Windows Azure Backup

We are excited to announce that Windows Azure Backup is now generally available. The service provides simple, reliable backup of your servers to Windows Azure. Manage cloud backups from the familiar backup tools in the Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 Essentials, or System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager.

Learn more

Orchestrate protection and recovery with Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager

Try out Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager, now available for public preview. The service helps you automate the replication of virtual machines between two sites, monitors service health, and orchestrates recovery in the event of a service outage. The service will be available at a discount during preview.

Learn more

New Windows Server 2012 R2 image now available in Image Gallery

We're excited to announce the availability of the Windows Server 2012 R2 image in the Windows Azure Virtual Machines Image Gallery. Windows Server 2012 R2 has a lot of enhancements. Whether you are thinking of migrating your app to this newly released operating system or just want to tinker with it to understand the new functionality, it is easy to get started by using the Windows Server 2012 R2 image in Windows Azure.

Get enterprise-grade identity and access at no charge

Starting in October, Microsoft is providing all Windows Azure customers enterprise-grade identity management and access control with the Windows Azure Active Directory service, featuring a security-enabled sign-in experience and improved administrator capabilities for cloud resources. Every Windows Azure subscriber will get an automatically created Windows Azure AD tenant at no charge. Multiple directories can be created under a tenant for maximum efficiency and scale.

Visit the Windows Azure Management Portal to get started today. Visit the Active Directory Team Blog for updates on dates, pricing, and cool data about Windows Azure Active Directory adoption.

Coming in November: 22% price reduction on memory-intensive instances

We're reducing the prices of memory-intensive instances by 22 percent across Windows, Linux, and Cloud Services. The price drops for A5, A6, and A7 instances will be effective starting November 2013.

We hope this will help you save further on the cost of running applications. Memory-intensive instances are great for running applications that demand larger memory, such as Microsoft SharePoint, high-performance databases, in-memory analytics, and other enterprise applications.

Imagine Cup 2014 is here

Microsoft's premier global student technology competition is back! We invite all eligible students to use their imagination and passion to create a technology solution for one of our competitions or online challenges. Find out more about Microsoft Imagine Cup, or take a look at this year's competitions.

Windows Azure now fully supported by Juju

As part of our commitment to openness and interoperability, we're excited to announce that Windows Azure is now fully supported by Juju. This means that Ubuntu users can now use Juju with its intuitive GUI to design and deploy sophisticated application services instantly in Windows Azure. Juju is an open source project.

Get started with the Juju client on Windows Azure by going to install Juju.

Learning

Windows Azure Dev Camps, coming to a city near you

Join a Microsoft Developer Camp and learn about the latest Windows Azure development tools and technologies. Available in select cites, these free, one-day instructor-led workshops let you roll up your sleeves and get hands-on with Windows Azure.

Double your virtualization skill set for free

Here's your chance to expand your virtualization skill set. Join us at this free, one-day technical workshop on Microsoft Virtualization for VMware IT professionals. Experienced technical evangelists will guide you through key scenarios and cover equivalent technologies from Microsoft and VMware. Complete all the hands-on labs and you'll walk away ready to build your own lab environment for further evaluation and testing.

Tuesdays with Corey: Inside the Operations Center

In this week's episode, Corey takes us behind the scenes of the almost finished Windows Azure Operations Center.

Watch the video

Learn more about Multi-Factor Authentication

Check out this Channel 9 video to learn more about how Windows Azure Multi-Factor Authentication can help secure access to your on-premises and cloud apps.

Partner

October Partner Showcase: New Relic

Your days of viewing multiple management consoles to monitor app performance are over. Complete visibility into app performance is available on Windows Azure with New Relic. New Relic is integrated with Windows Azure, giving you visibility into your entire Windows Azure environment. Monitor all your virtual machines, mobile services, web sites, and more—all from one powerful dashboard.

Learn more

October Partner Showcase: SendGrid

SendGrid is a cloud-based email service that delivers email on behalf of companies to increase deliverability and improve customer communications. Integration with new or existing email systems is done via SMTP or through a REST API. As a Windows Azure customer, you can get started with 25,000 free SendGrid messages per month, with analytics.

Success Stories

NBC News picks Windows Azure over Amazon to host push notifications to mobile apps

Given the competitive digital media landscape, NBC News takes nothing for granted. Early to mobile apps, it continually seeks the Next Big Thing with which to create "special experiences" for consumers. Its latest find: Notification Hubs in Windows Azure, with which NBC News cost-effectively delivers millions of breaking-news notifications within minutes. Consumers give the app good ratings, and NBC News shaved months off time-to-market versus developing its own notification system.

Read the full story

Start-ups gain 20 to 50 percent more "runway" with cloud services platform

As a start-up accelerator, Think Big Partners advises start-ups on every phase of their business. So, when the company created its own start-up—an investor/entrepreneur matchmaking service called PitchCastr—it knew how to do it right. Think Big Partners developed and runs PitchCastr on Windows Azure, avoiding US$200,000 in first-year costs. The money that start-ups save by using Windows Azure can stretch six to nine months of capital to another two or three months: "That's another 20 to 50 percent of 'runway' before more funding is needed."

Read the full story