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Media Services, Regional Virtual Networks, Oracle Images, Traffic Manager, Service Bus, and Azure Files is now available in Azure Government

Today we are excited to announce new functionality we have added to Azure Government!

Today we are excited to announce new functionality we have added to Azure Government. Since launching Azure Government in December we’ve been listening to feedback from our customers regarding the services and features they would most like to see us enable.

Among the things that are top of mind for our customers are the scalability and the security of their networks, the need to leverage enterprise applications like SQL, SharePoint, Oracle and Java, and the need to manage the storage and streaming of video through Azure Media Services.

Today’s announcements are in response to those customer needs.

Media Services

We are excited to announce the general availability of Azure Media Services in Azure Government. Azure Media Services allows customers to deliver any media, on virtually any device, anywhere, with the power of Azure. Here are some of the features you can leverage today with Media Services:

  • On demand encoding: Azure Media Encoder supports a wide variety of studio-grade input and output file formats and is charged based on output gigabytes.
  • Content Indexing: Allows media files to be accessible and discoverable with speech recognition, transcription, and indexing services.
  • Content Protection: Industry leading content protection with PlayReady DRM and AES Encryption.
  • Live Streaming and On demand playback: Microsoft Azure Media Services includes all the tools and services needed to handle media processing, delivery, and consumption
  • Premium Encoding: Provides decision making logic, new formats and codecs, support for Closed Captioning and many other great features. You can learn more about Premium Encoding here.

To learn more about Media Services please see the Media Services resource center.

Regional Virtual Networks

In May 2014 we announced Regional Virtual Networks (VNets) for public Azure, which allows you to configure a VNet for an entire region. Previously, VNets were limited to one scale unit within the region’s datacenter. We are excited to announce that Regional VNets are now available in Azure Government. This helps introduce a number of features that will enable innovative scenarios including:

  • Reserved and Instance level public IP addresses: Reserved IPs enables customers to retain an IP or IP block for future use. Instance IPs allow you to assign public IP addresses to your VM so that they become directly accessible. More information on Reserved and Instance level IPs can be found here.
  • Multi-NIC support: You can now configure multiple virtual network interfaces on a single Azure Government virtual machine (VM) – allowing a single VM to manage multiple subnets. More information on creating a VM with Multiple NICs can be found here.
  • Internal Load Balancing: Internal load balancing lets you leverage Azure’s internal load balancing capabilities to distribute traffic between the frontend and backend of your applications. More information on Internal Load Balancing can be found here.

These features will help customers and partners deliver enterprise-grade solutions across workloads like ADFS, SQL Server Always On deployments, SharePoint and numerous virtual appliance solutions provided by our partners.

You can read more about Regional VNets here.

Image Gallery updates including Oracle

When we released Azure Government in December, we launched with a number of high-profile industry partners, including virtual machines for Bitnami and Barracuda Networks. We continue to work with partners to bring you as many pre-configured virtual machines as possible. We’ve added 19 additional images since then, including Oracle:

  • JDK 678
  • Oracle WebLogic 11g12c Standard & Enterprise (Windows)
  • Oracle Database 11g12c Standard & Enterprise (Windows)
  • Oracle Database 12 Standard & Enterprise (Linux)
  • Oracle WebLogic 12 Server(Linux)

For a full list of available images, please see the Azure Government Image Library .

Traffic Manager

With Azure Traffic Manager running in Azure Government you can now load balance across web endpoints, whether running Azure Government or on-premises. Traffic Manager provides three load balancing options including Failover, Performance or a Round Robin approach.

This strengthens the deployment of web applications and services in Azure Government, as well as help distribute traffic across multiple locations and handle failover from on premises applications.

Please visit the Traffic Manager Overview page to learn more.

Service Bus

Message-oriented applications provide resilient, scalable architectures, as well as help integration between applications and business partners. Service Bus can also assist when developing loosely-coupled solutions that can take advantage of the elastic nature of Azure. As your message throughput increases, you can scale your application up or down based upon queue length. Service Bus provides:

  • Queues – Send messages to applications via a queue.
  • Topics – PublishSubscribe model so one update can be sent to thousands of subscribers.
  • Relays – Bi-Directional messaging.

Please visit the Service Bus Overview page to learn more about how Service Bus may help your agency transition applications to the cloud and leverage a hybrid topology.

Azure Files Preview

Azure Files are now available in preview in Azure Government. Azure Files allows virtual machines to mount a shared file system with the SMB protocol. This is useful in architectures where there is a need to share persistent data on a VHD volume across different virtual machines (or Cloud Services roles).

The Azure Files preview in Azure Government is provided at no additional charge and is non-SLA backed while in preview. For more information on Azure Files please visit the Azure Files landing page.

These new features, along with the release of CRM Online Government, 1TB of OneDrive space and Access Services for Office 365 Government customers continue to show Microsoft’s investment and acceleration in our government cloud offerings. We are excited about our progress and look forward to additional feedback as we continue to deliver more features over the coming months. To learn more about Azure Government, please visit azure.com/gov


Sam Chan
Program Manager, Azure Engineering