The opportunities unlocked by cloud computing are apparent. And they are not limited to just IT professionals or developers. That is why Microsoft Azure’s strategy is grounded in enabling benefits for all, be it business decision makers that want to develop new business models, developers innovating on modern application scenarios or IT Professionals that want to extend existing platforms to cloud.

Today, we are excited to announce several new services that enable customers from all walks of life embrace cloud and maximize the opportunity it brings.

Global preview of Live Streaming and new media services

Today, prior to IBC 2014 (International Broadcasting Convention) in Amsterdam later this week, we are delighted to announce the availability of the following services:

  • Live Streaming: The same Live Streaming solution that seamlessly delivered the 2014 Winter Olympics and 2014 FIFA World Cup to broadcasters globally is now available in preview with the same level of scalability, uptime, and reliability.
  • Content Protection: To enable customers to protect and monetize premium video content, we’ve introduced a Content Protection offering in preview that features both static and dynamic encryption with a range of industry-standard encryption options, including PlayReady DRM and Clearkey AES 128-bit encryption.
  • Indexer: Increasing the accessibility and discoverability of your audio and video files, Indexer is now generally available to allow you to quickly index your media library.


Learn about these exciting announcements by visiting the detailed blog here.

Enterprise class Web Services

Azure Websites is an enterprise-class cloud service for developing, testing, and running corporate websites, business applications, and digital marketing campaigns. Today, we are announcing the release of following new features for Azure Websites aimed at enabling enterprise customers to unfold new scenarios:

  • VPN Support for Azure Websites: With VPN Support, customers can securely connect to any provisioned VM’s or Cloud Services inside a virtual network. This capability enables Websites for hybrid scenarios where the database or other services need to remain in your datacenter, unlocking possibilities for customers looking to modernize their business applications and make them accessible by their employees or authenticated users from any location.
  • Scalable CMS (WordPress) in the App Gallery: We are introducing a scalable WordPress offering through the application gallery to help enterprises setup robust CMS backed sites. With Scalable WordPress, new sites are automatically configured to leverage Azure capabilities such as Azure Storage for media assets, optimized performance with curated WordPress plugins and provide a scalable backend with Standard Websites instances and higher end MySQL SKUs.


Greater price performance and business continuity with database services

Recently announced, the new Azure SQL Database service tiers—Basic, Standard, and Premium—are now generally available. The tiers deliver predictable performance and enterprise-class features across a spectrum of seven performance levels for light- to heavy-weight transactional application demands. You also benefit from 99.99 percent uptime SLA, up to 50% off previously announced prices, and hourly billing for greater flexibility and budget management.


To learn more about today’s general availability, visit the Data Platform Insider blog.

Reach more customers and channels with APIs

Azure API Management, now generally available enables you to publish APIs more reliably, more securely, and at scale.  Developers can now open doors to directly monetize digital assets, transforming it into a platform, and creating new content distribution channels across mobile devices. This service provides the tools that your organization needs to manage APIs–from provisioning user roles to creating usage plans and quotas, applying policies for transforming payloads, throttling, conducting analytics, monitoring and configuring alerts. In addition, we have enhancements with the Azure API Management REST API that enable you to automate API management operations and integrate API management with their other systems and processes.


To learn more about today’s general availability, visit the detailed blog here.

Expanded Identity and Access Management Services

Today, we are also announcing a new feature in the Azure preview portal called Role Based Access Control that empowers you to manage fine-grained access to your Azure resources. You can now grant access to Active Directory users and groups at the subscription or resource groups or individual resources level. Customers have a choice of three new built-in roles, “Owner”, “Contributor”, and “Reader” to grant restricted access.

At Microsoft, we have been committed to rapidly launching cloud services that expand scenarios for customers to leverage the benefits of cloud. If you have not been part of the journey thus far, join us by signing for a free trial here.

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