With the new Microsoft Windows Azure cloud platform, Microsoft offers you true Iaas (Infrastructure as a Service). You can now use Windows Azure for Websites, Networking, Virtual Machines and the previous Cloud Services. The new Metro styled Management Portal is a huge step up in user friendlyness and savvyness. It just looks great.

Features

  1. Websites. You can build websites using Webmatrix and the publish them to Azure. Hook em up to TFSPreview.com for source code control, if you fancy that sort of thing. It took me a wooping 5 minutes to setup a WordPress site on windows azure, with a MySQL backend. Yeah, you even get a free MySQL Database. But you just get one. Unfortunately it took me around one hour to fathom, how to setup the DNS so my website actually works. More on that in another post. You can go on and just start hosting your favorite open source CMS.
  2. Networking. This is where Windows Azure proves to the world, that it’s almost grown up. This is where you can deploy a VM and still add it to your domain controller, which is placed locally. Or if you like, you can move your local VM’s up into Azure and then take your old busted hardware to the scrapyard. If you’ve just purchased some new steel, you could also just try to sell it on eBay.
  3. Support for virtual machines. It literally takes you 3 minutes to crete a virtual machine, from the point where you click “Create”, till you RDP, is launched and your’e ready to rock. Being flexible, Microsoft offers Linux as a Opterating system, along with Windows Server 2012 RC. You can even build your VM locally and the upload it to Azure. For a full guide on how to to that take at how to “Create a Virtual Machine Running Windows Server 2008 R2“.
  4. Cloud Services. This is generally PaaS)

What sort of effect does this have on your companies IT-strategy? Well you can go on and close this page and go about your business. Then it won’t mean a thing. It would just be another post on the web on this “Cloud thing”. You could decide to take a closer look at “the Cloud hype” and try to get some consulting in how this can save your business some real money and how the cloud can turn your project-oriented IT-investments into fixed operating costs. Cloud computing is a lot like the “Eco-Bubble” or the “Internet-Bubble” – they are overrated in the short term, but heavily underrated in the long term. Local hardware is something that I don’t expect to see in the near future. If you wan’t to get some serious Cloud Consulting, you can contact me, at Ravn IT.

This blog, is now truely hosted on Windows Azure. Should i somehow suffer from a succes, I will be able to add more instances of the website, within minuttes. So I’ve got a scalability, that my normal web-pusher doesn’t even comes close to delivering.