It’s been a momentous year for Microsoft. Their Windows Azure software and related programs surpassed $1 billion in annual sales for the first time ever, and about 20 percent of companies accessing the Cloud are now using Azure, according to a James Staten, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. Within a year, that number may very well rise to 35 percent, he said.
But just because Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker does not mean they get to sit back, relax, and revel in the glory. They are constantly releasing updates and enhanced features for their products in order to give customers the latest and greatest in software development, as well as to stay ahead of the competition—namely Google and Amazon.
This latest update for Windows Azure cloud computing service caters to business managers who want to make their job just a little easier. The new features include:
A New Scheduler
The Windows Azure Scheduler service will allow you to schedule jobs that invoke HTTP/S endpoints or—for processing longer requests—post messages to any schedule you define. Using the Scheduler, you will be able to create jobs that call services either inside or outside of Windows Azure, and select when you want those jobs to run—immediately, on a regular schedule, or at a future date.
Before this update, Microsoft’s Geo Redundant Storage (GRS) option automatically replicated your storage data, but access to secondary data wasn’t provided except in a disaster scenario that necessitated a storage cluster failover. However, through Azure’s new Read-Access GRS option, you will now have instant read-access to your secondary storage replica in the event of a temporary failure in your primary storage location.
With this update come several new functional monitoring and diagnostics features. For instance, you can now monitor metrics for the CPU and IO activity of Premium SQL databases, as well as manage storage activity for both Premium and Standard databases.
Visit the Microsoft blog if you would like to get a preview of these new enhancements.
The Windows Azure updates come right on the heels of Google’s announcement that they have improved the cloud storage and document synchronization features for users of Google Docs.
We invite you to talk to a Microsoft-certified consultant today about integrating Windows Azure services into your organization and learn more about how it can help your business better manage its activities and processes by checking out our cloud computing knowledge resources page.