Windows Azure updates, new services and MSDN benefits

As Microsoft is on the wave of launching new stuff then next load of updates is  for Windows Azure. New services, updates, new features and some nice surprises for those who have Windows Azure as MSDN subscription benefit. Also there is something for enterprises interested in private Windows Azure. For those who want to learn more about Windows Azure there is Windows Azure Training Kit May 2013 update available. 

General Windows Azure updates

  1. Develop/test in the cloud
    • No Charge for Stopped VMs
    • Pay by the Minute Billing
    • MSDN Use Rights now supported on Windows Azure
    • Heavily Discounted MSDN Dev/Test Rates
    • MSDN Monetary Credits
    • Portal Support for Better Tracking MSDN Monetary Credit Usage
  2. BizTalk Services – EDI and EAI in the cloud, nice addition to service bus. Find out more here.
  3. Per-Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs – no compute charges for stopped VMs
  4. SSL Support with Web Sites – yes, we have no full SSL support on Web Sites and we can even use SNI
  5. Active Directory: Updated directory sync utility, ability to manage Office 365 directory tenants from Windows Azure Management Portal
  6. Free Trial: More flexible Free Trial offer – With a free trial, you now get a monthly Windows Azure credit of $200. This credit can be applied to any service of your choice

Find out more from ScottGu blog post Windows Azure: Announcing New Dev/Test Offering, BizTalk Services, SSL Support with Web Sites, AD Improvements, Per Minute Billing.

New MSDN benefits

  1. No Charge for Stopped VMs
  2. Pay by the Minute Billing
  3. MSDN Use Rights now Supported on Windows Azure (run your MSDN software on Windows Azure virtual machines)
  4. Heavily Discounted MSDN Dev/Test Rates
  5. MSDN Monthly Monetary Credits
  6. Portal Support for Better Tracking MSDN Monetary Credit Usage

More about MSDN benefits and good overview of financial stuff can be found from ScottFGu blog post Windows Azure: Announcing Major Improvements for Dev/Test in the Cloud.

Windows Azure Pack

Windows Azure Pack is something for companies who want to host Windows Azure on their own infrastructure. As far as I know it’s great help for companies and governments who doesn’t want USA agencies to have access to their data. With Windows Azure Pack infrastructure is offered by some Microsoft partner and Microsoft just manages Windows Azure on partner infrastructure for customers. This way Microsoft is just service provider and not service hoster.

Windows Azure Pack contains the following components:

  • Management portal
  • Service management programming interface
  • Web sites service
  • Virtual machines service
  • Service bus

Find out more from Mary Jo Foley’s article Microsoft finds a new way to deliver a private cloud in a box.


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