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Windows Azure platform open for business

 2:58 am on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Microsoft's cloud services platform has gone live.

Windows Azure Platform Now Generally Available in 21 Countries [blogs.msdn.com]

In today's era of computing, businesses face the challenge of reducing their IT infrastructure costs while extending the value of their current investments. For us, this has meant that the experiences of our customers and the developer community are key in building a cloud services platform that provides the flexibility and agility our customers need to tackle their business problems in new ways. As we continue this journey, today marks a significant milestone, not only for us at Microsoft, but also for our customers and partners. We are excited to announce the general availability of Windows Azure and SQL Azure in 21 countries.

Starting today, customers and partners in countries across the globe will be able to launch their Windows Azure and SQL Azure production applications and services with the support of the full Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The Windows Azure platform AppFabric Service Bus and Access Control will continue to be free until April 2010 for those that sign up for a commercial subscription. Additionally Microsoft codename "Dallas" will continue to be in a free CTP.



 11:36 am on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Whilst I have no doubt it will be used, I just don't get it (cloud computing in general).

We read of cyber-attacks more or less every week so why would a company wish to store critical data off-site for any purpose other than as a backup? I get the idea that documents can be shared and edited from anywhere in the world, but isn't that what the virtual private network was invented for?

Is there something more to cloud computing that I'm not seeing?



 12:16 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there something more to cloud computing that I'm not seeing?

The format used to store the data? Create once, publish it in many formats.



 2:29 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there something more to cloud computing that I'm not seeing?

We have nearly 300 servers at our datacenter. Keeping all that hardware up and running, OS's patched, scaling it up with increasing demand and load levels, outlaying big $$ on expansion for customers who may or may not turn out to be long term... All that is a helluva strain on the finances and people resources of a small(ish) company with only 40 employees.

If we could off-load that infrastructure management on another company, it would free up huge amounts of "talent time" of our staff, and up front finance costs.

The cloud architectures available now aren't deep enough (in terms of functionality) for us to do this now, but not a single enhancement goes by in this space that we don't read about and analyze.


 4:18 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Am waiting for the first reports of the blue screen on Azure ;)


 6:13 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

Already blocking several Azure ranges for malicious activity. The unaccountability of cloud services has been a huge problem so far.

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