Virtual Machine in Windows Azure
If you`re heading over to http://windowsazure.com – you`ll find some new features like Virtual Machine and Virtual Network.
These features are not completely new, but there are some major changes.
The Virtual Machine in Windows Azure is based on templates (extra small, small, medium, large and extra-large) and they now support states! https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/home/features/virtual-machines/
I`ve stressed over and over that Windows Azure is Platform as a Service. It still is, but they`re open the door to the most flexible cloud service model – Infrastructure as a Service by supporting stateful VMs in their datacenter.
For a developer, this mean you can now migrate your existing applications to Windows Azure, without the need to re-write them to support the PaaS.
I`ve been working with Windows Azure for some years now, and even though you are now able to deploy infrastructure services in Windows Azure, be careful and re-think the scenario once again.
Check out the pricing for example. It`s no doubt that Windows Azure is still preferred when it comes to hosting your applications and leverage the architecture to host web and worker roles, using data storage services like blobs, tables, queues and SQL Azure. But the reason for this major change is based on customer feedback. They don’t want to re-write their applications just to make Microsoft happy. They have some applications that they can’t easily change and modify at the moment, but some parts of their distributed application are ready for Windows Azure. Well, this is actually the solution to place everything in Windows Azure in that specific scenario.
Together with network virtualization you can configure both the front-end IP and the back-end IP for your virtual machines in Azure, so that they can communicate in the cloud – and also with your on-premise resources through the service bus.
Oh, did I not mention that you can run Linux as well? Check it out here: https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/manage/linux/
More to come – that`s for sure!