See Jim O'Neil's post detailing the New, Improved, No-Risk Windows Azure Trial!
Writing an application is one thing. Your application has been designed, built, and tested. Yet deploying the application can be an adventure in its own right. Successful ISVs build and deploy often, sometimes continuously. And then run tests to be sure the application functions as expected and runs at as expected at scale.
Windows Azure provides proven methods for moving your application from the developer, into a testing environment in the cloud, and then switching it live for your users.
You are able to provision the required components in the Windows Azure Management Portal, upload the service package, and configuring the service. You test your application in a staging environment and then promote it to production once you are satisfied that it is operating according to your expectations.
Microsoft has announced plans to release an additional limited preview of an Apache Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure in the first half of 2012.
Since the first limited preview released in December, customers such as Webtrends and the University of Dundee are using the Hadoop-based service to glean simple, actionable insights from complex data sets hosted in the cloud.
Customers interested in signing up for the latest preview should visit http://www.hadooponazure.com.