Lots of major updates today for Windows Azure!!

  • Web Sites: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Web Sites with SLA
    • A 99.9% monthly SLA (Service Level Agreement) for the Standard tier
    • Microsoft Support available on a 24x7 basis (with plans that range from developer plans to enterprise Premier support)
    • The Free tier runs in a shared compute environment and supports up to 10 web sites. While the Free tier does not come with an SLA, it works great for rapid development and testing and enables you to quickly spike out ideas at no cost.

  • Mobile Services: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Mobile Services with SLA
    • Mobile Services is now GA
    • Check out these great partner features
        • New Relic allows developers to monitor and manage the end-to-end performance of iOS and Android applications connected to Mobile Services.
        • SendGrid eliminates the complexity of sending email from Mobile Services, saving time and money, while providing reliable delivery to the inbox.
        • Twilio provides a telephony infrastructure web service in the cloud that you can use with Mobile Services to integrate phone calls, text messages and IP voice communications into your mobile apps.
        • Xamarin provides a Mobile Services add on to make it easy building cross-platform connected mobile aps.
        • Pusher allows quickly and securely add scalable real-time messaging functionality to Mobile Services-based web and mobile apps.
  • Auto-Scale: New automatic scaling support for Web Sites, Cloud Services and Virtual Machines
    • From ScottGu’s blog
    • One of the key benefits of Windows Azure is that you can dynamically scale your application in response to changing demand. In the past, though, you have had to either manually change the scale of your application, or use additional tooling (such as WASABi or MetricsHub) to automatically scale your application. Today, we’re announcing that AutoScale will be built-into Windows Azure directly.  With today’s release it is now enabled for Cloud Services, Virtual Machines and Web Sites (Mobile Services support will come soon).

      Auto-scale enables you to configure Windows Azure to automatically scale your application dynamically on your behalf (without any manual intervention) so you can achieve the ideal performance and cost balance. Once configured it will regularly adjust the number of instances running in response to the load in your application. Currently, we support two different load metrics:

      • CPU percentage
      • Storage queue depth (Cloud Services and Virtual Machines only)

      We’ll enable automatic scaling on even more scale metrics in future updates.

      When to use Auto-Scale

      The following are good criteria for services/apps that will benefit from the use of auto-scale:

      • The service/app can scale horizontally (e.g. it can be duplicated to multiple instances)
      • The service/app load changes over time

 

  • Alerts/Notifications: New email alerting support for all Compute Services (Web Sites, Mobile Services, Cloud Services, and Virtual Machines)
      • Virtual machine monitoring metrics that are collected from the host operating system (CPU percentage, network in/out, disk read bytes/sec and disk write bytes/sec) and on monitoring metrics from monitoring web endpoint urls (response time and uptime) that you have configured.
      • Cloud service monitoring metrics that are collected from the host operating system (same as VM), monitoring metrics from the guest VM (from performance counters within the VM) and on monitoring metrics from monitoring web endpoint urls (response time and uptime) that you have configured.
      • For Web Sites and Mobile Services, alerting rules can be configured on monitoring metrics from monitoring endpoint urls (response time and uptime) that you have configured.
  • MSDN: No more credit card requirement for sign-up
    • Today we are making further updates to enable an easier Windows Azure signup for MSDN users. MSDN users will now not be required to provide payment information (e.g. no credit card) during sign-up, so long as they use the service within the included monetary credit for the billing period. For usage beyond the monetary credit, they can enable overages by providing the payment information and remove the spending limit.

      This enables a super easy, one page sign-up experience for MSDN users.  Simply sign-up for your Windows Azure trial using the same Microsoft ID that you use to manage your MSDN account, then complete the one page sign-up form below and you will be able to spend your free monthly MSDN credits (up to $150 each month) on any Windows Azure resource for dev/test: