Today we are announcing multiple updates to Windows Azure that improve ease of use, interoperability, and overall value.
Access to Windows Azure libraries for .NET, Java, and Node.js is now available under Apache 2 open source license and hosted on GitHub, a new Windows Azure SDK for Node.js makes Windows Azure a first-class environment for Node applications, and a limited preview of an Apache Hadoop based service for Windows Azure enables Hadoop apps to be deployed in hours instead of days.
Revamped Dev Centers for multiple languages with helpful content and tutorials, a new sign-up process with spending caps makes sign-up simple, fast and ensures a completely free 90 day trial. View real-time usage and billing details directly from the Windows Azure Management Portal and see expected costs with a simplified pricing calculator.
Three times the maximum database size for SQL Azure and SQL Azure Federation, a new sharding pattern that simplifies elastic scale-out.
New price cap for the largest SQL Azure databases reduces effective price per gigabyte by 67%, Data Transfer prices in Europe have been reduced by 25%, and Service Bus usage is now free through March 2012.
Windows Azure is always evolving based on your feedback and you can read more details about these updates at the Windows Azure Team Blog
The following videos from Microsoft Channel9 are also very useful
Learn About SQL Azure Federations from Cihan Biyikoglu
Interview with Glenn Block Talking About Node.js on Windows Azure
Learn About the Windows Azure Service Bus from Clemens Vasters
Learn About the Windows Azure Access Control Service from Vittorio Bertocci
A highlight of the new features include:
Implementation of “Spending caps” where you can eliminate the risk of being charged by setting a £0 cap or reduce risk of large bills from unexpected usage by setting a higher cap and receiving alerts as they approach the cap.
SQL Azure database size increased from 50GB to 150GB and lowered prices
SQL Azure also has a new sharding feature along with SQL Azure Federation that enables you to build applications that are virtually unlimited in size
Open Source Experience with an updated Java SDK, a new SDK for Node.js that makes Windows Azure a first-class environment and new limited preview of Hadoop on Windows Azure
Simplified billing/reporting experience that integrates directly into the Management Portal
ISO 27001 complaint (public certification coming next month)
for more details see www.windowsazure.com/en-us