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Microsoft System Center 2012 is now available for evaluation and purchase, to create private clouds. The announcement was made by Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson at Microsoft Management Summit this week. He discussed how IT professionals can evolve their roles with cloud computing to help their businesses be more competitive.
Windows Azure Media Services simplifies the creation, management, and delivery of media to almost any device including Microsoft Xbox, Windows Phone handsets and Windows PCs, as well as non-Microsoft platforms such as smart TVs, set-top boxes, MacOS, iOS, and Android.
Content providers and media partners can take advantage of the cost benefits and cloud capacity found with Windows Azure, and provide customers massive amounts of digital media in the variety of formats they require, when they require it.
New Microsoft certifications offer IT Pros and developers a way to move your career to the cloud. In particular, a new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) is a reinvented certification for today’s technology solutions.
Microsoft has reinvented its certification program by building a broader and deeper set of technology solutions skills validation, starting with cloud-enabled solution skills. As one of the most recognized and respected certification programs, Microsoft is charting the path for IT Professionals and Developers to keep their skills relevant as new technology solutions are released.
Microsoft has added its Azure cloud platform to the Cloud Security Alliance's Security, Trust and Assurance Registry (STAR) registry. Cloud service providers post information about their security features.
The CSA is a member-driven organization, chartered with promoting the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing.
The Windows Azure team today announced new data center options based in the United States. The announcement was made at Announcing New Datacenter Options for Windows Azure.
Datacenter options of “West US” and “East US” are now offered for compute and storage. SQL Azure will be online in the coming months, according to the announcement.
NoSQL databases are often employed in public, massively scaled Web site scenarios, where fast fetching of relatively simple data sets matters most.
NoSQL provide some or all of the following features:
This post describes the main features of NoSQL, provides some general guidance on when to use NoSQL, and how you can get started using NoSQL on Windows Azure. I’ll go in depth on how you can use MongoDB and sones GraphDB in your Azure application, and explain how you can get started with those technologies. I’ll also explain how two Azure offerings fit some NoSQL traits.
SmartQuote from ResponseLogix is the leading provider of automotive digital response management software for Internet leads. SmartQuote allows car dealers to provide a relevant quote response within 10 minutes of Internet lead receipt.
Jagdish Rajan, VP Technology at ResponseLogix, talks with Architect Evangelist Allan Naim of Microsoft about their choice of Windows Azure.
ISV Video: Auto Dealers Get Quotes Fast with SmartQuote from ResponseLogix on Azure
As with any technology, it’s good to understand where the technology has strengths and where it shines.
Microsoft has announced the general availability (GA) of SQL Server 2012 for purchase and download.
SQL Server 2012 delivers a powerful new set of capabilities for mission-critical workloads, business intelligence and hybrid IT across traditional datacenters and public and private clouds.
Windows 8 DevCamps enable developers to build beautiful Metro style apps and publish them to the Windows Store.
There are over 100 events worldwide now available on the devcamps.ms/windows site. Registration is open now.
ASP.NET MVC 4, ASP.NET Web API, ASP.NET Web Pages v2 (Razor) - all with contributions have been made available under the Apache 2.0 license.
You can find the source on CodePlex and all the details on Scott Guthrie's blog.
“We will also for the first time allow developers outside of Microsoft to submit patches and code contributions that the Microsoft development team will review for potential inclusion in the products,” Guthrie says. “We announced a similar open development approach with the Windows Azure SDK last December, and have found it to be a great way to build an even tighter feedback loop with developers – and ultimately deliver even better products as a result.”
You can now browse, sync and build the source tree of ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Razor here.
My colleagues are now pooling their blogs into single feed to provide up-to-date news for readers interested in the latest in cloud. US Cloud Connection site is now live with has added the ability to aggregate the Azure-related blog posts. My colleagues will provide details on the latest offerings and let you know about events across the US.
Be sure to check out the contributions of Bruno Terkaly, Sanjay Jain, Zhiming Xue, Adam Hoffman, and myself.
You are invited to attend a two-day workshop for developers, database administrators, and technical decision makers on SQL Server 2012. The training will help you understand how to build enterprise grade solutions which exploit key improvements in SQL Server 2012.
Are you interested in experiencing the next great app platform opportunity, Windows 8? Do you want to learn how to get started building apps for this new platform?
We are inviting the Silicon Valley startup community to a full-day, knockout, deep dive event taking place on our Silicon Valley Campus April 4.
Developers and designers alike will take the stage to show you how to take advantage of this new platform opportunity.
Windows Azure Toolkit for Windows 8 helps you create Windows 8 Metro Style applications that can harness the power of Windows Azure. The idea is to connect your Windows application to data in the cloud.
While writing the series of posts, I kept running into more best practices. So here are a few more items you should consider in securing your Windows Azure application.
Here are some tools, coding tips, and best practices:
The Windows Azure team has announced additional savings to compute and storage customers. In addition to the SQL storage reductions announced last month, the new plan offers an Extra Small Compute at 2 cents per hour.
With these changes, a 24x7 Extra Small Compute instance with a 100MB SQL Azure DB costs less than $20 per month. The price of compute and storage continues to be consistent across all datacenters.
Several Windows Azure services help you extend your application security into the cloud.
Three services can help you in providing identity mapping between various providers, connections between an on premises data center, and abilities for applications (where ever they reside) to send messages to each other:
Claims-based identity is a simple but powerful way of handling identity and access for your web sites and web services, whether you work on-premises or you are targeting the cloud. You can create more secure applications by reducing custom implementations and using a single simplified identity model based on claims.
Windows Identity Foundation (WIF) is a set of .NET Framework classes. It is a framework for implementing claims-based identity in your applications.
Evaluations of the release to manufacturing version (RTM) version of SQL Server 2012 will allow you to test your application for compatibility. The fully functional trial software will automatically expire after six months. Get it from the SQL Server 2012 download site.
General availability of SQL Server through retail channels and MSDN is expected to be April 1.
For more information about how to test your applications, see Guide for How to Test Your Application for Compatibility with SQL Server 2012.
So which security threats are mitigated by the Windows Azure environment and which security threats must be mitigated by the developer?
The paper, Security Best Practices for Developing Windows Azure Applications, describes what you should consider as key threats that your an application running on the Windows Azure. And it shows specifically where Azure provides the mitigation and those you need to call APIs and those which you need to handle yourself. (It does not address regulatory compliance issues.)
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.
When you are building out your cloud application, security should be front and center in your Windows Azure planning and execution.
In this part, I explore how you can examine the architecture of your application. The pattern and practices teams provide the idea of a Security Frame as a way to look at your application to determine treats and your responses, before you even begin coding.
I also describe how you can use the The Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) in a prescribed way that you can adapt in your organization to address security in every process of your application’s lifecycle.
Microsoft has just released the SQL SERVER 2012 Sneak Peek Campaign. This campaign allows you to give your customers an early look at the powerful capabilities of SQL Server 2012 from unlocking data insights to building solutions and extending into the cloud.
In Windows Azure Security Best Practices -- Part 1: The Challenges, Defense in Depth, I described the threat landscape and introduces the plan for your application to employ defense in depth.
In this part, I explain that security with Windows Azure is a shared responsibility, and Windows Azure provides your application with security features than you may have employed in your on premises application. But then, it also exposes other vulnerabilities that you should consider. And in the end, you should be proactive in your application development to secure your application.
This section is meant to provide an overview of what Windows Azure provides. For more in depth information, see Global Foundation Services Online Security. The Global Foundation Services team delivers trustworthy, available online services that create a competitive advantage for you and for Microsoft’s Windows Azure.