Roundup of Microsoft Azure related announcements from TechEd 2014

Following post contains key Azure related announcements from TechEd 2014

Azure ExpressRoute

We announced the general availability of the ExpressRoute service. At time of GA, AT&T and Equinix customers are able to use the ExpressRoute service at Silicon Valley, Washington, and London ExpressRoute locations. We are excited to announce a new partnership with TelecityGroup and SingTel which will expand ExpressRoute's reach in Europe and APAC, and a new partnership with Zadara, which allows Azure customers to use Zadara storage via ExpressRoute in the U.S. ExpressRoute creates private, high-throughput connections between Azure datacenters and your existing infrastructure, whether it's on-premises or in a colocation environment.

More info @

Azure compute-intensive A8 & A9 Virtual Machines

These instances provide faster processors, faster interconnectivity, more virtual cores for higher computing power, and larger amounts of memory. A8 instances (which have 8 virtual cores and 56 GB of RAM) and A9 (which have 16 virtual cores and 112 GB of RAM) also include a 40Gbit/s InfiniBand network that provides remote direct memory access (RDMA) technology for the maximum efficiency of parallel Message Passing Interface (MPI) applications. With these instances, customers can run compute-intensive and network-intensive applications such as high-performance cluster applications and applications that use modeling, simulation and analysis, and video encoding..

Azure Files

This new service enables virtual machines in an Azure datacenter to mount a shared file system using the SMB protocol.  These VMs will then be able to access the file system using standard Windows file APIs (CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, etc.).  Many VMs (or platform-as-a-service roles) can attach to these file systems concurrently, so customers can share persistent data easily between various roles andinstances

More information @

Azure Import/Export

By using Azure Import/Export, customers can move large amounts of data into and out of Azure Blobs much faster than is possible by downloading data from the internet. Transporting data from hard drives to Azure is easy when using the Microsoft high-speed, security-enabled internal network to transfer the data to our datacenter. For more information, visit the Import/Export website.


Internal Load Balancing

This new service provides the ability to load balance Azure virtual machines with private IP addresses. The internally load balanced endpoint will be accessible only within a virtual network (if the VM is within a virtual network) or within a cloud service (if the VM isn't within a virtual network). Internal Load Balancing is useful when you're creating multitier applications in which some of the application tiers aren't public facing but require load balancing functionality. Internal Load Balancing is available in the standard tier of VMs at no additional cost.

Virtual Networking features

Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection so customers can securely connect multiple on-premises locations with a virtual network (VNET) in Azure. VNET-to-VNET connectivity enables multiple virtual networks to be directly and securely connected with one another. We are enabling both cross-region VNET-to-VNET and in-region VNET-to-VNET connectivity.

More Information@ Virtual Network website.

Microsoft Antimalware and security partnerships with Trend Micro and Symantec

Public preview of Microsoft Antimalware and partnerships with Trend Micro and Symantec. Microsoft Antimalware offers customers the ability to install an antimalware agent for both PaaS roles and virtual machines. Based on System Center Endpoint Protection, this new feature brings proven on-premises security technology to the cloud.


IP Reservation for VIPs and Instance-level public IPs for Virtual Machines

For IP reservation, customers can now reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP (VIP) addresses for their applications. This enables scenarios where applications need to have static public IP addresses or where applications need to be updated by swapping the reserved IP addresses.  During preview, customers can obtain two public IP addresses per subscription at no additional charge.  With Instance-level Public IPs for VMs, customers can now assign public IP addresses to their virtual machines, so they become directly addressable without having to map an endpoint. This feature will enable scenarios like running FTP servers in Azure and monitoring virtual machines

Azure Site Recovery (formerly Hyper-V Recovery Manager)

Today, Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager provides a disaster recovery solution for customers which helps protect the availability of System Center private clouds.  In June a public preview of new features will enable customers to replicate virtual machines from their primary site directly to Azure, instead of a second customer site.  To better reflect the service's new, broader capabilities we will be renaming it Microsoft Azure Site Recovery in conjunction with the release of this preview

Azure RemoteApp

This new service delivers remote applications from Azure and helps IT to bring scale, agility and global access to their corporate applications.

With Azure RemoteApp, business applications run on Windows Server in the Azure cloud. Similar to RemoteApp on-premises, employees can access their corporate applications from anywhere and on a variety of devices via Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). While appearing to run on a user's local device, the applications are centralized on Azure's reliable platform.


Azure Active Directory Premium enhancements

Azure Active Directory Premium became generally available on April 3, 2014. The public preview of these additional enhancements to the service include:

  • a new version of the DirSync tool enabling a public preview of Self-Service Password Reset/Change with write-back to on-premises directories,
  • a new synchronization engine, Azure AD Sync, which enables multi-forest AD and non-MS directories to be synchronized with Azure AD, and
  • Multi-Factor Authentication IP whitelisting allowing companies to specify IP addresses from which MFA is not required.

We also announced the public preview of Azure AD Cloud App Discovery feature that provides IT departments with visibility into all the cloud apps used within their organization. They can then take steps to integrate the applications with Azure AD for Single-Sign On, and enable better management and control.

API Management

We are announcing the public preview of Azure API Management. This new service enables organizations to publish APIs to developers, partners and employees securely and at scale. 

Visit the API Management service page to learn more.

Azure Cache Services

Azure Managed Cache service is moving from public preview to general availability. Second, Azure Redis Cache service is available in public preview. Azure Redis Cache is based on the popular open source Redis Cache. A cache created using Redis Cache is accessible from any application within Azure.

 Azure Traffic Manager External End Points

Azure Traffic Manager, which supports both Azure endpoints and external endpoints. Traffic Manager enables customers to control the distribution of user traffic to specified endpoints. With support for endpoints that can reside outside of Azure, customers can now build highly available applications across Azure and on-premises. In addition, intelligent traffic management policies can be applied across all managed endpoints.

BizTalk Hybrid Connections

This new Azure service enables cloud services to more securely, quickly, and easily integrate Azure cloud solutions with on-premises applications. With no custom code required, Hybrid Connections enables customers to connect to any on-premises TCP or HTTP resource—such as Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, or any web service—from Azure Web Sites.

For more information, visit the Hybrid Connections website.

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