Originally posted on the Microsoft UK Faculty Connection blog.
The Microsoft CodePlex site is host to a wide range of open source projects and were pleased to announce the first beta release to allow hosting of Moodle 2.0 or Moodle 2.2 on the Windows Azure cloud service.
As the project notes says, The MoodleBuild toolchain patches and packages a Moodle source code directory into a Windows Azure Package using the Azure SDK directly, instead of relying on third-party tools. This allows an easier way to update and customize Moodle, components and the Windows Azure SDK without the hassle of using outdated and incompatible versions.
The advantages of using Azure is that it means you can avoid the hassle of having to deploy in-house servers and complex infrastructure, and instead deploy Moodle in the cloud. This is ideal for agile projects, or where you expect the demand for the system to be variable, as a huge benefit of the Azure platform is that ability to scale it up and down as you want, rather than having to build a system.