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[CW] First look at Windows Azure

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There's "the cloud" and then there's Windows Azure. We tested the available production-level features in Microsoft's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, and found that Azure is similar in many ways to what already exists in the cloud sky.

But there are some key differences. Azure is homogeneously Windows-based. And big chunks of Azure are still in beta or "customer technology preview."

Microsoft turns Windows Azure into cloud-based supercomputer

Three main components of Azure are currently available: Windows Azure 2008/ 2008 R2 Server Edition Compute Services, Windows SQL Azure instances, and storage facilities. These components are sewn together by Microsoft's AppFabric, an orchestration system for messaging, access control and management portal.

However, none of the Windows Azure instances are currently capable of being controlled by Microsoft's System Center management system. They can't be touched by an organization's Active Directory infrastructure today — only by beta, pre-release features. Instance availability through mirroring or clustering is currently unavailable, too.

Overall, it's far too early to recommend Windows Azure. The architectural diagram looks very interesting, and while some pieces appeared ready in testing, big chunks of the Azure offerings aren't ready for enterprise use. (See how we tested the product.)
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post #2 of 2
Heard about this at a conference a while ago, think I'd rather just have my own virtual hosts and run as many VMs as I want.
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rebourn
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HP OCZ StealthXStreme 600W CM 690 Creative 
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