Windows Azure, the cloud computing infrastructure that’s been in beta testing for over a year, has now gone live for all. The Azure platform moves Windows development efforts to the web, allowing programmers to utilize their existing skills to build cloud-based applications. In other words, if a developer knows Visual Studio for example, he or she is ready to build for the cloud. In addition, Azure’s open platform supports standards like SOAP, REST, and XML, which allows for non-Windows developers to utilize the Azure platform as well.
While a lot of focus is on how Azure’s “OS as service” compares to other cloud computing platforms put out by Microsoft competitors, another aspect to Azure computing is often left unmentioned: its ability to migrate business applications running behind the firewall to the web. With Azure’s AppFabric, I.T. can take the apps currently running on Windows 2008 Server and make them web-enabled. Additionally, Microsoft SQL Azure creates a fully relational database in the cloud.
Those interested in learning more about Azure can do so now via the Azure Platform website here: microsoft.com/windowsazure.