Microsoft has recently released a support statement, announcing that the on-premise System Center suite products, Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 (and above) and Endpoint Protection, are now supported in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine environment.

Currently, there are two, specific supported scenarios:

1.       An on-premises ConfigMgr infrastructure can be used to manage Windows Azure Virtual Machines running either Windows Server or Linux. Despite a few differences in features that are available to the different server types, functionality closely mirrors what ConfigMgr offers when used completely on-premise.

2.       A ConfigMgr Primary site server can be installed as a Windows Azure Virtual Machine (running in the Cloud) that can manage other VMs running in Windows Azure in the same virtual network.

You can read the full support statement here: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection support for Windows Azure Virtual Machines

About a year ago I said, "2012 is the very last, completely on-premise version of ConfigMgr."

After that a few ConfigMgr community members began arguing that ConfigMgr would never be a Cloud service and would always be an on-premise management solution. And, then a very dear friend of mine, who works at Microsoft, told me that when ConfigMgr moves to the Cloud, that's when he'll retire.

Things have truly moved that quickly. This support announcement, along with my recent article about how quickly HDI is coming along, shows that it won't be too much longer before we are managing all business assets in the Cloud somewhere.