Here at the Microsoft TechEd Reviewer's Workshop at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelist James Conard provided an update on the status of Windows Azure, Microsoft's cloud services operating system and developer platform.
One of the most noteworthy items Conard discussed was a new virtual machine role that allows admins to create a virtual machine in Windows Azure and upload a custom OS deployment image to the cloud. "Once that deployment images is in the cloud, Windows Azure provides full control over that OS image," Conard said. "You can then point to that image when doing a custom OS deployment."
Conard also discussed Windows Azure Connect, a Windows Azure feature that provides secure network connectivity between on-premises IT resources and the cloud. "This supports standard IP protocols, enables hybrid apps, provides simple setup and management, and supports Windows Server 2008 R2," Conard said.
Microsoft is also providing a free trial of both Windows Azure and SQL Azure as part of a promotional program that expires on September 30th, 2011. For this program Microsoft is providing 750 hours of a Windows Azure extra small compute instance and a 1GB web edition database. Visit the Windows Azure free trial website for additional details and to sign up.
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