A complete guide to Windows Azure and the cloud

A complete guide to Windows Azure and the cloud

Windows Azure, Microsoft's Platform as a Service, has been a popular choice among IT pros looking to move their systems to the cloud. Just because Azure is popular with some enterprises doesn't mean it's the best fit for yours. If you've been thinking about migrating to Azure, this resource guide has expert tips as well as the latest news, so you know what you're getting into. If your enterprise is already using Azure for its cloud, we've got the information you need to keep your cloud service running smoothly.

Table of contents:

Windows Azure News and Blog Posts

Is Microsoft jettisoning Azure name?
An email to customers about dropping some Azure naming causes speculation that Microsoft may be dumping the hard-won brand.

Azure outage may have cost Microsoft some public cloud customers
Microsoft's Windows Azure outage wasn't as bad as it could have been, but the company's post mortem should have come out quicker, Azure customers say.

Microsoft Azure prices drop following Amazon, Google cloud rate cuts
Three major cloud vendors slashed rates in one week, claiming the cuts were coincidental. Others say this signals a downward pricing trend.

Leap year 2012 outage hits Microsoft Windows Azure
A leap year date glitch caused a 12-hour outage to Microsoft customers' ability to manage Windows Azure services. Does anyone remember Y2K?

Developments in the Azure and Windows 8 pairing
Microsoft has made the Windows Server 8 and Azure connection clearer, and that's raising hopes for easier development in the cloud.

Azure updates may leave Windows shops wanting more
One analyst firm has highlighted key developments in Windows Azure and pointed out where the service still has holes.

Microsoft sets Azure free; Appliance flutters to Fujitsu
Azure has moved beyond Redmond; Fujitsu will offer its own batch of Microsoft's cloud environment later this summer.

Microsoft adds more controls to Azure cloud
Microsoft's Azure has taken steps toward becoming a full-fledged cloud infrastructure service with several new control features. Users generally approve, but they'll have to wait for Microsoft to deliver.

Microsoft unveils Azure-in-a-box
Microsoft will sell Azure appliances to customers large enough to qualify. Will this shift help Redmond compete in the private cloud market?

How Azure actually works, courtesy of Mark Russinovich
Mark Russinovich -- Microsoft technical fellow, a lead on the Azure platform and a renowned Windows expert -- took pains to lay out a detailed, high-level overview of the Azure platform and what actually happens when users interact with it.

Windows Azure Tips and Tutorials

Windows Azure: Breaking down the basics
Azure is designed to redefine application management and the way organizations function. But how exactly does Azure work and what does it mean for IT?

Microsoft Azure's place in the cloud
If you don't already have a cloud service, there's a probably one in your future. For Windows shops, see how Microsoft's Azure stacks up against the other big players and how it might fit in your long-range enterprise plans.

Three questions to ask when considering Microsoft Azure
Is Microsoft Azure a no-brainer cloud choice or impossible to adopt? Ask these three questions to determine if the cloud platform is right for you.

Making sense of Windows Azure's VM role
The new VM role for Windows Azure should be a boon for organizations looking to host their virtual machines in the cloud, but it's not ideal for all situations.

An introduction to developing for Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure builds on the Windows platform, allowing users to scale back necessary development resources and move parts of their infrastructures into the cloud, as they see fit.

Azure tools for cloud-based development
Before you start developing with Azure, make sure you're completely familiar with its components and software development kits.

Comparing Microsoft Azure's pricing policies
Microsoft was reluctant at first to release its pricing policies for Azure, which left some users wary. But now that they're released, how do they stand up against competitors' policies?

The risks and rewards of developing in Azure
There are several situations where Microsoft Azure would be a beneficial cloud computing option, but Azure adopters also face some risks.

Microsoft discusses Azure cloud strategy
Steven Martin, Microsoft's head honcho for cloud computing, sat down with SearchCloudComputing.com to talk about integration between the company's on-premises software, Azure and cloud-to-cloud interoperability.

Big data buzz gets louder with Apache Hadoop and Hive
Apache Hive gives SQL-savvy developers the power to add up complex queries against big data in Windows Azure blobs.

Test your Windows Azure IQ

Windows Azure will be an integral part of Microsoft's cloud strategy going forward. How high is your IQ on the product? Find out by taking our quiz.

How Azure-savvy are you?