Azure gets single sign-on
Microsoft continues to push its integration plans for Azure with the addition of single sign-on (SSO). AppFabric now has "out of the box" support for Windows Identity Foundation and Active Directory Federation Server.
This means, essentially, that if you run a decent-sized Windows shop with either of those technologies, you can link up your developers' logins with your Azure account and they can use it without having to jot down yet another password.
Supposedly, it also includes Google, Yahoo, and Windows Live Web sign-ons. That's probably aimed at the individual rather than the enterprise, however; after all, who hasn't wished they could sign into Gmail and be automatically logged into Azure at the same time?
Senate trims cloud budget by $15 million
The US Congress slashed proposed federal IT spending on consolidation and computing from $35 million to $20 million. Appropriators cited fiscal woes and specifically concerns over plans to consolidate federal data centers and make IT operations work more like cloud computing environments. Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee said that making federal agencies share space in the same data centers was cause for concern.
To understand exactly how people in the government think, it's important to understand that this is a reduction of current infrastructure spending levels by $14 million that specifically targets initiatives designed to save money by reducing IT infrastructure needs and increasing efficiency. The administration's proposal was to save money without asking for more than it got last year. This resulted in a 40% slash to its budget.
However, the Committee did look favorably on buying Web-based services. $40 million was earmarked to develop Web services, including federal disclosure websites that will make it easier to get publically available information.