Posted by: kurtsh | April 16, 2013

RELEASE: Windows Azure Infrastructure Services General Availability & New Price Commitment

imageWe just released Windows Azure IaaS.  IaaS empowers you to run Virtual Machines of the Windows Server or Linux in the cloud.  Upload them or provision them online.  Throttle their usage & manage them on virtual networks. 

And provide connectivity to your corporate Active Directory – extending your infrastructure securely into the cloud.

Today is an exciting day for Microsoft, Windows Azure and all of our customers around the world.  I am very pleased to announce the general availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure Services. This new service now makes it possible for customers to move applications into the cloud.

Our announcement today is a significant step in our cloud computing strategy, which has been influenced directly by our discussions with customers and partners around the world.  Throughout these conversations, one thing holds true in every discussion – enterprises know that success with the cloud lies in the power of “and.”  Customers don’t want to rip and replace their current infrastructure to benefit from the cloud; they want the strengths of their on-premises investments and the flexibility of the cloud. It’s not only about Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS), it’s about Infrastructure Services and Platform Services and hybrid scenarios.  The cloud should be an enabler for innovation, and an extension of your organization’s IT fabric, not just a fancier way to describe cheap infrastructure and application hosting

Customers have also told me that they don’t want to have to choose either a low price or good performance; they want a low price and good performance. That’s why today we are also announcing a commitment to match Amazon Web Services prices for commodity services such as compute, storage and bandwidth.  This starts with reducing our GA prices on Virtual Machines and Cloud Services by 21-33%.  Regardless of how you choose to buy Windows Azure, you’ll get the benefit of this price reduction. As our operations GM Steven Martin said, “If you had concerns that Windows Azure was more expensive, we’re putting those concerns to rest today.”

By listening to customer feedback, we learned a lot about the workloads you want to run. As part of our new Infrastructure Services release, we’ve added in new high memory VM instances (28GB/4 core and 56 GB/8 core) to run your most demanding workloads.  We also learned more about the apps you want to run so we’ve added in a number of new Microsoft validated instances to our list including SQL Server, SharePoint, BizTalk Server, and Dynamics NAV to name a few.

It’s gratifying to see our customers already using our unique hybrid solution to innovate. For example, automotive marketing and social media firm Digital Air Strike have utilized Windows Azure’s Infrastructure Services and Platform Services to create an instant feedback mechanism for all car purchases and service transactions for automotive giant General Motors. This enables GM to monitor the health of their customer relationships in near real time, providing deep and valuable business insights.

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