Azure is a cloud computing platform and infrastructure from Microsoft you can use for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a worldwide network of Microsoft-managed and Microsoft partner-hosted datacenters.
Recently, five major new features have been added to Microsoft Azure, including some expansions to existing features. These new features and additions are sure to be of interest to a wide range of users.
Although Microsoft has always enjoyed a close relationship with Akamai, early in 2016, Azure users will be able to deploy content into the Akamai content delivery network and buy Akamai offerings through their Azure self-service portal. This will allow users to reach a broader audience, particularly in Latin America and Asia.
The preview release of Azure Powershell 1.0 arrived earlier this month. With it, you can manage Azure resources and services from the command line instead of through a graphical user interface (GUI.) However, it’s a huge change that it is not compatible with previous versions.
Support for Google’s Go with Web apps was added to Azure earlier this month. Currently, only Go 1.4.2 and Go 1.5.1 are supported in their 64-bit forms and the whole package is experimental at present. Azure will configure the web.config file if needed for the app, but you can supply your own if your implementation requires custom settings. Eventually, Go support on Azure with offer full support status.
Azure Backup has grown to provide backup support for Microsoft SQL Server, SharePoint Server, Microsoft Exchange, and Windows Clients. The cost of backups is two-fold. There’s one charge for the size of the instance itself ($5 and up) and a charge for the storage used by the backup. The range of products covered by Azure Backup will likely continue to expand.
Azure File Storage performs conventional Windows file shares via the SMB 3.0 protocol in the cloud. The idea is to support existing applications as they are moved to the cloud, some of which might depend of Server Message Block share operations. These shares can be mounted anywhere, allowing cloud and on-premises applications to share storage and data in a recognizable way.
It should be noted that clients connecting to an Azure File Storage share will be limited by their level of SMB support. SMB 2.1 for Windows 7 lacks support for encryption; Windows 8 and up, as well as Windows Server 2012 and up supports SMB 3.0, but most recent Linux distributions support SMB 3.0.