imageAnother great month and another great series.  This month we are going to be talking about Windows Azure IaaS.  As many you may know on April 16th 2013, the Windows Azure team announced that Windows Azure Infrastructure Services (Virtual Machines and Virtual Networks ) was released for General Availability ( GA ) for production workloads.  You can read the product group post here: Windows Azure Infrastructure Services: The Power of ‘And’

One of the interesting things in the post is that it mentioned that over 200,000 customers are actively using Windows Azure as their cloud platform.   So that got my teammates Kevin, Keith, Brian and myself thinking, what are 200,000 customers using Windows Azure for?  What are some of the key scenarios that IT Pro’s like yourselves are using the cloud?  What is the why behind some of the technologies?

Windows Azure VMs and Virtual Networks unlock a huge set of new capabilities for IT Pros exploring Hybrid datacenter scenarios.  Today, most IT Pros are faced with on-premise datacenter capacity issues for new workloads, and are often looking to leverage off-site options for backup and DR as well.  Windows Azure can be leveraged as a cloud-based extension of your on-premise datacenter for several key scenarios.  So this month we are going to take a scenario approach to the technology focusing on the key scenarios (why’s) and the how’s you can leverage in Windows Azure.  Here are some of the topics you are going to see this month:

  • Backup to the cloud and Windows Azure
    • Backup SQL Server Databases & Logs to the Cloud
    • Backup Server Data to the Cloud with Windows Azure Online Backup
  • Extend On-Premise Network to the Cloud with Windows Azure Site-to-Site VPN
  • Disaster Recovery with Windows Azure
    • Extend Your Windows Server Active Directory to the Cloud
    • Replicate File Server Content to the Cloud with DFS-R
    • SQL Database AlwaysOn or Database Mirroring
    • Build a Private Cloud Recovery Plan with Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager
  • Accelerate the Delivery of Cloud-based Web and File Server Content
  • Deploy SharePoint to the Cloud
  • Deploy Web Applications to the Cloud with Windows Azure

As you can see we hopefully have a lot of great scenarios to investigate this month.  However, we want to hear from you! 

ACTION ITEM:  What scenarios are you interested in seeing?  Are you currently using Windows Azure, if so how are you using it?  Let us know and email me mhester@microsoft.com and will try to include you on the scenarios.

ACTION ITEM #2: As you can see a lot of the scenarios we are going to take a look at this month are things we hope you are interested in.  More importantly you can follow along!  You can sign up for a FREE Windows Azure 90-Day Trial here:  Get Started TODAY with a FREE 90-DAY Windows Azure Subscription

So join us as we take a look at the cloud.  You can find the full series here: 20 Key Scenarios with Windows Azure