Setting up and managing web farms isn’t for the faint of heart.  We’ve made great strides with automation and scripting in the past, but we have continued to innovate.

Web Sites for Windows Server, included in the Windows Azure Pack, provides a Platform as a Service for modern web applications.  It delivers both a powerful self-service platform for developers, while serving as a flexible hosting solution for IT professionals.  Web Sites does this in a manner which is highly consistent with the Windows Azure Web Sites service.  This allows developers and IT professionals to code against and manage a common set of run-times, experiences, and capabilities – regardless of deployment to the public or private cloud. 

 Developers and IT pros alike have often struggled with the complexity of web farm configuration and management.  By providing a turnkey solution, Web Sites provides developers with the web application services they expect while simplifying administration for the IT professional.

 In this week’s post, “What’s New in 2012 R2:  PaaS for the Modern Web”, Microsoft VP Brad Anderson discusses the developer and it professional experiences included in the Windows Azure Pack. This article is pretty lengthy due to the number of screenshots and technical information, but we think it will be a worthwhile read.

 The Web Site service in the Windows Azure Pack has been built from the ground up to provide developers with a flexible, scalable, and secure platform for hosting modern applications. 

As Web Sites is built from the same source code as the Windows Azure service, the Windows Azure Pack provides highly consistent experiences with the Microsoft-operated Windows Azure Web Sites service.  For administrators, we have taken knowledge gained from operating our cloud to improve operational efficiency. 

 Give it a try. The bits and documentation can be found here.

 And for those of you interested in downloading some of the other products and trying them, here are some resources to help you:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Preview download
  • System Center 2012 R2 Preview download
  • SQL Server 2014 Community Technology Preview 1 (CTP1) download
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise Preview download

As always, follow us on Twitter via @MSCloud!  And if you would like to follow Brad Anderson, do that via @InTheCloudMSFT !