Big Week for Azure
This has been a massive last week for Azure. With new releases of VS and .NET framework as well as some price cuts, we also had a major release of Azure. Coupled with all of that there has been a new SDK released with new management capabilities and hooks into Visual Studio.
For me, the general availability of Backup is a great milestone. Backup and disaster recovery is a very important topic for any IT department, and the cost of detachable media like tapes as well as offsite storage can be expensive. Not to mention the cost of testing your recovery plans from time to time. Azure Backup is a very simple feature that allows you to extend your on premise Windows Server 2012 or System Centre DPM backup to the cloud. Data is encrypted in transit and at rest so you don’t need to worry about your data. This is a great way for companies to start using the cloud as well as add real value to a very important workload. You can check out all of the documentation here:
One other really nice feature is the ability to auto scale to zero nodes. This is particularly important for DEV and Test scenarios where you want to turn off VMs when not been used. With the day/night/weekend scheduling feature within auto scale, this is now really easy to automate.