Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service General Availability


Today we announced the general availability of our Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) support! With this release Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Network move out of Preview and are now ready to use for your production apps.

With Azure Virtual Machines you can deploy and run durable VMs in the cloud, provisioned from prebuilt templates or alternatively upload your own custom-built VMs.  All this in a matter of seconds!  Azure Virtual Network allows you to securely bridge between your on-premises infrastructure and your infrastructure in the cloud. This gives you the flexibility to run your workloads where you want, but manage them all in the same way.

Whether you want to securely extend your on-premises network to Windows Azure or you want to create a virtual private network with persistent private IPs..

Let’s look in more detail into what we have announced today:

  • For memory intensive scenarios, we are now introducing two high-memory compute instances: 4 core x 28GB RAM and 8 core x 56GB RAM. With these VM sizes you can run even larger workloads on Windows Azure, for example SharePoint Server or SQL Server workloads.
  • We have added several new VM image templates to the Image Gallery, such as SQL Server 2012, BizTalk Server 2013 and SharePoint Server 2013 images. These images also come with hourly billing, so you don’t have to pay for an upfront license.
  • We have updated the SLA for Virtual Machines and Virtual Network.  For VMs that have 2 or more instances deployed in the same availability set, we have a 99.95% SLA for external connectivity.  For Virtual Network, we guarantee a 99.9% Virtual Network Gateway availability.
  • As of this announcement, Virtual Machines and Virtual Network are now supported by Microsoft Support staff, so you can confidently run your production apps on Azure.


On top of all these great features, we’re also announcing significant pricing reductions to our Windows Azure PaaS and IaaS VM pricing. You can expect to see from 20% (Virtual Machines) to 33% (Cloud Services) price reductions! These new prices are effective as of June 1.  And as of today, we’re also adding 50 hours of free memory-intensive-instance hours to our member offers and 90-day trials.

For a more detailed description of the announcement, you can check out Scott Guthrie’s blogpost.


If you don’t already have a Windows Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using all of the above features today.  Did you know that you already have a lot of free Azure resources as part of your MSDN, MPN or BizSpark membership?

If you want to learn more about our Windows Azure IaaS capabilities, don’t forget to listen in on our dedicated IaaS webcast on April 30. If you want to experience this great technology hands-on, join us for our Azure IT Camp on May 6.