Azure for The Enterprise: IaaS Features at TechEd 2014

2014 seems to be the year of the cloud with all of the updates to Azure announced at BUILD and TechEd. There are so many that it can be hard to keep up. So here are a few that you may have missed but are very important for enterprise Infrastructure-as-a-Service implementations.

VNET-to-VNET Connections

Previously you could only connect a VNET to an on-premise network but now you can connect 2 VNETs together within the same region. This can be very useful in creating cross region services for High Availability or even migrating services like Active Directory to another network without taking down the existing network.

VNET-to-VNET Details (MSDN)

Traffic Manager

Microsoft Azure Traffic Manager is now generally available. Which is no big surprise because it has been in preview for a long time. What is new is that now Traffic Manager supports internal and external resources. Now that you can use external resources you can easily use Traffic Manager for failover and minimal downtime migrations.

For those that are new to Traffic Manager it is basically a special DNS server that serves up specific IP addresses in either a regional, round-robin, or failover usage scenarios. So the failover would not be absolutely immediate but would be based on the TTL of the DNS record.

More Info on Traffic Manager

Antimalware on VM

This feature was announced for preview but it is worth mentioning. Having Antivirus and Antimalware is a constant need for organizations. Now you can choose your security solution in the portal when creating a VM. Microsoft has partnered with Trend Micro and Symantec to provide their solutions on VM images (Trend Micro Deep Security and Symantec Endpoint Protection respectively).

That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Azure announcements these days. What is more amazing is that the Azure team is on a 3-week release cadence so get ready for more coming soon.

Thanks for reading.


    Thinking of Infrastructure as a Service, chances are that you would think of Rackspace, Verizon Cloud or Amazon Web Services. Where Microsoft Azure and Google Compute Engine are relatively new entrants, Amazon Web Services has been around with the likes of Rackspace. Opting to work with one provider over another is based on a myriad of factors of which many might be decided by the developer. The basic idea of Infrastructure as a Service is that you configure virtual machines, deploy and run them virtually from a set of dispersed locations, but each provider offers many options from storage to compute to database to development options. Knowing your development and hosting requirements will simplify choices greatly. Some providers also charge less for advance reservation of resources, which might work out cheaper that the pay-as-you-go model. For example, Rackspace offers close to 20 % discount for advance reservation for a period of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months.


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