New Windows Azure services that help you build “Hybrid Cloud” solutions

Microsoft has announced previews of new Windows Azure services that help developers build applications that connect data to users across public and private clouds, take advantage of VHDs and deploy scalable websites quickly and cheaply.

Today, Scott Guthrie hosted “Meet Windows Azure” to introduce these new services.  And next week, as part of TechEd North America and broadcast live online, Scott, along with Mark Russinovich, Quentin Clark, and Bill Staples will host “Learn Windows Azure” to provide deeper demonstration of the latest Windows Azure features and services to build, deploy, and manage applications in the cloud.

Among the highlights of the announcements made :

  • Windows Azure Virtual Machines enable the moving of workloads on virtual hard disks (VHDs) between on-premises environments and the cloud.  Windows Azure supports both Windows and Linux VHD images, which can be customized or chosen from a pre-populated gallery.  With the commonly supported VHD format, developers and IT Pros can move existing workloads like a SQL Server database or an existing line-of-business application into Windows Azure to create greater scale, lower cost or deploy to new users.  It has never been easier to move your applications to the cloud and boost them with virtually unlimited power, flexibility and reliability.
  • Windows Azure Virtual Network enables the creation, extension and management of virtual private networks into Windows Azure.  Organizations can now more effectively and securely extend their corporate networks into the cloud.  Did you ever wish you had an extra couple of servers for running a calculation job or to deal with a peak in user demand?  Now you can seamlessly add and remove computing resources to your network, as your need them.
  • Windows Azure Web Sites makes building .NET, Node.js, Java and PHP web experiences easier and cheaper than ever while supporting deployment techniques like Git and FTP and framework applications like WordPress, Joomla!, DotNetNuke, Umbraco and Drupal that web developers already know and trust. Why should it be hard to setup a website that can scale with user demand, that is always up and running, regardless of the technology you’re using?
  • Python support, new Tools  The new Windows Azure SDK (June 2012) includes updated support for Java, PHP and .NET and adds Python support, while providing 100% command line support for developers using a Windows PC or a Mac.  No matter what your development flavor is, you can build applications that take advantage of Windows Azure and all its building blocks – experience the openness and interoperability of Windows Azure.

To discover, learn and get started building applications on the Windows Azure platform, I encourage you to:

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Follow the live stream of “Meet Windows Azure” and discoverthe new Windows Azure services.

Tune into Learn Windows Azure on Monday June 11 for a deeper demonstration of what’s new.
Set up a trial account for getting free access to Windows Azure.

image Of course you want to play with these new features! How can you host your own virtual machine in Azure? What is needed to create a PHP web site using MySQL on Azure?

As of Monday June 11, the Azure Training Kit will be updated and guide you step-by-step through a series of hands-on labs.

Download the tools now  and get started!
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