The new Windows Azure looks good!

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I must admit that I didn't really see how Azure could be of much use to anyone except really die-hard, bleeding edge, Microsoft only shops; that is up until yesterday.

The new Azure, which you can read about here on Scott Guthrie's blog, seems much more usable for general purpose cloud solutions. Durable VMs, Linux VMs, easy migration to/from your own non Azure VHDs, direct access to their new low latency distributed cache from Memcached with no code changes necessary, lots of great new tooling and a REST based management API. What's not to like?

I'm expecting lots of feedback from one of my clients, who, up until now, has been under NDA and working closely with Microsoft to help them to understand what massively scalable online games really need from public cloud infrastructure.

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The Azure sessions for TechEd North America 2012 are worth watching. I found these especially interesting:

Azure's IaaS - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012/AZR201

Azure networking - http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2012/AZR304

The networking is especially interesting for me, UDP works and the load balancing seems better and more accessible.

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