This was the week where Microsoft announced the general availability of Windows Azure Infrastructure as a Service. More than a simple declaration of production-grade availability, Microsoft’s announcement about its IaaS platform delivered the strongest possible elaboration of its intent to compete head to head with Amazon Web Services in the IaaS space to date.
MSPs, IT service providers and IT consultants need take note – this isn’t just a trend. With the general wide spread availability of fiber at affordable rates Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a reality, today!
We have been beta testing Windows Azure over the past few months and we see a large potential for disaster recovery, high-availability with geographical redundancy and scalability unlike any other platform.
For us, the Virtual Machine and SQL platforms are most exciting.
How Secure is Windows Azure?
Windows Azure runs in data centers managed and operated by Microsoft Global Foundation Services (GFS). These geographically dispersed data centers comply with key industry standards, such as ISO/IEC 27001:2005, for security and reliability. They are managed, monitored, and administered by Microsoft operations staff that have years of experience in delivering the world’s largest online services with 24 x 7 continuity.
In addition to data center, network, and personnel security practices, Windows Azure incorporates security practices at the application and platform layers to enhance security for application developers and service administrators.
Virtual Network provides a logical IPsec based network connection between your apps running in Virtual Machines and your on-premises datacenter.
Will Windows Azure be Stable?
99.95% monthly SLA for multiple Virtual Machines. 99.9% monthly SLA for Virtual Networks. It doesn’t get any better than this. With multiple redundant DOCSIS or Fiber connections business can guarantee access to Windows Azure 99.95% of the time!
Microsoft Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie made an excellent blog post with an overview of the service. It’s really only going to get better from here folks. We believe that Microsoft will be the dominant player in the market given the large improvements to Hyper-V and RDS in Server 2012. Microsoft is a force to be reckoned with. VMWare and Citrix should be a bit concerned!
For more information about Windows Azure visit their Frequently Asked Questions Page.
Microsoft Windows Azure: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/