This morning Microsoft released some great updates to Windows Azure. These new capabilities include:
- SQL Server AlwaysOn Support: General Availability support with Windows Azure Virtual Machines for High Availability and Disaster Recovery
- Notification Hubs: General Availability Release of Windows Azure Notification Hubs (broadcast push notifications for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android)
- AutoScale: Schedule-based AutoScale rules and richer logging support
- Virtual Machines: Load Balancer Configuration and Management
- Management Services: New Portal Extension for Operation logs + Alerts
Scott Guthrie has a blog post with more details about updates and new features here: http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2013/08/12/windows-azure-general-availability-of-sql-server-always-on-support-and-notification-hubs-autoscale-improvements-more.aspx
On a related note, if you use Windows Azure VMs running SQL Server, take a look at this MSDN topic: Backup and Restore for SQL Server in Windows Azure Virtual Machines. Finally, Windows Azure offers backup capabilities not only in the cloud but also on-premises, as described here (when the SQL Server 2012 SP1 CU2 or later versions), enabling users to backup directly to a blob using Windows Azure Storage Services: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj919148.aspx.
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