Windows Azure new features: SQL Server Always On Support and Notification Hubs, AutoScale Improvements + More
SQL Server AlwaysOn Support:
General Availability support with Windows Azure Virtual Machines (enables both high availability and disaster recovery)
You can now use SQL Server AlwaysOn within Windows Azure Virtual Machines to
achieve high availability and global business continuity. As part of this
support you can now deploy one or more readable database secondaries –
which not only improves availability of your SQL Servers but also improves
efficiency by allowing you to offload BI reporting tasks and backups to the
General Availability Release of Windows Azure Notification Hubs (broadcast push for Windows 8, Windows Phone, iOS and Android)
Notification Hubs enable you to instantly send personalized, cross-platform,
broadcast push notifications to millions of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and
Android mobile devices.
AutoScale: Schedule-based AutoScale rules and richer logging support
It’s now easy to know and log exactly what AutoScale has done for your service: there are four new AutoScale history features with today’s release to help with this.
First, Azure has added two new operations to Windows Azure’s Operation Log capability: AutoscaleAction and PutAutoscaleSetting. Azure records each time that AutoScale takes a scale up or scale down action, and include the new and previous instance counts in the details. In addition, Azure records each time anyone changes autoscale settings – you can use this to see who on your team changed autoscale options and when. These are both now exposed in the Operation Logs tab of the new Management Services node within the Windows Azure Management Portal.
Virtual Machines: Load Balancer Configuration and Management
Every Virtual Machine, Cloud Service, Web Site and Mobile Service you deploy in Windows Azure comes with built-in load balancer support that you can use to both scale out your app and enable high availability. This load balancer support is built-into Windows Azure and included at no extra charge (most other cloud providers make you pay extra for it).
Today’s update of Windows Azure includes some nice new features that make it even easier to configure and manage load balancing support for Virtual Machines – and includes support for customizing the network probe logic that our load balancers use to determine whether your Virtual Machines are healthy and should be kept in the load balancer rotation.
Management Services: New Portal Extension for Operation logs + Alerts
Previously “Alerts” and “Operation Logs” tabs were under the “Settings”
extension in the Windows Azure Management Portal. With today’s update, we are
moving these cross cutting management and monitoring functionality to a new
extension in the Windows Azure Portal named “Management Services”. The
goal is to increase discoverability of common management services as well as to
provide better categorization of functionality that cuts across all Windows
Azure services. We will continue to enrich and add to such cross cutting
functionality in Windows Azure over the next few releases.
of a on-premises SQL Server using Windows Azure
In addition to enabling high availability solutions within Windows Azure, the
new SQL Server AlwaysOn support can also be used to enable on-premise SQL
Server solutions to be expanded to have one or more secondary replicas
running in the cloud using Windows Azure Virtual Machines. This allows
companies to enable high-availability disaster recovery
scenarios – where in the event of a local datacenter being down (for
example: due to a hurricane or natural disaster, or simply a network HW failure
on-premises) they can failover and continue operations using Virtual Machines
that have been deployed in the cloud using Windows Azure.