Microsoft Windows Azure Management Tools, Cloud Marketplace Arrive
Back at the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference in October 2010, Microsoft spent a lot of time reaffirming its commitment to the Windows Azure cloud platform. Now the company is putting its money where its mouth is with the launch of a slew of Azure management tools, including a redesigned administration portal and role-based access. But what really sticks out is the launch of the Windows Azure Marketplace beta.
If you’re so inclined, the Microsoft Windows Azure team blog has the full skinny on the technical details. But here are some of the highlights of the new Microsoft Windows Azure management tools:
- Remote Desktop: Enables administrators to get a closer view on their cloud instances and troubleshoot common problems.
- Elevated Privileges: Similar to other role-based access approaches to cloud services, this feature allows administrators to grant additional privileges to users as required without forcing them to give up the keys to the kingdom.
- Full support for Windows Server 2008 R2 features in instances.
- Multiple Windows Live IDs with administrator privileges.
- Easier Windows Azure sign-up.
As for the Windows Azure Marketplace — it’s a SaaS app store for ISVs and service providers in the same vein as the Google Apps Marketplace — Microsoft has 40 partners signed up to sell 50 products and services to Windows Azure through the administration portal. A quick look shows that Microsoft already has vendors including Acumatica, Intertech and Vorsite on board.
I’m a little confused why Microsoft isn’t making a bigger deal about this launch, even if it isn’t final. We’ve been asking for months when Azure would be arriving, and now that it has, we discover a major update is buried in a larger blog post about management tools. What does it mean? We’re watching closely and listening closely for answers.