Azure Virtual Machine Role

I think everyone knew about it or suspected it but the ‘Azure VM Role’ was announced today at PDC. This functionality would allow you to run a full operating system instance and maintain administrative rights on the Azure platform. The scenario provided by Bob Muglia was that of choosing a base operating system instance, installing your software/other tools, snapshot the VM to a VHD and supply back to Azure to run on the fabric. I suspect this will be Windows only for quite a while but it will allow more complex/legacy applications to be hosted within Azure. Lastly as part of this full administrative access you would also be able to initiate a Terminal Services session (RDP) directly to the server.

Bob’s slide broke it down in 4 easy steps.

1. Select Base Window Server Image

2. Customize Virtual Machine Role

3. Snapshot Virtual Machine Image

4. Deploy Application and Target Your New VM Role.

Bridging the gap to the Cloud

In an earlier post I discussed why Amazon’s IPSEC support was important for Enterprises giving them the ability to treat the cloud provider as an elastic resource yet maintain security of data transfer.

At PDC today Bob Muglia (President of Server and Tools) discussed ‘Project Sydney’ as a way to bridge the gap between the cloud and on-premise equipment. In a demo he showed a web application running in Azure accessing a database that resided within the corporate network. He did state ‘IPSEC’ and in a further session at PDC Yousef Khalidi described that cloud components and on-premise servers exist in a virtual LAN that was secured.

From what I can see at this time it doesn’t sound like network-level IPSEC but rather server to server IPSEC however I could be proven wrong any time now. Regardless of the method it is a pretty powerful theme – allowing organisations to maintain some sensitive, high-performance or high security systems within their own Data Centres or hosting providers but still utilise Cloud providers.

This is also subtly different from the functionality Amazon released. The Amazon Virtual Private Cloud provides an IPSEC tunnel to a private instance of cloud servers that do not have public access. This meant you could use it to extend your data centre and host some components with Amazon BUT you couldn’t utilise this infrastructure for front-end Web services.

What Microsoft is delivering with Project Sydney much more focused on giving Web applications on Azure the ability to tunnel back to Data or other services located within the corporate network.

I will keep digging.

Can the Citrix marketing team count ?

While I am not one to normally care about vendor spam. I received what I thought was a really odd email from Citrix regarding their XenDesktop capabilities versus VMwares offering.

Whether they are right or wrong… the marketing attempt is quite silly. Check the Subject of the email !

The email



Why call out 6 things, and then only identify 4 ?

I can’t identify where the 6 things were ?  Turns out it isn’t me who can’t count.