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Weekly Roundup: Windows Azure Gets More Features

There were also some new feature releases from Google, Amazon and Eucalyptus

Last week seems to have been an important week for the Windows Azure team at Microsoft. They have provided some new and improved features to Windows Azure. There were also some new feature releases from Google, Amazon and Eucalyptus. And, Hortonworks releases new version of the Sandbox.

Here’s a quick sum up of Cloud happenings over the last week.

To start with, Microsoft has added a number of new features to Windows Azure over the last week. The new features include HDInsight sevice, support for Dropbox and Mercurial repositories, and a few updates to Mobile Services.

  • HDInsight: Windows Azure HDInsight Service is a standard preview service on the Windows Azure Portal, which allows users to quickly deploy, manage and use Hadoop clusters running on Windows Azure. Customers can use Hadoop-based big data analytics in the cloud and pay for only the storage and compute they use.
  • Support for Dropbox & Mercurial repositories: Windows Azure now supports site and app deployment from Dropbox to any website. It allows users to simply copy files to Dropbox folder and press a button to deploy via Azure Management Portal. Windows Azure also supports Mercurial repositories when setting up continuous deployment of websites from CodePlex or Bitbucket repositories.
  • Updates to Mobile Services: Updates include adding of HTML5/JS client library to the current suite of SDKs for Windows Store, Windows Phone 8 and iOS. Next, a preview drops of portable client libraries, which allows Windows Phone 7.5 apps to use Windows Azure Mobile Services as a backend.

Google has shared a small open source project called Tailbone that lets developers read and write to the Google App Engine Datastore using JavaScript. In order to make App Engine a bit more accessible for people who aren’t familiar with server-side coding.

IaaS leader Amazon has added EBS-optimised support to four additional EC2 instance types. Users can now request dedicated throughput between EC2 instances and EBS (Elastic Block Store) volumes at launch time. Eucalyptus announced the beta test version of euca2ools that allows eustore to automatically fetch, upload, and register bootable EMS image in Eucalyptus cloud.

Big Data provider Hortonworks has announced the release of new version of the Sandbox. This new version contains Apache Ambari. They have also included the video content from Hadoop Essentials course and lecture material on the use cases of Apache Hive, Apache Pig, and Apache HCatalog.

These are the latest happenings from the cloud world. Stay tuned until next week for more!

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Janakiram MSV heads the Cloud Infrastructure Services at Aditi Technologies. He was the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. In his current role, he leads a highly talented engineering team that focuses on migrating and managing applications deployed on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Windows Azure Infrastructure Services.
Janakiram is an industry analyst with deep understanding of Cloud services. Through his speaking, writing and analysis, he helps businesses take advantage of the emerging technologies. He leverages his experience of engaging with the industry in developing informative and practical research, analysis and authoritative content to inform, influence and guide decision makers. He analyzes market trends, new products / features, announcements, industry happenings and the impact of executive transitions.
Janakiram is one of the first few Microsoft Certified Professionals on Windows Azure in India. Demystifying The Cloud, an eBook authored by Janakiram is downloaded more than 100,000 times within the first few months. He is the Chief Editor of a popular portal on Cloud called www.CloudStory.in that covers the latest trends in Cloud Computing. Janakiram is an analyst with the GigaOM Pro analyst network where he analyzes the Cloud Services landscape. He is a guest faculty at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) where he teaches Big Data and Cloud Computing to students enrolled for the Masters course. As a passionate speaker, he has chaired the Cloud Computing track at premier events in India.
He has been the keynote speaker at many premier conferences, and his seminars are attended by thousands of architects, developers and IT professionals. His sessions are rated among the best in every conference he participates.
Janakiram has worked at the world-class product companies including Microsoft Corporation, Amazon Web Services and Alcatel-Lucent. Joining as the first employee of Amazon Web Services in India, he was the AWS Technology Evangelist. Prior to that, Janakiram spent 10 years at Microsoft Corporation where he was involved in selling, marketing and evangelizing the Microsoft Application Platform and Tools.