Feeds

Microsoft crams fat Azure cloud pipe into delicate on-premises biz boxes

Fear not, NSA-tards - Redmond will let you keep data in your byte buckets

The essential guide to IT transformation

Amazon Web Services may be hellbent on uploading world+dog into its public cloud, but Microsoft has other ideas – and a new Azure update makes it easier for admins to consume Redmond's cloud as an add-on service for on-premises installations.

The Azure tweaks were announced by Microsoft on Tuesday and see Redmond come through on its long-stated promise to give some of the useful capabilities of Azure to people that would rather keep as much of their data on-site as possible.

New features include the general availability of Windows Azure Backup, which lets admins use a downloadable Windows Azure Backup Agent to selectively back up and recover data from Windows Server into the cloud's storage service.

Data is encrypted on-site before being chucked into the cloud, and – Microsoft says – "customers retain and manage the encryption key (meaning the data is stored entirely secured and can't be decrypted by anyone but yourself)."

Tinfoil hat wearers may scoff at this and point to the Snowden revelations about intelligence agencies' ability to subvert this.

Another feature is the Hyper-V recovery manager which helps to replicate and recover VMs between multiple locations via System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 and SP2.

App data "always travels on your on-premise replication channel," Microsoft corporate veep Scott Guthrie wrote in a blog discussing the feature. "Only metadata (such as names of logical clouds, virtual machines, networks etc.) that is needed for orchestration is sent to Azure."

Azure also makes a greater role in Windows Server 2012, as detailed in our expansive review of the management engine.

Alongside the on-premises release, Microsoft has also made it possible to delete VM instances and attached disks in a single operation rather than forcing sysadmins to do one then the other. This feature can be extended to zap an entire cloud service out of existence.

This update follows a salvo of pure cloud-oriented upgrades Microsoft made at the start of October which saw it ink a deal between Azure and colocation-specialist Equinix to give businesses a way to tap directly into the cloud a la AWS Direct Connect, along with a dedicated GovCloud region.

But though those upgrades saw Redmond mimicking existing AWS service, this raft of features shows Microsoft floating down its own path and trying to coax on-prem businesses to dabble in Azure just a little without having to leave the safety of their own battle-tested bit barns. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.