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I have a number of computers that I work with regularly. My powerhouse computer has 8gb of ram running and a relatively fast SCSI disk. It runs my development tools at a nice pace, although it would be great to eek out a bit more power. Of course, that's my development. When it comes to running my personal businesses and web sites, I tend to use service providers for the machines. Of course, that is a bit old school.
The new manner is to use the Cloud rather than using your own systems. Doing so not only gives you access to more power, but it also lets you scale when you need to. What if I found that I needed 100gb of memory to run my business, or if I found that I needed near instant access to my huge amounts of data, and I needed it quicker than a SCSI drive could deliver? What would I do? I could invest in more hardware and hope I could see a return. I could buy high-end systems and load them with memory. I could fill their drive buys with SSD disks and hope to recover my costs over time.
Of course, this falls right in line with what Cloud Computing is attempting to solve. Providers like Microsoft, offer the ability to use their Azure Cloud Computing platform to scale your memory and drives as needed.
In fact, today, Microsoft announced support for VM sizes up with up to 112 GB in memory. They can also associate SSD disks with up to 800 GB to these VMs. While 112 GB of memory running with 16 vCores of process and 800 GB of disk is the high-end, you can also scale down to more normal amounts of memory and disk to still get the speed you need on smaller executions.
While I personally don't need this power, it is cool to know it is available should I ever need to. If you want to know more about the computing sizes that Microsoft is offering, you can check out Kenaz Kwa's Azure Blog. (Kenaz Kwa is the program manager for Azure Compute Runtime.)
Older Azure News
Microsoft has been pushing Azure for many years now. If you took a look at Azure last year or before, it is likely worth taking the time to look again. Microsoft is continually releasing new features and making updates to improve on their offering. With competition running rampant in the Cloud space, this is no surprise.
Earlier this month, they announced a global preview of Live Streaming and media services. This included Live Streaming services, a Content Protection offering, and an Indexer to increase the discoverability of audio and video files. At the same time, the included new features in their Azure Websites offering. These new features included VPN Suport to allow you to securely connect to any provisioned VM's or Cloud Services within a virtual network. They also introduced a scalable WordPress offering that lets you configure WordPress sites to leverage Azure capabilities such as storage.
Azure API Management, Role Based Access Control, and Azure SQL Database service tiers are also recent announcements.