Unified cloud PaaS platform for ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js and Python

    In this article, we’ll talk about the announcements and commercial availability of the Windows Azure Web Sites service .



    Windows Azure Web Sites


    Windows Azure Web Sites is a service designed to quickly create new or host existing web applications in a reliable, scalable cloud environment.

    Key features of Windows Azure Web Sites are:

    • Support for a variety of platforms and programming languages ​​for hosting web applications;
    • Continuous integration with version control services and systems;
    • The publication of ready-made applications, frameworks and CMS in two minutes from the gallery of templates;
    • On-demand scaling and automatic scaling of computing resources based on predefined rules;
    • Detailed monitoring, logging and diagnostics through the administration panel;
    • Convenient configuration, SSL support, custom domain binding, support for 32 and 64-bit allocation;
    • Flexible pricing: free tariff, quick scaling of the site to other tariffs with the growth of the application.

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    Due to the fact that Windows Azure Web Sites offers a platform as a service (PaaS) approach, web application developers are freed from the need to deploy, configure and take care of the infrastructure and can fully concentrate on developing their cloud projects.

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    Windows Azure Web Sites supports hosting websites based on ASP / ASP.NET, PHP, Node.js, and Python. It supports the placement of different versions of platforms and frameworks, the cloud service takes care of updating the runtime environment, adding new versions.

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    Windows Azure Web SitesSupports continuous code deployment script. For this purpose, Windows Azure Web Sites websites can be connected with version control tools, both local and provided by public online services. The most popular systems and services are supported: TFS, Git, Mercurial, GutHub, BitBucket, CodePlex and even DropBox.

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    An important component of the Windows Azure Web Sites cloud service is the gallery of templates, frameworks and CMS, ready for deployment and work in a few minutes. Among dozens of templates you can find the most popular tools such as: Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, DotNetNuke, phpBB, mediaWiki, nopCommerce, Umbraco and others ...

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    All hosted applications in Windows Azure Web Sites have the ability to scale to multiple instances on demand. The load balancing between these instances is covered by the Windows Azure Web Sites cloud service, which works automatically and invisibly to the developer and does not require any configuration. Windows Azure Web Sites also supports cookie-based session scripts for projects that need it.

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    Windows Azure Web Sites runs on top of the latest version of Windows Server 2012, which is automatically maintained and updated by the system without requiring developer attention.

    Both the OS and the runtimes automatically and transparently for the developer receive security and other updates, including new versions of supported platforms. Thus, the developer focuses only on his application and does not waste time setting up and maintaining the working environment.

    Easy scaling


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    The zoom feature is built into the Windows Azure Web Sites cloud platform. It allows you to change up and down the power of working instances and their number for a flexible response to the load of web applications.

    In addition to manually scaling and scaling on demand through automation tools and command line tools, Windows Azure Web Sites has launched a rule-based automatic scaling mechanism with commercial launch.

    In the admin panel, you can easily set rules for automatically scaling websites based on the CPU load. And when the load increases, new instances of the application will be added, and when it falls, it will be deleted, thereby saving on computational power.

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    The Windows Azure cloud platform offers developers and IT professionals dozens of services for every need. Among them:

    • Windows Azure Active Directory Identity Services
    • Cloud Services and Roles
    • Blob and tabular data storage
    • Bog Data Processing and Data Analytics Services
    • Virtual machines on request
    • SQL Database Failover Relational Storage
    • Backend service for mobile applications
    • Services for data caching, service bus and messaging, media services.

    As part of a single Windows Azure platform, all of these services are available to Windows Azure Web Sites. In addition, web application developers can integrate their cloud capabilities not only with other cloud platform services, but also with the services of their company or enterprise.

    Announcements and commercial availability of Windows Azure Web Sites


    With the announcement of the commercial availability of Windows Azure Web Sites, web application developers are provided with guarantees and Microsoft support based on the SLA agreement with a service availability level of 99.9% per month.

    Scott Guthrie in his blog described some of the innovations in Windows Azure Web Sites that appeared in the cloud platform with the announcement of commercial availability. Among them:

    • 64-bit runtime support
    • Function of the diagnostic system, which allows you to remove memory dumps for further research
    • The ability to independently scale different websites
    • New cloud service pricing and pricing

    You can find these and other announcements on Scott Guthrie's blog at the link provided .

    Let's look at the announcements a little closer.

    Support for 64- and 32-bit modes


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    During testing of the preliminary version of Windows Azure Web Sites, only 32-bit mode of hosting web applications was supported. With the announcement of commercial availability, support for 64-bit mode has been added. Switching modes, like the rest of the Web Sites settings, is done in the administration panel.

    Diagnostics: dumping memory dumps


    With the commercial availability of Windows Azure Web Sites, new features have been added to the web application diagnostics system. New REST API functions were introduced that allow you to remove and load a memory dump of an application instance for diagnosis and further research.

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    The new APIs are described in detail in an article on GitHub, which you can find at the link provided .

    Independent website scaling


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    Another new feature of Windows Azure Web Sites that appeared with the release of the service into commercial availability was the ability to separately scale websites in the subscription. Previously, the modes of all sites in one region were switched simultaneously, now you can set your own parameters and operation mode for each site.

    Tariffs and Pricing


    Pricing Windows Azure Web Sites offers three tariffs: free tariff, general and standard tariffs.

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    Tariffs vary in price and capabilities available to developers, offering a flexible approach to using the cloud to host web applications: get it in a few minutes and use it for free, scale the website up and down as its popularity changes.

    Windows Azure Web Sites offer a 99.9% SLA for a standard rate, providing guaranteed web application hosting reliability.

    You can find out more about pricing and discounts at this link .

    It's time to deploy your sites in the Windows Azure Web Sites Cloud


    With the announcement of the commercial availability of Windows Azure Web Sites, it's time to deploy your web applications in the Windows Azure cloud!

    You can try all the great features of the Windows Azure Web Sites cloud environment with a free trial .

    Subscribers MSDN software partners Microsoft and participants BizSpark already have as part of their subscriptions, access to facilities Windows Azure, simply activate them!

    About the development of cloud websites - in Russian


    For web application developers, a large " Create and migrate websites " section of the AzureHub Developer Center has been launched.

    This section contains information and articles in Russian on the development and migration of web applications on the Windows Azure cloud platform.

    See the section now to learn how to develop a new one or migrate and deploy an existing web application in Windows Azure.

    Do not miss


    Do not miss the previous announcements of updates to the Windows Azure platform, which are released almost every week:


    useful links


    Below you will find links to resources that will help you use the Microsoft cloud platform:


    And if you are already developing on Windows Azure or want to find developers of your service, visit the appprofessionals.ru service .

    We will be happy to answer your questions at azurerus@microsoft.com . And look forward to seeing you in the Windows Azure Community on Facebook . Here you will find experts (do not forget to ask them questions), photos and a lot of news.

    Video recordings of Windows Azure Summit reports and video interviews that took place during a large cloud conference. You can find the reports of the DevCon 2013 conference on Windows Azure here .

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