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Windows Azure Updates: VMs, AD, Storage, Spending Limits

Earlier today Scott Guthrie let everyone know about the new improvements to Windows Azure. Below is the bullet list straight from Scott’s blog.

This week we released some great updates to Windows Azure.  These new capabilities include:

  • Compute: New 2-CPU Core 14 GB RAM instance option
  • Virtual Machines: Support for Oracle Software Images, Management Operations on Stopped VMs
  • Active Directory: Richer Directory Management and General Availability of Multi-Factor Authentication Support
  • Spending Limit: Reset your Spending Limit, Virtual Machines are no longer deleted if it is hit
  • Storage: New Storage Client Library 2.1 Released
  • Web Sites: IP and Domain Restriction Now Supported

All of these improvements are now available to use immediately.


For me the Spending Limit change is a key feature on MSDN subscriptions. I have several speaking engagements a year where I talk about and demo different Windows Azure features. On several subscriptions in the past, I’ve had to remove the spending limit. If I remove the spending limit to conduct a demo, I no longer have to worry as much if I forget to tear-down the temporary services I created. I can now set it to re-enable my spending limit for the next billing cycle. So I will have to pay for any overages for the current billing cycle.
Another great feature related to the spending limit is that your VMs will no longer be deleted. Previously the VMs would have been deleted. Now the VMs are de-provisioned and stopped once you reach your spending limit.
For more details about the recent changes check out Scott’s post. I invite you to give Windows Azure a try. If you need a Windows Azure subscription, here is the link for a free trial.

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