June 07, 2012
Microsoft has released previews of upcoming services on their Azure cloud platform. The company seems focused on simplifying the transition of in-house resources to hybrid or external cloud deployments. Most notable is the ability for end users to create virtual machines with Linux images. The announcement will be live streamed later today at 1 p.m. PST.
Azure's infrastructure will support CentOS 6.2, OpenSUSE 12.1, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server SP2 and Ubuntu 12.04 VM images. Microsoft has already updated their Azure site to reflect the compatibility. Other VM features include:
Microsoft has had a somewhat up and down relationship with open source technologies. Steve Ballmer even went so far to call Linux "a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches" during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times back in 2001. Since then, the company has eased its stance, warming up to industry collaboration and preaching an open culture. The availability of Linux distributions on Azure further validates this direction.
Beyond adding Linux support, Azure will introduce a number of value-added services. The Azure Virtual Network allows for creation and management of virtual private networks within the platform. Topology, IP addressing, routing tables and security policies can be configured by the end user. The service also conforms to the IPSec protocol, allowing Azure to build secure connections to private corporate VPNs.
The platform also adds support for websites. Azure will accept .NET, Node.js, and PHP as well as Git and FTP. Continuing with their commitment, Microsoft is allowing web developers to take advantage of open source website applications including, DotNetNuke, Umbraco, Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress.
An updated Azure SDK has added command line functionality for Windows and Mac users as well as adding updated support for PHP, Java, .NET and Python.
Along with the noted updates, Microsoft is increasing Azure's footprint. The cloud service will be available in 48 additional countries, accepting 19 different currencies. Expansion will be completed later this month and will open availability to Russia, Taiwan, Egypt, Turkey, South Korea and others.
Microsoft is upping the ante of their cloud game with an array of new features and expanded operations. How these offerings will stand up compared to HP's and IBM's services is still unknown.
Researchers from the Suddhananda Engineering and Research Centre in Bhubaneswar, India developed a job scheduling system, which they call Service Level Agreement (SLA) scheduling, that is meant to achieve acceptable methods of resource provisioning similar to that of potential in-house systems. They combined that with an on-demand resource provisioner to ensure utilization optimization of virtual machines.
Experimental scientific HPC applications are continually being moved to the cloud, as covered here in several capacities over the last couple of weeks. Included in that rundown, Co-founder and CEO of CloudSigma Robert Jenkins penned an article for HPC in the Cloud where he discussed the emergence of cloud technologies to supplement research capabilities of big scientific initiatives like CERN and ESA (the European Space Agency)...
When considering moving excess or experimental HPC applications to a cloud environment, there will always be obstacles. Were that not the case, the cost effectiveness of cloud-based HPC would rule the high performance landscape. Jonathan Stewart Ward and Adam Barker of the University of St. Andrews produced an intriguing report on the state of cloud computing, paying a significant amount of attention to the problems facing cloud computing.
05/10/2013 | Cleversafe, Cray, DDN, NetApp, & Panasas | From Wall Street to Hollywood, drug discovery to homeland security, companies and organizations of all sizes and stripes are coming face to face with the challenges – and opportunities – afforded by Big Data. Before anyone can utilize these extraordinary data repositories, however, they must first harness and manage their data stores, and do so utilizing technologies that underscore affordability, security, and scalability.
04/02/2012 | AMD | Developers today are just beginning to explore the potential of heterogeneous computing, but the potential for this new paradigm is huge. This brief article reviews how the technology might impact a range of application development areas, including client experiences and cloud-based data management. As platforms like OpenCL continue to evolve, the benefits of heterogeneous computing will become even more accessible. Use this quick article to jump-start your own thinking on heterogeneous computing.