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The Future of Microsoft Windows Azure
A Streaming Media West presentation explains Microsoft's cloud-computing platform and gives a look at where it's headed.
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There's a lot going on with Microsoft's cloud computing platform, Windows Azure. At the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, Chris Knowlton, then the senior product manager for media platform at Microsoft, showed off the platform's new capabilities and gave a look where it's headed.

Starting with an introduction, Knowlton introduced Azure to those new to it:

"For those of you not familiar with Azure, it has a lot of things in it, including storage, the ability to do computing for you, full management, a relational database capability with tools and management for those. There's something called service bus which allows you to actually communicate between the various pieces of your Azure service and other services and on-premises applications. And then there's access control, which allows you to really have that hybrid model were you can say who can touch your content, who can access your content, who can manage your content. Also, if you're doing something on-premises and you have an application up in the cloud, that means you can actually have that situation where you have a single sign-on on-premises that also gets you access to your assets up on Azure," Knowlton began.

Knowlton next zoomed in on the platform's content delivery network (CDN), which would be the focus of his talk.

"So what is the Azure CDN?, because that's really what I'm going to be talking about today. It's a CDN built out on Azure. We've been using it for about three years for our own distribution of software. We found that we had a need to do that on a fairly regular basis. We release software all the time; people are accessing it. It became more cost-effective for us to release our own CDN. Recently, within the last year, we've made it public, so that everyone can have that same quality of service and everything else that you might expect from a CDN," said Knowlton.

For more on Azure or on Amazon CloudFront, watch the full video below. To follow along, download the Windows Azure and Amazon CloudFront presentations.

Cloud Demos: Amazon CloudFront and Windows Azure

In this session, learn how to use both Amazon and Microsoft's cloud platforms and see demos of how they both work. With no upfront expenses and no long-term commitment, Amazon's CloudFront platform and Microsoft's Windows Azure platform enable you to pay only for the resources you use. Learn how, within minutes, you can configure both platforms to store and deliver your content and applications using Amazon and Microsoft's infrastructure. 

Speaker: Chris Knowlton, Senior Product Manager, Media Platform, Microsoft
Speaker: Tal Saraf, General Manager, Amazon CloudFront

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