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Windows Azure Comes to Web Hosts

Posted on 7.15.2012

Microsoft, once unquestionably the biggest name in technology, has fallen drastically behind the pack in most areas over the years. However, as of late the company has been making a major push to remain relevant, if not become a leader, in today’s hottest industries – not the least of which is cloud computing.

Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a new white-label-type version of its Windows Azure cloud platform for Web hosts using Windows Server.

The Service Management Portal (as it’s being called) will allow Microsoft’s hosting partners to provide their customers with an Azure-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) without having to tap into the Microsoft cloud. The service will use a standardized management portal, and will also come with extendable APIs. This will allow developers to connect their current hosted applications to their hosts’ other services, their own on-premises resources, or directly to Windows Azure.

At present, Microsoft is working on developing a collection of partnerships with various service providers, and has already named big time Web hosting and domain name company GoDaddy as the Service Management Portal’s pilot customer.

The service will also work with long-time Microsoft partner Apprenda; so, if Web hosts set up an Apprenda instance internally and plug it into the portal, their customers will be able to deploy their Web apps using the auto-scaling and other Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) capabilities of Apprenda from within the Service Management Portal.

For now, the offering is in a beta-ish Community Technology Preview mode.

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