Tonight, after dinner and helping the kids with their home-work, I decided to take another look at the Azure Preview portal, to scout for new things to come… And then I realized that people often don’t have a clue of these features being available for testing, let alone that they know where to look for them.
So, let’s start at the beginning… A lot of the features Microsoft is releasing in the coming months on their Cloud Platform are available first in “Public Preview”, this is basically a contraption in which you can test-drive the new functionality at a discounted rate, since the feature isn’t GA (Generally Available) yet. One of the drawbacks to using these Preview-features can be that they’re not available in your usual datacenter-region, but only in East-US or West-US, for example.

Currently the following features are available for public preview through the Azure Preview Services Portal; you can click the names of the features to take you over to the product page directly.

Azure Batchbatch_160x160

Azure Batch makes it easy to run large-scale parallel and HPC applications in the cloud. Batch is a new platform service that makes it easy to cloud-enable your applications and run jobs without setting up and managing a cluster and job scheduler. Use the SDK to integrate client applications with Azure Batch through a variety of languages, stage data to Azure, and build job execution pipelines. You can use Azure Batch as part of workflows, and to deliver self-service applications.


Auditing for Azure SQL Databasedatasecurity_160x160

With the Auditing capability, Azure SQL Database offers a tool to facilitate the maintenance of compliance standards, and to enable tracking database activity. Auditing tracks and logs events that occur on your Azure SQL Database. Audited events are written to an audit log located on a designated Azure Storage account, which is selected during configuration. Auditing is available only for Basic, Standard and Premium editions databases.


Operational Insightsoperationalinsights_160x160

Solve operational issues faster with ready-made intelligence for resources running on-premises or in the cloud. Azure Operational Insights provides powerful log management tools to collect and search across multiple machine data sources. Fast search allows you to explore, investigate and fix incidents quickly.



PlayReady license serviceplayready_160x160

The Microsoft Azure Media Services enables you to deliver MPEG-DASH, Smooth Streaming, and HLS streams protected with Microsoft PlayReady. Media Services now provides a service for delivering Microsoft PlayReady licenses. Media Services also provides APIs that let you configure the rights and restrictions that you want for the PlayReady DRM runtime to enforce when a user is trying to play back protected content. Use of the Microsoft PlayReady License Delivery as a part of Azure Media Services Content Protection Service is governed by additional terms, which include an obligation to report the names of all services for which you or your End Users use the service to protect content.

Azure Premium Storageprovisionedstorage_160X160

Azure Premium Storage is a new type of SSD-based storage, designed to support I/O intensive workloads. With Premium Storage, you can provision a persistent disk and configure the size and performance characteristics that will meet your requirements. You can then attach several persistent disks to a VM, stripe across them and deliver to your applications up to 32 TB of storage per VM with more than 50,000 IOPS per VM at less than one millisecond latency for read operations. Once available, with Premium Storage and the G-Series VMs, Azure offers the ability to truly lift-and-shift your demanding enterprise applications including SQL Server, Dynamics AX, Dynamics CRM, Exchange Server, MySQL, and Oracle Database to the cloud.

Azure Stream Analyticsstreamanalytics_160x160

Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed real-time stream computation service providing low latency, highly resilient, scalable processing of streaming data. Dramatically reducing the time it takes to apply time-sensitive computations on real-time streams of data, Stream Analytics provides a range of operators coving simple filters to complex correlations, and has made trivial the ability to combine streams with historic records or reference data to derive business insights easily and quickly.


Windows Azure Filesprovisionedstorage_160X160

Windows Azure Files allows VMs in a Windows Azure Data Center to mount a shared file system using the SMB protocol. These VMs will then be able to access the file system using standard Windows file APIs (CreateFile, ReadFile, WriteFile, etc). Many VMs (or PaaS roles) can attach to these file systems concurrently, allowing you to share persistent data easily between various roles and instances. In addition to accessing your files through the Windows file APIs, you can access your data using the file REST API, which is similar to the familiar blob interface

Billing alert servicebilling_notifications_160x160

Quickly and easily create customized billing alerts that help you monitor and manage billing activity for your Windows Azure accounts.

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