New capabilities, enhancements to Windows Azure include always-on support for websites

On Friday, Microsoft released another great set of capabilities and enhancements to Windows Azure including staged publishing support and always-on support for websites, as well as monitoring improvements for websites and SQL database alerts, and a general availability release for Hyper-V Recovery manager.

“All of these improvements are now available to use immediately,” writes Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Azure Application Platform team, in a blog post.

The staged publishing feature “is really powerful, and enables you to deploy updates of your Web apps/sites to a staging version of the site that can be accessed via a URL that is different from your main site,” Guthrie writes. “You can use this staged site to test your site/app deployment and then, when ready, instantaneously swap the content and configuration between the live site and the staging version.”

Staged publishing “ensures that your site is never in an inconsistent state (where some files have been updated and others not) — now you can immediately swap all changes to all of the files in one shot.”

When the new “Always On” feature is is enabled on a site, “Windows Azure will automatically ping your website regularly to ensure that the website is always active and in a warm/running state,” Guthrie writes. “This is useful to ensure that a site is always responsive (and that the app domain or worker process has not paged out due to lack of external HTTP requests).”

To learn more about these changes and others, head over to Guthrie’s ScottGu Blog, where he explains these new features and others in detail.

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Suzanne Choney
Microsoft News Center Staff