After one year wait, almost two months ago Microsoft finally announced the upcoming availability of a new component of its public cloud computing platform Windows Azure.
So far Windows Azure only presented the characteristics of a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud computing platform, but at the end of October the company said that it would extend Azure with a new VM Role, introducing some capabilities that are typical of an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud.
Microsoft promised to deliver within the end of the year, and in fact the VM Role is available for all customers starting this week.
As confirmed during the announcement, there are some pretty significant limitations at the moment:
- customers can only create virtual machines with Windows Server 2008 R2 as guest operating system
- the VMs must be created, installed and configured inside an on-premises Hyper-V virtual infrastructure
- there’s no way to control VMs hosted on Azure from an on-premises Hyper-V management console