The Tech Titan Rolls Out New Capabilities In An Effort To Make Azure The One-Stop Cloud For Eterprise And HPC Workloads

Microsoft announced an update to its Azure cloud computing platform today. This update includes the launch of a couple of new features for developers who want to run large-scale, compute-intensive applications on the platform, as well as new features for Azure Site Recovery that will make it easier for developers to migrate to Azure from AWS.

After Microsoft acquired InMage almost exactly a year ago, the company quickly started to integrate InMage’s technology for migrating workloads between clouds into its own portfolio. The first result of that was a preview release of the Azure Migration Accelerator, which makes it easier to move physical, VMware, AWS and Hyper-V virtual machines to Azure. Now, this service is essentially integrated into Azure Site Recovery.

“Microsoft is now working to integrate the InMage Scout technology into Azure Site Recovery service, in order to give customers a simple, cost-effective way to ensure business continuity with the power and scale of the Azure global cloud,” a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK during the deal’s announcement.

In the tech’s latest implementation, it will help Azure Site Recovery move AWS workloads to Azure. “These new capabilities provide an easy on-boarding to Azure, along with the hybrid flexibility and freedom of the Microsoft Cloud Platform,” stated Schutz.

It also adds support for VMware and physical server recoveries in Azure, adding to existing Hyper-V support, Microsoft’s own virtualization technology.

“This now enables you to use a secondary site, private cloud or Azure as your disaster recovery site within one Microsoft solution,” Schutz said. “Extending and protecting VMware workloads into Azure is an easy, automated process and works seamlessly with your existing infrastructure.”

For organizations seeking to exploit the cloud’s massive processing capabilities for their high-performance computing (HPC) projects, Microsoft also today announced virtual machines that run for Linux Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) with Intel Message Passing Interface (MPI).

“We are the only cloud vendor to offer RDMA, which enables virtual machines to communicate over the low-latency, high-throughput InfiniBand network,” said Schutz. “This network provides less than 3-microsecond latencies and more than 3.5G-bps bandwidth.”

In tests conducted with the help of Livermore Software Technology Corp. and D3VIEW, Schutz reported that the solution provided “near-linear scaling” to 256 processing cores while modeling an automotive crash.

Azure Batch, based on the company’s acquisition of cloud HPC company GreenButton, is now generally available. “Batch is a service that combines our previous GreenButton acquisition with the power of Azure infrastructure, providing the ability to execute large-scale, high-performance computing (HPC) scenarios in Azure,” he stated.

Finally, Microsoft released HPC Pack 2012 R2 Update 2. The update provides support for Linux Virtual Machines, allowing organizations to seamlessly extend their Linux-based HPC environments to Azure when additional capacity is required.

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