Microsoft announces Redis Cache, Disaster Recovery, Tagging, Elastic Scale for SQLDB and more new features for Azure

Microsoft has let loose a veritable storm of new products in their Azure cloud environment today.  This announcement marked the graduation from Preview to General Availability for features like Redis Cache, Azure Site Recovery, Tag support, DocumentDB support for Document Explorer, and Collection management, support for Baidu Push Notification service, as well as several automation updates.  Also announced is the public preview for Elastic Scale for SQLDB which allows Azure SQL databases to be sharded and scaled dynamically.  Here’s a bit more information on some of those features.


Redis is an open source, BSD licensed, advanced key-value cache and store. It is often referred to as a data structure server since keys can contain strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets, bitmaps and hyperloglogs.  —

The Azure Redis Cache Service is today offered in the following sizes:  250 MB, 1 GB, 2.8 GB, 6 GB, 13 GB, 26 GB, 53 GB.  Higher-memory options will be offered in the future.

Each Redis cache size option is also offered in two editions:

  • Basic – A single cache node, without a formal SLA, recommended for use in dev/test or non-critical workloads.
  • Standard – A multi-node, replicated cache configured in a two-node Master/Replica configuration for high-availability, and backed by an enterprise SLA.

Along with providing an API for your own application caching needs, Microsoft has also created an ASP.NET Session State provider for Redis Cache as well as an ASP.NET Output cache provider.

Azure Site Recovery

This month’s release builds upon our recent InMage acquisition, and the integration of InMage Scout with Azure Site Recovery enables us to provide hybrid cloud business continuity solutions for any customer IT environment – regardless of whether it is Windows or Linux, running on physical servers or virtualized servers using Hyper-V, VMware or other virtualization solutions. Microsoft Azure is now the ideal destination for disaster recovery for virtually every enterprise server in the world.  — Scott Guthrie’s Blog

Azure Site Recovery allows both on-premise and cloud based servers as well as Azure, Hyper-V, and VMWare virtual machines to be replicated for failover and disaster recovery into Azure.  The service also provides remote health monitoring, no-impact disaster recovery plan testing, and single click orchestrated recovery.

Elastic Scale Support for SQL Database in Azure

Azure SQL Database Elastic Scale (in preview) enables the data-tier of an application to scale out and in via industry-standard sharding practices, while significantly streamlining the development and management of your sharded cloud applications. Elastic Scale delivers both developer and management functionality which are provided through a set of .Net libraries and through Azure service templates that you can host in your own Azure subscription to manage your highly scalable applications. Azure DB Elastic Scale implements the infrastructure aspects of sharding and thus allows you to focus on the business logic of your application instead. — Microsoft Azure

Also announced was the Federation Migration Utility which is available as part of the preview. This utility helps current SQL Database Federations customers migrate their Federations application to Elastic Scale without having to perform any data movement.

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