Windows Azure alternatives

Windows Azure
Windows Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
Here are the latest news about Windows Azure:

2014 Following SAP and Oracle, IBM jumps to Microsoft Azure


Microsoft already partnered with SAP and Oracle on its cloud-computing platform. And now IBM becomes the latest partner in Microsoft's enterprise software layer. According to the deal, companies will make IBM middleware such as WebSphere Liberty, MQ, and DB2 available on Microsoft Azure. Windows Server and SQL Server will be offered on IBM Cloud. Microsoft .NET runtime will become available for IBM’s Bluemix cloud development platform. So, now Microsoft can boast about having the Big Four on its cloud platform for enterprises.



2014 Microsoft Azure appliance makes comeback


Microsoft is launching a new Azure appliance that companies or service providers can deploy in their own data centers. Called the Cloud Platform System, the new appliance will run the same Azure APIs, services, hypervisor, and everything as the Azure public cloud and will be able to connect easily to the Azure public cloud. The appliance is especially interesting considering Microsoft’s previous dabbling into the idea of Azure appliances. It has previously floated the idea of selling appliances to a few large service provider partners such as HP, and even launched a program to help web hosts to launch their own versions of Azure. Both of them appear to have fallen along the wayside for various business and technological reasons, but now the appliance is back.



2014 Microsoft and Docker team up to make containers play nice on Windows Server and Azure


Microsoft and Docker are partnering up to ensure that Docker’s container technology will be fully compatible with the next release of Windows Server. Through this partnership, developers will have a native version of the Docker engine running inside Windows. While Microsoft has previously enabled the use of Docker on its Azure cloud, developers had to do a series of tasks to get containers up and running. Now, it will be much easier for developers to spin up Docker containers on Azure without having to do any modifications as they’ll will be able to access the Docker Hub within the Azure management portal.



2014 Microsoft Azure now also supports Google's Kubernetes


Few days ago we reported that VMWares's vCloud added support for Google's open-source container technology Kubernetes, and now Microsoft is also supporting it on the company’s Azure cloud platform. For two companies, Google and Microsoft, not historically known for their open source work, that’s quite surprising. But thus they’re trying to steal market share from Amazon Web Services, by allowing cloud developers move relatively easily among cloud platforms and retain the same general experience of launching and managing applications. Besides Google, Microsoft and VMWare this technology was also recently supported by Red Hat and IBM, so it's likely to become the de facto standard for cloud platforms.



2014 Microsoft unveils Azure DocumentDB, a NoSQL database as a service


Microsoft is expanding its Azure platform again, this time rolling out a NoSQL database service Azure DocumentDB. As far as other cloud-provider-developed services go, DocumentDB sounds a lot more like Google’s similarly understated Cloud Datastore service than it does Amazon Web Services’ DynamoDB, which is actually more like a key-value store than a document database. Additional new products as part of the new Microsoft Data Platform include Azure Search and fully managed HBase as part of Microsoft’s HDInsight Hadoop service. It’s the kind of innovation Microsoft needs to focus on if it’s going to lure new developers and really compete in the cloud.