Azure Sexy services

The range of Azure services is growing very rapidly.  A couple of the vast list are really quite interesting indeed if your an IT Pro, or an Enterprise Architect.

Azure HDInsight brings an Apache Hadoop solution to Azure, allowing us to connect data sources like SharePoint (yes – a data source!) to gain value from all of that potential Big Data you have stored within it as a cloud-based data platform, and it can pretty much manage data of any type and any size.

Azure Machine Learning (AML) allows you to easily design, test, operationalize and manage predictive analytic solutions in the cloud.  So, take your data from SharePoint and feed to to Azure for consumption by AML, you can do some really amazing prediction with this tool – and it actually works.  How about predicting credit risk , or the chances of Flight Delay Predictions for your staff.  Its a lot of fun to experiment with and you can even process input in batches using simple code examples.

http://mamls.codeplex.com/

Ever wondered where to store all those videos some numbskull wants you to host in SharePoint?  How about Azure Media Services, this offers a cloud-based media solution that including ingesting video, encoding it, format conversion, content protection and both on-demand and live streaming capabilities.  Nice – if you don’t want to devolve media services into something YouTube!

The last thing for this post is Azure Mobile Services.  Another useful additional service for SharePoint systems as it provides a scalable cloud backend for building Windows Store, Windows Phone, Apple iOS, Android, and HTML/JavaScript applications. We can store data in the cloud, authenticate users, and send push notifications to these applications within minutes.  When building mobile business apps using Azure Mobile Services, accessing enterprise assets such as SharePoint is a common customer requirement. This example from Channel 9 shows how to use the Active Directory Authentication Library (ADAL) in order to authenticate a mobile app user against Mobile Services and then reuse that access token in order to gain access to an O365 service. All in less time than it took me to write this blog post!

http://channel9.msdn.com/Series/Windows-Azure-Mobile-Services/Azure-Mobile-Services-AAD-O365-Authentication-identity-across-services

The full list of services is here: http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/

Go explore!