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Microsoft is continuing to extend the tentacles of Azure into the enterprise with a new Data Box Disk, WAN and Firewall functionality and a speed bump for its SQL data warehouse. Oh, and asks would people please stop using the 2008 editions of Windows Server and SQL Server?
Microsoft made a bit of a fuss about its Azure Data Box when it launched in preview form in the US last year (arguably as a response to the AWS Snowball.) The storage appliance allows a client to dump up to 100 TB at a time to be shipped to a handy Azure data centre. There, the data can be uploaded directly, without worrying about internet bandwidth. Kind of a glorified SneakerNet, except with a ruggedized box of disks and overnight shipping rather than a battered pair of Nikes.
Concept - Europe - UK - Microsoft - Version
As it expands the concept into Europe (and the UK), Microsoft has introduced a more petite version in the form of the Data Box Disk, clocking in at 40TB of SSDs. Whether this is in recognition that Europeans prefer things a little more compact than their US counterparts, be it automobiles or boxes of disks, or simply extending the range of devices, sign-up for the preview is open for those bored of watching progress bars as data is slung around the world.
Microsoft is seeking to further embed itself in the thinking of enterprises by sidling up alongside and draping an arm around the tense shoulders of the network admin, whispering “you know that whole WAN and Firewall thing? I can take care of that for you…”
Redmond - Point - Azure - Network - Amazon
To be fair, Redmond does have a point. The Azure network (like those built by Amazon, Google et al) is an example of a massive WAN. Leveraging that rather than building one’s own does have its appeal, so long as...
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