Well, this might be a bit of a misleading blogpost, and it is not aimed at critizing Azure, but mearly a post which aims to look at what I feel that Microsoft IaaS Azure is missing at this point. Now even thou Microsoft is doing alot of development work on Azure, much of it is focused on Azure AD (No wonder since they have like 18 billion auths each week) but still there is work to be done on the IaaS part.
With the late introduction of Azure Resource Manager https://msandbu.wordpress.com/2015/05/22/getting-started-with-azure-resource-manager-and-visual-studio/
Introduction to Containers on Azure http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/containers-docker-windows-and-trends/
So what is missing ?
- Live Migration of Virtual Machines when doing Maintance on hosts: The concept of setting up Availability Set (meaning setting up 2x of each virtual machine role is not very sexy when trying to persuade SMB customers to move their servers out to Azure) and In some cases, like RDS session hosts which are statefull which might be a bit pain if one host suddenly reboots
- 99,9% SLA on Single Virtual Machine instances (Again reference to point 1) While this used to be an option, it was quietly removed during 2013…. While some of the competition has SLA for running single virtual machine instances/roles, Microsoft does not. Or maybe have a customizable maintance window.
- Better integration of On-premises management, While VMM now does have an option to integrate with Azure it is missing some feature to make it better such as deployment from Azure https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt125377.aspx
- Scratch the old portal and be done with the new one! Today some features are only available in the old portal such as Azure AD, while some features are only available in the new portal. This is just confusing. I suggest that you get done porting the old feature into the new one and then start creating new features / capabilities in the new portal.
- Better use of Compute ( For instance being able to customize virtual machines sizes, while I know that having pre-defined size gives better resource planning, but in some cases customers might need just a 2vCPU and 8 GB ram and paying that small extra for 4 vCPUs (while it is not needed) should not be necessery.
- Less limitations on Network capabilities, while it has improved there are still some limitations which in fact limit network appliances on Azure (such as Netscaler which can only operate with 1 vNIC in Azure) yes I know that having multiple vNICs is supported but it is randon which does not work very well with network appliances) Same with the ability to set Static MAC adresses, this is because a lot of network appliances using MAC based licensing
- Central management of backup (While Backup Vault contains alot of information and some of the capabilities in still in Preview, I would love to have a single view which shows all backup jobs, also give the Azure Backup some capabilities to jump onto Exchange, SQL and Hyper-V) and also include support for DS-series!
- Iaas V2 VMs also are quite the improvement and moving away from use of cloud Services, there are alot of limiations here towards the other Azure services. Such as that it does not support the Azure Backup Service, and that there are no plans to give a migration option from V1 to V2 VMs.
- Azure DNS give it a web-interface! while PowerShell is fun and makes things alot easier, sometimes I like to look at DNS zones from a GUI
- Support for BGP on VPN Gateways (Which allow for failover between different VPN tunnels, same goes for providing suppor for multiple-site Static VPN connections.
- IPv6 support!
- Support for Gen2 and VHDX format. Now Microsoft is pushing Generation 2 virtual machines and the new VHDX format, Azure should support this as well. This would make things alot easier in a hybrid scenario and make it alot easier moving resources back and forth
- Azure RemoteApp while it is a simple of good product there are some things I miss, such as full desktop access (most of our customers want to have full desktop access) and remove the limitation of 20 users minimum, this is a huge deal breaker for SMB customers in this region.
- Console Access to virtual machines (In some cases while RDP might not be available for some reason, we should have an option to get into the console of the virtual machine)
Now what is the solution to getting all this added to Azure? us of course!
The best way to get Microsoft’s attention to add new features and capabilities into Azure is by either posting feedback on this site or by voting up already existing posts http://feedback.azure.com/forums/34192–general-feedback
Much of the newly added capabilities, originates from this forum.