Although Microsoft officially launched its Cloud platform at PDC09 in Los Angeles in November, the Community technology Preview label was only removed from the product at the start of January 2010. At this point in time, there is only a single release of Windows Azure
available to customers, but the promise from Microsoft is that new builds will be made available on a regular basis. Customers already leveraging the Redmond company’s Cloud operating system are able to associate a certain build of Windows Azure with their service via the service configuration file. For the time being, however, their options are rather limited to say the least.
This because Windows Azure
Guest OS 1.0 (Release 200912-01) is the only version of the Windows Azure guest operating system that can run services on the virtual machine. Operating System Versioning in Windows Azure is the feature that allows customers to specify a certain Cloud OS Build for their service.
“Customers can now choose when their applications receive new operating system updates and patches by selecting which version of the operating system their applications will run on in Windows Azure. Right now there is only one available operating system version (released on December 17th, 2009), but new builds with the latest updates and patches will be released regularly. This new feature allows developers to test their applications when new patches come out before upgrading their production deployments,” revealed
a member of the Windows Azure team.
Via the guest operating system (running inside the Windows Azure fabric), customers benefit from a greater deal of control over the upgrades released by Microsoft and how they take their toll on the virtual machine or machines that are at the foundation of their Azure-based service. “To select an operating system version for your application, add the new osVersion attribute
to your service configuration file. The full list of available operating system versions is maintained in the Configuring Operating System Versions topic in the Windows Azure MSDN documentation
,” the Windows Azure team representative added.