Microsoft's Windows Azure cloud-based platform will soon allow users to operate a new persistent virtual machine feature. ZDNet.com reports via unnamed sources that this new feature will be tested in the spring of 2012.
The upshot of this new feature is that Windows Azure will allow either Windows or a Linux-based operating system to run on the virtual machine without losing state. The report also claims that this new persistent virtual machine feature will also feature support for SQL Server or SharePoint Server applications.
While the current version of Windows Azure does have virtual machine support, an anonymous user stated, "The current VM role when rebooted or randomly recycled by the Azure platform loses any data stored — any persistence. So for applications that rely on the machine name or files/config that constitute 'state' not stored in SQL Azure (or externally), this is a problem. This is also one of the technical reasons why you wouldn’t try running SharePoint on the current Azure VM role."
In addition, the report also says that businesses have been asking for added Linux support for Windows Azure. It also claims that when the test version of the persistent virtual machine feature is launched, Microsoft won't officially support Linux running on it. Customers who want to run Linux will have to provide their own images. So far Microsoft has yet to comment on this report.