What didn't happen this week at Microsoft's TechEd North America conference is what got people talking: Microsoft announced no new products for on-premises deployment. If you didn't get that Microsoft is serious about migrating its services -- and you -- to the cloud, this should make it crystal-clear.
At TechEd, Microsoft announced several important additions to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform (all but the first two were shown in beta form).
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Azure ExpressRoute: This provides a method for creating private connections between your on-premises infrastructure and the Azure data centers where you might have virtual machines for data migration, high availability, disaster recovery, and so on. What's key about ExpressRoute is that it doesn't go through the public Internet but instead goes through either an ExpressRoute location (an Exchange provider facility) or a WAN-connected MPLS VPN directly to Azure. This private routing allows for faster connections, lower latency, and greater reliability.