Microsoft releases the code for its Project Orleans
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December 16, 2014
Microsoft said this morning that it has released the code for its Project Orleans that the company uses
to power the basis of the Halo 4 services architecture.
Halo 4 is a multiplayer first-person shooter used by gaming users. Microsoft's talked about
Project Orleans for a while, as the company feels it is suited to applications like handling input
from 'Internet of Things' sensors, running social networks or “other scenarios with complex and dynamic
Microsoft called for community feedback on the tool earlier this year and now says a logical
next step is to make the code available for everybody on GitHub.
That's expected to happen some time in early 2015. Also ready in more or less the same timeframe will
be Azure AD Connect, a tool that connects on-premises and in-Azure versions of Active Directory.
Microsoft's been playing with this concept for a while, but the tool's now advanced from
beta to Preview, but that status change doesn't mean this download will be supported in production
What does change however, is that Azure AD Connect now includes the functionality of several
other tools, namely DirSync, AAD Connect, AAD Sync and ADFS.
Microsoft says feedback from users indicated a preference for “one simple, integrated tool”
rather than different bits of software.
The other tools mentioned above will not receive updates, however. Microsoft says that linking
on-premises and Active Directory now takes four whole clicks.
Microsoft hopes to have a fully-supported version of the tool out the door within 90 days, it claims.
And the company's been busy with other bits of Azure as well.
Last week, it switched on solid—state-disk-powered virtual machines. Microsoft has
also released its application-delivery tool RemoteApp, a new feature that makes it possible
to use Windows applications on PCs, smartphones and tablets running Windows, iOS or Android.
At $10 per user per month, this method of tossing apps into a hosted Windows Server VM and
using its Remote Desktop Session Host to pour apps into devices won't put smiles on faces at
Citrix or VMware.
Azure's also added “near-complete SQL Server 2014 engine compatibility” and has switched on the
media-streaming services it used to power events like the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Sochi Winter
There's also a new and powerful twist for Azure Site Recovery, Microsoft's service that
takes snapshots of virtual machines and uploads them to Azure for failover scenarios.
It's now possible to use the service without running System Centre, a nice omission that
makes the service rather easier to adopt.
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