The Microsoft team has just released an update to Azure and it includes the following new features:
- Web Sites: Staged Publishing Support and Always On Support
- Monitoring Improvements: Web Sites + SQL Database Alerts
- Hyper-V Recovery Manager: General Availability Release
- Mobile Services: Support for SenchaTouch
- PCI Compliance: Windows Azure Now Validated for PCI DSS Compliance
One of the more interesting ones is the Staging support for your web site. Using this feature, you can take any web site running on Azure and clone it to a Staging environment.
Using Staged Publishing, you can create a new staging version of your site, make changes to it, and the swap the staging version into production. The original production site is swapped back into staging to allow for a roll-back if your deployment doesn’t work out as expected.
One important note: this feature is only available on Standard Mode, not Shared or Free Mode.