Windows Azure – My top 3 feature requests for 2013

So I thought I’d start off my 2013 blog with a wishlist of my top 3 features for Windows Azure, here goes !

#1 – Custom SSL certificates for Azure Websites.

I’m a big fan of azure websites. Its a really nice little product offering which allows you to rapidly deploy ASP.NET, PHP, or Node.js apps to the cloud via  FTP, Git, or Team Foundation Server. I expect to see azure websites really take off this year , the UI is nice and clean and deployment times rival any other cloud provider. However Azure Websites currently only support a shared SSL certificate. This is definitely my number one feature request – it must be keeping lots of serious customers away from making the move to azure websites.

#2 – Auto scaling at the platform level. 

One of the tenants of cloud computing is elasticity. You grow and shrink your cloud resources to scale with the current demand. Currently there is no native auto scaling functionality baked into the platform. I’d like to be able to set rules to scale up and down the number of web roles, worker roles and website instances based on pre-canned system watches, custom metrics and time based rules. 

The current solutions in the market include the free Windows Azure Autoscaling Application Block (WASABi) by the Patterns and Practices team but you need to manage and deploy WASABi yourself and its a single point of failure.

There’s also AzureWatch which looks great but this should be part of the platform. I’d like to see something baked into the platform with its own API similar to AWS CloudWatch 

#3 Changing instance size of web role (extra small,medium etc) without having to redeploy your application

Finally at number three I’d love to see the ability to change instance sizes of compute resources on Azure without the need to redeploy. You just pause your instance and re-size it dynamically .. now you’re talking!

So there you have it , what would you like to see added to Windows Azure this year ?