This article was contributed by Boaz Ziniman, Senior Director of Technology and Cloud Infrastructure at Zend.
Last time I wrote about Azure was in 2011. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO ousted Bob Muglia from Microsoft’s server and tools division, and the future of Azure, Microsoft’s Cloud offering, was far from being bright. 4 years down the road, Ballmer is no longer with Microsoft, and Azure is a legit cloud platform with many services and tools that should be considered when looking for a cloud solution or as a side-by-side supplement to your existing services.
One of Microsoft’s game-changing moves that in my opinion really made a difference for Azure was opening Azure to other operating systems other than Windows. Just 2 years ago, the ability to run Linux on Azure was a fantasy. One of the side effects of opening Azure to Linux other than the technical ability to run Linux, was showing openness and the ability of the company to embrace new technologies. This was a huge change coming from a company that for decades had focused on making sure all its tools and applications retained users on Windows and that was not embarrassed to admit that everything else was just a bonus.
What has PHP got to do with it?
PHP on Azure? Zend and Microsoft? These were the top two questions I was asked when presenting Zend Server on Azure for the first time during Microsoft’s developers (developers, developers) Build conference in San Francisco a few weeks ago.
To people coming from .net it looks strange, out of context even, but when looking at what the Azure team has done in the last two years, it is just another step in the same direction of opening the platform to additional technologies and new developers that never looked at Microsoft and Azure as a valid alternative.
In the case of PHP, this is not just another language added to the arsenal of languages that can be run on Azure. One of PHP’s biggest advantages is the huge eco system the language brings with it and the endless list of pre-built applications that allows you to build complex systems in no time. I think it’s enough to mention WordPress (that runs this site as well and is now part of the tools available to all Azure users) to show how this move brings new opportunities to this platform.
Zend Server on Azure
As part of the effort to bring PHP to Azure, Microsoft and Zend spent a lot of resources lately to bring Zend Server, the leading platform for professional PHP applications, to Azure’s Marketplace offering. Starting a few days ago, you can spin up a virtual machine running Zend Server on several instance types of Azure.
Zend Server on Azure Marketplace is available in three editions, Developer, Professional and Enterprise, and each virtual machine is priced based on the size and performance of the machine and the Zend Server edition (except for Developer edition which has a flat rate of 3 cents/hour). Zend Server on Azure includes a 30-day free trial and it takes exactly 5 min to get a full running server, with everything you need to run your PHP application.
You can find additional details on the product on the Zend on Azure Marketplace page and if you are still skeptical about how easy it is to get up and running, check out the next video: