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With the hybrid cloud model making huge strides in enterprise computing, Microsoft is hoping that a new package of tools and services will help hook up enterprise operations to hybrid cloud environments.

At its Tech Ed user conference in Houston this week, the company unveiled a new series of tools and services that it says will help administrators connect to the company’s Azure Cloud.

As reported in Computerworld, the announcement comes as Microsoft focuses on the management of mixed environments where enterprises run their operations partly in-house and partly across the cloud. Gartner predicts that almost half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud developments by 2017.

Microsoft’s new services leverage the company’s IaaS and PaaS offerings, which Brad Anderson, vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division, referred to as “enterprise completers.”

As part of the new package, Microsoft has developed Microsoft Azure Files, a storage offering that allows multiple virtual machines to share files using the SMB (Server Message Block) protocol in Windows Server machines and Windows desktops.

For heavy duty operations Microsoft has announced a set of virtual machines called Compute Intensive Virtual Machines for Azure. These are large-scale VMs with faster links within Azure, and offer faster connectivity through remote direct memory access, which can be extended across different regions.

At the conference, the company also gave attendees a glimpse of a new data- and function-sharing service that spans different departments within an enterprise by using APIs. Called Azure API Management, the service allows enterprises to expose a set of APIs in the cloud. As Anderson put it, it “allows you to extend the data centre out to the cloud.”

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)plans to preview updated data recovery services next month. The company says the new service lets users replicate and recover virtual machines and services direct to Azure when an outage takes down the primary data centre.

New antimalware, encryption and mobility announcements were also part of the presentation. Microsoft Antimalware for Azure will provide protection for virtual machines and cloud services. In July all files stored in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business Office 365 will be encrypted with a unique key.

The Enterprise Mobility Suite announced in March is being extended with a management tool that enables small and midsized businesses to manage iOS and Android business applications.

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