Introducing Windows Azure Media Services

At long last, my silence is over! Just three short weeks ago, our team announced the preview of our first public beta for our product, the Windows Azure Media Services platform.

The Windows Azure Media Services platform is a collection of media services that run in the cloud. It is a partner-extensible, richly programmable, and automatically scalable platform that allows users to create and manage their custom media workflows in the cloud without having to maintain the underlying resources that process those workflows.


The Media Services platform is a rich, partner ecosystem with many partners who have integrated their own components to a typical media processing workflow into it. By providing a common interface for all media processing elements in the system, partner components can be plugged into any part of your workflow with ease, and can be hooked up to work with any other component in the system. This means that customers will be able to easily craft their workflows using components from the industry’s leading edge vendors – a feat which used to take much collaboration and negotiation.

Richly programmable

The Media Services team has provided a rich set of REST-based APIs along with a .NET client library that allows you to create, manage, and maintain your custom workflows easily. They allow you to effortlessly craft custom workflows that use a variety of partner components that are all built to seamlessly integrate with all other components in the system. They also allow you to programmatically automate workflow management, which opens the door to a rich set of customer services built on top of the system.

Automatically scalable

The Media Services platform is also the first media platform to leverage the cloud and truly unite the masses by providing a scalable solution that is adaptable to any workflow, no matter the size. Because of the advanced SLA scheduling mechanism and the access to an infinitely scalable set of cloud resources, the Media Services platform can accommodate all customers – corporate or personal – seamlessly.

It accommodates the big corporation with high volume, high capacity workloads, which may choose to purchase an SLA that allows scaling up cloud resources the minute the minute a new job is submitted into the system. It also accommodates Joe, the high school football coach who for a small monthly fee needs to submit footage of his team’s weekly Friday game, and have it processed and streamed at some point before the following Tuesday so that his players can review the tape before their Wednesday practice.

Because of all this, we believe that the Media Services platform will revolutionize the way the world thinks about media. Gone are the days of data center management, maintenance, and upgrade; gone are the pains of writing and maintaining custom software to tie together components from different vendors; and gone are the days of days and weeks of contract negotiations to create customized workflows across multiple organizations. Media, welcome to the cloud.

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