Recently Microsoft Windows Azure announced the General Availability of Virtual Machines. This allows you to start a virtual machine in the Windows Azure cloud (similar to what you can do with Hyper-V) while leveraging Windows Azure cloud features. It also means that you can now deploy ArcGIS 10.1 for Server on a Windows Azure virtual machine.
The ArcGIS for Server team is offering a workspace on http://ideas.esri.com under the name “Using ArcGIS 10.1 for Server on Microsoft Windows Azure”. You can join this workspace to find documents on how to deploy ArcGIS for Server on Windows Azure virtual machines. The workspace is also a great place to provide information about your interest in Windows Azure, give feedback, ask questions, and learn about the latest updates.
Although Windows Azure is not currently an officially supported platform for ArcGIS 10.1 for Server, Esri Support can still take your calls and will attempt to duplicate any issues on a supported platform. If the issue can be duplicated on the supported platform it will be logged for further investigation. See the Esri Supported Environment Policy for more information. Esri is looking into offering more extended support for Windows Azure virtual machines in the future.
Contributed by Marwa Mabrouk of Esri Product Management