The global situation today has truly transformed how we communicate with each other. While we woke up one day and the world was different, business hasn’t stopped. Customers are still needing to connect with businesses. Whether it’s providing real-time virtual assistance or enabling curb side pickup we’ve had to rethink how we engage without physical interactions.
In this remote-first world, businesses are looking to quickly adapt to customers’ needs and connect with them through engaging communication experiences. Building new communication solutions or integrating them into existing applications can be complex and time-consuming. Often requiring considerable investment and specialized expertise. That’s why we’re excited to announce, Azure Communications Services, the first fully managed communication platform offering from a major cloud provider.
Azure Communication Services is built natively on top a global, reliable cloud—Azure. Businesses can confidently build and deploy on the same low latency global communication network used by Microsoft Teams to support over 5 billion meeting minutes in a single day. It also enables developers to easily tap into other Azure services, such as Azure Cognitive Services for translation, sentiment analysis and more. Additionally, companies benefit from all communications being encrypted to meet privacy and compliance needs, such as
As organizations assess safely reopening and continue navigating unexpected shifts in the world, getting insights to respond in an agile and conscientious manner is vital. Developers and data scientists of all skill levels are inventing with Microsoft Azure AI’s powerful and responsible tools to meet these challenges.
To help organizations operate safely in today’s environment, we are introducing a new spatial analysis capability in the Computer Vision Azure Cognitive Service. Its advanced AI models aggregate insights from multiple cameras to count the number of people in the room, measure the distance between individuals, and monitor wait and dwell times. Organizations can now apply this technology to use their space in a safe, optimal way. For instance, RXR, one of New York City’s largest real estate companies, has embedded spatial analysis in their RxWell app to ensure occupants’ safety and wellness.
“When it came to developing RxWell, there was simply no other company that had the capability and the infrastructure to meet our comprehensive data, analytics, and security needs than Microsoft. With our partnership, the RxWell program provides our customers the tools they need to safely navigate the ‘new abnormal’ of COVID-19 and beyond.” – Scott Rechler,
Data collected from space to observe Earth is instrumental in helping address global challenges such as climate change and furthering of scientific discovery and innovation. The cloud is central to both modern communications scenarios for remote operations and the gathering, processing, and distributing the tremendous amounts of data from space.
Today we’re announcing the preview of Azure Orbital. The new ground station service enables satellite operators to communicate to and control their satellites, process data, and scale operations directly with Microsoft Azure. With Azure Orbital, the ground segment, including the ground stations, network, and procedures, becomes a digital platform now integrated into Azure and complemented by many partners.
Amergint, Kratos, KSAT, Kubos, Viasat, and US Electrodynamics INC. and have joined the ecosystem of Azure Orbital partners, each of them bringing their unique value and expertise for the benefits of our customers.
Microsoft is well-positioned to support customer needs in gathering, transporting, and processing of geospatial data. With our intelligent cloud and edge strategy currently extending over 60 announced cloud regions, advanced analytics, and AI capabilities coupled with one of the fastest and most resilient networks in the world—security and innovation are at the core of everything we do.
In July 2019, Microsoft and AT&T entered a strategic alliance to lead innovation and deliver powerful new solutions in some of the most transformative technologies, including the Internet of Things (IoT). Today, we are sharing that as part of that partnership, AT&T is introducing a new IoT solution consisting of a cellular guardian device powered by their network, security, and support services, and built with Azure Sphere.
As a global leader in telecommunications and network security, AT&T is deeply invested in providing resilient solutions that free their customers to innovate with confidence. When looking for an IoT platform to build upon, they were uncompromising in their quest to balance ease of use with best-in-class device security. They wanted renewable security to guard against emerging threats and keep devices secured over time. They chose Microsoft Azure Sphere for device security.
The cellular-enabled guardian device powered by AT&T combines the fully supported multi-layered security of AT&T’s core network with Azure Sphere’s integrated silicon, software, and cloud services. The Azure Sphere components work seamlessly together to deliver ongoing device security updates for more than ten years. The guardian device physically attaches to brownfield equipment with little to no equipment redesign, delivering edge-to-cloud
As businesses shift priorities to enable remote work, take advantage of cloud innovation, and maximize their existing on-premises investments, relying on an effective multi-cloud, multi-edge hybrid approach is even more important than it has ever been.
Since the beginning, Microsoft Azure has always been hybrid by design, providing customers consistency and flexibility in meeting their business needs and empowering them to invent with purpose. This is one of the many reasons that the world’s leading brands trust their businesses to run on Azure. As we expand our Azure hybrid capabilities, we give customers a holistic and seamless approach to run and manage their apps anywhere across on-premises, multi-cloud, and the edge. Today, we are releasing even more innovation in our Azure hybrid portfolio.
Azure Arc: Bring Azure to any infrastructure
In November 2019, we launched Azure Arc to give customers the flexibility to innovate anywhere with Azure. Azure Arc does two key things: first, it brings Azure management capabilities to any infrastructure, and second, it enables Azure services to run anywhere. Since its launch, Azure Arc has seen tremendous customer interest and adoption across all industries. Organizations such as Africa’s Talking, Avanade, DexMach, Ferguson, Fujitsu, KPMG, and Siemens
In the last six months, COVID-19 has changed almost everything about the way we approach work and security. Now, you have to meet the needs of a remote workforce, support rapidly evolving business requirements, and steer your organization to the next normal – even without actually knowing what that normal will entail. At the same time, cybersecurity is more crucial than ever, as bad actors exploit the opportunity to prey on fears and weaknesses.
On the surface, all of this may seem intimidating. But with this kind of dramatic change also comes the opportunity to evolve. We know that the “new normal” now requires you to address a higher volume of security work than ever, all while remaining agile and reducing costs. How do you do that? By having a razor-sharp focus on what’s important. That’s why Microsoft Azure is here to empower you with cloud-native tools that give you the breadth of coverage you need to defend against bad actors, alongside built-in AI to help you focus your attentions on the biggest threats and most critical priorities.
Today, we’re pleased to announce a broad set of innovations to help you protect multicloud and Azure workloads including:
On our journey to become carbon negative by 2030, Microsoft is continually innovating and advancing the efficiency and sustainability of our cloud infrastructure, with a commitment to use 100 percent renewable energy in all of our datacenters and facilities by 2025. Today, we are taking a significant step toward that goal, revealing plans for our newest sustainable datacenter region in Arizona, which will become our West US 3 region.
Companies are not only digitally transforming their operations and products to become more sustainable—they’re also choosing partners with shared goals and values. In developing the new West US 3 region, we have water conservation and replenishment firmly in mind. Today, Microsoft announced an ambitious commitment to be water positive for our direct operations by 2030. We’re tackling our water consumption two ways: reducing our consumption and replenishing water in the regions we operate. Since we announced our plans to invest in solar energy in Arizona to build more sustainable datacenters last year, we have been working with the communities of El Mirage and Goodyear on water conservation, education and sustainability projects to support local priorities and needs.
Sustainable design delivering the full Microsoft cloud for
We’re happy to announce the new stable release of Docker Desktop includes the Azure Container Instances – Docker integration. Install or update to the latest release and get started deploying containers to Azure Container Instances (ACI) today.
Azure Docker integration
The Azure Docker integration enables you to deploy serverless containers to Azure Container Instances (ACI) using the same Docker Command-line (CLI) commands from local development. Use docker run to spin up a single-container or docker compose up to deploy multi-container applications defined with a Docker Compose file. You can also view logs, attach a shell, and perform other actions against the containers running in ACI, just as if those containers were running locally. In addition, you can now use Compose to attach Azure File Share volume mounts to your containers in either a local or ACI context.
With Azure Container Instances (ACI), you can run your dev/test or production containers in the cloud without needing to set up any infrastructure. ACI caters to developers who need to quickly run containers in the cloud with minimal operational overhead, therefore there is no infrastructure or platform management overhead. ACI integrates with other Azure services for your production workload needs, such as
The Microsoft Azure Lighthouse product group is excited to launch a blog series covering areas in Azure Lighthouse where we are investing to make our service provider partners and enterprise customers successful with Azure. Our first blog in this series covers a top area of consideration for companies worldwide—Security with focus on how Azure Lighthouse can be used alongside Microsoft’s Azure Sentinel service to build an efficient and scalable security practice.
Today, organizations of all sizes are looking to reduce costs, complexity, and gain efficiencies in their security operations. As cloud security solutions help meet these requirements by providing flexibility, simplicity, pay for use, automatic scalability and protection across heterogenous environments, more and more companies are embracing cloud security solutions.
While achieving efficiencies is the need of the hour, organizations are also faced with shortage of security experts in the market. Here is where there is tremendous potential for service providers to fill this gap by building and offering security services on top of cloud security solutions. Before diving deeper, let me start with a brief introduction to Azure Lighthouse and Azure Sentinel.
Azure Lighthouse helps service providers and large enterprises manage environments of multiple customers or individual subsidiaries,
As businesses continue to adapt to the realities of the current environment, operational resilience has never been more important. As a result, a growing number of customers have accelerated a move to the cloud, using Microsoft Azure NetApp Files to power critical pieces of their IT infrastructure, like Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, SAP applications, and mission-critical databases.
Today, we release the preview of Azure NetApp Files cross region replication. With this new disaster recovery capability, you can replicate your Azure NetApp Files volumes from one Azure region to another in a fast and cost-effective way, protecting your data from unforeseeable regional failures. We’re also introducing important new enhancements to Azure NetApp Files to provide you with more data security, operational agility, and cost-saving flexibility.
Azure NetApp Files cross region replication
Azure NetApp Files cross region replication leverages NetApp SnapMirror® technology therefore, only changed blocks are sent over the network in a compressed, efficient format. This proprietary technology minimizes the amount of data required to replicate across the regions, therefore saving data transfer costs. It also shortens the replication time so you can achieve a smaller Restore Point Objective (RPO).
Over the next few months of Azure NetApp Files cross region replication preview