21

Oct

Approve, audit support access requests to VMs using Customer Lockbox for Azure

As a cloud service provider, we understand the importance of maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of customer data. To continue to help you maximize your data security and privacy, we are announcing Customer Lockbox for Microsoft Azure. It is a service integrated into Azure portal that gives you explicit control in the very rare instance when a Microsoft Support Engineer may need access to your data to resolve an issue.

There are very few instances, such as a debugging remote access issue, where a Microsoft Support Engineer requires elevated permissions to resolve this issue. In such cases, Microsoft engineers use just-in-time access service that provides limited, time-bound authorization with access limited to the service. While Microsoft has always obtained customer consent for access, Customer Lockbox now gives customers the ability to review and approve or deny such requests from Azure Portal. Until the request is approved, Microsoft Support Engineer will not be granted access.

The entire process is audited so customers maintain full visibility and control. All Customer Lockbox activity will be available in Azure Portal. If you are using Azure Security Center, the VM agent that you have installed on your virtual machines can provide logs on activities

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21

Oct

Microsoft and SWIFT make Azure cloud native payments a reality
Microsoft and SWIFT make Azure cloud native payments a reality

Today at Sibos 2018, the world’s premier financial services event, Microsoft and SWIFT announced a cloud native proof of concept (POC) to host SWIFT infrastructure and enable cloud native payment transfers on Microsoft Azure. Together, the two companies are working to facilitate the future deployment of SWIFT messaging solutions in the cloud, enabling faster, more efficient and secure operations for banks, corporates, service bureaus, and other payments ecosystem players.

SWIFT is the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services used and trusted by more than 11,000 financial institutions in more than 200 countries and territories. Today, enterprises and banks conduct these transactions by sending payment messages over the highly secure SWIFT network, leveraging on-premises installations of SWIFT technology. The proof of concept creates a bank-like wire transfer experience with the added operational, security and intelligence benefits the Microsoft Cloud offers.

“This is a big step forward in demonstrating the potential of the cloud in improving back-office operational efficiency. SWIFT continually seeks to reduce and remove friction and eliminate operational inefficiencies within the financial services payment ecosystem,” said Arnaud Boulnois, head of customer platforms at SWIFT. “Cloud adoption continues to increase within the financial services industry, and we are thrilled

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18

Oct

Webinar 10/23: Advanced data prep with Power BI dataflows for unified data and powerful insights

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/webinar-10-23-advanced-data-prep-with-power-bi-dataflows-for-unified-data-and-powerful-insights/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/webinar-10-23-advanced-data-prep-with-power-bi-dataflows-for-unified-data-and-powerful-insights/           Webinar covering Power BI advanced data prep with dataflows—a suite self-service low-code/no-code features and capabilities for business analysts to easily process and unify their data and store it in Azure-based data-lake storage.

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18

Oct

The October release of Azure Data Studio is now available
The October release of Azure Data Studio is now available

We are excited to announce the October release of Azure Data Studio (formerly known as SQL Operations Studio) is now available.

Download Azure Data Studio and review the Release Notes to get started.

Note: If you are currently using the preview version, SQL Operations Studio, and would like to retain your settings when you upgrade to the latest version, follow these instructions. When you download Azure Data Studio, remember to enable preview features by default on first launch, and then you can disable in settings if you dont need it otherwise you will be missing preview experiences like Query Plans, certain extension support, and more.

Azure Data Studio is a new cross-platform desktop environment for data professionals using the family of on-premises and cloud data platforms on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. To learn more, visit our GitHub.

Azure Data Studio was announced Generally Available last month at Microsoft Ignite. If you missed the GA announcement, you can see “Azure Data Studio for SQL Server” on the SQL Server blog. You wont want to miss the great orthogonality matrix included comparing SSMS and Azure Data Studio and answers to many of your questions.

Check out this video for a general overview

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18

Oct

DBA essentials—SQL Server 2017 security, performance tuning, and more—inside out

Whether youre an experienced DBA with multiple certifications or just starting on your SQL Server DBA journey, you face challenges constantly for putting your organizations data to work. To turn the next-to-impossible into the practical, you need a comprehensive resource at your fingertips: SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out, by William Assaf, Randolph West, Sven Aelterman, and Mindy Curnutt. With this guide, you can get to know new and expanded SQL Server features like Columnstore, memory-optimized indexes, and Query Store, plus understand how to administer Microsoft Azure SQL Database or SQL Server 2017 virtual machines running on Azure.

Heres just some of what youll find in the ultimate guide to SQL Server 2017 (spoiler alertget free access to these chapters below):

Database server components

Even if you have a firm foundation in SQL Server configuration and administration, you want to keep the basics at-hand so you can easily refresh your memory. SQL Server 2017 Administration Inside Out provides a solid foundation in the infrastructure that makes up a database and how it works. The guide also offers helpful tips and best practices every DBA should know, like:

Keep in mind that In-Memory OLTP requires RAM overhead thats two times

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18

Oct

Reservations now available for US Government cloud regions

Reservations are now generally available for US government Azure customers. Reservations are available for virtual machines, SQL Server and Cosmos DB for US Government and US DoD Azure regions.

Reservations can help you save money on workloads that have consistent usage, providing price predictability to support your budgeting and forecasting needs. Also, reservations provide unprecedented flexibility should your business need change. We’ve made it easy to exchange your reservations and make changes including the ability to modify your region, sizes or term. Unlike other cloud providers, you can cancel reservations at any time and get a refund. Reservations are available in the following Azure Government regions: US Gov Arizona, US Gov Texas, US Gov Virginia, US DoD Central, and US DoD East.

Azure is the cost-effective cloud for Windows Server workloads

If you are a Windows Server customer with Software Assurance or a Windows Server Subscription, you can combine reservations with the Azure Hybrid Benefit for significant savings. In particular, if you are running Windows Server 2008, Azure offers the most cost-effective approach to running in the cloud.

With Azure Reserved VM Instances and Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure is the most cost-effective public cloud to run your Windows Server

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18

Oct

Modernize your commerce platform with Rapid Commerce solution

Today’s consumers are using more devices and channels to interact with retailers than ever before. Seamless service across all channels is the expectation, not the exception. Digital-first brands are raising the bar for hyper-personalized experiences through their test-and-learn approach to rapid delivery of modern commerce capabilities. As we all know, traditional brick and mortar retailers are under significant pressure due to high fixed costs associated with managing traditional store infrastructure, material decreases, and flat year-over-year comp-store revenue. A consequence of this pressure is the inability to innovate and create new, competitive user experiences. One answer to this problem is the introduction of a new service on the Azure Marketplace.

You say monoliths, I say microservices.

It’s estimated that more than half of retailers still operate their businesses on monolithic, on-premises commerce applications. Those monoliths inhibit speed and flexibility to build hyper-personalized experiences. They lack agility to support new business models to differentiate. Other drawbacks include all night deployments, six months from concept to go-live, 24 hours to deploy one line of code change, and the requirement of significant rollout and readiness planning.

Unless retailers revamp their platforms, they will be challenged to keep up with new competitors who are operating

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18

Oct

The power of cloud: Microsoft Azure Marketplace showcases Credit Analytics

One of the biggest challenges banks and financial service organizations face is the sheer volume involved with monitoring and managing thousands and thousands of loans. Events like weather, earthquakes, geo-economic swings, and political shifts make it difficult to analyze the impacts on capital reserves, service operations, and more. Lending is a tough business as it is, but when banks struggle to understand how the various characteristics and risks associated with each loan and loan segments impact exposures and limits on risk pools, on-prem solutions often lack the scalability and processing power to tell the full story. Banks need a flexible and expandable solution to facilitate the analysis of exposure and risk by providing transparency and actionable insights.

What is the Credit Analytics solution?

Now available on Azure Marketplace, Credit Analytics manages the risk of loan portfolios to maximize the risk-adjusted rate of return, minimize capital reserve requirements, and strengthen compliance. Deployed by RCG Global Services, Credit Analytics brings together technologies from Cazena, Cloudera, and Trifacta so examiners can focus on the implementation of activities that identify, measure, monitor, and manage risk exposures without spending precious time.

Credit Analytics provides Interactive spreadsheets for analysis of loan concentrations by classification and

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18

Oct

Parameterize connections to your data stores in Azure Data Factory

Azure Data Factory (ADF) enables you to do hybrid data movement from 70 plus data stores in a serverless fashion. Often users want to connect to multiple data stores of the same type. For example, you might want to connect to 10 different databases in your Azure SQL Server and the only difference between those 10 databases is the database name. You can now parameterize the linked service in your Azure Data Factory. In this case, you can parameterize the database name in your ADF linked service instead of creating 10 separate linked services corresponding to the 10 Azure SQL databases. This reduces overhead and improves manageability for your data factories. You can then dynamically pass the database names at runtime. Simply create a new linked service and click Add Dynamic Content underneath the property that you want to parameterize in your linked service.

You can also parameterize other properties of your linked service like server name, username, and more. We recommend not to parameterize passwords or secrets. Store all connection strings in Azure Key Vault instead, and parameterize the “Secret Name” instead. The user experience also guides you in case you type incorrect syntax to parameterize the

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17

Oct

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/machinelearning/2018/10/17/machine-reading-at-scale-transfer-learning-for-large-text-corpuses/Source: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/machinelearning/2018/10/17/machine-reading-at-scale-transfer-learning-for-large-text-corpuses/       This post is authored by Anusua Trivedi, Senior Data Scientist at Microsoft. This post builds on the MRC Blog where we discussed how machine reading comprehension (MRC) can help us “transfer learn” any text. In READ MORE

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