Archives : Jul-2020

29

Jul

Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Drilling into empty fields and untagged resources in cost analysis. What’s new in Cost Management Labs. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Drilling into empty fields and untagged resources in cost analysis

Azure Cost Management + Billing includes all usage, purchases, and refunds for your billing account. Seeing every line item in the full usage and charges file allows you to reconcile your bill at the lowest level, but since each record can

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28

Jul

Azure Arc is a preview service that enables users to create and attach Kubernetes clusters both inside and outside of Azure. Azure Arc also enables the user to manage Windows and Linux machines outside of Azure the same way native Azure Virtual Machines are managed. To monitor these Azure Arc enabled clusters and servers, you can use Azure Monitor the same way you would use it for the Azure resources.

With Azure Arc, the Kubernetes clusters and servers are given a full-fledged Azure Resource ID and managed identity, enabling various scenarios that simplifies management and monitoring of these resources from a common control plane. For Kubernetes, this enables scenarios such as deploying applications through GitOps-based management, applying Azure policy, or monitoring your containers. For servers, users also benefit from applying Azure policies and collecting logs with Log Analytics agent for virtual machine (VM) monitoring.

Monitoring Azure and on-premises resources with Azure Monitor

As customers begin their transition to the cloud, monitoring on-premises resources alongside their cloud infrastructure can feel disjointed and cumbersome to manage. With Azure Arc enabled Kubernetes and Servers, Azure Monitor can enable you to monitor your full telemetry across your cloud-native and on-premises resources in a single

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28

Jul

The way we work and live has changed. Over the last several months, enterprises have had to shift their strategy from “physical first” to digital first and accelerate their digital transformation to enable remote productivity, reduce costs, or rapidly address new opportunities. In a digital first world, websites and web applications play a significant role in how customers interact with a business. To make a great first impression, companies are modernizing their web applications and data to the cloud for optimal performance, and saving money along the way.

Nearly a third1 of the world’s public websites are built on ASP.NET, and for good reasons; it’s fast, scalable, and secure. What if you could combine those benefits with the operational and financial benefits of the cloud? Microsoft Azure offers the only end-to-end application hosting platform to build and manage .NET applications, enabling significant cost savings, operational efficiencies, and business agility.

Here are three ways you’ll benefit from migrating your ASP.NET apps and SQL Server data to Azure.

Optimize costs with fully managed services that do more for you

Operating your .NET applications on a fully managed platform allows your teams to focus on what matters most by offloading apps, infrastructure, and

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28

Jul

Across the globe, businesses are emerging into a new normal, eager to restart or rebuild, but still operating in uncertain times. Optimizing costs and redirecting the spend to where it matters most is as important as ever, and many companies see the cloud as a way to control costs, build resilience, and accelerate time to market.

Customers choose Azure for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons is to lower their costs. What more could you do if you could save up to 80 percent or more on your database costs? We introduced the Azure SQL family of database services to help businesses cost-effectively adapt and scale to rapidly changing conditions. Here are the top eight ways you can optimize your data spend, with savings available wherever you are in your digital transformation journey.

1. Maintain business continuity in the cloud with free SQL Server licenses

Use your active Software Assurance benefit to get a free license for every SQL Server in your datacenter for a secondary passive replica you can use for disaster recovery to an Azure Virtual Machine.

2. Shift capex to opex with SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

Migrating your data to virtual

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28

Jul

Moving to the cloud creates an opportunity to pause and think about how to operate the IT environment. Most organizations in the world have seen their ability to innovate and adopt cloud technologies slowed down by the rules and operating model that governs their existing IT environments. Organizations have their own set of processes, tools, and dedicated staff to ensure that these environments can continuously support business needs.

With the move to a cloud environment, IT has access to new tools and processes that unblock IT operations. By revisiting the operating model, technology-focused teams and Azure partners can help organizations improve agility, cost, and scale.

Azure landing zones in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure are designed to accelerate efforts to map, modernize, or even reimagine the operating model. Azure landing zones help build a cloud environment aligned to the optimal technology operations specific to your needs in the cloud.

As the following analogy illustrates, a standardized foundation can’t fit the variety of needs seen by organizations and operating models. Respecting any need for options and customization, we provide a range of landing zone architectures and implementation options. Organizations can use the implementation option that most clearly aligns to

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27

Jul

With the global pandemic, customers are relying on remote work more than ever, and Windows Virtual Desktop is helping customers rapidly deliver a secure Windows 10 desktop experience to their users. Charlie Anderson, CIO of Fife Council in the United Kingdom, was planning to modernize his companies’ existing Remote Destop Services (RDS) infrastructure, and then business requirements changed. He needed increased agility and scale to meet the changing requirements. In his own words:

“Windows Virtual Desktop was absolutely essential for us in terms of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, we were faced with a continuity issue unparalleled in recent times. For us, this meant not only the continuation of services we already delivered, but also responding very quickly to new demands arising as a result of our public response to the pandemic.

To do that, we needed to provide as close to the “in-office” experience as we could to a workforce now working away from our offices. This meant multiplying previous remote working capacities by a factor of 15 almost overnight – something which would have been impossible without a scalable and cloud-based approach, which also worked well on a range of Council and self-provided devices.

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27

Jul

Many enterprise and organizations are moving their data to Microsoft Azure Blob storage for its massive scale, security capabilities, and low total cost of ownership. At the same time, they continue running many apps on different storage systems using the Network File System (NFS) protocol. Companies that use different storage systems due to protocol requirements are challenged by data silos where data resides in different places and requires additional migration or app rewrite steps.

To help break down these silos and enable customers to run NFS-based applications at scale, we are announcing the preview of NFS 3.0 protocol support for Azure Blob storage. Azure Blob storage is the only storage platform that supports NFS 3.0 protocol over object storage natively (no gateway or data copying required), with object storage economics, which is essential for our customers.

One of our Media and Entertainment (M&E) customers said, “NFS access to blob storage will enable our customers to preserve their legacy data access methods when migrating the underlying storage to Azure Blob storage.” Other customers have requested NFS for blob storage so they can reuse the same code from an on-premises solution to access files while controlling the overall cost of the solution. Financial

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27

Jul

“When I first kicked off this Advancing Reliability blog series in my post last July, I highlighted several initiatives underway to keep improving platform availability, as part of our commitment to provide a trusted set of cloud services. One area I mentioned was fault injection, through which we’re increasingly validating that systems will perform as designed in the face of failures. Today I’ve asked our Principal Program Manager in this space, Chris Ashton, to shed some light on these broader ‘chaos engineering’ concepts, and to outline Azure examples of how we’re already applying these, together with stress testing and synthetic workloads, to improve application and service resilience.” – Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

 

Developing large-scale, distributed applications has never been easier, but there is a catch. Yes, infrastructure is provided in minutes thanks to your public cloud, there are many language options to choose from, swaths of open source code available to leverage, and abundant components and services in the marketplace to build upon. Yes, there are good reference guides that help give a leg up on your solution architecture and design, such as the Azure Well-Architected Framework and other resources in the Azure Architecture Center. But while application development

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27

Jul

Climate experts across the globe agree: if we can’t drastically reduce carbon emissions, our planet will face catastrophic consequences. Microsoft has operated carbon neutral since 2012, and in January 2020 Brad Smith announced our commitment to going carbon negative by 2030. This isn’t a goal we can reach in one easy swoop—it will take time, dedication, and many small steps that coalesce into something greater.

As the cloud business grows, our datacenter footprint grows. In our journey toward carbon negative, Microsoft is taking steps to roll back the effect datacenters have on the environment. Reaching this goal will take many steps, along with the implementation of innovative technologies that have yet to be developed.

Many companies are reaching for net zero emissions, but we’re taking it even further. We’re not just reducing our output to zero. We’re committed to reducing our emissions by half, and then removing the carbon we’ve emitted since 1975, to truly go carbon negative.

The journey to carbon negative

A big part of going carbon negative means completely changing the way datacenters operate. Datacenters have adopted some sustainable methods around cooling, including open-air and adiabatic cooling. These methods have helped to drastically reduce the water and

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23

Jul

I want to congratulate the HashiCorp and Microsoft Azure teams on the general availability of HashiCorp Consul Service (HCS) on Azure. This is a first-of-a-kind achievement for HashiCorp running a cloud-based service. Within Azure, we have a deep commitment to build a platform where anyone from startups to large-scale enterprises can deliver reliable, compelling services that augment the Azure platform and benefit our customers.

Throughout the process of bringing this service to production-grade availability, the HashiCorp team has been an awesome partner. We learned a lot together and I’m grateful for the strength of our relationship. Seeing HCS launch on Azure is awesome and a great example of the depth of our collaboration and commitment to serve our joint customers.

HCS on Azure enables Azure users to natively provision Consul servers in any supported Azure region directly through the Azure Marketplace. Consul is delivered “as-a-service” where the Consul servers themselves are managed and operated by HashiCorp SREs while Azure takes care of the underlying infrastructure, virtual machines (VMs), and networks. This ensures customers can focus on the application and business logic they’re building and can offload the operational overhead of running Consul to experts at HashiCorp, including managing upgrades, patching,

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