Author : All posts by ilikesql

28

May

Optimize for internet traffic with Peering Service and the routing preference option

Last week at the Microsoft Build conference, we announced that Azure Peering Service is now generally available. We also introduced “routing preference,” a new option for our customers to further architect and optimize their traffic to and from Azure over the “public Internet.”

Networking is a critical enabler of the cloud. The experience when accessing your applications and data depends on the performance of your network connection and the global network powering your applications and services in the cloud.

For the best experience, data should travel the shortest path and enter and exit the Microsoft network as close as possible to you or your users. Microsoft runs the Microsoft global network, one of the world’s largest wide area networks (WANs). Stretching across all continents through hundreds of thousands of miles of fiber and hundreds of network points of presence (PoP), it powers all the Microsoft cloud services such as Azure, Microsoft 365, LinkedIn, and their millions of users.

A growing number of our customers are adopting an “Internet-first” approach. Driven by accelerated cloud adoption and the current global situation, and the need to quickly adjust and provide optimal access to users is a main priority. Cloud-centric architectures with virtual private

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27

May

Microsoft and Docker collaborate on new ways to deploy containers on Azure

Now more than ever, developers need agility to meet rapidly increasing demands from customers. Containerization is one key way to increase agility. Containerized applications are built in a more consistent and repeatable way, by way of defining desired infrastructure, dependencies, and configuration as code for all stages of the lifecycle. Applications often start and stop faster at runtime too, which often helps quickly start, stop, scale out, and update in the cloud.

With this in mind, we announced a new partnership earlier today between Microsoft and Docker to integrate Docker Desktop more closely with Microsoft Azure and the Visual Studio line of products.  

Docker Desktop built-in tools, features, and command-line utilities will provide a way to natively set Azure as a context to run containers in the cloud with context and run in Azure containers in a few simple commands. The product integration begins with the ability to create Azure Container Instances (ACI), which is a solution for any scenario that can operate in isolated containers, without orchestration.

Let’s take a look at new product integrations using an example. We have a simple TCP-based Python game server app that is already building and running on the local developer machine using

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27

May

The Azure SQL family: Innovation and value in the cloud

How businesses respond in times of uncertainty is as varied as the businesses themselves. Many slow down operations to operate more cost-effectively, while others lean into new opportunities that didn’t exist before. Regardless of how you respond, ensuring your organization can cost-effectively adapt and scale to rapidly changing conditions is key.

When it comes to migrating your data, you have a variety of options to consider, and it’s important to have the flexibility to choose a path that helps you respond to uncertainty in a way that makes the most sense for your business. Azure SQL is here to help.

Introducing Azure SQL

Azure SQL is a family of fully managed, secure, and intelligent SQL database services that support a wide range of application patterns, from re-hosting and modernizing existing SQL Server workloads to modern cloud application development.

Because the entire Azure SQL family is built upon the same SQL Server database engine, you can migrate applications with ease and continue to use the tools, languages, and resources you’re familiar with. You’ll discover that your skills and experience transfer easily to the cloud, as the innovative features in Azure SQL help you operate more efficiently and save money along

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27

May

Streamlining your image building process with Azure Image Builder

Customizing virtual machine (VM) images to meet security and compliance requirements and achieve faster deployment is a strong need for many enterprises, but most don’t enjoy the process and energy needed for determining the right tooling, building the right pipeline, and maintaining it continuously.

We built Azure Image Builder service to make building customized images easy in Azure.

Azure Image Builder service offers unification and simplification for your image building process across Azure and Azure Stack with an automated image building pipeline. Whether you want to build Windows or Linux virtual machine images, you can use existing image security configurations to build compliant images for your organization and patch existing custom images using Linux commands or Windows Update. Azure Image Builder supports images from multiple Linux distributions, Azure Marketplace, and Windows Virtual Desktop environments and you can build images for specialized VM sizes, including creating images for GPU VMs.

After you build the image, you can manage it with Shared Image Gallery and integrate your CI/CD pipeline with Azure Image Builder service. When you use Azure DevOps or other DevOps solutions, this gives you easy image patching, versioning, and regional replication capabilities.

Finally, Azure Image Builder service offers unmatched

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27

May

Deploy to Azure using GitHub Actions from your favorite tools

Enterprises and teams are adopting DevOps technologies combined with people and processes to deliver high-quality code, with faster release cycles and continuous delivery of value, to achieve higher levels of satisfaction for their own customers.

However, it can often get difficult to craft CI/CD pipelines by editing multiple YAMLs to stitch your code to cloud automation workflows. Teams end up spending considerable time and effort setting up and switching between different discrete tools during their day-to-day development cycles.

In November, GitHub Actions for Azure became generally available to automate deploying your app code in GitHub to Azure directly from their repositories. Building on this, at Microsoft Build 2020 we announced that GitHub Actions for Azure are now integrated into Visual Studio Code, Azure CLI, and the Azure Portal simplifying the experience of deploying to Azure from your preferred entry points. Download the new Visual Studio Code extension or install the Azure Command-Line Interface (CLI) extension for GitHub Actions.

GitHub Actions for Azure can now deploy any enterprise application

GitHub Actions gives you the flexibility to build an automated software development lifecycle workflow. To help development teams easily create workflows to build, test, package, release, and deploy to Azure, more than 30 GitHub

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26

May

Virtual Build spotlights IoT updates and rollouts

As people around the globe adapt to new ways of working, the Microsoft Build 2020 conference took a new approach as well. Rather than gathering the developer community in person as planned, Microsoft shifted gears and put together 48 hours of streaming content for a virtual event.

Despite the new format, Microsoft Build’s goals remained the same: Connect our developers with the best of Microsoft so they can bring their ideas to life. For IoT, that included a lot of new innovations and training for developers, all geared toward simplifying IoT and empowering developers to build new breakthrough solutions.

On the training side, we’re especially excited to launch a new IoT certification to help build skills in the community and unlock the creativity of developers. We’ve also added some industry-leading capabilities with an all-new Azure Digital Twins release that can model just about any scenario.

Below is a roundup of the key news. I encourage you to click down into the individual announcements for more detail, and if you weren’t able to virtually attend the Microsoft Build conference, access the sessions online.

New IoT certification for developers

One of the biggest challenges for developers building IoT applications is acquiring the skills to

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26

May

Azure Lighthouse—managing cloud, hybrid, and edge environments at-scale through a single control plane

Thousands of partners and enterprises use Azure Lighthouse to manage services across Azure tenants, representing tens of thousands of subscriptions and more than one million Azure resources from Azure Resource Manager—a unified control plane. With Azure Lighthouse, service providers, as well as self-managing enterprises, can achieve higher operational efficiency using Azure’s comprehensive and robust management tools. You can now view and manage resources, with higher automation, scale, and enhanced governance across hybrid estates and on-premises.

It is common for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to service customer resources across hybrid estates and on-premises environments. Many MSP partners rely on Azure Lighthouse, and now Azure Arc, to achieve a unified management solution in these advanced scenarios. MSPs can extend their service offerings to manage their customers’ on-premises environments through Azure Resource Manager, managing resources at scale and governing compliance using Azure policy.

ClearDATA—delivering robust governance across hybrid environments for healthcare customers

Using Azure Lighthouse, Azure Policy, and Azure Arc, ClearDATA—an Azure Expert MSP—provides compliance insights to enterprise customers in regulated industries, such as healthcare. Azure Arc enables ClearDATA to easily perform virtual machine inventories in hybrid environments, while Azure Policy used with Azure Lighthouse helps them to achieve consistency, security, and compliance

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21

May

Meeting the challenges of today and tomorrow with Azure AI

It’s inspiring to see how customers continue to reimagine how they work with the help of AI, which is more important today than ever. Our customers are finding innovative ways to deliver crisis management solutions, drive cost-savings, redefine customer engagement, and accelerate decision-making.

Here are some notable examples we’ve recently seen:

Scaling crisis management

On the frontlines, first responders rely on Azure AI to scale their triage process to address the overwhelming number of people needing care and to ease volume in the system. For example, healthcare providers have created more than 1,400 bots using our Healthcare Bot service, helping more than 27 million people access critical healthcare information. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a COVID-19 assessment bot that is powered by Azure Bot Service. Motorola Solutions uses Azure Bot Service, as well as speech and language services, in its own voice assistant for public safety, ViQi, to help 911 dispatchers and first responders focus on what matters most.

Realizing cost-savings

Azure AI is also helping customers optimize their operations to reduce costs. KPMG built a risk and fraud analytics solution using our speech and language services to streamline call center transcription and translation—cutting time,

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21

May

Azure Synapse Analytics: Insights for all
Azure Synapse Analytics: Insights for all

In November we announced Azure Synapse Analytics—a limitless analytics service that brings together enterprise data warehousing and big data analytics. Despite the massive disruptions occurring throughout industries in recent months, we continue to see a high level of excitement and enthusiasm for joining the private preview to use analytics in these times of crisis. Thank you to those who participated in the private preview for rallying around this groundbreaking technology, and for providing insightful feedback as we work together to fuel your innovation with purpose.

As we’ve worked closely with customers and partners during private preview, we have witnessed how Azure Synapse brings teams, data, and skills together. And as announced in the Build keynote, we are excited to open the new features to every data professional with public preview availability.

Insights for all

Azure Synapse provides a breathtaking view of your data across data warehouses and big data analytics systems. Bringing these two worlds together into a single service is challenging as it requires unifying similar concepts that operate differently in each world such as security, privacy, and performance. With Azure Synapse, this seamless unification of data warehousing and big data not only simplifies a business’s analytics platform, but

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21

May

Azure Stack updates and how it enables intelligence at the edge

Today, more than ever before, it is essential that our colleagues, customers, and partners be able to react quickly and confidently to rapidly changing circumstances. The ability to ingest, analyze, and act on incoming information requires that an organization have a robust, scalable technology infrastructure.

Such an infrastructure is not limited to one place or one platform. Modernized, and cloud-native applications can span across on-premises, multi-cloud, and edge environments. Creating and managing this vast technology estate requires a modern paradigm that enables seamless experiences, no matter where the workload exists. The mindset of combining on-premises and cloud environments into a hybrid cloud has become a force in today’s industry and has been a core part of our strategy since the inception of Azure. In the face of the unprecedented transitions in today’s world, our mission remains the same: To enable our customers and partners to transform their organizations to achieve more, wherever they are.

Healthcare and Azure Stack

The healthcare industry has recently been confronted with incredible demands. Healthcare providers must balance the need to efficiently treat many new patients, and work with sensitive data to unlock possible treatments. These missions require that healthcare organizations practice diligent and careful stewardship

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