Category Archives : Announcements

09

Jan

Announcing the general availability of Azure Data Box Disk

Since our preview announcement, hundreds of customers have been moving recurring workloads, media captures from automobiles, incremental transfers for ongoing backups, and archives from remote/office branch offices (ROBOs) to Microsoft Azure. We’re excited to announce the general availability of Azure Data Box Disk, an SSD-based solution for offline data transfer to Azure. Data Box Disk is now available in the US, EU, Canada, and Australia, with more country/regions to be added over time. Also, be sure not to miss the announcement of the public preview for Blob Storage on Azure Data Box below!

Top three reasons customers use Data Box Disk Easy to order and use: Each disk is an 8 TB SSD. You can easily order a pack(s) of up to five disks from the Azure portal for a total capacity of 40 TB per order. The small form-factor provides the right balance of capacity and portability to collect and transport data in a variety of use cases. Support is available for Windows and Linux. Fast data transfer: These SSD disks copy data up to USB 3.1 speeds and support the SATA II and III interfaces. Simply mount the disks as drives and use any tool of choice such

Share

19

Dec

Virtual Network Service Endpoints for serverless messaging and big data

This blog was co-authored by Sumeet Mittal, Senior Program Manager, Azure Networking.

Earlier this year in July, we announced the public preview for Virtual Network Service Endpoints and Firewall rules for both Azure Event Hubs and Azure Service Bus. Today, we’re excited to announce that we are making these capabilities generally available to our customers.

This feature adds to the security and control Azure customers have over their cloud environments. Now, traffic from your virtual network to your Azure Service Bus Premium namespaces and Standard and Dedicated Azure Event Hubs namespaces can be kept secure from public Internet access and completely private on the Azure backbone network.

Virtual Network Service Endpoints do this by extending your virtual network private address space and the identity of your virtual network to your virtual networks. Customers dealing with PII (Financial Services, Insurance, etc.) or looking to further secure access to their cloud visible resources will benefit the most from this feature. For more details on the finer workings of Virtual Network service endpoints, refer to the documentation.

Firewall rules further allow a specific IP address or a specified range of IP addresses to access the resources.

Virtual Network Service Endpoints and Firewall rules

Share

13

Dec

Microsoft previews neural network text-to-speech

Applying the latest in deep learning innovation, Speech Service, part of Azure Cognitive Services now offers a neural network-powered text-to-speech capability. Access the preview available today.

Neural Text-to-Speech makes the voices of your apps nearly indistinguishable from the voices of people. Use it to make conversations with chatbots and virtual assistants more natural and engaging, to convert digital texts such as e-books into audiobooks and to upgrade in-car navigation systems with natural voice experiences and more.

This release includes significant enhancements since we first revealed Neural Text-to-Speech at Ignite earlier this year.

Enhanced voice quality

The voices sound more robust and natural across a wider variety of user scenarios, achieved by harnessing the following:

A large supervised training with transfer learning across diverse speakers More features from unsupervised pretraining Added robust neural model design  Accelerated runtime performance

Runtime performance of the Neural Text-to-Speech engine is near-instantaneous through extensive code optimization with hardware accelerators, applying parallel inference models and model simplifications considering the balance of sound quality and performance. The real-time factor has been improved from the previous version to less than 0.05X, meaning 1 second of audio can be generated in less than 50 milliseconds. Producing the first byte of

Share

11

Dec

Native Python support on Azure App Service on Linux: new public preview!

We’re excited to officially announce the public preview of the built-in Python images for Azure App Service on Linux, a much requested feature by our customers. Developers can get started today deploying Python Web Apps to the cloud, on a fully-managed environment running on top of the Linux operating system.

This new preview runtime adds to a list of growing stacks supported by Azure App Service on Linux, which includes also Node.js, .NET Core, PHP, Java SE, Tomcat, and Ruby. With the choice of Python 3.7, 3.6 and soon 2.7, developers can get started quickly and deploy Python applications to the cloud, including Django and Flask, and leverage the full suite of features of Azure App Service on Linux. This includes support for deployments via “git push”, and the ability to deploy and debug live applications using Visual Studio Code (our free and open source editor for macOS, Linux, and Windows).

When you use the official images for Python on App Service on Linux, the platform automatically installs the dependencies specified in the requirements.txt​ file. Additionally, it detects common Flask and Django application structures and hosts them using gunicorn, and includes the necessary modules for connecting to Azure DB for

Share

11

Dec

Azure Monitor for containers now generally available
Azure Monitor for containers now generally available

We are happy to announce that Azure Monitor for containers is now generally available. Azure Monitor for containers monitors the health and performance of Kubernetes clusters hosted on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). Since the launch of the public preview at Build in May 2018, we have seen a lot of excitement from customers. Customers love the fact that you can enable monitoring as soon as you create an AKS cluster and get all the monitoring telemetry in a centralized location in Azure without having to login to containers or rely on other tools. Since the public preview, we have been adding more capabilities and refining the experience based on your feedback. Let’s look at some of the recent changes.

Multi-cluster view – You often have multiple AKS clusters to manage. Wouldn’t it be great to view and manage all your clusters together? The multi-cluster view discovers all AKS clusters across subscriptions, resource group, and workspaces, and provides you a health roll up view. You can even discover clusters that aren’t being monitored and with just few clicks start monitoring them. 

Drill down further into AKS cluster with Performance Grid view – To investigate further, you can drill down to

Share

11

Dec

KubeCon North America 2018: Serverless Kubernetes and community led innovation!

Welcome to KubeCon North America 2018, and welcome to Seattle. It’s amazing to get the chance to welcome you to my hometown, and the site of Kubernetes birth. It was barely five years ago that Joe, Craig, and I had the first small ideas and demos that eventually turned into the amazing project and community. I’m honored that all of you over the years have chosen to invest your time, energy, and enthusiasm in Kubernetes, whether this is your first KubeCon or you’ve been here since the first one in San Francisco four years ago, welcome!

For the Azure Kubernetes team, KubeCon is especially exciting. It’s been a busy and fulfilling year, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) has been the fastest growing service in the history of Azure Compute, that’s been quite a ride! With KubeCon here, it’s a great chance to meet up with our customers and community collaborators to celebrate all the incredible things.

For the Azure Kubernetes Service, we started with the journey of “how to make Kubernetes easier for our customers.” For example, by letting Azure take care of deployment, operations, and management of Kubernetes APIs and leveraging integrated tools, Maersk was able to free their engineers

Share

06

Dec

General availability of VNet Service Endpoints for Azure SQL Data Warehouse

This blog post was co-authored by Anitha Adusumilli, Principal Program Manager, Azure Networking.

We’re excited to share the general availability of Virtual Network (VNet) Service Endpoints for Azure SQL Data Warehouse in all Azure regions. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fast, flexible, and secure cloud data warehouse tuned for running complex queries fast and across petabytes of data.

VNet Service Endpoints enable you to isolate connectivity to your logical server from a given subnet or set of subnets within your virtual network. The traffic to Azure SQL Data Warehouse from your VNet will always stay within the Azure backbone network. This direct route will be preferred over any specific routes that take Internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises. There is no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints. Current pricing model for Azure SQL Data Warehouse applies as is.

With this release, we also enabled PolyBase connectivity to Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 (ADLS) via Azure Blob File System (ABFS) driver. Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 brings all the qualities that are required for the full lifecycle of analytics data to Azure Storage. It is the result of converging the capabilities of our two existing storage

Share

04

Dec

Accelerating IoT solution development and testing with Azure IoT Device Simulation

IoT solutions can be a hefty investment that you want to make sure to get right. Testing throughout the development lifecycle enables you to evaluate how well your IoT solution processes, manages, and presents device data ensuring project success. Azure IoT Device Simulation is a tool that you can rely on to help accelerate the testing and development of these solutions. Since its creation a year ago, Azure IoT Device Simulation has quickly become an essential tool in the developer’s toolbox.

We are thrilled to announce the latest update to Azure IoT Device Simulation. This latest release highlights our continued investment in the vital IoT simulation space and is available now.

Device Simulation is an open source project that you can deploy directly to your Azure subscription. The solution includes a web-based interface and a rich API allowing you to create powerful IoT simulations pushing realistic telemetry to your IoT Hub.

Device simulation helps you build simulated devices that look and behave like the real thing. With Device Simulation you can gather, process, analyze, and act on data from simulated devices allowing you to test your solution’s functionality and reliability.

Validate the solution works as expected from device

Share

04

Dec

Azure IoT Remote Monitoring extends operator capabilities to the edge

In May, we announced a major update to our Azure IoT Remote Monitoring solution accelerator. This included key functionality such as enhanced operator scenarios through the configuration of rules, easier device connectivity, and richer integration options with tools such as Power BI and Azure Data Lake. Over the past few months we have continued to improve the scenarios by adding features like integration of Time Series Insights to allow for root cause analysis, or roles-based access control through AAD.

Today, we are excited to announce another wave of functionality that will continue accelerating companies towards achieving their scenarios faster.

Manage and deploy Azure IoT Edge components from Azure IoT Remote Monitoring

Real-time data analytics and insights drive business value in IoT solutions, but not all customer scenarios can rely on cloud processing. Azure IoT Edge solves these challenges by delivering cloud intelligence locally on IoT devices. Azure IoT Edge is now seamlessly integrated with the Azure IoT Remote Monitoring solution accelerator. Customers can leverage this feature to reduce bandwidth costs by processing data locally or achieving near real-time actions by using AI at the edge. For operators, the user interface in Azure IoT Remote Monitoring allows customers to add edge

Share

04

Dec

Azure Cosmos DB now supports Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS)

Azure Cosmos DB now supports Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) “allowedOrigins” header for our core SQL API. You can configure this setting via the portal or ARM templates. With CORS support, you can make your web app talk directly to Cosmos DB from the browser using the @azure/cosmos JavaScript library, and get a more responsive, snappy end-user experience by avoiding an extra hop through a middle-tier.

What is Azure Cosmos DB?

Azure Cosmos DB is a globally distributed, multi-model database service that enables you to read and write data from any Azure region. It offers turnkey global distribution, guarantees single-digit millisecond latencies at the 99th percentile, and elastic scaling of throughput and storage.

For the Azure Cosmos DB core SQL API, we offer a JavaScript library which works in both Node.js and browser environments. This library can now take advantage of CORS support. There is no client-side configuration needed to use this feature. Now that the browser can talk directly to Cosmos DB, you can get even higher performance for web scenarios by avoiding the extra hop through a web app. In the sample we link to below, we’re able to directly listen for changes from Cosmos DB, rather than needing to

Share