Category Archives : Announcements

01

Apr

New solutions for Oracle WebLogic on Azure Virtual Machines

We are announcing a major release for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS) on Azure Virtual Machines. The release is jointly developed with the WebLogic team as part of a broad-ranging partnership between Microsoft and Oracle. Software available under the partnership includes Oracle WebLogic, Oracle Linux, and Oracle Database, as well as interoperability between Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Azure. This release covers common use cases for WLS on Azure, such as base image, single working instance, clustering, load balancing via App Gateway, database connectivity, integration with Azure Active Directory, caching with Oracle Coherence and consolidated logging via the ELK stack. WLS is a key component in enabling enterprise Java workloads on Azure. Customers are encouraged to evaluate these solutions for full production usage and reach out to collaborate on migration cases.

Use cases and roadmap

The partnership between Oracle and Microsoft was announced in June of 2019. Under the partnership, we announced the initial release of the WLS on Azure Virtual Machines at Oracle OpenWorld 2019. The solutions simplify migration by automating boilerplate provisioning of virtual networks and storage, installing OS/Java resources, setting up WLS, and configuring integration with key Azure services.

Earlier releases focused on a basic set

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30

Mar

Microsoft named a Leader in Forrester Wave: Function-as-a-Service Platforms

Forrester has named Microsoft as a leader in The Forrester Wave™: Function-As-A-Service Platforms, Q1 2021 based on their evaluation of Azure Functions with recognition for upping its developer experience game and stateful capabilities.

Development experience

Azure Functions is fully integrated with other Azure services and development tools. Its end-to-end development experience allows you to build and debug your functions locally on any major platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux), as well as deploy and monitor them in the cloud. You can build functions using multitude of programming languages: C#, Node.js, Python, JavaScript, Java, and PowerShell.

In their report, Forrester recognized Azure Functions investments in “onboarding, developer tools support, and support for the development and debugging on local machines.”

Stateful workloads in a serverless compute environment

There are some use cases of serverless that need to be stateful—such as long-running workflows, human approved processes, and e-commerce shopping cart applications. Durable Functions, an extension to the Azure Functions runtime that brings stateful and orchestration capabilities to serverless functions. Durable Functions stands alone in the serverless space, providing stateful functions and a way to define serverless workflows programmatically.

Forrester mentioned specifically in the report that “Durable Functions provides stateful capabilities and bindings for

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03

Mar

Developer Velocity: Key lessons from digital leaders on software excellence for 2021 and beyond

Becoming world class at developing software is a more strategic imperative for companies across industries than ever before. While we have seen developer teams in many organizations around the world building amazing customer-facing and internal line-of-business applications for years, over the last year, we’ve seen massive shifts in the way many organizations connect with customers and employees. Businesses and organizations of all sizes are adopting solutions to enable remote work and are creating brand-new, cloud-based applications with an increasing focus on staying secure. Today, there is an even greater urgency for companies to invest in software development to adapt and thrive in 2021 and beyond.

COVID-19 drove significant durable demand and business model disruptions across industries. Banking and retail were two particularly impacted industries. While our earlier research highlighted the importance of Developer Velocity, post COVID-19, there is even more urgency for companies to invest in software development in the right way to adapt and thrive today and in the future.

In late 2020, we conducted new industry-focused research to understand the journey that leading companies in banking and retail take to become world class organizations. Deeply understanding the unique experience of our customers, and learning valuable lessons on

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03

Mar

Empowering every developer to innovate with Azure

As developers, we are the builders of our era, creating the ideas and writing the code that helps organizations digitally transform. We pioneer innovation that disrupts countless industries and help businesses endure tough times. With every organization rethinking its business, it’s more important than ever that Microsoft helps empower developers at every organization to innovate. We see companies of all sizes—from large enterprises to family-run businesses—unlocking business value and addressing the needs of their customers with innovative solutions built on the Microsoft Cloud.

Each of our innovation journeys is unique, whether our goal is to modernize existing applications, build new intelligent applications, or adopt DevOps best practices to develop for the cloud. Microsoft empowers each of us on our unique journey with an end-to-end cloud platform that lets us quickly and easily create building blocks and a secure foundation for all our applications. At Microsoft Ignite, we are sharing a host of new capabilities that enable developers to continue innovating more effectively with Microsoft Azure, the Visual Studio family, GitHub, and Power Apps.

Modernize existing applications

When it comes to public cloud adoption, a common starting point is to modernize existing applications, and the conversation is focused on how to

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03

Mar

Apply AI to your most critical business needs with new Azure AI capabilities

Tens of thousands of customers, such as Pepsi, Amway, Airbus, BBC, and Progressive Insurance are using Azure AI to deliver immersive customer experiences, identify new business opportunities, and drive impact. As more organizations use AI in their production workloads, they have an increased need for secure, scalable, and responsible AI development. Today we’re announcing new Azure AI capabilities that will empower organizations to use AI with even more confidence.

Train machine learning (ML) models on-premises and in multi-cloud environments with Azure Arc support for Azure Machine Learning. Deliver cutting-edge search experience in your applications with the semantic search capability in Azure Cognitive Search. Extract information from invoices and identification documents with new capabilities and expanded language support in Form Recognizer. Build machine learning models anywhere with Azure Machine Learning

Customers can now use any Kubernetes cluster for model training with Azure Machine Learning—including on-premises, in multi-cloud environments, and at the edge— with the preview of Azure Arc enabled machine learning. This means organizations can extend machine learning to run close to where the data lives. They can lower cost by leveraging their existing Kubernetes infrastructure and increase operational efficiency. In addition, customers can manage

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01

Mar

Innovate across hybrid and multicloud with new Azure Arc capabilities

Across industries, companies are investing in hybrid and multicloud technologies to ensure they have the flexibility to innovate anywhere and meet evolving business needs. Customers tell us a key challenge with hybrid and multicloud adoption is managing and securing their IT environments while building and running cloud-native applications.

To enable the flexibility and agility customers are seeking to innovate anywhere while providing governance and security, we created Azure Arc—a set of technologies that extends Azure management and services to any infrastructure. Today, we are announcing new Azure Arc innovation that unlocks more scenarios.

Run machine learning anywhere with Azure Arc

Azure Arc enables customers to run Azure services in any Kubernetes environment, whether it’s on-premises, multicloud, or at the edge. The first set of services enabled to run in any Kubernetes environment was Azure data services. We continue to enhance Azure Arc enabled data services based on feedback from customers such as KPMG, Ford, Ferguson, and SKF.

Today, we’re excited to expand Azure Arc enabled services to include Azure Machine Learning. Azure Machine Learning is an enterprise-grade service that enables data scientists and developers to build, deploy, and manage machine learning models. By using Azure Arc to extend

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01

Mar

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/azure-percept-edge-intelligence-from-silicon-to-service/ In today’s fast-paced world, there is often a need for instantaneous, real-time responses. Companies are finding the computing needed to support this 24/7 mentality generates staggering amounts of data, often from devices out in the physical world. This influences READ MORE

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16

Feb

Azure Firewall Premium now in preview
Azure Firewall Premium now in preview

This post was co-authored by Gopikrishna Kannan, Principal Program Manager, Azure Networking, and Suren Jamiyanaa, Program Manager, Azure Networking.

Announcing the preview release of Azure Firewall Premium.

Azure Firewall Premium provides next-generation firewall capabilities that are required for highly sensitive and regulated environments.

With this Azure Firewall Premium release, you can now use the following new capabilities:

TLS Inspection: Azure Firewall Premium terminates outbound and east-west TLS connections. Inbound TLS inspection is supported in conjunction with Azure Application Gateway allowing end-to-end encryption. Azure Firewall performs the required value-added security functions and re-encrypts the traffic which is sent to the original destination.

IDPS: Azure Firewall Premium provides signature-based intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS) to allow rapid detection of attacks by looking for specific patterns, such as byte sequences in network traffic, or known malicious instruction sequences used by malware.

Web Categories: Allows administrators to filter outbound user access to the internet based on categories. For example, social networking, search engines, gambling, and so on, reducing the time spent on managing individual FQDNs and URLs. This capability is also available for Azure Firewall Standard based on FQDNs only.

URL Filtering: Allows administrators to filter outbound access to specific URLs, not just

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10

Feb

Connecting Azure to the International Space Station with Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Today we are announcing our partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to connect Azure directly to space using HPE’s upcoming launch of its Spaceborne Computer-2 (SBC-2), which will deliver edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities together for the first time on the International Space Station (ISS). The SBC-2 is built on the HPE Edgeline Converged Edge system that is purposely engineered for harsh edge environments and will also enable additional capabilities to connect Azure workloads to the ultimate edge.  

Astronauts and space explorers deserve access to the best cloud computing technologies and advanced processing at the ultimate edge. Sometimes analysis needs to be done immediately at the edge where every passing moment counts, and other times the analysis is so massively complex that it can only be performed with the power of the hyperscale cloud. Microsoft and HPE have established a connection from Spaceborne Computer-2 to Microsoft Azure (through NASA and the HPE ground station) to help tackle these challenges and develop new insights and opportunities.

Right now, our Microsoft Research and Azure Space engineering teams are evaluating the potential of HPE’s space, state-of-the-art processing in conjunction with hyperscale Azure, alongside the development of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and

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13

Jan

Helping retailers navigate the future
Helping retailers navigate the future

Each new year introduces new opportunities and challenges, but 2020 was exceptional. The pandemic massively disrupted retail organizations due to ongoing shelter-in-place orders and social distancing requirements. Consumers adapted, driving nine years’ worth of e-commerce growth in 90 days.

Retailers responded by dramatically accelerating their digital transformation journeys to focus on prioritizing customer health and safety, reimagining channel retail experiences, and enabling data-driven decision making.

So, as we prepare for NRF 2021—the association’s first all-digital-event—we are reflecting on the industry’s incredible, ongoing adaptation to pandemic-driven trends and the impact in 2021 and beyond.

Resilience: driven by people, enabled by technology

The unmatched performance of Microsoft Azure allows our customers to intelligently manage secure workloads across multiple sites and domains, scale those workloads to process millions of requests per second, and improve the logistics to manage each order. Azure Data and AI services help retailers respond to market forces, improve decision-making, and put customers first by breaking down their data silos to manage, merge, shape, and analyze the data and, as a result, uncover actionable insights.

With Azure, retailers get the best of at-scale cloud, data, and AI workloads including industry data models that enable data management, governance, and

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