Category Archives : Announcements

19

Oct

Introducing the Microsoft Azure Modular Datacenter

We designed the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) for customers who need cloud computing capabilities in hybrid or challenging environments, including remote areas. This announcement is complemented by our Azure Space offerings and partnerships that can extend satellite connectivity anywhere in the world. Scenarios range from mobile command centers, humanitarian assistance, military mission needs, mineral exploration, and other use cases requiring high intensity, secure computing on Azure.

The MDC can give customers a path to migrate apps to Azure while still running these workloads on-premises with low-latency connections to their own datacenter. This provides a stepping stone for transforming workloads to the Azure API with the option of continuing to run these apps on-premises, or in public or sovereign clouds.

Azure where you need it

Around the world, there are significant cloud computing and storage needs in areas with adverse conditions, where low communication, disrupted network availability and limited access to specialized infrastructure would have previously prevented taking advantage of cloud computing. The MDC solves this by bringing Azure to these environments, providing datacenter scale compute resources closest to where they’re needed.

With MDC you can deploy a self-contained datacenter unit with a field transportable solution that provides near-immediate

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14

Oct

Zone Redundancy for Azure Cache for Redis now in preview
Zone Redundancy for Azure Cache for Redis now in preview

Between waves of pandemics, hurricanes, and wildfires, you don’t need cloud infrastructure adding to your list of worries this year. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to ensure your Azure deployments stay resilient. Availability zones are one of the best ways to mitigate risks from outages and disasters. With that in mind, we are announcing the preview for zone redundancy in Azure Cache for Redis.

Availability Zones on Azure

Azure Availability Zones are geographically isolated datacenter locations within an Azure region, providing redundant power, cooling, and networking. By maintaining a physically separate set of resources with the low latency from remaining in the same region, Azure Availability Zones provide a high availability solution that is crucial for businesses requiring resiliency and business continuity.

Redundancy options in Azure Cache for Redis

Azure Cache for Redis is increasingly becoming critical to our customers’ data infrastructure. As a fully managed service, Azure Cache for Redis provides various high availability options. By default, caches in the standard or premium tier have built-in replication with a two-node configuration—a primary and a replica hosting two identical copies of your data.

New in preview, Azure Cache for Redis can now support up to

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07

Oct

Three ways serverless APIs can accelerate enterprise innovation

With the wrong architecture, APIs can be a bottleneck to not only your applications but to your entire business. Bottlenecks such as downtime, low performance, or high application complexity, can result in exaggerated infrastructure and organizational costs and lost revenue. Serverless APIs mitigate these bottlenecks with autoscaling capabilities and consumption-based pricing models.

Once you start thinking of serverless as not only a remover-of-bottlenecks but also as an enabler-of-business, layers of your application infrastructure become a source of new opportunities. This is especially true of the API layer, as APIs can be productized to scale your business, attract new customers, or offer new services to existing customers, in addition to its traditional role as the communicator between software services.

Given the increasing dominance of APIs and API-first architectures, companies and developers are gravitating towards serverless platforms to host APIs and API-first applications to realize these benefits. One serverless compute option to host API’s is Azure Functions, event-triggered code that can scale on-demand, and you only pay for what you use. Gartner predicts that 50 percent of global enterprises will have deployed a serverless functions platform by 2025, up from only 20 percent today. You can publish Azure Functions through API

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07

Oct

Optimize your Azure workloads with Azure Advisor Score

Modern engineering practices, like Agile and DevOps, are redirecting the ownership of security, operations, and cost management from centralized teams to workload owners—catalyzing innovations at a higher velocity than in traditional data centers. In this new world, workload owners are expected to build, deploy, and manage cloud workloads that are secure, reliable, performant, and cost-effective. If you’re a workload owner, you want well-architected deployments, so you might be wondering, how well are you doing today? Of all the actions you can take, which ones will make the biggest difference for your Azure workloads? And how will you know if you’re making progress?

That’s why we created Azure Advisor Score—to help you understand how well your Azure workloads are following best practices, assess how much you stand to gain by remediating issues, and prioritize the most impactful recommendations you can take to optimize your deployments.

Introducing Advisor Score

Advisor Score enables you to get the most out of your Azure investment using a centralized dashboard to monitor and work towards optimizing the cost, security, reliability, operational excellence, and performance of your Azure resources.

Advisor Score will help you:

Assess how well you’re following the best practices defined by

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06

Oct

Lower prices and more flexible purchase options for Azure Red Hat OpenShift

For the past several years, Microsoft and Red Hat have worked together to co-develop hybrid cloud solutions intended to enable greater customer innovation. In 2019, we launched Azure Red Hat OpenShift as a fully managed, jointly engineered implementation of Red Hat OpenShift running on Red Hat OpenShift 3.11 that is deeply integrated into the Azure control plane. With the release of Red Hat OpenShift 4, we announced the general availability of Azure Red Hat OpenShift on OpenShift 4 in April 2020.

Today we’re sharing that in collaboration with Red Hat, we are dropping the price of Red Hat OpenShift licenses on Azure Red Hat OpenShift worker nodes by up to 77 percent. We’re also adding the choice of a three-year term for Reserved Instances (RIs) on top of the existing one year RI and pay as you go options, with a reduction in the minimum number of virtual machines required. The new pricing is effective immediately. Finally, as part of the ongoing improvements, we are increasing the Service Level Agreement (SLA) to be 99.95 percent.

With these new price reductions, Azure Red Hat OpenShift provides even more value with a fully managed, highly-available enterprise Kubernetes offering that manages the

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06

Oct

Microsoft partners expand the range of mission-critical applications you can run on Azure

How the depth and breadth of the Microsoft Azure partner ecosystem enables thousands of organizations to bring their mission-critical applications to Azure.

In the past few years, IT organizations have been realizing compelling benefits when they transitioned their business-critical applications to the cloud, enabling them to address the top challenges they face with running the same applications on-premises. As even more companies embark on their digital transformation journey, the range of mission and business-critical applications has continued to expand, even more so because technology drives innovation and growth. This has further accelerated in the past months, spurred in part by our rapidly changing global economy.

As a result, the definition of mission-critical applications is evolving and goes well beyond systems of record for many businesses. It’s part of why we never stopped investing across the platform to enable you to increase the availability, security, scalability, and performance of your core applications running on Azure. The expansion of mission-critical apps will only accelerate as AI, IoT, analytics, and new capabilities become more pervasive.

We’re seeing the broadening scope of mission-critical scenarios both within Microsoft and in many of our customers’ industry sectors. For example, Eric Boyd, in his blog, outlined

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05

Oct

Enabling resilient DevOps practices with code to cloud automation

This blog post was co-authored by Usha Narayanabhatta, Product Manager, GitHub.

As digital transformation has evolved, so have customer expectations. Enterprises are expected to deliver continuous value by releasing frequent bug-proof updates with little to no disruption to their userbase. This is no small feat, as nations and governments roll out stringent new data and security measures.

So how are enterprises able to ship faster while maintaining governance, security, and compliance standards amidst a pandemic that has forced work to be remote?

Based on the Enterprise DevOps 2020-2021 report, 80 percent of top-performing enterprises surveyed say they have begun “shifting-left,” or automating governance, security, and compliance into the early stages of their software development lifecycles (SDLC). These enterprises are not only automating their build and release workflows, but they’re also adopting an “everything-as-code” mindset. This shift means that not just infrastructure configurations and release pipelines, but also compliance and security policies, are written “as code,” enabling continuous improvement, while promoting better re-use, resilience, and driving greater transparency.

It’s with all this in mind that we continue to refine, update, and add to our GitHub Actions portfolio. At Microsoft Ignite we announced new GitHub Actions for Azure, which we added

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30

Sep

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – September 2020

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:

Simplify financial reporting with cost allocation, now in preview. Connector for AWS is now generally available. Get pay-as-you-go rates for all Azure products and services. What’s new in Cost Management Labs. Expanded availability of resource tags in cost reporting. 15 ways to optimize your Azure costs. New ways to save money with Azure. Upcoming changes to Azure usage data. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Simplify financial reporting with cost allocation, now in preview

Managing cloud

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29

Sep

New Datadog integration with Azure offers a seamless configuration experience

This post was co-authored by Sreekanth Thirthala Venkata, Principal Program Manager, Visual Studio and .NET.

Microsoft Azure enables customers to migrate and modernize their applications to run in the cloud, in coordination with many partner solutions. One such partner is Datadog, which provides observability and security tools for users to understand the health and performance of their applications across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. But configuring the necessary integrations often requires navigating between the Azure portal and Datadog.

This adds complexity, takes time, and makes it difficult to troubleshoot if things aren’t working. To reduce the burden of managing across multiple portals, we worked with Datadog to create an integrated Datadog solution on the Azure cloud platform. Available via the Azure Marketplace, this solution provides a seamless experience for using the Datadog’s cloud monitoring solution in Azure.

“The Microsoft cloud is the first to enable a seamless configuration and management experience for customers using third-party solutions like Datadog. With Datadog, customers are empowered to use this experience to monitor their Azure workloads and enable an accelerated transition to the cloud.” —Corey Sanders, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Solutions

With the new Azure integration with Datadog, organizations can now fully map

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29

Sep

What’s new in Azure Backup
What’s new in Azure Backup

At Microsoft Ignite, we announced several new Azure Backup features that enhance the protection of your data in Azure. Azure Backup is Azure’s native backup solution that provides data protection capabilities for diverse and mission-critical workloads in a simple, secure, and cost-effective manner. The latest capabilities that we announced this Ignite let you expand your data protection to new workload types, enhance security, and improve the availability of your backup data. Furthermore, you can now increase operational efficiencies with built-in capabilities for managing backups at scale, along with the ability to automatically onboard Azure Backup to Windows Server Virtual Machines.

Protect Azure Database for PostgreSQL and retain the backups for 10 years

Azure Backup and Azure Database Services have come together to build an enterprise-class backup solution for Azure PostgreSQL (now in preview). Now you can meet your data protection and compliance needs with a customer-controlled backup policy that enables retention of backups for up to ten years. With this, you have granular control to manage the backup and restore operations at the individual database level. Likewise, you can restore across PostgreSQL versions or to blob storage with ease. Please visit Backup for Azure Database for PostgreSQL for more

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