Category Archives : Announcements

23

Nov

Hybrid and multicloud strategies for financial services organizations

A need for hybrid and multicloud strategies for financial services

The financial services industry is a dynamic space that is constantly testing and pushing novel use cases of information technology. Many of its members must balance immense demands—from the pressures to unlock continuous innovation in a landscape with cloud-native entrants, to responding to unexpected surges in demand and extend services to new regions—all while managing risk and combatting financial crime.

At the same time, financial regulations are also constantly evolving. In the face of the current pandemic, we have seen our customers accelerate in their adoption of new technologies, including public cloud services, to keep up with evolving regulations and industry demands. Hand in hand with growing cloud adoption, we’ve also seen growing regulatory concerns over concentration risk (check out our recent whitepaper on this), which have resulted in new recommendations for customers to increase their overall operational resiliency, address vendor lock-in risks and require effective exit plans.

Further complicating matters, many financial services firms oversee portfolios of services that include legacy apps that have been in use for many years. These apps often cannot support the implementation newer capabilities that can accommodate mobile application support, business intelligence, and

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23

Nov

Guest health feature in Azure Monitor for virtual machines

It is imperative to monitor the health of your virtual machine. But how much time do you spend reviewing each metric and alert to monitor the health of a virtual machine?

We are announcing the preview of Azure Monitor for virtual machines guest health feature that monitors the health of your virtual machines and fires an alert when any parameter being monitored is outside the acceptable range. This feature provides you:

A simple experience to monitor the overall health of your virtual machine. Out-of-the-box health monitors based on key VM metrics to track the health of your virtual machine. Out-of-the-box alerts to notify if the virtual machine is unhealthy.

Virtual machine guest health feature has a parent-child hierarchical model. It monitors the health state of CPU, disks, and memory for a virtual machine and notifies the customer about the changes. The three states—healthy, warning, and critical—are defined based on the thresholds set by the customer for each child monitor. Each monitor measures the health of a particular component. The overall health of the virtual machine is determined by the health of its individual monitors. The top level monitor on the VM groups the health state of all the

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17

Nov

Azure Hybrid Benefit now generally available for Linux
Azure Hybrid Benefit now generally available for Linux

Coinciding with this week’s Kubecon and Open Azure Day virtual events, today we’re announcing the general availability of Azure Hybrid Benefit functionality for Linux customers, allowing you to bring both your on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses, as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) subscriptions to Azure.

During the preview period, over 1,500 Linux virtual machines have already been migrated to Azure using the new Azure Hybrid Benefit capabilities, helping to significantly reduce the costs of running enterprise Linux workloads in Azure.

While previous Bring-Your-Own-Subscription cloud migration options available to Red Hat and SUSE customers allowed them to use their pre-existing RHEL and SLES subscriptions in the cloud, Azure Hybrid Benefit improves upon this with several capabilities that are unique to Azure and makes enterprise Linux cloud migration even easier than before:

Applies to all Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server pay-as-you-go images available in the Azure Marketplace or Azure Portal. You don’t need to provide your own image. Save time with seamless post-deployment conversions—there’s no need for production redeployment. You can simply convert the pay-as-you-go images you used during your proof of concept testing to bring-your-own-subscription

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17

Nov

Empowering developer velocity and efficiency with Kubernetes

Welcome to KubeCon North America! It seems only yesterday that we were together in San Diego. Though we’re farther apart physically this year, the Kubernetes community continues to go strong. Here in Azure, we’re thrilled to have seen how both our open-source efforts as well as the Azure Kubernetes Service have enabled people and companies like Finxact, Mars Petcare, and Mercedes Benz, to scale and transform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In today’s environment, customers are looking to Azure and Kubernetes to enable application platforms and patterns that make it faster to build new applications and easier to iterate the applications that they’ve already built. Kubernetes on Azure is a reliable and secure foundation for this cloud-native application development. At the same time, the pressures of the current environment mean that it is also critical to be as efficient as possible and we are excited to see the ways that the Azure Kubernetes Service has empowered people to improve their operational and resource efficiency. Over the last few months our Microsoft teams have built amazing technology that enables our customers to be more efficient and I am excited to share some of that with you today.

Empowering people with

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16

Nov

Azure high-performance computing at Supercomputing 2020
Azure high-performance computing at Supercomputing 2020

Customers around the world rely on Microsoft Azure to drive innovations related to our environment, public health, energy sustainability, weather modeling, economic growth, and more. Finding solutions to these important challenges requires huge amounts of focused computing power. Customers are increasingly finding the best way to access such high-performance computing (HPC) is through the agility, scale, security, and leading edge performance of Azure’s purpose-built HPC and AI cloud services.

Azure’s market-leading vision for HPC and AI is based on a core of genuine and recognized HPC expertise, using proven HPC technology and design principles, enhanced with the best features of the cloud. The result is a capability that delivers performance, scale, and value unlike any other cloud. This means applications scaling 12 times higher than other public clouds. It means higher application performance per node. It means powering AI workloads for one customer with a supercomputer fit to be among the top five in the world. And it means delivering massive compute power into the hands of medical researchers over a weekend to prove out life-saving innovations in the fight against COVID-19.

Big moments for Azure HPC and AI Supercomputing in 2020 OpenAI

Last year, you might recall that

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15

Nov

Supercomputing 2020—New MPI heights, joining the Graph500, and 1 TB/s filesystems

A year ago during SC19, Azure unveiled the HBv2 clusters of virtual machines (VM) for high-performance computing (HPC). At the time, we characterized this uniquely powerful and scalable VM as “rivaling the most advanced supercomputers on the planet.” A bold claim for a cloud provider, to be sure. Since then we’ve endeavored to deliver on this promise. What we’ve been delighted to find is just how much our commitment to scalable HPC as a driver of innovation and creativity has resonated with customers and partners. Better still, they have inspired us to set the bar even higher. Most importantly, in this uniquely challenging year, we have been privileged to support our customers’ and partners’ most mission-critical and impactful work.

As Supercomputing 2020 (SC20) kicks off, we’d like to share some significant updates about Azure’s continued delivery of new supercomputing capabilities on our Azure H-series products. We’d also like to provide a sneak peek at a forthcoming addition to our Azure HPC portfolio. 

86,400 cores for critical disease research

Azure is excited to announce it has achieved a new record for Message Passing Interface-based (MPI) HPC scaling on the public cloud. Running Nanoscale Molecular Dynamics (NAMD) across 86,400 central processing unit

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09

Nov

Meeting developer needs with powerful new features in Azure Cache for Redis

In May, we announced a groundbreaking partnership with Redis Labs to bring their Redis Enterprise software to Azure as a part of Azure Cache for Redis. We were humbled by the level of excitement and interest we received. We are announcing that you can now use Redis to tackle new challenges while making your caches larger and more resilient than ever before.

There has never been a more critical time for a technology like Redis. With billions of people working from home globally, web-based applications must be more responsive than ever, and enterprises both large and small need to be able to scale rapidly to meet unexpected demand. Solutions like Redis empower developers to optimize their data architectures and solve these problems. We’ve seen tremendous adoption of Azure Cache for Redis, our managed solution built on Open Source Redis, as Azure customers have used Redis as a distributed cache, session store, and message broker. We’re excited to incorporate Redis Enterprise technology and make this solution even more powerful and available while also unlocking important new use cases for developers like search, deduplication, and time series analysis.

What is Redis Enterprise on Azure?

Microsoft and Redis Labs have partnered closely to

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09

Nov

New enhanced DNS features in Azure Firewall—now generally available

This post was co-authored by Adam Stuart, Technical Specialist, Azure Networking

Custom DNS, DNS proxy, and FQDN filtering in network rules (for non-HTTP/S and non-MSSQL protocols) in Azure Firewall are now generally available. In this blog, we also share an example use-case on using DNS proxy with Private Link

Azure Firewall is a cloud-native firewall as a service (FWaaS) offering that allows you to centrally govern and log all your traffic flows using a DevOps approach. The service supports both application, NAT, and network-level filtering and is integrated with the Microsoft Threat Intelligence feed for filtering known malicious IP addresses and domains. Azure Firewall is highly available with built-in auto scaling.

Custom DNS support is now generally available

Since its launch in September 2018, Azure Firewall has been hardcoded to use Azure DNS to ensure the service can reliably resolve its outbound dependencies. Custom DNS allows you to configure Azure Firewall to use your own DNS server, while ensuring the firewall outbound dependencies are still resolved with Azure DNS. You may configure a single DNS server or multiple servers in Azure Firewall and Firewall Policy DNS settings.

Azure Firewall can also resolve names using Azure Private DNS. The Virtual Network within

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02

Nov

At-scale migration automation support with Azure Migrate and Azure PowerShell

Microsoft Azure is a key enabler of the digital transformation journey of our customers today. Customers are using Azure to spur business innovation and realizing how running in Azure makes them more resilient, more agile, and more efficient. They are looking to migrate more and more of their existing portfolio of applications to Azure to realize this value. On the Azure Migrate product team, we are focused on simplifying the migration process for our customers so that they can migrate their workloads swiftly. In July last year, we introduced a new enhanced version of Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate is the hub for all your migration needs featuring a collection of tools across the discovery, assessment, and migration phases for multiple migration scenarios including servers, applications, and databases. We’ve continued to innovate and have since added multiple new capabilities such as agentless application discovery and dependency analysis to make it even easier for you to plan and execute migrations to Azure.

One of the most popular tools in Azure Migrate’s portfolio of tools is the Azure Migrate: Server Migration tool. The server migration tool lets you migrate servers and the applications on them to Azure virtual machines. The server migration

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28

Oct

Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare: Unlocking the power of health data for better care

As healthcare providers have faced unprecedented workloads (individually and institutionally) around the world, the pandemic response continues to cause seismic shifts in how, where, and when care is provided. Longer-term, it has revealed the need for fundamental shifts across the care continuum. As a physician, I have seen first-hand the challenges of not having the right data, at the right time, in the right format to make informed shared decisions with my patients. These challenges amplify the urgency for trusted partners and solutions to help solve emergent health challenges.

Today we’re taking a big step forward to address these challenges with the general availability of Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare. Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare brings together trusted capabilities to customers and partners that enhance patient engagement, empower health team collaboration, and improve clinical and operational insights. It makes it faster and easier to provide more efficient care and helps to ensure the end-to-end security, compliance, and interoperability of health data.

Innovation and Microsoft Cloud for Healthcare

That starts with Azure API for FHIR, which enables the rapid exchange of data through Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) APIs, backed by a managed platform as a service (PaaS) offering. It makes

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