Category Archives : Announcements



Announcing low-priority VMs on scale sets now in public preview

We are thrilled to announce the public preview of low-priority virtual machines (VMs) on VM scale sets. Low-priority VMs allow users to run their workloads at a fraction of the price, enabling significant cost savings. This offering has been available through our Azure Batch service since May 2017, and because we have seen great customer success we are expanding it to VM scale sets. This is a great option for resilient, fault-tolerant applications as these VMs are allocated using our unutilized capacity and can, therefore, be evicted. Low-priority VMs are available through VM scale sets with up to an 80 percent discount.

What are low-priority VMs?

Low-priority VMs enable you to take advantage of our unutilized capacity. The amount of available unutilized capacity can vary based on size, region, time of day, and more. When deploying Low-priority VMs in VM scale sets, Azure will allocate the VMs if there is capacity available, but there are no SLA guarantees. At any point in time when Azure needs the capacity back, we will evict low-priority VMs. Therefore, the low-priority offering is great for flexible workloads, like large processing jobs, dev/test environments, demos, and proofs of concept.

Provisioning low-priority VMs

Low-priority VMs can



Global VNet Peering now generally available

Today, I am thrilled to announce the general availability of Global VNet Peering in all Azure public regions, empowering you to take the ease, simplicity, and isolation of VNet peering to the next level.

Azure’s Virtual Network (VNet) is a logical isolation of Azure which enables you to securely connect Azure resources to each other. VNet lets you create your own private space in Azure – your own network bubble, as I like to call it.

With Global VNet Peering available, you can enable connectivity across all Azure public regions without additional bandwidth restrictions and as always keeping all your traffic on the Microsoft Backbone. Global VNet Peering provides you with the flexibility to scale and control how workloads connect across geographical boundaries, unlocking and applying global scale to a plethora of scenarios such as data replication, database failover, and disaster recovery through private IP addresses. You can also share resources across different business unit VNets, the hub-and-spoke model, as we refer to it, through a global peering connection. As your organization grows across geographic boundaries, you can continue to share resources like firewalls or other virtual appliances via peering.

We announced VNet peering at Microsoft Ignite 2017 bringing you



Turbocharge cloud analytics with Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Data is transformative. The ability to turn data into breakthrough insights is foundational to remain relevant in an increasingly competitive market.

To help our customers deliver fast insights from exponentially growing data, today we are announcing the general availability of the Compute Optimized Gen2 tier of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. With this performance optimized tier, we are bringing the best of Microsoft software and hardware innovations to dramatically accelerate query performance and concurrency for our customers.

Fast, flexible, and secure cloud data warehouse

We launched Azure SQL Data Warehouse three years ago to make a powerful SQL based MPP (massively parallel processing) architecture data warehousing accessible to all. It was the first data warehouse that helped customers reduce costs by enabling them to scale compute and storage independently, and by offering pause and resume capabilities. This flexibility, combined with fast query performance, comprehensive data security, and governance capabilities has led to adoption by thousands of customers like Adobe, Toshiba, and LG Electronics. To keep up with customer demand, we have expanded the service to 33 Azure regions and it is now the most globally available of all cloud data warehouse services.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse Compute Optimized Gen2 tier



Azure Container Instances now generally available

I am proud to announce the general availability of Azure Container Instances (ACI) – a serverless way to run both Linux and Windows containers. ACI offers you an on-demand compute service delivering rapid deployment of containers with no VM management and automatic, elastic scale. When we released the preview last summer of ACI, it was the first-of-its-kind and fundamentally changed the landscape of container technology. It was the first service to deliver innovative serverless containers in the public cloud. As part of today’s announcement, I am also excited to announce new lower pricing, making it even less expensive to deploy a single container in the cloud. ACI also continues to be the fastest cloud-native option for customers in the cloud, getting you compute in mere seconds that also provide rich features like interactive terminals within running containers and an integrated Azure portal experience.

In addition to the ease-of-use and granular billing available with ACI, customers are choosing ACI as their serverless container solution because of its deep security model, protecting each individual container at a hyper-visor level which provides a strong security boundary for multi-tenant scenarios. It can sometimes be a challenge to secure multi-tenant workloads running



Migrating your apps, data and infrastructure to Azure is easier than ever

Cloud computing is fundamentally changing IT and transforming businesses at an unprecedented pace. And, companies are rapidly turning to the cloud for the opportunities it brings – increased agility, faster innovation, and efficient operations, just to name a few.

The question I now most often hear from our customers is not ‘why’ should I move to the cloud, but ‘how’ do I move to the cloud. We’ve worked closely with customers like Chevron and Allscripts, who are transforming their businesses by migrating to Azure. Their experiences, along with many other customers, have confirmed the importance of a vendor who understands the need for a flexible approach to cloud migration.
With new Azure innovation and cost-saving offers, there has never been a better time to move your apps, data and infrastructure to Azure. Here’s why…

Flexible migration options with hybrid support 

Azure gives you a flexible migration path with hybrid consistency across your on-premises assets and the cloud. You don’t have to move everything all at once. Whether your business requires a hybrid state long-term or only during the migration period, Azure is hybrid by design and can support your needs.

For example, Azure Security Center and Azure Active Directory can



Azure Service Fabric – announcing Reliable Services on Linux and RHEL support

Many customers are using Azure Service Fabric to build and operate always-on, highly scalable, microservice applications. Recently, we open sourced Service Fabric with the MIT license to increase opportunities for customers to participate in the development and direction of the product. Today, we are excited to announce the release of Service Fabric runtime v6.2 and corresponding SDK and tooling updates.

This release includes:

The general availability of Java and .NET Core Reliable Services and Actors on Linux Public preview of Red Hat Enterprise clusters Enhanced container support Improved monitoring and backup/restore capabilities

The updates will be available in all regions over the next few days and details can be found in the release notes

Reliable Services and Reliable Actors on Linux is generally available

Reliable Services and Reliable Actors are programming models to help developers build stateless and stateful microservices for new applications and for adding new microservices to existing applications. Now you can use your preferred language to build Reliable Services and Actors with the Service Fabric API using .NET Core 2.0 and Java 8 SDKs on Linux. 

You can learn more about this capability through Java Quickstarts and .NET Core Samples.

Red Hat Enterprise clusters in public preview

Azure Service Fabric clusters



Spring Data Azure Cosmos DB: NoSQL data access on Azure
Spring Data Azure Cosmos DB: NoSQL data access on Azure

We are pleased to announce that Spring Data Azure Cosmos DB is now available to provide essential Spring Data support for Azure Cosmos DB using SQL API. Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database service with exceptional scalability and performance.

With Spring Data Azure Cosmos DB, Java developers now can get started quickly to build NoSQL data access for their apps on Azure. It offers a Spring-based programming model for data access, while keeping the special traits of the underlying data store with Azure Cosmos DB. Features of Spring Data Azure Cosmos DB include a POJO centric model for interacting with an Azure Cosmos DB Collection, and an extensible repository style data access layer.

Getting started

Download the Spring Data Azure Cosmos DB Sample Project to get started. The sample illustrates the process to use annotation to interact with Collection, customize a query operation with specific fields, and expose a discoverable REST API for clients.

Create a new database instance

To get started, first create a new database instance by using the Azure portal. You can find Azure Cosmos DB in Databases and choose SQL (Document DB) for the API. When your database has been created, you



Azure DDoS Protection for virtual networks generally available

This blog post was co-authored by JR Mayberry, Principal PM Manager, Azure Networking.

Today we are excited to announce the general availability of the Azure DDoS Protection Standard service in all public cloud regions. This service is integrated with Azure Virtual Networks (VNet) and provides protection and defense for Azure resources against the impacts of DDoS attacks.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are intended to disrupt a service by exhausting its resources (e.g., bandwidth, memory). DDoS attacks are one of the top availability and security concerns voiced by customers moving their applications to the cloud. With extortion and hacktivism being the common motivations behind DDoS attacks, they have been consistently increasing in type, scale, and frequency of occurrence as they are relatively easy and cheap to launch.

These concerns are justified as the number of documented DDoS amplification attacks increased by more than 357 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to 2016 according to data from Nexusguard. Further, more than 56 percent of all attacks exploit multiple vector combinations. In February 2018, Github was attacked via a reflection exploit in Memcached generating 1.35 terabits of attack traffic, the largest DDoS attack ever recorded.

As the types and



Transparent Data Encryption with customer managed keys in Azure SQL Database generally available

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) with Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) support for Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. This is one of the most frequently requested features by enterprise customers looking to protect sensitive data and meet regulatory or compliance obligations that require implementation of specific key management controls. TDE with BYOK support is offered in addition to TDE with service managed keys, which is enabled by default on all new Azure SQL Databases.

TDE with BYOK support uses Azure Key Vault, which provides highly available and scalable secure storage for RSA cryptographic keys backed by FIPS 140-2 Level 2 validated Hardware Security Modules (HSMs). Key Vault streamlines the key management process and enables customers to maintain full control of encryption keys and allows them to manage and audit key access.

Customers can generate and import their RSA key to Azure Key Vault and use it with Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL Data Warehouse TDE with BYOK support. Azure SQL Database handles the encryption and decryption of data stored in databases, log files, and backups in a fully transparent fashion by using a symmetric Database Encryption Key



The 3 ways Azure improves your security
The 3 ways Azure improves your security

Today we’re at RSA, and we are delighted to sponsor and participate in this industry event centered in security. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share our perspective on cloud security with Azure.

As we all know, companies worldwide are challenged by the ongoing volume of evolving security threats and with retaining qualified security talent to respond to these threats. In fact, the average large organization gets 17,000 security alerts each week, which results in an of average 99 days to discover security breaches. That contrasts with the less than 48 hours it takes for security breaches to grow from one system compromised into significantly broader issues.

As you look for solutions to address these challenges, Azure can help strengthen your security posture, while reducing cost and complexity. Thousands of companies and governments from all over the world including TD Bank, First Tech Credit Union, Geico, 3M, Rolls-Royce, state of Hawaii, city of Musson, and Heineken have chosen Azure as their trusted cloud. Azure provides value in three key areas – a secure foundation that is provided by Microsoft, built-in security controls to help you quickly configure security across the full-stack, and unique intelligence at cloud scale to help