Category Archives : Announcements

01

Sep

Azure Spring Cloud: a fully managed service for Spring Boot apps is now generally available

Azure Spring Cloud—a fully managed service for Spring Boot apps—is now generally available. With Azure Spring Cloud, you can focus on building the apps that run your business without the hassle of managing infrastructure. Simply deploy your JARs or code and Azure Spring Cloud will automatically wire your apps with the Spring service runtime. Once deployed you can easily monitor application performance, fix errors, and rapidly improve applications.

Azure Spring Cloud is jointly built, operated, and supported by Microsoft and VMware. You can use Azure Spring Cloud for your most demanding applications and be assured that Microsoft and VMware are standing behind the service to ensure your success.

Azure Spring Cloud is now available in 10 regions—West US2, Central US, South Central US, East US, East US2, UK South, North Europe, West Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia East—across four continents. We expect to add 10 more regions in the coming months. You can start using Azure Spring Cloud in production today.

In October 2019, Microsoft and VMware announced the collaboration of Azure Spring Cloud. Since then, many customers have approached us about this differentiated offer. Java developers in many organizations have used the service and provided us with plenty

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26

Aug

Prepare and certify your devices for IoT Plug and Play

Developing solutions with Azure IoT has never been faster, easier, or more secure. However, the tight coupling and integration between IoT device software and the software that matches it in the cloud can make it challenging to add different devices without spending hours writing device code.

IoT Plug and Play can solve this by enabling a seamless device-to-cloud integration experience. IoT Plug and Play from Microsoft is an open approach using Digital Twin Definition Language (based on JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data (JSON-LD)) that allows IoT devices to declare their capabilities to cloud solutions. It enables hardware partners to build devices that can easily integrate with cloud solutions based on Azure IoT Central, as well as third-party solutions built on top of Azure IoT Hub or Azure Digital Twins.

As such, we are pleased to announce that the IoT Plug and Play device certification program is now available for companies to certify and drive awareness of their devices tailored for solutions, while also reducing time to market. In this blog post, we will explore the common ecosystem challenges and business motivations for using IoT Plug and Play, as well as why companies are choosing to pursue IoT Plug and

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25

Aug

Empowering remote learning with Azure Cognitive Services
Empowering remote learning with Azure Cognitive Services

This blog post was co-authored by Anny Dow, Product Marketing Manager, Azure Cognitive Services.

As schools and organizations around the world prepare for a new school year, remote learning tools have never been more critical. Educational technology, and especially AI, has a huge opportunity to facilitate new ways for educators and students to connect and learn.

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Immersive Reader, and shine a light on how new improvements to Azure Cognitive Services can help developers build AI apps for remote education that empower everyone.

Make content more accessible with Immersive Reader, now generally available

Immersive Reader is an Azure Cognitive Service within the Azure AI platform that helps readers read and comprehend text. Through today’s general availability, developers and partners can add Immersive Reader right into their products, enabling students of all abilities to translate in over 70 languages, read text aloud, focus attention through highlighting, other design elements, and more. 

Immersive Reader has become a critical resource for distance learning, with more than 23 million people every month using the tool to improve their reading and writing comprehension. Between February and May 2020, when many schools moved to a distance learning model,

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16

Aug

Build resilient applications with Kubernetes on Azure

Welcome to KubeCon EU 2020, the virtual edition. While we won’t be able to see each other in person at KubeCon EU this year, we’re excited that this new virtual format of KubeCon will make the conference more accessible than ever, with more people from the amazing Kubernetes community able to join and participate from around the world without leaving their homes.

With everything that has been happening, the last year has been an up and down experience, but through it all I’m incredibly proud of the focus and dedication from the Azure Kubernetes team. They have continued to iterate and improve our Kubernetes on Azure that provides enterprise-grade experience for our customers.

Kubernetes on Azure (and indeed anywhere) delivers an open and portable ecosystem for cloud-native development. In addition to this core promise, we also deliver a unique enterprise-grade experience that ensures the reliability and security your workloads demand, while also enabling the agility and efficiency that business today desires. You can securely deploy any workload to Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to drive cost-savings at scale across your business. Today, we’re going to tell you about even more capabilities that can help you along on your cloud-native journey

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05

Aug

Announcing preview of Java Message Service 2.0 over AMQP on Azure Service Bus

Azure Service Bus simplifies enterprise messaging scenarios by leveraging familiar queue and topic subscription semantics over the industry-driven AMQP protocol. It offers customers a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) offering with deep integrations with Azure services to provide a messaging broker with high throughput, reliable latency while ensuring high availability, secure design, and scalability as a first-class experience. We aim to offer Azure Service Bus for customer workloads on most application stacks and ecosystems.

In keeping with that vision, we’re excited to announce preview support for Java Message Service (JMS) 2.0 over AMQP in Azure Service Bus Premium tier. With this, we empower customers to seamlessly lift and shift their Java and Spring workloads to Azure while also helping them modernize their application stack with best in class enterprise messaging in the cloud.

As enterprise customers look to lift and shift their workloads to Azure, they may take the opportunity to modernize their application stack by leveraging cloud-native Azure offerings. This is more appropriate for components on the data plane, storing or moving data, which benefit from moving away from an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) hosted setup to a more cloud-native PaaS setup.

With databases and data

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28

Jul

Creating cloud ready environments with Azure landing zones

Moving to the cloud creates an opportunity to pause and think about how to operate the IT environment. Most organizations in the world have seen their ability to innovate and adopt cloud technologies slowed down by the rules and operating model that governs their existing IT environments. Organizations have their own set of processes, tools, and dedicated staff to ensure that these environments can continuously support business needs.

With the move to a cloud environment, IT has access to new tools and processes that unblock IT operations. By revisiting the operating model, technology-focused teams and Azure partners can help organizations improve agility, cost, and scale.

Azure landing zones in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure are designed to accelerate efforts to map, modernize, or even reimagine the operating model. Azure landing zones help build a cloud environment aligned to the optimal technology operations specific to your needs in the cloud.

As the following analogy illustrates, a standardized foundation can’t fit the variety of needs seen by organizations and operating models. Respecting any need for options and customization, we provide a range of landing zone architectures and implementation options. Organizations can use the implementation option that most clearly aligns to

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27

Jul

New Windows Virtual Desktop capabilities now generally available

With the global pandemic, customers are relying on remote work more than ever, and Windows Virtual Desktop is helping customers rapidly deliver a secure Windows 10 desktop experience to their users. Charlie Anderson, CIO of Fife Council in the United Kingdom, was planning to modernize his companies’ existing Remote Destop Services (RDS) infrastructure, and then business requirements changed. He needed increased agility and scale to meet the changing requirements. In his own words:

“Windows Virtual Desktop was absolutely essential for us in terms of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many, we were faced with a continuity issue unparalleled in recent times. For us, this meant not only the continuation of services we already delivered, but also responding very quickly to new demands arising as a result of our public response to the pandemic.

To do that, we needed to provide as close to the “in-office” experience as we could to a workforce now working away from our offices. This meant multiplying previous remote working capacities by a factor of 15 almost overnight – something which would have been impossible without a scalable and cloud-based approach, which also worked well on a range of Council and self-provided devices.

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22

Jul

Innovate in Azure with confidence
Innovate in Azure with confidence

As the world navigates through the pandemic, it’s inspiring to see companies across every industry innovate to rethink their operations, engage with customers in new ways, and keep their employees safe. When it comes to innovating in the cloud, customers tell us that they need a platform that enables them to stand up solutions quickly, be agile to respond to their dynamic environments, and do so in a cost-effective manner. Azure has them covered.

Customers today are innovating in Azure more than ever before for their applications and their analytics solutions. Here’s why.

Applications

Customers that modernize their applications, or build new ones, on Azure realize significant cost savings and performance gains. A common pattern we see is customers modernizing their .NET applications with Azure App Service and Azure SQL Database. The Clover Imaging Group, for example, successfully migrated 200 applications to Azure with Azure App Service and Azure SQL Database with minimal effort to free their development team from administrative burdens like patching and updates.

Another common pattern we see are customers developing new applications from the ground up based on cloud design principles. These applications are typically built on containers with Azure Kubernetes Service, take advantage of microservices

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22

Jul

Enabling customers for success on Azure

The pandemic continues to test business principles, models, and strategies organizations once thought to be bedrock truths of business. The COVID-19 crisis has challenged everything, from leadership principles, financial models, operations, and sales process, to technology decisions and platform strategies. Organizations have been forced to quickly adapt to maintain efficient operations in these difficult times. Technology has remained the common driver throughout this period of worldwide adaptation to change.

The cloud has surged to the center of the recent digital transformation efforts, by quickly creating new solutions securely and reliably, meeting new business challenges, and driving transformation with continuous technological innovation. In meeting the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the cloud is driving digital transformation faster than ever with more organizations adopting cloud technologies.

Microsoft stands with our partners, and we’re committed to your efforts, enabling customers for successful cloud use, and harnessing the wave of innovation for organizations across the globe during this challenging time.

At Microsoft Inspire, we continue to invest in our customer’s success on Azure focusing on these four priorities:

Generating confidence in their cloud journey, providing technical guidance and skills development resources. Focusing on processes and operations on their terms, at their pace through

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22

Jul

Migrate to the cloud with confidence
Migrate to the cloud with confidence

Organizations today are changing how they run their businesses to ensure safety and efficiency. As we work closely with our customers, their top priorities include optimizing business costs, scaling for a remote workforce, and ensuring business continuity. As a result, cloud migration remains a priority and partners play a critical role.

To support your cloud migration projects, we are committed to solutions that optimize costs, scale efficiencies, and bring unmatched security and compliance. We have amazing offers, like Azure Hybrid Benefit, reserved instances, and free extended security updates to help our customers save money. Azure also delivers the lowest total cost of ownership for Windows Server and SQL Server workloads, with up to 3x better performance over AWS (GigaOm*).

We are also seeing increasing adoption of specialized workloads like the Azure VMware Solution as customers look to migrate their entire IT estate to Azure. Lastly, Azure does all of this while remaining flexible, so customers can extend their on-premises investments and leverage them as they move to the cloud. The new Azure Stack HCI preview is one example that we just announced.

Today, we’re sharing new Azure services that help accelerate migration.

Leverage new Azure infrastructure services to migrate workloads

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