Category Archives : Announcements

23

May

An update on the integration of Avere Systems into the Azure family

It has been three months since we closed on the acquisition of Avere Systems. Since that time, we’ve been hard at work integrating the Avere and Microsoft families, growing our presence in Pittsburgh and meeting with customers and partners at The National Association of Broadcasters Show.

It’s been exciting to hear how Avere has helped businesses address a broad range of compute and data challenges, helping produce blockbuster movies and life-saving drug therapies faster than ever before with hybrid and public cloud options. I’ve also appreciated having the opportunity to address our customers questions and concerns and thought it might be helpful to share the most common ones with the broader Azure/Avere community:

When will Avere be available on Microsoft Azure? We are on track to release Microsoft Avere vFXT to the Azure Marketplace later this year.  With this technology Azure customers will be able to run compute-intensive applications completely on Azure or to take advantage of our scale on an as-needed basis. Will Microsoft continue to support the Avere FXT physical appliance? Yes, we will continue to invest in, upgrade and support the Microsoft Avere FXT physical appliance, which customers tell us is particularly important for their on-premise and hybrid environments.

23

May

Do more with Chef and Microsoft Azure
Do more with Chef and Microsoft Azure

We’re committed to making Azure work great with the open source tools you know and love, and if you’re using Chef products or open source projects, there’s never been a better time to try Azure. We’ve had a rich history of partnership and collaboration with Chef to deliver automation tools that help you with cloud adoption. Today, at ChefConf, the Chef and Azure teams are excited to announce the inclusion of Chef InSpec, directly in Azure Cloud Shell, as well as the new Chef Developer Hub in Azure Docs.

Inspec in Azure Cloud Shell

In addition to other open source tools like Ansible and Terraform that are already available, today we are announcing the availability of Chef Inspec, pre-installed and ready to use for every Azure user in the Azure Cloud Shell. This makes bringing your Inspec tests to Azure super-simple, in fact it’s the easiest way to try out Inspec – no installation or configuration required.

 

Figure 1: InSpec Exec within Azure Cloud Shell

Chef Developer Hub for Azure

We are launching the new Chef Developer Hub so Azure customers can more easily implement their solutions using Chef open source software. Whether you’re using Chef, Inspec or

17

May

Announcing SQL Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and SQL Vulnerability Assessment general availability

We are delighted to announce the general availability of SQL Vulnerability Assessment for Azure SQL Database! SQL Vulnerability Assessment (VA) provides you a one-stop-shop to discover, track and remediate potential database vulnerabilities. It helps give you visibility into your security state, and includes actionable steps to investigate, manage and resolve security issues, and enhance your database fortifications. VA is available for Azure SQL Database customers as well as for on-premises SQL Server customers via SSMS.

If you have data privacy requirements or need to comply with data protection regulations like the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR), then VA is your built-in solution to simplify these processes and monitor your database protection status. For dynamic database environments where changes are frequent and hard to track, VA is invaluable in detecting the settings that can leave your database vulnerable to attack.

New SQL Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

VA is being released to general availability (GA) as part of a new security package for your Azure SQL Database, called SQL Advanced Threat Protection (ATP). ATP provides a single go-to location for discovering, classifying and protecting sensitive data, managing your database vulnerabilities, and detecting anomalous activities that could indicate a

09

May

Azure confidential computing

Last September, I had the privilege to publicly announce our Azure confidential computing efforts, where Microsoft Azure became the first cloud platform to enable new data security capabilities that protect customer data while in use. The Azure team, alongside Microsoft Research, Intel, Windows, and our Developer Tools group, have been working together to bring Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) such as Intel SGX and Virtualization Based Security (VBS – previously known as Virtual Secure mode) to the cloud. TEEs protect data being processed from access outside the TEE. We’re ready to share more details about our confidential cloud vision and the work we’ve done since the announcement.

Many companies are moving their mission critical workloads and data to the cloud, and the security benefits that public clouds provide is in many cases accelerating that adoption. In their 2017 CloudView study, International Data Corporation (IDC) found that ‘improving security’ was one of the top drivers for companies to move to the cloud. However, security concerns still remain a commonly cited blocker for moving extremely sensitive IP and data scenarios to the cloud. Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) recently published the latest version of its Treacherous 12 Threats to Cloud Computing report. Not surprisingly,

07

May

Simplifying blockchain app development with Azure Blockchain Workbench

This week, developers from around the world join us at our annual Microsoft Build conference to hear about the latest in technology innovation. Blockchain remains a key topic of interest.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of customers have experimented with the blockchain templates and developer tooling available on our Azure Marketplace to begin their blockchain journeys. Businesses across industries have built a variety of applications to address needs ranging from pharmaceutical counterfeiting and travel booking reconciliation, to the creation of digital domestic currencies. While the use cases are diverse, the challenges for customers just beginning their journey have been the same – bespoke applications are costly and time consuming to develop and notoriously difficult to integrate.

Skip the scaffolding

Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview release of Azure Blockchain Workbench, a new offering that can reduce application development time from months to days. Workbench gets customers started quickly by automating infrastructure setup, so developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.

Businesses using Workbench can provision the scaffolding for an end-to-end blockchain application with just a few simple clicks. Using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Workbench not only

07

May

Announcing Cognitive Search: Azure Search + cognitive capabilities

Today we are announcing Cognitive Search, an AI-first approach to content understanding. Cognitive Search is powered by Azure Search with built-in Cognitive Services. It pulls data from a variety of Azure data sources and applies a set of composable cognitive skills which extract knowledge. This knowledge is then organized and stored in a search index enabling new experiences for exploring the data.

Finding latent knowledge in all data

Real-world data is messy. It often spans media types (e.g. text documents, PDF files, images, databases), changes constantly, and carries valuable knowledge in ways that is not readily usable. In our team we see the same challenges that emerge from this on a daily basis: our customers apply information retrieval solutions, such as Azure Search- combined with AI models, either pre-built models such as Cognitive Services or custom ones, to extract latent knowledge in their vast data stores.

The typical solution pattern for this is a data ingestion, enrichment and exploration model.  Each of these brings its own challenges to the table—from large scale change tracking to file format support, and even composition of multiple AI models. Developers can do this today, but it takes a huge amount of effort, requires branching

07

May

Monitoring Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) with Azure Monitor container health (preview)

Monitoring the health and performance of your Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) cluster is important to ensure that your applications are up and running as expected. If you run applications on other Azure infrastructure, such as Virtual Machines, you have come to rely on Azure Monitor to provide near real-time, granular monitoring data. We are happy to announce that you can now rely on Azure Monitor to also track the health and performance of your AKS cluster. Let’s look at the new container health monitoring capability in Azure Monitor.

You can enable container monitoring from the Azure portal when you create an AKS cluster. You may notice the prompt for a Log Analytics workspace, and the reason for this will become clear throughout this post. For now, just know that you are providing a central location to store your container logs.

Now that you have gone through the wizard and setup AKS cluster with container health, let’s go through an example to see how you would use it. Start by clicking on Health in AKS. Let’s say, you believe there is a possible resource bottleneck somewhere in your Kubernetes cluster. Since you aren’t sure exactly what and where the issue

07

May

Simplifying blockchain app development with Azure Blockchain Workbench

This week, developers from around the world join us at our annual Microsoft Build conference to hear about the latest in technology innovation. Blockchain remains a key topic of interest.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of customers have experimented with the blockchain templates and developer tooling available on our Azure Marketplace to begin their blockchain journeys. Businesses across industries have built a variety of applications to address needs ranging from pharmaceutical counterfeiting and travel booking reconciliation, to the creation of digital domestic currencies. While the use cases are diverse, the challenges for customers just beginning their journey have been the same – bespoke applications are costly and time consuming to develop and notoriously difficult to integrate.

Skip the scaffolding

Today, we’re excited to announce the public preview release of Azure Blockchain Workbench, a new offering that can reduce application development time from months to days. Workbench gets customers started quickly by automating infrastructure setup, so developers can focus on application logic, and business owners can focus on defining and validating their use cases.

Businesses using Workbench can provision the scaffolding for an end-to-end blockchain application with just a few simple clicks. Using Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates, Workbench not only

07

May

Sharing provisioned throughput across multiple containers in Azure #CosmosDB

Azure Cosmos DB is Microsoft’s globally distributed, multi-model database service for mission-critical applications. Azure Cosmos DB provides turnkey global distribution, elastic scaling of throughput and storage worldwide, single-digit millisecond latencies at the 99th percentile, five well-defined consistency models and guaranteed high availability, all backed by industry-leading comprehensive SLAs. Azure Cosmos DB automatically indexes all your data without requiring you to deal with schema or index management. It is a multi-model service that supports document, key-value, graph and column-family data models and exposes wire-compatible APIs for MongoDB, Apache Cassandra and Apache Gremlin, in addition to a native SQL dialect. As a natively born in the cloud service, Azure Cosmos DB is carefully engineered with multi-tenancy and global distribution from the ground up.

Unlimited flexibility, elasticity and scalability

Azure Cosmos DB offers a provisioned throughput model, where you configure throughput that you need and pay only for the throughput that you have reserved. As a multi-model database, depending on your choice of data model and API, Azure Cosmos DB allows you to create collections, tables or graphs – they all map internally to a Cosmos DB container. Azure Cosmos DB will transparently, automatically and elastically scale throughput and storage of its containers,

07

May

Build 2018: What’s new in Azure video processing and video AI

Developers and media companies trust and rely on Azure Media Services to build the ability to encode, protect, analyze and deliver video at scale. This week, at the Build 2018 conference in Seattle, we are proud to announce a major new API version for Azure Media Services, along with new developer focused features, and updates to Video Indexer.

Media processing at scale: Public preview of the new Azure Media Services API (v3)

Starting at Build 2018, developers can begin working with the public preview of the new Azure Media Services API (v3). The new API provides a simplified development model, enables a better integration experience with key Azure services like Event Grid and Functions, includes two new media analysis capabilities, and provides a new set of SDKs for .NET, .NET Core, Java, Go, Python, and Node.js!

We have created a set of preliminary documentation to get developers started quickly learning more about the new Azure Media Services preview release announcements.

Get Started with v3 Public Preview: REST API, SDKs, Swagger Files. Code Samples used at the Build 2018 session. Learn more about.. How the new Transform template makes it easier to submit encoding and analysis Jobs. How to use the