Category Archives : Announcements

17

Apr

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

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17

Apr

Announcing new Azure Security Center capabilities at RSA 2018

Migrating your workloads to the cloud can enable some inherent security benefits. With cloud scale machine learning and security analytics, you can mitigate threats quickly, making your environment more secure and your organization more productive.

Azure Security Center provides centralized visibility of the security state of your resources and uses the collective intelligence from machine learning and advanced analytics to not only detect threats quickly but to help you prevent them. It’s agent-based approach helps gain deeper security insights from the workloads and extends these protections to workloads running on-premises as well as other clouds, providing a unified security management for you.

Today we are excited to announce several capabilities in Azure Security Center that will provide enhanced protection to help you keep pace with the evolving cybersecurity landscape:

Visibility and governance at the organizational level

Take advantage of a new overview dashboard to gain visibility into your security state from an organizational level instead of a subscription level. To help organizations identify and address the challenges of managing an organization-wide security posture, you can now set security policies for management groups in your organization. You can also monitor it with an organization-wide compliance score as well as a breakdown

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16

Apr

Streamlining GDPR requests with the Azure Portal

Today we’re letting our customers know about our upcoming Data Subject Request (DSR) processing capability in the Azure portal, which will provide tenant admins a simple, powerful tool to quickly fulfill the Data Subject Requests that are central to compliance with the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We will fully support these DSR capabilities before May 25, 2018, the date when enforcement of the GDPR begins and when Microsoft has committed to be GDPR compliant across our cloud services. 

The GDPR is the most significant change to EU privacy law in two decades and sets a new global standard for privacy rights, governing the handling and use of personal data. A fundamental tenet of the GDPR is the set of rights it grants individuals, or data subjects, in connection with their personal data collected by an organization (known as the data controller).

If your organization collects, hosts, or analyzes the personal data of EU residents, GDPR provisions require you to use data processors that guarantee their ability to implement the technical and organizational requirements of the GDPR. The GDPR also requires you to respond to requests from individuals, or data subjects, to receive a copy of their personal

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16

Apr

Introducing Microsoft Azure Sphere: Secure and power the intelligent edge

In the next decade, nearly every consumer gadget, every household appliance, and every industrial device will be connected to the Internet. These connected devices will also become more intelligent with the ability to predict, talk, listen, and more. The companies who manufacture these devices will have an opportunity to reimagine everything and fundamentally transform their businesses with new product offerings, new customer experiences, and differentiate against competition with new business models.

All these everyday devices have in common a tiny chip, often smaller than the size of your thumbnail, called a microcontroller (MCU). The MCU functions as the brain of the device, hosting the compute, storage, memory, and an operating system right on the device. Over 9 billion of these MCU-powered devices are built and deployed every year. For perspective, that’s more devices shipping every single year than the world’s entire human population. While few of these devices are connected to the Internet today, within just a few years, this entire industry, all 9 billion or more devices per year, is on path to include connected MCUs.

Internet connectivity is a two-way street. With these devices becoming a gateway to our homes, workplaces, and sensitive data, they also become targets

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04

Apr

SQL Database: Long-term backup retention preview includes major updates

The preview for long-term backup retention in Azure SQL Database was announced in October 2016, providing you with a way to easily manage long-term retention for your databases – up to 10 years – with backups stored in your own Azure Backup Service Vault.

Based upon feedback gathered during the preview, we are happy to announce a set of major enhancements to the long-term backup retention solution. With this update we have eliminated the need for you to deploy and manage a separate Backup Service Vault. Instead, SQL Database will utilize Azure Blob Storage under the covers to store and manage your long-term backups. This new design will enable flexibility for your backup strategy, and overall more control over costs.

This update brings you the following additional benefits:

More regional support – Long-term retention will be supported in all Azure regions and national clouds. More flexible backup policies – You can customize the frequency of long-term backups for each database with policies covering weekly, monthly, yearly, and specific week-within-a-year backups. Management of individual backups – You can delete backups that are not critical for compliance. Streamlined configuration No need to provision a separate backup service vault. What happens with

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04

Apr

A flexible new way to purchase Azure SQL Database
A flexible new way to purchase Azure SQL Database

We’re excited to announce the preview of an additional purchasing model to the Azure SQL Database Elastic Pool and Single Database deployment options. Recently announced with SQL Database Managed Instance, the vCore-based model reflects our commitment to customer choice by providing flexibility, control, and transparency. As with Managed Instance, the vCore-based model makes the Elastic Pool and Single Database options eligible for up to 30 percent savings* with the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

Optimize flexibility and performance with two new service tiers

The new vCore-based model introduces two service tiers, General Purpose and Business Critical. These tiers let you independently define and control compute and storage configurations, and optimize them to exactly what your application requires.  If you’re considering a move to the cloud, the new model also provides a straightforward way to translate on-premises workload requirements to the cloud. General Purpose is designed for most business workloads and offers budget-oriented, balanced, and scalable compute and storage options. Business Critical is designed for business applications with high IO requirements and offers the highest resilience to failures.

Choosing between DTU and vCore-based performance levels

You want the freedom to choose what’s right for your workloads and we’re committed

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03

Apr

Introducing a new way to purchase Azure monitoring services

Today customers rely on Azure’s application, infrastructure, and network monitoring capabilities to ensure their critical workloads are always up and running. It’s exciting to see the growth of these services and that customers are using multiple monitoring services to get visibility into issues and resolve them faster. To make it even easier to adopt Azure monitoring services, today we are announcing a new consistent purchasing experience across the monitoring services. Three key attributes of this new pricing model are:

1. Consistent pay-as-you-go pricing

We are adopting a simple “pay-as-you-go” model across the complete portfolio of monitoring services. You have full control and transparency, so you pay for only what you use. 

2. Consistent per gigabyte (GB) metering for data ingestion

We are changing the pricing model for data ingestion from “per node” to “per GB”. Customers told us that the value in monitoring came from the amount of data received and the insight built on top of that, rather than the number of nodes. In addition, this new model works best for the future of containers and microservices where the definition of a node is less clear. “Per GB” data ingestion is the new basis for pricing across application, infrastructure,

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03

Apr

Azure IoT Hub is driving down the cost of IoT

Customers rely on the Azure IoT Hub service and love the scale, performance, security, and reliability it provides for connecting billions of IoT devices sending trillions of messages. Azure IoT Hub is already powering production IoT solutions across all major market segments including retail, healthcare, automotive, manufacturing, energy, agriculture, oil and gas, life sciences, smart buildings, and many others. Today, we have a few exciting announcements to make about Azure IoT Hub.

Over the years we’ve noticed that many customers start their IoT journey by simply sending data from devices to the cloud. We refer to this as “device to cloud telemetry,” and it provides a significant benefit. We’ve also noticed that later in their IoT journey most customers realize they need the ability to send commands out to devices, i.e., “cloud to device messaging,” as well as full device management capabilities, so they can manage the software, firmware, and configuration of their devices.

At Microsoft, we believe in meeting customers where they are and providing a great experience for them to capture the benefits of IoT. Because of this, we’re excited to announce a new capability of Azure IoT Hub: a “device to cloud telemetry” tier, called the

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02

Apr

New Microsoft Azure regions available for Australia and New Zealand

Two new Microsoft Azure regions in Australia are available to customers, making Microsoft the only global provider to deliver cloud services specifically designed to address the requirements of the Australian and New Zealand governments and critical national infrastructure, including banks, utilities, transport and telecommunications.

We build our cloud infrastructure to serve the needs of our customers by delivering innovation globally and listening locally. To support the mission-critical work of crucial organizations in Australia and New Zealand, we’re delivering our global cloud platform through a unique partnership with Canberra Data Centres.

A key to our new Australia Central regions is the ability for customers to deploy their own applications and infrastructure within Canberra Data Centres directly connected via Azure ExpressRoute to Microsoft’s global network. This offers a great deal of flexibility and surety on network performance and security, making these regions ideally suited to the complex challenge of modernising mission-critical applications over time. Australian federal government customers can leverage their Intra Government Communications Network (ICON) for direct connectivity.

With heightened scrutiny of supply chain assurance in government and critical national infrastructure, we are proud to deliver these services in partnership with Australian-owned Canberra Data Centres. They are the premier data centre

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30

Mar

Azure Availability Zones now available for the most comprehensive resiliency strategy

We introduced Azure Availability Zones during Microsoft Ignite as part of our continuing expansion of Azure’s support for the most demanding, mission-critical workloads. Today I’m excited to announce the general availability of Availability Zones beginning with select regions in the United States and Europe.

With Availability Zones, in addition to the broadest global coverage, Azure now offers the most comprehensive resiliency strategy in the industry from mitigating rack level failures with availability sets to protecting against large scale events with failover to separate regions. Within a region, Availability Zones increase fault tolerance with physically separated locations, each with independent power, network, and cooling.

For many companies, especially those in regulated industries, who are increasingly moving their mission-critical applications to the cloud, resiliency and business continuity have become a crucial focus. From online commerce systems in retail to customer-facing applications in financial services, the stakes are high for organizations and enterprises to deliver for their customers. Even a minor issue can have a major impact on a company’s brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and bottom line. In this environment, it’s imperative to develop applications with the highest operations standards anchored by a multi-layered resiliency approach.

“Availability Zones give us the combination of

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