Category Archives : Cloud Strategy



Azure SQL Database Edge: Enabling intelligent data at the edge

The world of data changes at a rapid pace, with more and more data being projected to be stored and processed at the edge. Microsoft has enabled enterprises with the capability of adopting a common programming surface area in their data centers with Microsoft SQL Server and in the cloud with Azure SQL Database. We note that latency, data governance and network connectivity continue to gravitate data compute needs towards the edge. New sensors and chip innovation with analytical capabilities at a lower cost enable more edge compute scenarios to drive higher agility for business.

At Microsoft Build 2019, we announced Azure SQL Database Edge, available in preview, to help address the requirements of data and analytics at the edge using the performant, highly available and secure SQL engine. Developers will now be able to adopt a consistent programming surface area to develop on a SQL database and run the same code on-premises, in the cloud, or at the edge.

Azure SQL Database Edge offers:

Small footprint allows the database engine to run on ARM and x64 devices via the use of containers on interactive devices, edge gateways, and edge servers. Develop once and deploy anywhere scenarios through a common




Connecting the colossal: How to scale innovation with serverless integration

Starting the process of migrating to the cloud can be daunting. Legacy systems that are colossal in scale often overwhelm the average team tasked with the mission of digital transformation. How can they possibly untangle years of legacy code to start this new digital transformation initiative? Not only are these systems colossal in scale, but also colossal in terms of business importance. Enterprise applications like SAP and IBM, are integral to the daily rhythm of business. A seemingly simple mistake can result in catastrophic consequence.

Over the past year, Azure Integration Services has been reflecting on solutions to help with these challenges and we’re excited to announce new capabilities:

Developer focused – Improved the developer experience inside Logic Apps by allowing you to directly write code as a step inside a Logic App. Enterprise ready – Added new migration and modernization scenarios with the general availability of our new-and-improved SAP connector. Serverless first – Better integration between API Management and Azure Functions makes it even easier to create and manage serverless integrations and applications. The challenges facing customers

Over the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with and hear from customers in-person to discuss the biggest challenges facing




Best practices in migrating SAP applications to Azure – part 3

This is the third blog in a three-part blog post series on best practices in migrating SAP to Azure.

BWoH and BW/4HANA on Azure

Many SAP customers’ compelling events in their migration of SAP HANA to the cloud have been driven by two factors:

End of life first-generation SAP HANA appliances causing customers to re-evaluate their platform. The desire to take advantage of the early value proposition of SAP Business Warehouse (BW) on HANA in a flexible TDI model over traditional databases and later BW/4HANA.

As a result, numerous initial migrations of SAP HANA to Microsoft Azure have focused on SAP BW to take advantage of SAP HANA’s in-memory capability for the BW workload. This means migration of the BW application to utilize SAP HANA at the database layer, and eventually the more involved migration of BW on HANA to BW/4HANA.

The SAP Database Migration Option (DMO) with System Move option of SUM, used as part of the migration allows customer the options to perform the migration in a single step, from source system on-premises, or to the target system residing in Microsoft Azure, minimizing overall downtime.

As with the S/4HANA example my colleague Marshal used in “Best practices in




Azure Stack IaaS – part seven




Best practices in migrating SAP applications to Azure – part 2

This is the second blog in a three-part blog post series on best practices in migrating SAP to Azure.

Journey to SAP S/4HANA from SAP Business Suite

A common scenario where SAP customers can experience the speed and agility of the Azure platform is the ability to migrate from a SAP Business Suite running on-premises to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud. This scenario is a two-step process. The first step being migration from enterprise resource planning (ERP) on-premises to the Suite on HANA in Azure, and then converting from Suite on HANA to S/4HANA.

Using the cloud as the destination for such a migration project has the potential to save organizations millions of dollars in upfront cost for infrastructure equipment, and can shave roughly around 12 to 16 weeks off the project schedule as the most complex components of the infrastructure are already in place and can easily be provisioned when required. You can see where these time savings come from by looking at the time it takes to go through the request for proposal (RFP) process, to procure expensive servers with large memories, or potentially to procure dedicated appliances with only a five year lifespans such as storage




Spark + AI Summit – Developing for the intelligent cloud and intelligent edge




Migrating SAP applications to Azure: Introduction and our partnership with SAP

Just over 25 years ago, Bill Gates and Hasso Plattner met to form an alliance between Microsoft and SAP that has become one of our industry’s longest lasting alliances. At the time their conversation was focused on how Windows could be the leading operating system for SAP’s SAPGUI desktop client and when released a few years later, how Windows NT could be a server operating system of choice for running SAP R/3. Not long after in 1996 we started our own SAP project based on Windows NT/SQL Server and complimented our SAP alliance that has continued to evolve since then, while meeting the needs of SAP customers of all sizes.

That said, with 90 percent of today’s Fortune 500 customers using Microsoft Azure and an estimated 80 percent of Fortune customers running SAP solutions, it makes sense why SAP running on Azure is a key joint initiative between Microsoft and SAP. At the SAPPHIRENOW conference in 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and SAP CEO Bill McDermott were on stage talking about the significant progress of SAP and Azure, especially with the release of SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances. Most of our conversations with large scale SAP customers at the time




Want to evaluate your cloud analytics provider? Here are the three questions to ask.

We all want the truth. To properly assess your cloud analytics provider, ask them about the only three things that matter:

Independent benchmark results Company-wide access to insights Security and privacy What are their results on independent, industry-standard benchmarks? 

Perhaps you’ve heard from other providers that benchmarks are irrelevant. If that’s what you’re hearing, maybe you should be asking yourself why? Independent, industry-standard benchmarks are important because they help you measure price and performance on both common and complex analytics workloads. They are essential indicators of value because as data volumes grow, it is vital to get the best performance you can at the lowest price possible.

In February, an independent study by GigaOm compared Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Amazon Redshift, and Google BigQuery using the highly recognized TPC-H benchmark. They found that Azure SQL Data Warehouse is up to 14x faster and costs 94 percent less than other cloud providers. And today, we are pleased to announce that in GigaOm’s second benchmark report, this time with the equally important TPC-DS benchmark, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is again the industry leader. Not Amazon Redshift. Not Google BigQuery. These results prove that Azure is the best place for all your analytics.




IoT in Action: Enabling cloud transformation across industries

The intelligent cloud and intelligent edge go hand-in-hand, and together they are sparking massive transformation across industries. As computing gets more deeply embedded in the real world, powerful new opportunities arise to transform revenue, productivity, safety, customer experiences, and more. According to a white paper by Keystone Strategy, digital transformation leaders generate 8 percent more per year in operating income than other enterprises.

But what does cloud transformation look like within the context of the Internet of Thing (IoT)?

Below I’ve laid out a typical cloud transformation journey and provided examples of how the cloud is transforming city government, industrial IoT, and oil and gas innovators. For a deep dive on this very topic, I hope you’ll join me and a whole host of cloud and IoT experts, and Microsoft partners and customers at the upcoming IoT in Action event in Houston.

The typical cloud transformation journey

As mentioned, the cloud is a vital piece of IoT. Below I’ve outlined a typical cloud journey.

Embrace an innovation mindset: The first part of the cloud transformation journey—and this applies to digital transformation in general—is building a culture and mindset that is willing to innovate, and welcomes change and the potential




Azure Stack IaaS – part five

Self-service is core to Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Back in the virtualization days, you had to wait for someone to create a VLAN for you, carve out a LUN, and find space on a host. If Microsoft Azure ran that way, we would have needed to hire more and more admins as our cloud business grew.

Do it yourself

A different approach was required, which is why IaaS is important. Azure’s IaaS gives the owner of the subscription everything they need to create virtual machines (VMs) and other resources on their own, without involving an administrator. To learn more visit our documentation, “Introduction to Azure Virtual Machines” and “Introduction to Azure Stack virtual machines.”

Let me give you a few examples that show Azure and Azure Stack self-service management of VMs.


Creating a VM is as simple as going through a wizard. You can create the VM by specifying everything needed for the VM in the “Create virtual machine” blade. You can include the operating system image or marketplace template, the size (memory, CPUs, number of disks, and NICs), high availability, storage, networking, monitoring, and even in guest configuration.

Learn more by visiting the following resources:

Deploy Azure Linux VM