Category Archives : Cloud Strategy



Turning to a new chapter of Windows Server innovation

Today, January 14, 2020, marks the end of support for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Customers loved these releases, which introduced advancements such as the shift from 32-bit to 64-bit computing and server virtualization. While support for these popular releases ends today, we are excited about new innovations in cloud computing, hybrid cloud, and data that can help server workloads get ready for the new era.

We want to thank customers for trusting Microsoft as their technology partner. We also want to make sure that we work with all our customers to support them through this transition while applying the latest technology innovations to modernize their server workloads.

We are pleased to offer multiple options to as you make this transition. Learn how you can take advantage of cloud computing in combination with Windows Server as you make this transition. Here are some of our customers that are using Azure for their Windows Server workloads.

Customers using Azure for their Windows Server workloads

Customers such as All Scripts, Tencent, Alaska Airlines, and Altair Engineering are using Azure to modernize their apps and services. One great example of this is from JB Hunt Transport Services, Inc. which has




SAP HANA backup using Azure Backup is now generally available

Today, we are sharing the general availability of Microsoft Azure Backup’s solution for SAP HANA databases in the UK South region.

Azure Backup is Azure’s native backup solution, which is BackInt certified by SAP. This offering aligns with Azure Backup’s mantra of zero-infrastructure backups, eliminating the need to deploy and manage backup infrastructure. You can now seamlessly backup and restore SAP HANA databases running on Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines (VM) — M series Virtual Machine is also supported, and leverage enterprise management capabilities that Azure Backup provides.

Benefits 15-minute Recovery Point Objective (RPO): Recovery of critical data of up to 15 minutes is possible. One-click, point-in-time restores: Easy to restore production data on SAP HANA databases to alternate servers. Chaining of backups and catalogs to perform restores is all managed by Azure behind the scenes. Long-term retention: For rigorous compliance and audit needs, you can retain your backups for years, based on the retention duration, beyond which the recovery points will be pruned automatically by the built-in lifecycle management capability. Backup Management from Azure: Use Azure Backup’s management and monitoring capabilities for improved management experience.

Watch this space for more updates on GA rollout to other regions. We are currently




Microsoft cloud in Norway opens with availability of Microsoft Azure

Today, we’re announcing the availability of Microsoft Azure from our new cloud datacenter regions in Norway, marking a major milestone as the first global cloud provider to deliver enterprise-grade services in country. These new regions demonstrate our ongoing investment to help enable digital transformation and advance intelligent cloud and intelligent edge computing technologies across both commercial and public sectors.

DNB, Equinor, Lånekassen, and Posten are just a few of the customers and partners leveraging our cloud services to accelerate innovation and increase computing resources. This new offering of Microsoft Azure delivers scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services to Norwegian companies and organizations while meeting data residency, security, and compliance needs.

Our President, Brad Smith, recently visited Norway to celebrate this important launch and to discuss how vital trust is for those we serve, not only to help bring forth innovation but to ensure our customers are protected.

“Our customers have entrusted us to protect, operate, and develop our platform in a way that keeps their data private and secure. This is an immense responsibility that we can’t just claim, but a responsibility that we must earn every single day.” – Brad Smith, President, Microsoft

Accelerating digital




Accelerate IoMT on FHIR with new Microsoft OSS Connector is expanding the ecosystem of FHIR® for developers with a new tool to securely ingest, normalize, and persist Protected Health Information (PHI) from IoMT devices in the cloud.   Continuing our commitment to remove the barriers of interoperability in healthcare, READ MORE




Success in the cloud: Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure

With thousands of customers deploying more and more applications on cloud platforms, cloud technologies have become increasingly more familiar to businesses. However, the path for successful cloud adoption can be bumpy for enterprises as it requires more than the typical technology deployment steps. Successful cloud adoption requires deeper and broader changes across an organization, including business plans and expectations alignment, process updates, and technical readiness.

In our work with customers, we’ve helped solve some common obstacles to the cloud journey, including proper cloud governance to control costs and ensure security, confusion on the right migration strategy to define a path to the cloud, and a lack of context on how to establish a Cloud Center of Excellence in their organization.

Today, we are announcing the general availability of new content within the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, including Innovate and Manage stages and new resources and assessments to help organizations wherever they are. It brings together best practices from Microsoft solution architects, partners, and customers into a comprehensive and curated set of tools, documentation, templates, and guidance that help organizations shape their cloud strategies, driving towards their desired business goals and outcomes.

Digital transformation is real and is here.




How Hanu helps bring Windows Server workloads to Azure

For decades our Microsoft services partners have fostered digital transformation at customer organizations around the world. With deep expertise in both on-premises and cloud operating models, our partners are trusted advisers to their customer, helping shape migration decisions. Partners give customers hands-on support with everything from initial strategy to implementation – giving them a unique perspective on why migration matters.

Hanu is one of our premier Microsoft partners and the winner of the 2019 Microsoft Azure Influencer Partner of the Year.  Hanu experts rely on expertise with Windows Server and SQL Server, as well as Azure, to plan and manage cloud migration. This ensures that customers get proactive step-by-step guidance and best in class support as they transform with the cloud. 

Recently, I sat down with Dave Sasson, Chief Strategy Officer at Hanu, to learn more about why Windows Server customers migrate to the cloud, and why they choose Azure. Below I am sharing a few key excerpts.

How often are Windows Server customers considering cloud as a part of their digital strategy today? How are they thinking about migrating business applications?

Very frequently we talk to customers that have Windows Servers running their business-critical apps. For a significant number




Azure API for FHIR® moves to general availability

Today, Microsoft becomes the first cloud with a fully managed, first-party service to ingest, persist, and manage healthcare data in the native FHIR format. The Azure API for FHIR® is releasing today in generally availability to all Azure customers.

The core mission in healthcare is to deliver better health outcomes, and the data standard fueling the future of that mission is FHIR. The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) has revolutionized the industry in the last several years and is rapidly becoming established as the preferred standard for exchanging and managing healthcare information in electronic format.  Microsoft understands the unique value FHIR offers to enable management of Protected Health Information (PHI) in the cloud, so we’re advancing Azure technology to enable our health customers the ability to ingest, manage, and persist PHI data across the Azure environment in the native FHIR format.

With the Azure API for FHIR, a developer, researcher, device maker, or anyone working with health data—is empowered with a turnkey platform to provision a cloud-based FHIR service in just minutes and begin securely managing PHI data in Azure. We’ve simplified FHIR through this new Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) so customers can free up their operational resources and focus their development




Over 100 Azure services support PROTECTED Australian government data

Today Microsoft published an independent security assessment of 113 Microsoft Azure services for their suitability to handle official and PROTECTED Australian government information. This assessment, carried out under the Information Security Registered Assessor Program (IRAP), is now available for customers and partners to review and use as they plan for increasing the use of cloud in government.

This milestone significantly expands the ability of the Australian government to leverage Microsoft Azure to drive digital transformation. The expanded scope of this IRAP assessment includes cognitive services, machine learning, IoT, advanced cybersecurity, open source database management, and serverless and application development technologies. This enables the full range of innovation within Azure Australia to be utilized for government applications, further reinforcing our commitment to achieving the broadest range of accreditations and assurances to meet the needs of government customers.

This assurance is critical for customers such as the Victorian Government, using ICT shared services provider Cenitex in partnership with Canberra-based OOBE to deploy VicCloud Protect, a ground-breaking and highly secure service that enables its government customers to safely manage applications and data rated up to PROTECTED level.

“VicCloud Protect is a first for the Victorian Government and our customers can now confidently




Azure HPC Cache: Reducing latency between Azure and on-premises storage

Today we’re previewing the Azure HPC Cache service, a new Azure offering that empowers organizations to more easily run large, complex high-performance computing (HPC) workloads in Azure. Azure HPC Cache reduces latency for applications where data may be tethered to existing data center infrastructure because of dataset sizes and operational scale.

Scale your HPC pipeline using data stored on-premises or in Azure. Azure HPC Cache delivers the performant data access you need to be able to run your most demanding, file-based HPC workloads in Azure, without moving petabytes of data, writing new code, or modifying existing applications.

For users familiar with the Avere vFXT for Azure application available through the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, Azure HPC Cache offers similar functionality in a more seamless experience—meaning even easier data access and simpler management via the Azure Portal and API tools. The service can be driven with Azure APIs and is proactively monitored on the back end by the Azure HPC Cache support team and maintained by Azure service engineers. What is the net benefit? The Azure HPC Cache service delivers all the performance benefits of the Avere vFXT caching technology at an even lower total cost of ownership.

Azure HPC Cache works




Microsoft Azure available from new cloud regions in Germany
Microsoft Azure available from new cloud regions in Germany

Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, SAP, and others trust Microsoft for their digital transformations

Today, we’re announcing the availability of Azure in our new cloud regions in Germany. These new regions and our ongoing global expansion are in response to customer demand as more industry leaders choose Microsoft’s cloud services to further their digital transformations. As we enter new markets, we work to address scenarios where data residency is of critical importance, especially for highly regulated industries seeking the compliance standards and extensive security offered by Azure.

Additionally, Office 365—the world’s leading cloud-based productivity solution—and Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools, will be offered from these new cloud regions to advance even more customers on their cloud journeys.

Trusted Microsoft cloud services

Microsoft cloud services delivered from a given geography, such as our new regions in Germany, offer scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services while helping enterprises and organizations meet their data residency, security, and compliance needs. We have deep expertise protecting data and empowering customers around the globe to meet extensive security and privacy requirements by offering the broadest set of compliance certifications and attestations in the industry. We also