Over the past year, it’s become clear that businesses navigating these unprecedented times require a new level of agility. Core to this agility is achieving a level of software development excellence that was once thought unimaginable. When it comes to empowering all developers with limitless scale, choice, and possibilities, Microsoft Azure has their back.
Our commitment to developers is to make Azure the best cloud for developing intelligent applications that harness the power of data and AI. At Microsoft Build, we are announcing several exciting new capabilities and offers that make it easy and cost-effective for developers to get started with Azure data and AI services.
Innovate with Azure database services
We are announcing several new capabilities that empower developers to innovate with Azure’s database services. Azure SQL Database’s ledger capability, in preview, provides cryptographic verification for sensitive records. Customers like British Petroleum are already benefiting from this exciting feature. Azure Synapse Link for Microsoft Dataverse provides immediate insights from Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform applications, while Microsoft Power BI streaming dataflows remove any bottleneck from signals to insights. There are also several updates to Azure Cosmos DB to help developers build and modernize high-performance applications at any scale,
The past several months have seen their share of hardship, but despite the challenges, organizations continue to see digital transformation in the cloud as a path to growth. The promises of accelerated innovation, efficient operations, and lower costs among others, have helped many businesses remain viable—if not thrive—and they’re now looking at how they can do even more.
“We can do more now because our small team offloads all the heavy lifting to Azure. We can ship more features and ultimately give customers a faster, more secure, more feature-rich product.”—Paul Hill, Principal Cloud Architect, Schneider Electric
Back in October, we held our first digital event for Azure SQL, where customers learned how to boost scalability and resiliency by migrating their mission-critical SQL Server workloads onto Azure SQL. The event was successful and left many ready to take the next steps to continue their transformation journey and innovate in the cloud.
To help with this next step, we are hosting the Azure SQL digital event: Innovate Today with Azure SQL on May 4, 10:00 AM Pacific Time. During this hour-long virtual event, you’ll join Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President Azure Data, and a full team of Azure SQL experts to
The cloud continues to play a critical role in our everyday lives. Our customers range from classrooms and small businesses to critical life and safety services and Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure—the largest in the world—is the backbone for many of these experiences which have been essential to connecting people, businesses, and governments and running mission-critical applications. We believe that a trusted cloud is one that is secure, reliable, and supports regulatory compliance. We continue to build Azure to support customer needs for low-latency, high-availability cloud services and with the ability to both store and process data within a country or geography.
In 2020, Microsoft announced development of new Azure datacenter regions that will bring local low-latency, data-resident cloud solutions to 14 new countries and expanding global availability. Already in 2021, we’ve continued our plans to expand our datacenter regions to new markets like Indonesia and grow in existing markets in the United States and China. As we continue to bring local cloud services to more countries, we are doing so with resilience and high availability in mind.
Key takeways By end of 2021, every country in which we operate a datacenter region will deliver Azure Availability
Over the past year, it’s become clear that no business is immune to sudden changes. Embracing data as a strategic asset is key to remaining agile amidst uncertainty. Data can provide crucial insights to help you navigate complex situations, empower your employees to make better decisions, and create new customer experiences.
The benefits to getting this right are significant. Harvard Business Review found that organizations that embrace data to drive transformations experience a 54 percent growth in revenue and profits, 62 percent enhancement to customer satisfaction, and 44 percent faster time to market, relative to their peers. Azure data offers limitless scale and performance for your most mission-critical workloads—and limitless possibilities for what you can achieve.
Data: The strategic asset of our time
Using the right technology, it’s possible to harness your organization’s data, even in today’s world where data volume, variety, and velocity are accelerating dramatically.
Walgreens serves eight million customers every day, generating huge volumes of data. Analytics turn this data into insights, which inform inventory management and help Walgreens understand which products customers want. When its on-premises data warehouse faced limits, Walgreens migrated to Azure Synapse Analytics.
“With Azure Synapse, we were able to create a
https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/azure-cost-management-and-billing-updates-february-2021/Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to theRead More
Datacenters are part of today’s critical infrastructure—providing reliable and scalable compute power for online transactions, conference calls, virtual classrooms, supply chain and inventory management, internet searches, and much more around the world. We are continuing to build our cloud infrastructure to support the growing demand for cloud services for business continuity, innovation, and collaboration. To date, Microsoft has announced more than 60 datacenter regions around the globe, each comprising multiple datacenters.
In response to growing customer demand, today we’re announcing that we will establish our next U.S. datacenter region—“East US 3”—in Georgia, with presence in both Fulton and Douglas Counties. This is a significant commitment to the counties and part of Microsoft’s commitment to the Atlanta region announced today—to support the creation of new jobs and local business growth. When choosing datacenter sites, we consider a range of criteria, including proximity to population centers, a broad, reliable and stable power source, multiple high-capacity network connections, a large pool of qualified labor, and affordable and clean energy. Datacenters also support the creation of local jobs directly through construction and operations of the site, and indirectly through business transformation that increases competitiveness and growth. These jobs include roles in IT operations,
As customers grow their mission critical workloads, scaling up to manage spiky workloads in house can become an expensive proposition. Icertis, a leading provider of contract lifecycle management in the cloud, had one such workload managing over 7.5 million contracts spanning over a trillion dollars. The Icertis Contract Intelligence (ICI) platform is hosted entirely on Azure, providing their customers with new flexibility and scale to suit any size organization. Managing the growing number of customers and the volatility of daily spikes in database workload demand required manual interventions through an in-house solution that soon proved costly to maintain. Icertis needed an automated solution that could instantly scale when they needed it and chose Azure SQL Database serverless, improving their client query response times by over 80 percent while managing costs better.
Azure SQL Database serverless is a compute tier that optimizes price-performance and simplifies performance management for databases with intermittent, unpredictable usage. Serverless automatically scales compute when needed and pauses during inactive periods. With per-second billing, customers only pay for the compute resources used, potentially saving significant money in the process.
“Billing with serverless is per second, versus per hour using provisioned compute, and scaling up and down
Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management and Billing comes in.
We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management and Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:
New cost view for resource groups Remember last-used scope in Cost Management What’s new in Cost Management Labs Defining roles and responsibilities for cloud cost optimization 5 ways to save costs by running .NET apps on Azure New ways to save money with Azure New videos and learning opportunities Documentation updates
Let’s dig into the details.
New cost view for resource groups
In November, you saw new cost views optimized for resources and reservations. One of your top asks was to
We are excited to share that Azure SQL Database is among the most popular databases of 2020 according to DB-Engines, who recently announced their DBMS of the Year award. DB-Engines collects information on database management systems and it provides a widely accepted popularity ranking of database management systems. Azure SQL Database’s popularity score increased 253 percent through 2020, placing it in the top three database systems for the year—a first for a cloud database service in the nine years DB-Engines has published their rankings.
Azure SQL provides flexible options for migrating and modernizing your existing applications or building new applications in the cloud. It’s built upon the same SQL Server engine available on-premises, providing a consistent and unified experience across your entire portfolio. This enables database administrators and developers alike to use their existing SQL skills in the cloud to modernize and innovate.
Thank you to DB-Engines for this recognition and to our customers for your continued support. We are grateful to have such a passionate user community and look forward to investing in Azure SQL for you.
To learn more about Azure SQL, check out these resources:
Get started today with a free trial of Azure SQL.
We would like to share that Microsoft has been named a Leader in the 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems. Our placement is based on our ability to execute and our completeness of vision and is a testament to our ongoing innovation and integration of a broad data portfolio into a cohesive cloud data ecosystem.
Cloud and data technologies have been the focal point of digital transformation as organizations democratize and modernize their data platforms to turn data into a strategic asset. Our customers have shown tremendous resilience as entire industries have shifted under a landscape of economic uncertainty and they rely on Azure for a full range of use cases. Gartner evaluated these use cases across a wide range of industries and deployment sizes for this Magic Quadrant.
Figure 1: Magic Quadrant for Cloud Database Management Systems1
A strong data ecosystem
In the twenty-five years since SQL Server was first released, Microsoft has consistently delivered value to our database customers, starting by building support for operational, business intelligence, and analytical workloads into a single SQL Server product. With the launch of Azure SQL Database in 2010, we brought that same mindset to delivering a fully