A little over a year ago, Microsoft Build 2020 was Microsoft’s first flagship event to become all-digital early in the COVID-19 pandemic. We wanted to ensure we were there to support developers, who had become more critical than ever to business and societal continuity during the pandemic. During these most challenging times, developers have enabled businesses large and small to continue growing, transforming, and even reimagining the way they fulfill their purpose of supporting their customers and employees.
Microsoft Azure’s mission is to help people and organizations invent with purpose. We are proud to support developers—in many ways, the digital-first responders and pioneers of our generation—and the broader organizations they drive with their innovation. At digital Microsoft Build 2021 this week, we announced a host of new capabilities that help developers create intelligent, connected, and secure cloud-native apps that harness the power of data and AI and run anywhere. Below are the key stories we landed this week at Microsoft Build, with ways to explore for more details.
Increase developer velocity with Microsoft’s end-to-end developer platform
As a company built by developers and for developers, our goal at Microsoft is to provide them with the agility to address the real-world needs of
“Tech companies born with an open-source mentality get it. It’s our ability to work together that makes our dreams believable, and ultimately achievable; we must learn to build on the ideas of others”—Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft
Microsoft has always been a developer-first organization, and we are striving to make our tools and platforms better to serve developers. In that spirit, Azure is designed to give developers control over their infrastructure and provide the greatest flexibility regardless of operating system, database, language, deployment tool, or methodology, and to extend those options on-premises and to the edge. Today, many of those systems are open source: Linux, Kubernetes, Spark, and Python—just some of the best-known examples. And so Azure has been built to run those technologies, either at the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) levels, through Linux running in virtual machines (VMs), or our Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for cloud-native development, often in tandem with one of our managed services for popular open-source databases.
We are committed to open source at Microsoft. We contribute to Linux, Kubernetes, Visual Studio Code, and serving in open-source organizations like the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) or Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF). At
As your ally in the cloud, our Azure mission is to deliver thoughtfully designed products and services that equip you to solve challenges and invent what’s next. Our ability to meet your business and innovation needs is in part due to our growth mindset—which extends from front-end user experiences to small details like graphics and icons.
One detail updating today is the Azure “A” icon, which will be rolled out in product experiences and across related sites in the coming weeks. The new Azure icon represents the unity of Azure within the larger Microsoft family of product icons. It’s part of Microsoft’s Fluent Design System, carefully crafted to produce icons that look familiar to what customers know and love, while representing the agile future of our business.
The new Azure product family icon
The constant evolution of the cloud industry—and your business needs—is inspiring. It drives us to deliver products and services that support your growth and adapt to your shifting requirements. Your feedback is priceless for identifying and prioritizing updates. Please let us know what you’d like to see in the future on our feedback forum.
Azure. Invent with purpose.
Over the last year, there has been a significant uptake in digital skilling to fill the exponential rise in new tech jobs. In fact, the World Economic Forum is forecasting that nearly 150 million new tech jobs will be created in the next five years. Microsoft is committed to supporting learners interested in upskilling and building a more inclusive skills-based economy.
Today, we are announcing that Microsoft is collaborating with Coursera to bring new opportunities for skilling in Azure via three new Specializations: Azure Fundamentals, AI Fundamentals, and Data Fundamentals. Coursera is a leading learning platform, and we are delighted to bring on-demand Azure content to their roughly 80 million learners.
Fireside chat with Kim Akers, Microsoft Worldwide Learning Corporate Vice President,
and Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO
New opportunities for Azure skilling
The Azure Fundamentals Specialization gives learners the foundational understanding of Azure cloud services along with the knowledge to help build cloud solutions. Moreover, learners can expect to learn about Azure general security, network security, identity, governance, privacy, and compliance features, as well as pricing and support. This course helps learners gain a solid foundation in Azure and prepare for the Microsoft AZ-900 exam.
“Azure is just
Becoming world class at developing software is a more strategic imperative for companies across industries than ever before. While we have seen developer teams in many organizations around the world building amazing customer-facing and internal line-of-business applications for years, over the last year, we’ve seen massive shifts in the way many organizations connect with customers and employees. Businesses and organizations of all sizes are adopting solutions to enable remote work and are creating brand-new, cloud-based applications with an increasing focus on staying secure. Today, there is an even greater urgency for companies to invest in software development to adapt and thrive in 2021 and beyond.
COVID-19 drove significant durable demand and business model disruptions across industries. Banking and retail were two particularly impacted industries. While our earlier research highlighted the importance of Developer Velocity, post COVID-19, there is even more urgency for companies to invest in software development in the right way to adapt and thrive today and in the future.
In late 2020, we conducted new industry-focused research to understand the journey that leading companies in banking and retail take to become world class organizations. Deeply understanding the unique experience of our customers, and learning valuable lessons on
As developers, we are the builders of our era, creating the ideas and writing the code that helps organizations digitally transform. We pioneer innovation that disrupts countless industries and help businesses endure tough times. With every organization rethinking its business, it’s more important than ever that Microsoft helps empower developers at every organization to innovate. We see companies of all sizes—from large enterprises to family-run businesses—unlocking business value and addressing the needs of their customers with innovative solutions built on the Microsoft Cloud.
Each of our innovation journeys is unique, whether our goal is to modernize existing applications, build new intelligent applications, or adopt DevOps best practices to develop for the cloud. Microsoft empowers each of us on our unique journey with an end-to-end cloud platform that lets us quickly and easily create building blocks and a secure foundation for all our applications. At Microsoft Ignite, we are sharing a host of new capabilities that enable developers to continue innovating more effectively with Microsoft Azure, the Visual Studio family, GitHub, and Power Apps.
Modernize existing applications
When it comes to public cloud adoption, a common starting point is to modernize existing applications, and the conversation is focused on how to
This blog post has been co-authored by Hiren Shah, Principal PM Manager, SAP on Azure
SAP solutions power the digital enterprise core of many enterprises. As part of their digital transformation journeys, organizations are looking to migrate their mission-critical SAP workloads to Microsoft Azure to take advantage of hyperscale cloud, agility, and business continuity. Migrating mission-critical SAP environments requires careful planning and expertise to minimize risk and downtime. However, with the right automation tools and a team of experts, migration doesn’t need to be cumbersome. To streamline migration for our customers, and to help them reap the benefits of cloud computing at an accelerated pace, SNP and Microsoft have expanded their alliance. With the new Cloud Move for Azure program, customers can now leverage the power of automation to accelerate their SAP transformation journey with all the benefits of Azure cloud.
Cloud Move for Azure enables automated and precise cloud sizing through the detailed analysis of an existing SAP system, mapping it to a new environment in Azure with full cost transparency. You can read more about it below. SNP’s CrystalBridge® and SNP’s BLUEFIELD™ approach offers a state-of-the-art automated migration for complex SAP environments in a cost-efficient and
https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/apache-spark-connector-for-sql-server-and-azure-sql-now-compatible-with-spark-30/Accelerate big data analytics with the Spark 3.0 compatible connector for SQL Server—now in preview. We are announcing that the preview release of the Apache Spark 3.0 compatible Apache Spark Connector for SQL Server and Azure SQL, available through Maven.Read More
Managing IT costs is critical during this time of economic uncertainty. The global pandemic is challenging organizations across the globe to reinvent business strategies and make operations more effective and productive. Faster than ever, you’ll need to find ways to increase efficiencies and optimize costs across your IT organizations.
When it comes to cloud cost optimization, organizations typically divide responsibilities between central IT departments and distributed workload teams. Central IT departments manage overall cloud strategy and governance, setting and auditing corporate policies for cost management. In compliance with central IT policy, workload teams across the organization assume end-to-end ownership for cloud applications they’ve built, including cost management.
In this new normal, if you’re a workload owner, it’s doubly challenging for you and your teams who are taking on new cost responsibilities daily, all while continuously adapting to working in a cloud environment. We created the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework for you to help you design, build, deploy, and manage successful cloud workloads across five key pillars: security, reliability, performance efficiency, operational excellence, and cost optimization. While we’re uniquely focusing on cost optimization here, we’ll soon be addressing best practices on how to balance the priorities of your organization against the other four
In May, we announced a groundbreaking partnership with Redis Labs to bring their Redis Enterprise software to Azure as a part of Azure Cache for Redis. We were humbled by the level of excitement and interest we received. We are announcing that you can now use Redis to tackle new challenges while making your caches larger and more resilient than ever before.
There has never been a more critical time for a technology like Redis. With billions of people working from home globally, web-based applications must be more responsive than ever, and enterprises both large and small need to be able to scale rapidly to meet unexpected demand. Solutions like Redis empower developers to optimize their data architectures and solve these problems. We’ve seen tremendous adoption of Azure Cache for Redis, our managed solution built on Open Source Redis, as Azure customers have used Redis as a distributed cache, session store, and message broker. We’re excited to incorporate Redis Enterprise technology and make this solution even more powerful and available while also unlocking important new use cases for developers like search, deduplication, and time series analysis.
What is Redis Enterprise on Azure?
Microsoft and Redis Labs have partnered closely to