Category Archives : IT Pro/DevOps

14

Aug

#Contest Microsoft AI Idea Challenge – AI’s next breakthrough is you!

All of us have creative ideas – ideas that can improve our lives and the lives of thousands, perhaps even millions of others. But how often do we act on turning those ideas into a reality? Most of the time, we do not believe in our ideas strongly enough to pursue them. Other times we feel like we lack a platform to build out our idea or showcase it. Most good ideas don’t go beyond those initial creative thoughts in our head.

If you’re a professional working in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), or an aspiring AI developer or just someone who is passionate about AI and machine learning, Microsoft is excited to offer you an opportunity to transform your most creative ideas into reality. Join the Microsoft AI Idea Challenge Contest today for a chance to win exciting prizes and get your project featured in Microsoft’s AI.lab showcase. Check out the rules, terms and conditions of the contest and then dive right in!

The challenge

The Microsoft AI Idea Challenge is seeking breakthrough AI solutions from developers, data scientists, professionals and students, and preferably developed on the Microsoft AI platform and services. The challenge gives you a

08

Aug

The Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Azure eBook – August update is now available

Today, we’re pleased to introduce the new and updated Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Azure eBook. Featuring extensive updates since the last update, the new eBook is designed to help you get up to speed with Azure in the shortest time possible and includes practical real-world scenarios.

This book includes all the updates from Microsoft Build, along with new services and features announced since then. In addition to these important services, we wanted to focus on practical examples that you’ll use in the real world and included a table and reference architecture that show you “What to use When” for databases, containers, serverless scenarios and more. We also put a key focus on security to help you stop potential threats to your business before they happen. You’ll also see brand new sections on IoT, DevOps and AI/ML that you can take advantage of today.

In the 20+ pages of demos, we’ll be diving into topics such as creating and deploying .NET Core web apps and SQL Server to Azure from scratch, to extending the application to perform analysis of the data with Cognitive Services. After we have our app we’ll make it more robust and easier to update by incorporating CI/CD

19

Jul

Score one for the IT Pro: Azure File Sync is now generally available!

Azure File Sync replicates files from your on-premises Windows Server to an Azure file share. With Azure File Sync, you don’t have to choose between the benefits of cloud and the benefits of your on-premises file server – you can have both! Azure File Sync enables you to centralize your file services in Azure while maintaining local access to your data.

Visit our product page to learn more about Azure File Sync.

We created Microsoft Azure Files with the goal of making it easy for you to reap the benefits of cloud storage. We know from decades of experience building Windows file server that file shares are useful for more than just application development; file shares are used for everything under the sun. With Azure Files, we are focused on building general purpose file shares that can replace all the file servers and NAS devices your organization has, and today, we are happy to share an important milestone on that journey: the general availability of Azure File Sync! 
 
Azure File Sync grew out of our conversations with thousands of customers about the challenge of balancing the need for local and fast access to their frequently accessed data with the

19

Jul

Score one for the IT Pro: Azure File Sync is now generally available!

Azure File Sync replicates files from your on-premises Windows Server to an Azure file share. With Azure File Sync, you don’t have to choose between the benefits of cloud and the benefits of your on-premises file server – you can have both! Azure File Sync enables you to centralize your file services in Azure while maintaining local access to your data.

Visit our planning guide to learn more about Azure File Sync.

We created Microsoft Azure Files with the goal of making it easy for you to reap the benefits of cloud storage. We know from decades of experience building Windows file server that file shares are useful for more than just application development; file shares are used for everything under the sun. With Azure Files, we are focused on building general purpose file shares that can replace all the file servers and NAS devices your organization has, and today, we are happy to share an important milestone on that journey: the general availability of Azure File Sync! 
 
Azure File Sync grew out of our conversations with thousands of customers about the challenge of balancing the need for local and fast access to their frequently accessed data with the maintenance

17

Jul

Azure cost forecast API and other updates
Azure cost forecast API and other updates

As your cloud spend starts to increase, being able to accurately forecast usage becomes a critical part of your plan. As the first step in enabling a forward looking view to your spend on a subscription we’re launching a forecast API. The forecast API today supports a daily or monthly grain forecast at a 95 percent confidence interval. The API also returns the last two months of actual usage that should help in looking at any trending scenarios. For future iterations of the API, we plan to support multiple other scopes up and down the hierarchy, like resource groups and enrollments, options for confidence intervals and longer range forecasts. Check out the documentation page for more details on calling the forecast API.

Location and service data normalization

Effective cost management for enterprise customers requires accurate and granular data that can be dimensionalized to support ad hoc queries and accurate rollups of costs in the enterprise hierarchy. As the first step to make the usage data adding more dimensions, we are normalizing the location (InstanceLocation) and service (ConsumedService) fields as there are a few data quality issues with multiple variants of data in these columns. The dimensions currently supported are tags

17

Jul

Azure cost forecast API and other updates
Azure cost forecast API and other updates

As your cloud spend starts to increase, being able to accurately forecast usage becomes a critical part of your plan. As the first step in enabling a forward looking view to your spend on a subscription we’re launching a forecast API. The forecast API today supports a daily or monthly grain forecast at a 95 percent confidence interval. The API also returns the last two months of actual usage that should help in looking at any trending scenarios. For future iterations of the API, we plan to support multiple other scopes up and down the hierarchy, like resource groups and enrollments, options for confidence intervals and longer range forecasts. Check out the documentation page for more details on calling the forecast API.

Location and service data normalization

Effective cost management for enterprise customers requires accurate and granular data that can be dimensionalized to support ad hoc queries and accurate rollups of costs in the enterprise hierarchy. As the first step to make the usage data adding more dimensions, we are normalizing the location (InstanceLocation) and service (ConsumedService) fields as there are a few data quality issues with multiple variants of data in these columns. The dimensions currently supported are tags

25

Jun

Backup your applications on Azure Stack with Azure Backup

Earlier this month, we announced Azure Stack expanding availability to 92 countries. Today, we are announcing the capability to backup files and applications data using Microsoft Azure Backup Server. Azure Stack tenants can now take app consistent backup of their data in Azure Stack VMs, store them on the stack for operational recoveries, and send the data to Azure for long-term retention and offsite copy needs.

Key benefits Application consistent backups for SQL, SharePoint, and Exchange

App consistent backups mean that Azure Backup makes sure that while taking a backup, the memory is flushed, and no IOs are pending. This means that in addition to being recoverable, your applications being completely consistent at the time of backups. With Azure Backup Server, you can take App consistent backups of your applications, ensuring that the data, when recovered, is valid and consistent.

Item Level Recovery for local recovery points

Quick operation recoveries can be triggered directly from the Microsoft Azure Backup Server running on your stack, with Item Level Recovery. This means that you can recover a single file from a 50GB volume backed up, without having to recover the whole volume at a staging location.

Long term retention of offsite

21

Jun

Cost Reporting ARM APIs across subscriptions for EA customers

Azure enterprise customers today manage their subscriptions on the EA portal and use the EA hierarchy to group and report on usage and costs by subscription. Until today, the only APIs available for the enterprise hierarchy was the key based APIs, this month we are releasing ARM supported APIs for the enrollment hierarchy. This will enable users with the required privileges to make API calls to the individual nodes in the management hierarchy and get the most current cost and usage information.

The benefits of this API is an improved security posture, seamless onboarding to the cost APIs and benefiting from the continued investment in planned work on the APM APIs, like budgets. Departments today support rudimentary spending limits, but in the coming weeks we will be supporting budgets, that were recently announced for subscriptions and resource groups on EA hierarchy nodes as well. The ARM APIs also standardize the pattern and enable AD based authentication.

Hierarchy Updates

As part of this release the ARM API introduces a few new terms:

Enrollments in the ARM APIs are Billing Accounts Departments continue on as Departments Accounts in the ARM APIs are referred to as Enrollment Accounts

This release of ARM APIs

21

Jun

Cost Reporting ARM APIs across subscriptions for EA customers

Azure enterprise customers today manage their subscriptions on the EA portal and use the EA hierarchy to group and report on usage and costs by subscription. Until today, the only APIs available for the enterprise hierarchy was the key based APIs, this month we are releasing ARM supported APIs for the enrollment hierarchy. This will enable users with the required privileges to make API calls to the individual nodes in the management hierarchy and get the most current cost and usage information.

The benefits of this API is an improved security posture, seamless onboarding to the cost APIs and benefiting from the continued investment in planned work on the APM APIs, like budgets. Departments today support rudimentary spending limits, but in the coming weeks we will be supporting budgets, that were recently announced for subscriptions and resource groups on EA hierarchy nodes as well. The ARM APIs also standardize the pattern and enable AD based authentication.

Hierarchy Updates

As part of this release the ARM API introduces a few new terms:

Enrollments in the ARM APIs are Billing Accounts Departments continue on as Departments Accounts in the ARM APIs are referred to as Enrollment Accounts

This release of ARM APIs

13

Jun

Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) GA – New regions, more features, increased productivity

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and as I approach two years working on containers in Azure, I see the truth in that saying. Over the last two years we have launched a Kubernetes service in Azure, acquired Deis, joined the Linux foundation, launched the Draft and Brigade open source projects, launched the first serverless container infrastructure in the major public clouds, and most recently acquired GitHub where Kubernetes was born. We’ve also seen incredible growth in Kubernetes on Azure, with five times the number of customers and ten times the usage of a year ago. To say that the excitement never ends at Microsoft and Azure is an understatement!

Today, I’m incredibly excited to announce that the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is now generally available. We are also adding five new regions including Australia East, UK South, West US, West US 2, and North Europe. AKS is now generally available in ten regions across three continents, and we expect to add ten more regions in the coming months!

With AKS in all these regions, users from around the world, or with applications that span the world, can deploy and manage their production Kubernetes applications with the confidence