Category Archives : Management

30

Jun

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – June 2020

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 + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + 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:

More flexibility for budget notifications. Subscribe to active cost recommendations with Advisor digests. Automate subscription creation in Azure Government. Subscription ownership transfer improvements. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

More flexibility for budget notifications

You already know Azure Cost Management budgets keep you informed as your costs increase over time. We’re introducing two changes to make it easier than ever to tune your budgets to suit your specific needs.

You can now specify

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25

Jun

Azure Support API: Create and manage Azure support tickets programmatically

Large enterprise customers running business-critical workloads on Azure manage thousands of subscriptions and use automation for deployment and management of their Azure resources. Expert support for these customers is critical in achieving success and operational health of their business. Today, customers can keep running their Azure solutions smoothly with self-help resources, such as diagnosing and solving problems in the Azure portal, and by creating support tickets to work directly with technical support engineers.

We have heard feedback from our customers and partners that automating support procedures is key to help them move faster in the cloud and focus on their core business. Integrating internal monitoring applications and websites with Azure support tickets has been one of their top asks. Customers expect to create, view, and manage support tickets without having to sign-in to the Azure portal. This gives them the flexibility to associate the issues they are tracking with the support tickets they raise with Microsoft. The ability to programmatically raise and manage support tickets when an issue occurs is a critical step for them in Azure usability.

We’re happy to share that the Azure Support API is now generally available. With this API, customers can integrate the creation and management of support tickets directly into their

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22

Jun

Simplifying declarative deployments in Azure
Simplifying declarative deployments in Azure

Azure provides customers a simple and intuitive way to declaratively provision and manage infrastructure through Azure Resource Manager (ARM) templates. You can describe your entire Azure environment using template language, and then use your favorite CI/CD or scripting tool to stand up this environment in minutes. The ARM template language takes the form of JSON and is a direct representation of the resource schema. Which means you can create any Azure resource using an ARM Template from day one and configure any setting on the resources. Using ARM templates, you can describe the resources needed to make up the environment in a declarative, parameterized fashion. Because the ARM templates are declarative, you need only specify what you want, and Azure Resource Manager will figure out the rest.

Over the last couple of months, we have renewed our focus in ARM template deployments with a focus on addressing some of the key challenges shared by our customers. Today, we’re sharing some of the investments we’ve made to address some of these challenges.

Simplified authoring experience with Visual Studio Code

Our newest users have shared that their first time authoring and editing an ARM template from scratch can be intimidating. We have

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18

Jun

Cost optimization strategies for cloud-native application development

Today, we’ll explore some strategies that you can leverage on Azure to optimize your cloud-native application development process using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and managed databases, such as Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Database for PostgreSQL.

Optimize compute resources with Azure Kubernetes Service

AKS makes it simple to deploy a managed Kubernetes cluster in Azure. AKS reduces the complexity and operational overhead of managing Kubernetes by offloading much of that responsibility to Azure. As a managed Kubernetes service, Azure handles critical tasks like health monitoring and maintenance for you.

When you’re using AKS to deploy your container workloads, there are a few strategies to save costs and optimize the way you run development and testing environments.

Create multiple user node pools and enable scale to zero

In AKS, nodes of the same configuration are grouped together into node pools. To support applications that have different compute or storage demands, you can create additional user node pools. User node pools serve the primary purpose of hosting your application pods. For example, you can use these additional user node pools to provide GPUs for compute-intensive applications or access to high-performance SSD storage.

When you have multiple node pools, which run on virtual

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16

Jun

Advancing Microsoft Teams on Azure—operating at pandemic scale

“The COVID-19 pandemic has reset what it means to work, study, and socialize. Like many of us, I have come to rely on Microsoft Teams as my connection to my colleagues. In this post, our friends from the Microsoft Teams product group—Rish Tandon (Corporate Vice President), Aarthi Natarajan (Group Engineering Manager), and Martin Taillefer (Architect)—share some of their learnings about managing and scaling an enterprise-grade, secure productivity app.” – Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

 

Scale, resiliency, and performance do not happen overnight—it takes sustained and deliberate investment, day over day, and a performance-first mindset to build products that delight our users. Since its launch, Teams has experienced strong growth: from launch in 2017 to 13 million daily users in July 2019, to 20 million in November 2019. In April, we shared that Teams has more than 75 million daily active users, 200 million daily meeting participants, and 4.1 billion daily meeting minutes. We thought we were accustomed to the ongoing work necessary to scale service at such a pace given the rapid growth Teams had experienced to date. COVID-19 challenged this assumption; would this experience give us the ability to keep the service running amidst a previously unthinkable growth period?

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16

Jun

Azure responds to COVID-19
Azure responds to COVID-19

The global health pandemic continues to impact every organization—large or small—their employees, and the customers they serve. Over the last several months, we have seen firsthand the role that cloud computing plays in sustaining operations across the board that helps us live, work, learn, and play.

During this unparalleled time all of Microsoft’s cloud services, in particular Azure, Microsoft Teams, Windows Virtual Desktop, and Xbox Live experienced unprecedented demand. It has been our privilege to provide support and the infrastructure needed to help our customers successfully accelerate their cloud adoption to enable digital transformation during such a critical time.

Over the last 90 days, we have learned a lot and I want to share those observations with you all. The following video has been developed to provide a more technical look at how we scaled Azure as the COVID-19 outbreak rapidly pushed demand for cloud services.

Related post: Advancing Microsoft Teams on Azure – Operating at pandemic scale.
Related article: Growing Azure’s capacity to help customers, Microsoft during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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15

Jun

Be prepared for what’s next: Accelerate cloud migration

We are in the midst of unprecedented times with far-reaching implications of the global health crisis to healthcare, public policy, and the economy. Organizations are fundamentally changing how they run their businesses, ensure the safety of their workforce, and keep their IT operations running. Most IT leaders that we have had the opportunity to speak with over the past couple of months are thinking hard on how to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. They are also trying to retain momentum on their well-intentioned strategic initiatives.

Across our customers in many industries and geographies, we continue to see the cloud deliver tangible benefits. Azure enables our customers to act faster, continue to innovate, and pivot their IT operations to what matters most. We understand the challenges our customers are facing. We also recognize that our customers are counting on us more than ever.

Common, consistent goals for businesses

Even though our customers’ challenges are often unique to the industries they serve, we hear many common, consistent goals.

Cloud-based productivity and remote collaboration is enabling workers, IT professionals, and developers to work from anywhere. As our customers enable an increase in remote work, there’s increased importance on scaling networking capacity while securely

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30

Apr

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – April 2020

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 + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + 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:

Azure Spot Virtual Machines now generally available. Monitoring your reservation and Marketplace purchases with budgets. Automate cost savings with Azure Resource Graph. Azure Cost Management covered by FedRAMP High. Tell us about your reporting goals. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Azure Spot Virtual Machines now generally available

We all want to save money. We often look at our largest workloads for savings opportunities, but make sure you don’t stop there. You may

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25

Mar

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – March 2020

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 + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + 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:

Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) invoice improvements. Tell us about your reporting goals. What’s new in Cost Management Labs. New ways to save money with Azure. Upcoming changes to Azure usage data. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) invoice improvements

Managing and staying up to date on your Azure invoices just got a whole lot better with a few key improvements for Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) subscriptions:

You can now view and download your support plan invoices in the Azure portal, giving you

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04

Mar

Announcing preview of Backup Reports

We recently announced a new solution, Backup Explorer, to enable you as a backup administrator to perform real-time monitoring of your backups, helping you achieve increased efficiency in your day-to-day operations.

But what if you could also be proactive in the way you manage your backup estate? What if there was a way to unlock the latent power of your backup metadata to make more informed business decisions?

For instance, any business would be well-served following a systematic way of forecasting backup usage. Often, this involves analyzing how backup storage has increased over time for a given tenant, subscription, resource group, or for individual workloads. Such analysis requires the paired ability to aggregate data over a long period of time and present it in a way that allows the reader to quickly derive insights.

Today, we are pleased to announce the public preview of Backup Reports. Leveraging Azure Monitor Logs and Azure Workbooks, Backup Reports serve as a one-stop destination for tracking usage, auditing of backups and restores, and identifying key trends at different levels of granularity.

With our reports, you can answer questions including ‘Which Backup Item(s) consume the most storage?’, ‘Which machines have had consistently misbehaving backups?’, ‘What

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