Category Archives : Serverless

17

May

Announcing the preview of Windows Server containers support in Azure Kubernetes Service

Kubernetes is taking the app development world by storm. Earlier this month, we shared that the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) was the fastest growing compute service in Azure’s history. Customers like Siemens Healthineers, Finastra, Maersk, and Hafslund are realizing the benefits of using AKS to easily deploy, manage and scale applications without getting into the toil of maintaining infrastructures.  As the community and adoption grows, Kubernetes itself is evolving, adding more enterprise-friendly features and extending to more scenarios.  The release of production-level support for Windows Server containers is a true testament to the evolution.

Today, we’re excited to announce the preview of Windows Server containers in Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) for versions 1.13.5 and 1.14.0.  With this, Windows Server containers can now be deployed and orchestrated in AKS enabling new paths to migrate and modernize Windows Server applications in Azure.

Our customers have applications running on Linux and on Windows.  The ability to manage Windows and the latest Linux containers side by side in the same Kubernetes cluster with the exact same APIs, tools and support is what you have been asking us to support, which opens an abundance of new scenarios. For example, you can now add Windows node pools to

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17

May

Optimize price-performance with compute auto-scaling in Azure SQL Database serverless

Optimizing compute resource allocation to achieve performance goals while controlling costs can be a challenging balance to strike especially for database workloads with complex usage patterns. To help address these challenges, we are pleased to announce the preview of Azure SQL Database serverless. SQL Database serverless (preview) is a new compute tier that optimizes price-performance and simplifies performance management for databases with intermittent and unpredictable usage. Line-of-business applications, dev/test databases, content management, and e-commerce systems are just some examples across a range of applications that often fit the usage pattern ideal for SQL Database serverless. SQL Database serverless (preview) is also well-suited for new applications with compute sizing uncertainty or workloads requiring frequent rescaling in order to reduce costs. The serverless compute tier enjoys all the fully managed, built-in intelligence benefits of SQL Database and helps accelerate application development, minimize operational complexity, and lower total costs. 

Compute auto-scaling

SQL Database serverless (preview) automatically scales compute for single databases based on workload demand and bills for compute used per second. Serverless contrasts with the provisioned compute tier in SQL Database which allocates a fixed amount of compute resources for a fixed price and is billed per hour. Over short time scales,

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08

May

Connecting the colossal: How to scale innovation with serverless integration

Starting the process of migrating to the cloud can be daunting. Legacy systems that are colossal in scale often overwhelm the average team tasked with the mission of digital transformation. How can they possibly untangle years of legacy code to start this new digital transformation initiative? Not only are these systems colossal in scale, but also colossal in terms of business importance. Enterprise applications like SAP and IBM, are integral to the daily rhythm of business. A seemingly simple mistake can result in catastrophic consequence.

Over the past year, Azure Integration Services has been reflecting on solutions to help with these challenges and we’re excited to announce new capabilities:

Developer focused – Improved the developer experience inside Logic Apps by allowing you to directly write code as a step inside a Logic App. Enterprise ready – Added new migration and modernization scenarios with the general availability of our new-and-improved SAP connector. Serverless first – Better integration between API Management and Azure Functions makes it even easier to create and manage serverless integrations and applications. The challenges facing customers

Over the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to meet with and hear from customers in-person to discuss the biggest challenges facing

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07

May

Reshaping the business landscape with serverless APIs
Reshaping the business landscape with serverless APIs

Things are changing for the modern business. API-first development and microservices architecture is opening the door to new innovations. Many of these new approaches are possible in part due to the evolution of serverless technology, which eliminates the need for the management of infrastructure.

Fully managed infrastructure allows for allocating resources to solving a business problem, rather than managing the IT infrastructure. This results in more agility, reduced operating cost, and shorter time-to-market, which is important for organizations of any size.

Serverless is for all, no matter the size

The benefits serverless offers is independent of the size of the company. For example:

Startups need to quickly assess product-market fit and build prototypes to test their hypotheses.

With limited resources, startups can build, measure, and iterate their way to success with execution-based pricing models. Unlocks a new generation of startups, all built on the idea that a small group of people with a limited budget can be disruptive. As they evolve, they’ll benefit from serverless much in the same way as larger organizations do.

Enterprises need to adapt to constantly evolving customer requirements to stay competitive with agile, fast moving startups.

Serverless enables a business to grow without worrying about

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07

May

Advancing the developer experience for serverless apps with Azure Functions

Azure Functions constantly innovates so that you can achieve more with serverless applications, enabling developers to overcome common serverless challenges through a productive, event-driven programming model. Some releases we made in the last few weeks are good examples of this, including:

The Azure Functions premium plan, enables a whole new range of low latency and networking scenarios. The preview of PowerShell support in Azure Functions, provides a way to tackle cloud automation scenarios which is a common challenge to IT pros and SREs all around the globe.

The new releases and improvements do not stop there, and today we are pleased to present several advancements intended to provide a better end-to-end experience when building serverless applications. Keep reading below to learn more about the following:

A new way to host Azure Functions in Kubernetes environments Stateful entities with Durable Functions (in preview) Less cluttered .NET applications with dependency injection Streamlined deployment with Azure DevOps Improved integration with Azure API Management (in preview) Bring Azure Functions to Kubernetes with KEDA

There’s no better way to leverage the serverless advantages than using a fully managed service in the cloud like Azure Functions. But some applications might need to run on disconnected environments,

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29

Apr

Serverless automation using PowerShell preview in Azure Functions

As companies of all sizes move their assets and workloads to the cloud, there’s a clear need to provide more powerful ways to manage, govern, and automate their cloud resources. Such automation scenarios require custom logic best expressed in PowerShell. They are also typically executed either on a schedule or when an event happens like an alert on an application, a new resource getting created, or when an approval happens in an external system. 

Azure Functions is a perfect match to address such scenarios as it provides an application development model based on triggers and bindings for accelerated development and serverless hosting of applications. PowerShell support in Functions has been a common request from customers, given its event-based capabilities.

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have brought the benefits of this model to automating operational tasks across Azure and on-premises systems with the preview release of PowerShell support in Azure Functions.

Companies all over the world have been using PowerShell to automate their cloud resources in their organization, as well as on-premises, for years. Most of these scenarios are based on events that happen on the infrastructure or application that must be immediately acted upon in order to

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03

Apr

Announcing the Azure Functions Premium plan for enterprise serverless workloads

We are very excited to announce the Azure Functions Premium plan in preview, our newest Functions hosting model! This plan enables a suite of long requested scaling and connectivity options without compromising on event-based scale. With the Premium plan you can use pre-warmed instances to run your app with no delay after being idle, you can run on more powerful instances, and you can connect to VNETs, all while automatically scaling in response to load.

Huge thanks to everyone that participated in our private preview! Symantec Corporation and Volpara Solutions are just a few of the companies that will benefit from the new features of the Premium plan.

See below of a comparison of how the Premium plan improves on our existing dynamically scaling plan, the Consumption Plan.

Advanced scale controls enable customized deployments

Instance size can now be specified with the Premium plan. You can select up to four D-series cores and 14 GB of memory. These instances are substantially more powerful than the A-series instances available to functions using the Consumption plan, allowing you to run much more CPU or memory intensive workloads in individual invocations.

Available Instance sizes

Maximum Instances can now also be specified with

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25

Mar

Building serverless microservices in Azure – sample architecture

Distributed applications take full advantage of living in the cloud to run globally, avoid bottlenecks, and always be available for users worldwide. This not only requires the right infrastructure to be deployed in, but also support for the decoupled architecture an application with these characteristics versus the traditional monolithic approach. This is why most cloud native applications are using a microservices architecture that helps achieve this at global scale.

The benefits of using a microservices architecture are maximized when those applications are built in the cloud, with a wide range of managed services that will make it easier to materialize the microservices promise. With those services managing infrastructure and scaling for you, and improving the way you can do critical processes like deployment or monitoring those solutions, you can maximize the amount of value delivered per cycle.

There are different patterns you might want to explore and each of them fits a specific scenario. Today we’re focusing on how building serverless microservices is a great fit for event-driven scenarios, and how you can use the Azure Serverless platform.

Building serverless, event-driven microservices

Taking an event-driven approach to build microservices-based applications when fitting the scenario and the problem to

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06

Mar

Real-time serverless applications with the SignalR Service bindings in Azure Functions

Since our public preview announcement at Microsoft Ignite 2018, every month thousands of developers worldwide have leveraged the Azure SignalR Service bindings for Azure Functions to add real-time capabilities to their serverless applications. Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of these bindings in all global regions where Azure SignalR Service is available!

SignalR Service is a fully managed Azure service that simplifies the process of adding real-time web functionality to applications over HTTP. This real-time functionality allows the service to push messages and content updates to connected clients using technologies such as WebSocket. As a result, clients are updated without the need to poll the server or submit new HTTP requests for updates.

Azure Functions provides a productive programming model based on triggers and bindings for accelerated development and serverless hosting of event-driven applications. It enables developers to build apps using the programming languages and tools of their choice, with an end-to-end developer experience that spans from building and debugging locally, to deploying and monitoring in the cloud. Combining Azure SignalR Service with Azure Functions using these bindings, you can easily push updates to the UI of your applications with just a few lines of code.

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04

Mar

Service Fabric Processor in public preview

Microsoft clients for Azure Event Hubs have always had two levels of abstraction. There is the low-level client, which includes event sender and receiver classes which allow for maximum control by the application, but also force the application to understand the configuration of the Event Hub and maintain an event receiver connected to each partition. Built on top of that low-level client is a higher-level library, Event Processor Host, which hides most of those details for the receiving side. Event Processor Host automatically distributes ownership of Event Hub partitions across multiple host instances and delivers events to a processing method provided by the application.

Service Fabric is another Microsoft-provided library, which is a generalized framework for dividing an application into shards and distributing those shards across multiple compute nodes. Many customers are using Service Fabric for their applications, and some of those applications need to receive events from an Event Hub. It is possible to use Event Processor Host within a Service Fabric application, but it is also inelegant and redundant. The combination means that there are two separate layers attempting to distribute load across nodes, and neither one is aware of the other. It also introduces a dependency on

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