Category Archives : Updates



New capabilities to enable robust GDPR compliance
New capabilities to enable robust GDPR compliance

Today marks the beginning of enforcement of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and I’m pleased to announce that we have released an unmatched array of new features and resources to help support compliance with the GDPR and the policy needs of Azure customers.

New offerings include the general availability of the Azure GDPR Data Subject Request (DSR) portal, Azure Policy, Compliance Manager for GDPR, Data Log Export, and the Azure Security and Compliance Blueprint for GDPR.

In our webcast today, President Brad Smith outlined our commitment to making sure that our products and services comply with the GDPR, including having more than 1,600 engineers across the company working on GDPR projects. As Brad noted, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right, and that individuals must be in control of their data. So I am pleased that Azure is part of keeping that commitment by being the only hyperscale cloud provider to offer the level of streamlined mechanisms and tools for GDPR compliance enforcement we are announcing today.

Azure Data Subject Request (DSR) portal enables you to fulfill GDPR requests. The DSR capability is generally available today through the Azure portal user interface, as well as through pre-existing



New container images in Azure Marketplace
New container images in Azure Marketplace

Azure has a thriving ecosystem where partners can publish many different offer types including virtual machine images, SaaS, solution templates, and managed applications, allowing customers to solve their unique problems in the way which best fits their scenario.

At Build, we announced a new category of offer in Azure Marketplace – container images

Azure customers can now discover and acquire secure and certified container images in Azure marketplace to build a container-based solution. All images available in Azure marketplace are certified and validated against container runtimes in Azure like managed Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) allowing customers to build with confidence and deploy with flexibility.

For ISVs who have their applications offered in container-based images, this new offer type offers the opportunity to publish their solutions and reach Azure users who are building container-based architecture. This helps ISVs to publish with confidence through Azure Certified program and validation across industry-standard container formats and across the different Azure container services.

Get started with Azure Marketplace container images

Container images can be discovered in Azure Marketplace, as well as Azure portal under the ‘Container apps’ section.

Here, you can browse the range of container images available and once you select one you



New updates for Microsoft Azure Storage Explorer

After the recent general availability for Storage Explorer, we also added new features in the latest 1.1 release to align with Azure Storage platform:

Azurite cross-platform emulator Access tiers that efficiently consumes resources based on how frequently a blob is accessed The removal of SAS URL start time to avoid datacenter synchronization issues

Storage Explorer is a great tool for managing contents of your Azure storage account. You can upload, download, and manage blobs, files, queues, and Cosmos DB entities. Additionally, you may gain easy access to manage your Virtual Machine disks, work with either Azure Resource Manager or classic storage accounts, plus manage and configure cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) rules. Storage Explorer also works on public Azure, Sovereign Azure Cloud, as well as Azure Stack.

Let’s go through some example scenarios where Storage Explorer helps with your daily job.

to your Azure Cloud from Storage Explorer

To get started using Storage Explorer, sign in to your Azure account and stay connected to your subscriptions. If you have an account for Azure, Azure Sovereign Cloud, or Azure Stack, you can easily sign-in to your account from Storage Explorer Add an Account dialog.

In addition, now Storage Explorer shares the



Changes coming to PowerShell (preview) in Azure Cloud Shell

Azure Cloud Shell provides browser-based authenticated shell access to Azure from virtually anywhere. Cloud Shell gives the users a rich environment with common tools that is updated and maintained by Microsoft.

Currently, Azure Cloud Shell provides two environments that can be launched from Azure Portal, dedicated URL, Azure documentation, Visual Studio Code via the Azure Account extension, and Azure App:

Bash in Cloud Shell that runs Bash shell on Ubuntu Linux, which was made generally available in November 2017

PowerShell in Cloud Shell that runs Windows PowerShell 5.1 on Windows Server Core and has been in preview since September 2017

In this post, we are listing the key upcoming changes to the PowerShell experience in Azure Cloud Shell, namely:

Faster startup time PowerShell Core 6 as the default experience Running on a Linux container Persistent Tool Settings Faster Startup Time

We are well-aware that the startup time of PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell is well below the user’s expectation. For past couple of months, the team has been working hard to make significant improvements in this area. We expect to deliver multi-fold improvements in the startup time for PowerShell experience (and also make Bash experience faster).



Azure IoT Reference Architecture update
Azure IoT Reference Architecture update

Last week, we released an update to the Azure IoT Reference Architecture Guide. Our focus for the update was to bring the document forward to the latest Azure IoT cloud native recommended architecture and latest technology implementation recommendations. The updated guide includes an overview of the IoT space, recommended subsystem factoring for solutions, and prescriptive technology recommendations per subsystem. Technical content added includes coverage of topics such as microservices, containers, orchestrators (e.g. Kubernetes and Service Fabric), serverless usage, Azure Stream Analytics, and Edge devices. Major updates were made to the Stream Processing and Storage subsystem sections of the document covering rules processing and storage technology options on Azure across differing types of IoT solutions.

The IoT Architecture Guide aims to accelerate customers building IoT Solutions on Azure by providing a proven production ready architecture, with proven technology implementation choices, and with links to Solution Accelerator reference architecture implementations such as Remote Monitoring and Connected Factory. The document offers an overview of the IoT space, recommended subsystem factoring for scalable IoT solutions, prescriptive technology recommendations per subsystems, and detailed sections per subsystem that explore use cases and technology alternatives.

Future updates – please provide feedback and ask questions

We will



Azure Marketplace new offers: April 16-30
Azure Marketplace new offers: April 16-30

We continue to expand the Azure Marketplace ecosystem. From April 16 to 30, 15 new offers successfully met the onboarding criteria and went live. See details of the new offers below:

(Basic) Apache NiFi 1.6 on Centos 7.4: A CentOS 7.4 VM running a basic install of Apache NiFi 1.6 using default configurations. Once the virtual machine is deployed and running, Apache NiFi can be accessed by opening a web browser and entering: http://<IP>:8080/nifi in the address bar.

Debian Web Server and mariadb: A ready-to-deploy Debian Web Server with mariadb databases. A web server includes several parts that control how web users access hosted files. MariaDB is a fork of the MySQL relational database management system.

Jamcracker CSB Service Provider Version5: This service provider appliance is a cloud brokerage solution for SaaS and IaaS products. It automates order management, provisioning, and billing, and integrates to support ITSM, billing, ERP, and identity systems including Microsoft Active Directory.

MCubo Energy: MCubo Energy is a powerful platform that uses its own “best practices” to maximize your energy savings while safeguarding the environment. The proactive



Enhance productivity using Azure Data Factory Visual Tools

With Azure Data Factory (ADF) visual tools, we listened to your feedback and enabled a rich, interactive visual authoring and monitoring experience. It allows you to iteratively create, configure, test, deploy and monitor data integration pipelines without any friction. The main goal of the ADF visual tools is to allow you to be productive with ADF by getting pipelines up and running quickly without requiring to write a single line of code.

We continue to add new features to increase productivity and efficiency for both new and advanced users with intuitive experiences. You can get started by clicking the Author and Monitor tile in your provisioned v2 data factory blade.

Check out some of the exciting new features enabled with data factory visual tools since public preview (January 2018):

Latest data factory updates

Follow exciting new updates to the data factory service.

View Data Factory deployment region, and resource group. Then, switch to another data factory that you have access to.

Visual authoring More data connectors

Ingest data at scale from more than 70 on-premises/cloud data sources in a serverless fashion.

New activities in toolbox Notebook Activity: Ingest data at scale using more than 70 on-premises/cloud



10 great things about Kafka on HDInsight
10 great things about Kafka on HDInsight

Kafka on HDInsight is Microsoft Azure’s managed Kafka cluster offering. It has generated huge customer interest and excitement since its general availability in December 2017.

Here are 10 great things about it:

1. Enterprise grade Kafka

HDInsight Kafka is an enterprise-grade managed cluster service giving you a 99.9 percent SLA. We take care of the heavy lifting for you, including operations, monitoring, security patching, and more. Running some of the largest Kafka clusters on the planet, we have the expertise and knowledge to prevent and quickly fix any issues.

2. Up and running in minutes

Create a full cluster in minutes, not days. Traditionally, it takes weeks to provision your own Kafka cluster on premises or on IaaS. With HDInsight, you get your own dedicated Kafka cluster within a few clicks.

3. Real open-source Kafka

With HDInsight, you get the true Apache Kafka engine running on your clusters with all its functionality. People love Kafka for its high throughput, lowest latency and cost-efficient scale. Along with the Producer and Consumer APIs, Kafka also has a rich feature set, such as compression of messages for an even higher throughput, configurable retention policy (including retention beyond 7 days and size based



Extract management insights from SQL Data Warehouse with SQL Operations Studio

SQL Operations Studio can be leveraged with Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) to create rich customizable dashboard widgets surfacing insights to your data warehouse. This unlocks key scenarios around managing and tuning your data warehouse to ensure it is optimized for consistent performance. Previously, developers had to manually and continuously execute complex DMV queries to extract insights from their data warehouse. This leads to a repetitious process when following development and tuning best practices with SQL DW. Now with SQL Operations Studio, customized insight widgets can be embedded directly within the query tool enabling you to seamlessly monitor and troubleshoot issues with your data warehouse.

The following widgets can be generated by using the provided T-SQL monitoring scripts within SQL Operations Studio for common data warehouse insights.

Data Skew

Detect data skew across distributions to help identify and troubleshoot query performance issues:

Columnstore health and statistics

Leverage views to help maximize columnstore row group quality and ensure table statistics are up to date for optimal query performance:

User Activity

Identify and understand workload patterns through active sessions queries, queued queries, loads, and backups:

Resource Bottlenecks

Ensure adequate resources are allocated such as memory and TempDB:



Enhancements in Application Insights Profiler and Snapshot Debugger

We are pleased to announce a series of improvements on Application Insights Profiler and Snapshot Debugger. Profiler identifies the line of code that slowed down the web app performance under load. Snapshot Debugger captures runtime exception call stack and local variables to identify the issue in code. To ensure users can easily and conveniently use the tools, we delivered the following new features for Profiler and Snapshot Debugger:

Application Insights enablement with Profiler and Snapshot Debugger

With the newly enhanced Application Insights enablement experience, Profiler and Snapshot Debugger are default options to be turned on with Application Insights.

Enabling Snapshot Debugger without redeploy your web app: For ASP.NET core web app, snapshot debugger is a simple, default option when enabling App Insights. It used to require modifying the project to install NuGet and add exception tracking code. Now it’s done via an ASP.NET core hosting light up through an App Setting, no redeploy will be required. ASP.NET support will be available very soon.

Enabling Profiler with Application Insights in one step: Enabling Profiler used to be done in a separate Profiler Configuration pane, which requires extra steps. This is no longer needed.


On-demand profiler: Triggering a