Category Archives : Updates

18

Jul

Speech services July 2018 update
Speech services July 2018 update

A lot has happened since we announced that Speech services is now in preview, we have released the Cognitive Services Speech SDK June 2018 update.

Today, we are excited to announce that we have just released the 0.5.0 version of the Speech SDK. With this update, we have added support for UWP (on Windows version 1709), .NET Standard 2.0 (on Windows), and Java on Android 6.0 (Marshmallow, API level 23) or higher. We have made some feature changes and done some bug fixes. Most notably, we now support long-running audio and automatic reconnection. This will make the Speech service more resilient overall, in the event of timeout, network failures or service errors. We’ve also improved the error messages to make it easier to handle the errors. Please visit the Release Notes page for details. We will continue to add support for more platforms and programming languages, as we work toward making the Speech SDK generally available this fall.

Besides the Speech SDK, Custom Voice has also released a new feature to support more training data formats. All ‘.wav’ files (RIFF) with a sampling rates equal to or higher than 16khz are now accepted. Furthermore, we have extended support to more

18

Jul

Foretell and prevent downtime with predictive maintenance
Foretell and prevent downtime with predictive maintenance

The story of predictive maintenance (PdM) starts back in the 1990s. Technologies began to arrive that sense the world in new ways: ultrasound, infrared, thermal, vibration, to name a few. However, until recently the technology has not been available to make predictive maintenance a reality. But now, with advances in cloud storage, machine learning, edge computing, and the Internet of Things — predictive maintenance looms as the next step for the manufacturing industry.

What is predictive maintenance?

There are three strategies for machine maintenance:

Reactive — the “don’t fix what isn’t broken” approach. This means you extract the maximum possible lifetime from a machine. However, costs balloon with unexpected downtime and collateral damage from failures. Preventative — service on a fixed schedule based on the regularity of previous failures. You maximize up-time by fixing machines before they fail. The downside is that components may have life left, and there is still a chance that they will fail before the scheduled maintenance. Predictive — where we use data about previous breakdowns to model when failures are about to occur, and intervene just as sensors detect the same conditions. Until recently this has not been a realistic option, as modeling did not

17

Jul

Azure Monitor: Route AAD Activity Logs using diagnostic settings

Today in partnership with the Azure Active Directory (AAD) team we are excited to announce the public preview of AAD Activity Logs using Azure Monitor diagnostic settings. Azure Monitor diagnostic settings enable you to stream log data from an Azure service to three destinations: an Azure storage account, an Event Hubs namespace, and/or a Log Analytics workspace. This allows you to easily route logs from any Azure service to a data archive, SIEM tool, or custom log processing tool. With today’s announcement, you will now be able to route your AAD audit and sign in logs to these same destinations, centralizing all of your Azure service logs in one pipeline.

Until now, all log data handled by Azure Monitor came from an Azure resource deployed within an Azure subscription. We often describe this type of data as “resource-level log data,” and it is configured using a resource diagnostic setting. AAD log data is the first type of log data from a tenant-level service made available through Azure Monitor. Tenant-level services aren’t deployed as resources within an Azure subscription, rather they function across an entire AAD tenant. To handle this new type of “tenant-level log data,” Azure Monitor has introduced a

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

Globally replicated data lakes with LiveData using WANdisco on Azure

The recent announcement of Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 preview and its support on Azure HDInsight is already leading partners to innovate at a global scale. WANdisco enables globally replicated data lakes on Azure for analytics over the freshest data. This blog explains how.

The modern business landscape is ruled by data. Analytics and AI are now essential for driving key business transformation. Customers have benefited tremendously from the performance, flexibility, and low cost offered by Azure for analytics and AI workloads.

Hybrid made easy with a single-click!

For many organizations, however, the process of making their data available in the cloud has been a challenge. The sheer scale of modern data sets combined with the expectations from users of continued system availability make it difficult to use standard tooling for copying data just to get data to Azure. They cannot suffer the business cost of system downtime, nor the potential for inconsistent or unavailable data that produces incorrect analytics results.

The organizations that are maximizing their Azure opportunities are using WANdisco Fusion to ensure they have always accurate and consistent data.  Let’s look at an example of how a customer was able to leverage WANdisco on Azure HDInsight and

17

Jul

Azure AD Managed Service Identity updates
Azure AD Managed Service Identity updates

This post is authored by Arturo Lucatero, Program Manager, Azure Identity Services.

Azure AD Managed Service Identity has been in preview for several months now, so we wanted to give you an update on what has been happening.

Two types of managed identities

There are now two types of managed identities:

System Assigned: This is the type of managed identity we introduced back in September. It has a 1:1 relation with an Azure resource (e.g., VM) and shares the same life-cycle. When you delete the resource, we automatically clean up the identity.

User Assigned: This new type of managed identity is a standalone Azure resource with its own life-cycle. It enables you to have an identity which can be used by one or more Azure resources. A few notes worth mentioning:

As of today, user assigned managed identities can only be used on Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine Scale Sets. Other resource types are onboarding soon.

The API to assign user assigned managed identities to a resource is going change in the near future. Today, the assigned identities are listed in an array property in Azure Resource Manager. This will be changing to be

16

Jul

Azure Security Center is now integrated into the subscription experience

Securing your resources is important, which is why we’ve made it even simpler for you to do. Azure Security Center is available in public preview in the subscription experience. In just a few clicks, you can enable Security Center and quickly assess the security state of your resources, get actionable recommendations, and mitigate risks.

Azure Security Center gives you visibility into your security state across hybrid cloud workloads, gives you adaptive protections to reduce your exposure to attacks, and intelligent threat detection that helps you keep pace with rapidly evolving attacks.
The newly added Security tab provides a quick view into the security posture of your subscription, enabling you to discover and assess the security of your resources in that subscription and take action. The built-in dashboard provides instant insights into security alerts and vulnerabilities that require attention.

To make sure you can address the most important issues first, we provide a list of prioritized security recommendations and prioritized alerts. These recommendations and alerts are ranked from high severity to low severity to help you quickly respond and reduce the surface area in your environment susceptible to attack.

For further investigation or to respond to a detected issue, you

12

Jul

Azure NetApp files now in public preview
Azure NetApp files now in public preview

Enterprises are rapidly embracing public cloud to take advantage of the scale, agility and economic benefits. However, deploying file-based applications to the cloud has been challenging due to the limited availability of options for highly performant and scalable cloud file services that meet enterprise-grade requirements.
 
Microsoft has teamed up with NetApp to enable enterprises to overcome the challenge of deploying file-based workloads to the cloud. Today we’re pleased to announce the public preview of Azure NetApp Files, an Azure native service powered by NetApp’s leading ONTAP technology, which has been long trusted by enterprises to meet their requirements for performance, scalability, data management, security, and hybrid capability.

Over the next few months of the preview, you can expect:

Rich data management: Azure NetApp Files will support multiple protocols, protocol versions, and performance tiers, as well as offer built-in policy-based snapshot functionality, reducing the need for separate data protection solutions. Security: All data in volumes is automatically encrypted at rest and will benefit from Azure’s industry-leading compliance portfolio. Ease of use: Azure NetApp Files is a fully integrated and managed Azure service, accessible through the Azure portal and manageable through Azure SDKs and command-line tools. It eliminates the provisioning and

12

Jul

Latest updates to Azure Database for MySQL
Latest updates to Azure Database for MySQL

Earlier this year, in March, we announced the general availability (GA) of Azure Database for MySQL, offering the community version of MySQL together with built-in high availability, a 99.99 percent availability SLA, elastic scaling for performance, and industry leading security and compliance in Azure. Since GA, the team has been at work delivering a variety of new features and additional functionality to enhance and extend the value of this service. I am pleased to share with you some details about the new additions to this service based on customer feedback.

Enhanced security with Virtual network service endpoints support in preview

The virtual network service endpoints feature for Azure Database for MySQL is now available in Public Preview for all regions in which the service is available.

Use virtual network service endpoints to isolate connectivity to a logical server from only a subnet or a set of subnets within a virtual network. The traffic to Azure Database for MySQL from your virtual network always stays within the Azure backbone network, preferring this direct route over any specific routes that take internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises. There’s no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints. Learn more about

12

Jul

Latest updates to Azure Database for PostgreSQL
Latest updates to Azure Database for PostgreSQL

Earlier this year, in March, we announced the general availability (GA) of Azure Database for PostgreSQL, offering the community version of MySQL together with built-in high availability, a 99.99 percent availability SLA, elastic scaling for performance, and industry leading security and compliance in Azure. Since GA, the team has been at work delivering a variety of new features and additional functionality to enhance and extend the value of  this service. I am pleased to share with you some details new additions to this service based on customer feedback.

Enhanced security with virtual network service endpoints support in preview

The virtual network service endpoints feature for Azure Database for PostgreSQL is now available in Public Preview for all regions in which the service is available.

Use virtual network service endpoints to isolate connectivity to a logical server from only a subnet or a set of subnets within a virtual network. The traffic to Azure Database for PostgreSQL from your virtual network always stays within the Azure backbone network, preferring this direct route over any specific routes that take internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises. There’s no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints. Learn more about virtual network