Category Archives : Updates

13

Sep

Microsoft Azure Media Services and our partners Welkom you to IBC 2018

Content creators and broadcasters are increasingly embracing Cloud’s global reach, hybrid model and elastic scale. These attributes combined with AI’s ability to accelerate insights and time to market across content creation, management, and monetization are truly transformative.

At the International Broadcasters Conference (IBC) Show 2018, we are focused on bringing Cloud + AI together to help you overcome common media workflow challenges.

Video Indexer, generally available starting today, is a great example of this Cloud + AI focus. It brings together the power of the cloud + Microsoft AI to intelligently analyze your media assets, extract insights and add metadata. It makes it easier to understand your vast content library and get the more than 20 new and improved models, easy to use interfaces, a single API, and simplified account management. I have been part of Video Indexer team since its inception and could not be more excited to see it reach GA. I’m also incredibly proud of the work the team has done to solve real customer problems and make AI tangible in this easy to use elegant solution.

Our partners are already innovating on top of Video Indexer and extending Azure Media Services to advance the state of

13

Sep

Video Indexer – General availability and beyond
Video Indexer – General availability and beyond

Earlier today, we announced the general availability (GA) of Video Indexer. This means that our customers can count on all the metadata goodness of Video Indexer to always be available for them to use when running their business. However, this GA is not the only Video Indexer announcement we have for you. In the time since we released Video Indexer to public preview in May 2018, we never stopped innovating and added a wealth of new capabilities to make Video Indexer more insightful and effective for your video and audio needs.

Delightful experience and enhanced widgets

The Video Indexer portal already includes insights and timeline panes that enables our customers to easily review and evaluate media insights. The same experience is also available in embeddable widgets, which are a great way to integrate Video Indexer into any application.

We are now proud to release revamped insight and timeline panes. The new insight and timeline panes are built to accommodate the growing number of insights in Video Indexer and are automatically responsive to different form factors.

By the way, with the new insight pane we have also added visualizations for the already existing keyframes extraction capability, as well as new

12

Sep

Azure preparedness for weather events
Azure preparedness for weather events

As Hurricane Florence, and now Typhoon Mangkhut, continue their journey to the East Coast of the US and SE Asia respectively, our thoughts are with those in its path. Please stay safe. We’re actively monitoring Azure infrastructure in the region. We at Microsoft have taken all precautions to protect our customers and our people.

Our datacenters (US East, US East 2, US Gov Virginia, and East Asia) have been reviewed internally and externally to ensure that we are prepared for this weather event. Our onsite teams are prepared to switch to generators if utility power is unavailable or unreliable. All our emergency operating procedures have been reviewed by our team members across the datacenters, and we are ensuring that our personnel have all necessary supplies throughout the event.

As a best practice, all customers should consider their disaster recovery plans and all mission-critical applications should be taking advantage of geo-replication.

Rest assured that Microsoft is focused on the readiness and safety of our teams, as well as our customers’ business interests that rely on our datacenters. 

You can reach our handle @AzureSupport on Twitter, we are online 24/7. Any business impact to customers will be communicated through Azure Service Health in

12

Sep

Azure preparedness for Hurricane Florence
Azure preparedness for Hurricane Florence

As Hurricane Florence continues its journey to the mainland, our thoughts are with those in its path. Please stay safe. We’re actively monitoring Azure infrastructure in the region. We at Microsoft have taken all precautions to protect our customers and our people.

Our datacenters (US East, US East 2, and US Gov Virginia) have been reviewed internally and externally to ensure that we are prepared for this weather event. Our onsite teams are prepared to switch to generators if utility power is unavailable or unreliable. All our emergency operating procedures have been reviewed by our team members across the datacenters, and we are ensuring that our personnel have all necessary supplies throughout the event.

As a best practice, all customers should consider their disaster recovery plans and all mission-critical applications should be taking advantage of geo-replication.

Rest assured that Microsoft is focused on the readiness and safety of our teams, as well as our customers’ business interests that rely on our datacenters. 

You can reach our handle @AzureSupport on Twitter, we are online 24/7. Any business impact to customers will be communicated through Azure Service Health in Azure portal.

If there is any change to the situation, we will keep

30

Aug

Protecting privacy in Microsoft Azure: GDPR, Azure Policy Updates

Today more than ever, privacy is of critical importance in the technology industry. Microsoft has an enduring commitment to protect data privacy, not as an afterthought, but built into Microsoft Azure from the ground up. Microsoft designed Azure with industry-leading security controls, compliance tools, and privacy policies to safeguard your data in the cloud, including the categories of personal data identified by the GDPR. These also help you comply with other important global and regional privacy standards such as ISO/IEC 27018, EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, EU Model Clauses, HIPAA/HITECH, and HITRUST.

When you build on Azure’s secure foundation, you accelerate your move to the cloud by achieving compliance more readily, allowing you to enable privacy-sensitive cloud scenarios, such as financial and health service, with confidence.

In this episode we describe key tools in Azure to help you achieve your privacy goals that include:

The Azure Data Subject Requests for the GDPR portal, which provides step-by-step guidance on how to comply with GDPR requirements to find and act on personal data that resides in Azure. This capability to execute data subject requests is available through the Azure portal on our public and sovereign clouds, as well as through pre-existing APIs and

23

Aug

Speech Services August 2018 update
Speech Services August 2018 update

We are pleased to announce the release of another update to the Cognitive Services Speech SDK (version 0.6.0). With this release, we have added the support for Java on Windows 10 (x64) and Linux (x64). We are also extending the support for .NET Standard 2.0 to the Linux platform. The changes are highlighted in the table below. The sample section of the SDK has been updated with samples showcasing the use of the newly supported languages. The UWP support was added in the Speech SDK version 0.5.0 release; and starting from now the UWP apps built with the Speech SDK can be published to the Microsoft Store.

We also included several bug fixes which were reported by early adopters. Most notable this should fix errors in long-running speech transcriptions, as well as reducing the amount of in-use socket connections and threads.

Other functional changes, breaking changes and bug fixes can be found in the Speech SDK’s release notes. For questions regarding Speech SDK and Speech Services, please visit our support page.

There are also changes that impact the Speech Devices SDK. To provide a little bit of the background, the Speech Devices SDK is for our devices solution. It

20

Aug

Multi-member consortium support with Azure Blockchain Workbench 1.3.0

Continuing our monthly release cadence for Azure Blockchain Workbench, we’re excited to announce the availability of version 1.3.0. You can either deploy a new instance of Workbench through the Azure Portal or upgrade your existing deployment to 1.3.0 using our upgrade script.

This update includes the following improvements:

Faster and more reliable deployment

We look at telemetry every day to identify issues that affect our customers, and as a result made some changes to make deploying Workbench not only more reliable, but faster as well.

Better transaction reliability

Continuing from the monitoring improvements we made as part of 1.1.0, we’ve made reliability improvements to the DLT Watcher and DLT Consumer microservices (see the Blockchain Workbench architecture document for more information on those components). Practically speaking, you’ll notice fewer errors saying, “It looks like something went wrong …”

Ability to deploy Workbench in a multi-member Ethereum PoA consortium

With release 1.2.0 you could deploy Workbench and connect that deployment to an existing Ethereum-based network. This past week we announced the availability of a new standalone Ethereum PoA solution, which can be deployed across members within a consortium. With these two updates, you can deploy Workbench in three different configurations:

1. Single-Member

20

Aug

Migrate Windows Server 2008 to Azure with Azure Site Recovery

For close to 10 years now, Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 has been a trusted and preferred server platform for our customers. With millions of instances deployed worldwide, our customers run many of their business applications including their most critical ones on the Windows Server 2008 platform.

With the end of support for Windows Server 2008 in January 2020 fast approaching, now is a great opportunity for customers running Windows Server 2008 to modernize your applications and infrastructure and take advantage of the power of Azure. But we know that the process of digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. There are some great new offers that customers running their business applications on Windows Server 2008 can benefit from as they get started on their digital transformation journey in Azure. One of the options available to customers is the option to migrate servers running Windows Server 2008 to Azure and get extended security updates for three years past the end of support date, and this offer is available at no additional cost. In other words, if you choose to run your applications on Windows Server 2008 on Azure virtual machines, you get extended security updates for free. Further, with Azure Hybrid Benefit you

13

Aug

New customizations in Azure Migrate to support your cloud migration

You can accelerate your cloud migration using intelligent migration assessment services like Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate is a generally available service, offered at no additional charge, that helps you plan your migration to Azure. 

Azure Migrate discovers servers in your on-premises environment and assesses each discovered server’s readiness to run as an IaaS VM in Azure. In addition to Azure readiness, it helps you identify the right VM size in Azure after considering the utilization history of the on-premises VM. Azure Migrate also provides cost analysis for running the on-premises VMs in Azure. Additionally, if you have legacy applications, identifying the servers that constitute your application can become very complex. Azure Migrate helps you visualize dependencies of your on-premises VMs, so you can create high-confidence move groups and ensure that you are not leaving anything behind when you are moving to Azure.

Azure Migrate currently supports discovery and assessment of VMware virtualized Windows and Linux VMs; support for Hyper-V will be enabled in future.

When it comes to migration planning, every organization is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each organization will have its own needs and in this blog post, I am going to talk about some

13

Aug

Azure #CosmosDB reference solution: Visualizing real-time data analysis with change feed

This blog post was co-authored by Devki Trivedi, Serena Davis, and Pascal Habineza.

The Cosmos DB Explorer Interns are excited to release a reference solution that utilizes the Azure Cosmos DB Change Feed feature (+ Azure Functions, Azure Event Hubs, Azure Stream Analytics, Power BI). This solution features a hands-on lab that guides users through the entire pipeline: from uploading data onto Cosmos DB to implementing a Change Feed trigger to visualizing that data in a meaningful way on Power BI.

With this reference solution, businesses can:

Track sales and site activity in real time  Manipulate data to see only the metrics useful to them Choose specific time windows for data to be processed

The Cosmos DB Change Feed provides an automatic mechanism for getting a continuous and incremental feed of modified or inserted records from Cosmos DB. A few of its most popular use cases include:

Triggering microservices and functions within an event-driven architecture Replicating data to secondary data stores Real-time data processing

This reference solution focuses on real-time data processing, specifically to fit the needs of e-commerce companies. For example, while an e-commerce company may currently track the most popular products purchased, it may want to improve