Category Archives : Updates

15

Nov

Update 18.11 for Azure Sphere in public preview
Update 18.11 for Azure Sphere in public preview

In September 2018, Azure Sphere was released for public preview. Today, we are pleased to announce the 18.11 update to the Azure Sphere Operating System, Azure Sphere Security Service, and Visual Studio development environment. This release includes substantial investments in our security infrastructure and our connectivity solutions, and it incorporates some of your feedback.

This is the first update to our public preview release, and we plan to release additional updates quarterly. Notification of software updates, new product features, tips and tricks, termination of support for older preview software, and other useful information will be posted on the Azure Updates website. Subscribe to Azure Update notifications through the RSS Feed to stay up to date with the latest Azure Sphere news.

Features in the 18.11 release

This release features strategic improvements in our internal security mechanism to allow devices that have been offline for an extended period to easily reconnect to the Azure Sphere Security Service. After manufacture, connected devices might spend months in a warehouse, during which root certificates stored on the device could expire. The Azure Sphere Security Service now seamlessly handles expired root certificates to ensure that devices that are intermittently connected or are disconnected for long

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15

Nov

Monitor your Azure Open Source Databases (PostgreSQL and MySQL) using Azure Monitor

Collecting insights using Azure Monitor

Azure Database for PostgreSQL and MySQL service is a fully managed, enterprise-ready cloud service which emits the performance metrics and telemetry log to Azure Monitor service. Using Azure Monitor, you can collect, analyze, and take action on telemetry data gathered from your cloud environments. This then helps you understand how the application is behaving, get deep insights into application and database behavior, get alerts, and build remediation action to respond to the alerts. Azure Monitor collects data from various monitored Azure resources, including Azure Database for PostgreSQL and MySQL. From the metrics and data collected, the tool service enables various operations including streaming data into external partner systems.

 

You are able to monitor your applications running on Azure Database for PostgreSQL or MySQL via the Azure portal. For each of the Azure Database for PostgreSQL or a MySQL server, a full suite of metrics is available to monitor throughput, storage, availability, and latency. Here are the various metrics available for you in Azure Database for PostgreSQL and MySQL to get insights on server’s behavior. You can also set alerts to monitor these metrics and log data using the Azure Portal or Azure CLI. For

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07

Nov

Automating SAP deployments in Microsoft Azure using Terraform and Ansible

Deploying complex SAP landscapes into a public cloud is not an easy task. While SAP basis teams tend to be very familiar with the traditional tasks of installing and configuring SAP systems on-premise, additional domain knowledge is often required to design, build, and test cloud deployments.

There are several options to take the guesswork out of tedious and error-prone SAP deployment projects into a public cloud:

One way to get started is the SAP Cloud Appliance Library (CAL), a repository of numerous SAP solutions that can be directly deployed into a public cloud. However, apart from its cost, CAL only contains pre-configured virtual machine (VM) images, so configuration changes are hard or impossible. A free alternative has been to use SAP Quickstart Templates offered by most public cloud providers. Typically written in a shell script or a proprietary language, these templates offer some customization options for pre-defined SAP scenarios. For example, Azure’s ARM templates offer one-click deployments of SAP HANA and other solutions directly in Azure Portal.)

While both solutions are great starting points, they usually lack configuration options and flexibility required to build up an actual, production-ready SAP landscape.

Based on feedback from actual customers who move their SAP

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06

Nov

Microsoft Azure portal November 2018 update
Microsoft Azure portal November 2018 update

This post was co-authored by Leon Welicki, Principal Group PM Manager, Microsoft Azure.

In October 2018, we started a monthly blog series to help you find everything that is new in the Microsoft Azure portal and the Azure mobile app in one place. We are constantly working to make it easier for you to manage your Azure environment, and we want you to be able to stay up to speed with everything that’s new. You’ll always find the most recent version of this blog at http://aka.ms/AzurePortalUpdates, so be sure you add it to your favorites and come back every month.

This month, we’re introducing a new way for you to switch between different Azure accounts without having to log-off and log-in again, or working with multiple browser tabs. We’ve also made enhancements to the way you find what you need in the Azure Marketplace, to the management experience for Site Recovery, Access Control, and database services.

Sign in to the Azure portal now and see everything that’s new. Download the Azure mobile app.

Here’s the list of November updates to the Azure portal: Portal shell and UI

Improved account switching now generally available

Azure Marketplace

New filters

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29

Oct

Cross-channel emotion analysis in Microsoft Video Indexer
Cross-channel emotion analysis in Microsoft Video Indexer

Many different customers across industries want to have insights into the emotional moments that appear in different parts of their media content. For broadcasters, this can help create more impactful promotion clips and drive viewers to their content; in the sales industry it can be super useful for analyzing sales calls and improve convergence; in advertising it can help identify the best moment to pop up an ad, and the list goes on and on. To that end, we are excited to share Video Indexer’s (VI) new machine learning model that mimics humans’ behavior to detect four cross-cultural emotional states in videos: anger, fear, joy, and sadness.

Endowing machines with cognitive abilities to recognize and interpret human emotions is a challenging task due to their complexity. As humans, we use multiple mediums to analyze emotions. These include facial expressions, voice tonality, and speech content. Eventually, the determination of a specific emotion is a result of a combination of these three modalities to varying degrees.

While traditional sentiment analysis models detect the polarity of content – for example, positive or negative – our new model aims to provide a finer granularity analysis. For example, given a moment with negative sentiment, the

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23

Oct

Azure Availability Zones expand with new services and to new regions

Azure Availability Zones are physically separate locations within an Azure region protecting customers’ applications and data from datacenter-level failures. Earlier this year, we announced the general availability of Availability Zones. We are now excited to reveal the continued expansion of Availability Zones into additional regions, North Europe and West US 2. This expanded coverage enables customers operating in the and Europe and Western United States to build and run applications that require low-latency synchronous replication with protection from datacenter-level failures. With the combination of Availability Zones and region pairs, customers can create a comprehensive business continuity strategy with data residency in their geography of choice.

Azure’s global footprint consists of 54 regions with more than 100 datacenters serving customers in over 140 countries. Microsoft’s overall strategy is to ensure that customers have broad options for ensuring business continuity. Availability Zones offer additional resiliency capabilities for customers to build and run highly available applications. Azure, with more global regions than any other cloud provider, has been designed to provide first-class resiliency.

In addition to the continued expansion of Availability Zones across Azure regions, we’re also excited to announce an expanded list of zone-redundant services including Azure SQL Database, Service Bus, Event

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21

Oct

Approve, audit support access requests to VMs using Customer Lockbox for Azure

As a cloud service provider, we understand the importance of maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of customer data. To continue to help you maximize your data security and privacy, we are announcing Customer Lockbox for Microsoft Azure. It is a service integrated into Azure portal that gives you explicit control in the very rare instance when a Microsoft Support Engineer may need access to your data to resolve an issue.

There are very few instances, such as a debugging remote access issue, where a Microsoft Support Engineer requires elevated permissions to resolve this issue. In such cases, Microsoft engineers use just-in-time access service that provides limited, time-bound authorization with access limited to the service. While Microsoft has always obtained customer consent for access, Customer Lockbox now gives customers the ability to review and approve or deny such requests from Azure Portal. Until the request is approved, Microsoft Support Engineer will not be granted access.

The entire process is audited so customers maintain full visibility and control. All Customer Lockbox activity will be available in Azure Portal. If you are using Azure Security Center, the VM agent that you have installed on your virtual machines can provide logs on activities

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18

Oct

Parameterize connections to your data stores in Azure Data Factory

Azure Data Factory (ADF) enables you to do hybrid data movement from 70 plus data stores in a serverless fashion. Often users want to connect to multiple data stores of the same type. For example, you might want to connect to 10 different databases in your Azure SQL Server and the only difference between those 10 databases is the database name. You can now parameterize the linked service in your Azure Data Factory. In this case, you can parameterize the database name in your ADF linked service instead of creating 10 separate linked services corresponding to the 10 Azure SQL databases. This reduces overhead and improves manageability for your data factories. You can then dynamically pass the database names at runtime. Simply create a new linked service and click Add Dynamic Content underneath the property that you want to parameterize in your linked service.

You can also parameterize other properties of your linked service like server name, username, and more. We recommend not to parameterize passwords or secrets. Store all connection strings in Azure Key Vault instead, and parameterize the “Secret Name” instead. The user experience also guides you in case you type incorrect syntax to parameterize the

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16

Oct

ONNX Runtime for inferencing machine learning models now in preview

We are excited to release the preview of ONNX Runtime, a high-performance inference engine for machine learning models in the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX) format. ONNX Runtime is compatible with ONNX version 1.2 and comes in Python packages that support both CPU and GPU to enable inferencing using Azure Machine Learning service and on any Linux machine running Ubuntu 16.

ONNX is an open source model format for deep learning and traditional machine learning. Since we launched ONNX in December 2017 it has gained support from more than 20 leading companies in the industry. ONNX gives data scientists and developers the freedom to choose the right framework for their task, as well as the confidence to run their models efficiently on a variety of platforms with the hardware of their choice.

The ONNX Runtime inference engine provides comprehensive coverage and support of all operators defined in ONNX. Developed with extensibility and performance in mind, it leverages a variety of custom accelerators based on platform and hardware selection to provide minimal compute latency and resource usage. Given the platform, hardware configuration, and operators defined within a model, ONNX Runtime can utilize the most efficient execution provider to deliver the

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11

Oct

Azure Portal October update
Azure Portal October update

This post was co-authored by Leon Welicki, Principal Group PM Manager.

We heard your feedback loud and clear: it is hard to keep up with Azure’s pace of innovation. How do you learn about anything and everything new about Azure portal?

We’re starting a monthly series to bring to you everything that is new and updated in the Azure Portal and the Azure mobile app. We will specifically cover the areas that affect the user experience and how it affects your daily work.

This blog will not announce new services on Azure or bring you what’s new on specific Azure services. We recommend that you follow service announcements to keep up to date with the news for all Azure services.

Sign in to the Azure Portal now and see everything that’s new. Download the Azure mobile app.

With that, here’s a list of October updates:

Portal shell and UI

User experience refresh Account, subscription, and directory management improvements All Resources view (preview) improvements

Azure mobile app

Access control management using RBAC

Quickstart Center

Microsoft recommended best practices to setup your Azure environment

Compute, networking and storage

Virtual Machine and Storage Account create blades now in full screen Virtual Machine Scale

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