Category Archives : Virtual Machines

09

Jul

CGG speeds geoscience insights on Azure HPC

A leader in geosciences, CGG has been imaging the earth’s subsurface for more than 85 years. Their products and solutions help clients locate natural resources. When a customer asked whether the cloud could speed the creation of the high-resolution reservoir models that they needed, CGG turned to Azure high performance computing (HPC).

CGG is a team of acknowledged imaging experts in the oil and gas industry. Their subsurface imaging centers are internationally acclaimed, and their researchers are regularly recognized with prestigious international awards for their outstanding technical contributions to the industry. CGG was an early innovator in seismic inversion, the technique of converting seismic survey reflection data into a quantitative description of the rock properties in an oil and gas reservoir. From this data, highly detailed models can be made, like the following image showing the classification of rock types in a 3D grid for an unconventional reservoir interval. These images are invaluable in oil and gas exploration. Accurate models help geoscientists reduce risk, drill the best wells, and forecast production better.

The challenge is to get the best possible look beneath the surface. The specialized software is compute-intensive, and complex models can take hours or even days to render.

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26

Jun

Announcing the general availability of Azure premium files

Highly performant, fully managed file service in the cloud!

Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Azure premium files for customers optimizing their cloud-based file shares on Azure. Premium files offers a higher level of performance built on solid-state drives (SSD) for fully managed file services in Azure.

Premium tier is optimized to deliver consistent performance for IO-intensive workloads that require high-throughput and low latency. Premium file shares store data on the latest SSDs, making them suitable for a wide variety of workloads like databases, persistent volumes for containers, home directories, content and collaboration repositories, media and analytics, high variable and batch workloads, and enterprise applications that are performance sensitive. Our existing standard tier continues to provide reliable performance at a low cost for workloads less sensitive to performance variability, and is well-suited for general purpose file storage, development/test, backups, and applications that do not require low latency.

Through our initial introduction and preview journey, we’ve heard from hundreds of our customers from different industries about their unique experiences. They’ve shared their learnings and success stories with us and have helped make premium file shares even better.

“Working with clients that have large amounts of data that

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20

Jun

Azure HC-series Virtual Machines crosses 20,000 cores for HPC workloads

New HPC-targeted cloud virtual machines

Azure HC-series Virtual Machines are now generally available in the West US 2 and East US regions. HC-series virtual machines (VMs) are optimized for the most at-scale, computationally intensive HPC applications. For this class of workload, HC-series VMs are the most performant, scalable, and price-performant ever launched on Azure or elsewhere on the public cloud.

With the Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, codenamed Skylake, the HC-series delivers up to 3.5 teraFLOPS (double precision) with AVX-512 instructions, 190 GB/s of memory bandwidth, rich support for Intel® Parallel Studio XE HPC software, and SR-IOV-based 100 Gb/s InfiniBand. For a single VM scale set, a customer can utilize up to 13,200 physical CPU cores and more than 100 TB of memory for a single distributed memory workload.

HC extends Azure’s commitment to delivering supercomputer-class scale and performance for tightly-coupled workloads to the public cloud, and doing so at price points every customer can afford. Today we can happily say that Azure has once again achieved a new milestone in cloud HPC scalability.

Cutting edge HPC technology

HC-series VMs feature Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8168 processors that offer the fastest AVX, AVX2, and AVX-512 clock frequencies from the Intel Xeon® Scalable

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19

Jun

Virtual machine scale set insights from Azure Monitor

In October 2018 we announced the public preview of Azure Monitor for Virtual Machines (VMs). At that time, we included support for monitoring your virtual machine scale sets from the at scale view under Azure Monitor.

Today we are announcing the public preview of monitoring your Windows and Linux VM scale sets from within the scale set resource blade. This update includes several enhancements:

In-blade monitoring for your scale set with “Top N”, aggregate, and list views across the entire scale set. Drill down experience to identify issues on a particular scale set instance. Updated mapping UI to display the entire dependency diagram across your scale set while supporting drill down maps for a single instance. UI based enablement of monitoring from the scale set resource blade. Updated examples for enabling monitoring using Azure Resource Manager templates. Use of policy to enable monitoring for your scale set. Performance

The performance views are powered using log analytics queries, offering “Top N”, aggregate, and list views to quickly find outliers or issues in your scale set based on guest level metrics for CPU, available memory, bytes sent and received, and logical disk space used. 

These views will help you quickly determine if a

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18

Jun

Announcing the preview of Microsoft Azure Bastion

For many customers around the world, securely connecting from the outside to workloads and virtual machines on private networks can be challenging. Exposing virtual machines to the public Internet to enable connectivity through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Secure Shell (SSH), increases the perimeter, rendering your critical networks and attached virtual machines more open and harder to manage.

RDP and SSH are both a fundamental approach through which customers connect to their Azure workloads. To connect to their virtual machines, most customers either expose their virtual machines to the public Internet or deploy a bastion host, such as jump-server or jump-boxes.

So today, I’m excited to announce the preview of Azure Bastion.

Azure Bastion is a new managed PaaS service that provides seamless RDP and SSH connectivity to your virtual machines over the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). This is completed without any exposure of the public IPs on your virtual machines. Azure Bastion provisions directly in your Azure Virtual Network, providing bastion host or jump server as-a-service and integrated connectivity to all virtual machines in your virtual networking using RDP/SSH directly from and through your browser and the Azure portal experience. This can be executed with just two clicks and

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17

Jun

Azure Stack IaaS – part ten
Azure Stack IaaS – part ten

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/azure-stack-iaas-part-ten/This blog is co-authored by Andrew Westgarth, Senior Program Manager, Azure Stack  Journey to PaaS One of the best things about running your VMs in Azure or Azure Stack is you can begin to modernize around your virtual machines (VMs) READ MORE

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11

Jun

Virtual machine memory allocation and placement on Azure Stack

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/virtual-machine-memory-allocation-and-placement-on-azure-stack/

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11

Jun

Azure Shared Image Gallery now generally available
Azure Shared Image Gallery now generally available

https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/azure-shared-image-gallery-now-generally-available/

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04

Jun

Building a better asset and risk management platform with elastic Azure services

Elasticity means services can expand and contract on demand. This means Azure customers who are on a pay-as-you-go plan will reap the most benefit out of Azure services. Their service is always available, but the cost is kept to a minimum. This feature is so important, one Microsoft partner is using it as a point of differentiation.

Modular and elastic benefits

A key attribute of Azure is the interchangeable nature of services. Together with elasticity, Azure lets modern enterprises migrate and evolve more easily. For financial service providers, the modular approach lets customers benefit from best-of-breed analytics and in these areas:

Risk and performance analytics: Azure Data Lake Storage, DataBricks, and Azure Stream Analytics are just a few of the options for calculating risk. Regulatory compliance automation (regtech): Automating compliance using Azure DevOps or using a service provider such as CloudNeeti simplifies an arduous task. Investment management technology: Azure Virtual Machines or Azure Functions are just two options for managing investment portfolios.

With these capabilities, asset managers can build superior products that generate higher returns for their clients.

Financial services is a tough market

Competition in the asset management industry has ramped up: active vs. active, passive vs. active, and

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03

Jun

Customize your automatic update settings for Azure Virtual Machine disaster recovery

In today’s cloud-driven world, employees are only allowed access to data that is absolutely necessary for them to effectively perform their job. This limited access is especially important in scenarios where it’s difficult to monitor access behaviors, like if you have many employees and/or engage vendors. Access is usually based on the job responsibility, authority, and capability. As a result, some job profiles will not have access to certain data or rights to perform specific actions if they do not need it to fulfill their responsibilities. The ability to hence control access but still be able to perform job duties aligning to the infrastructure administrator profile is becoming more relevant and frequently requested by customers.

You asked, we listened!

When we released the automatic update of agents used in disaster recovery (DR) of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs), the most frequent feedback we received was related to access control. Customers had DR admins who were given just enough rights to execute operations to enable, failover, or test DR. While they wanted to enable automatic updates and avoid the hassle of having to monitor for monthly updates and manually upgrade the agents, they didn’t want to give the DR admin contributor access

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