Category Archives : Virtual Machines

30

Sep

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – September 2020

Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints, and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

Simplify financial reporting with cost allocation, now in preview. Connector for AWS is now generally available. Get pay-as-you-go rates for all Azure products and services. What’s new in Cost Management Labs. Expanded availability of resource tags in cost reporting. 15 ways to optimize your Azure costs. New ways to save money with Azure. Upcoming changes to Azure usage data. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

Simplify financial reporting with cost allocation, now in preview

Managing cloud

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29

Sep

The new Azure VMware Solution is now generally available
The new Azure VMware Solution is now generally available

Last week, during Microsoft Ignite we announced the general availability of the new Azure VMware Solution. Designed, built, and supported by Microsoft, Cloud Verified by VMware, running VMware Cloud Foundation technologies, Azure VMware Solution enables customers to extend or migrate VMware workloads to the cloud seamlessly. Organizations can maintain existing VMware skills and operational processes, running VMware Cloud Foundation technologies, and leverage the benefits of Azure—all at the same time.

Since announcing the preview, we’ve seen tremendous interest from businesses for Azure VMware Solution. Driven in part by organizations adapting to and recovering from the global health crisis, organizations are increasingly adopting the cloud to ensure continuity, resiliency, and cost efficiency for their business.

As always, Microsoft is focused on delivering solutions that meet our customers where they are today. In a time where speed, simplicity and skill retention are critical, Azure VMware Solution provides organizations with a fast path to the cloud, so your business can continue to use the VMware platform you know, and modernize on-premises workloads at your pace.

Engineered to meet you where you are

The goal of Azure VMware Solution has always been to deliver the best, most secure, most functional cloud of choice for our

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23

Sep

Gain IT efficiency for Windows Server with new Azure innovation

Companies such as Church and Dwight and Altair are migrating their Windows Server apps to Microsoft Azure to transform how they run their business, optimize costs, and increase IT efficiency and security. Today, we are excited to share new capabilities that continue to make Azure the best place to run Windows Server apps.

Increase IT efficiency with Azure Automanage

We often hear from customers that maintaining and operating servers on-premises is complex. Windows Server admins are responsible for day-to-day administration tasks such as backup, disaster recovery, and security updates. With growing security threats every day, ensuring that apps and data remain secured compounds this administrative burden.

This week, we’re introducing the preview of Azure Automanage, a new Azure service that helps customers significantly reduce day-to-day management tasks with automated operations across the entire lifecycle of Windows Server virtual machines (VMs). IT admins can now manage the entire VM lifecycle with point-and-click simplicity, individually or at scale.

Azure Automanage works with any new or existing Windows Server VM on Azure. It automatically implements VM management best practices as defined in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure. Azure Automanage eliminates the need for service discovery, enrollment, and configuration of VMs.

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19

Aug

Bringing AI supercomputing to customers

The trend toward the use of massive AI models to power a large number of tasks is changing how AI is built. At Microsoft Build 2020, we shared our vision for AI at Scale utilizing state-of-the-art AI supercomputing in Azure and a new class of large-scale AI models enabling next-generation AI. The advantage of large scale models is that they only need to be trained once with massive amounts of data using AI supercomputing, enabling them to then be “fine-tuned” for different tasks and domains with much smaller datasets and resources. The more parameters that a model has, the better it can capture the difficult nuances of the data, as demonstrated by our 17-billion-parameter Turing Natural Language Generation (T-NLG) model and its ability to understand language to answer questions from or summarize documents seen for the first time. Natural language models like this, significantly larger than the state-of-the-art models a year ago, and many orders of magnitude the size of earlier image-centric models, are now powering a variety of tasks throughout Bing, Word, Outlook, and Dynamics.

Training models at this scale requires large clusters of hundreds of machines with specialized AI accelerators interconnected by high-bandwidth networks inside and across the machines.

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28

Jul

Eight ways to optimize costs on Azure SQL
Eight ways to optimize costs on Azure SQL

Across the globe, businesses are emerging into a new normal, eager to restart or rebuild, but still operating in uncertain times. Optimizing costs and redirecting the spend to where it matters most is as important as ever, and many companies see the cloud as a way to control costs, build resilience, and accelerate time to market.

Customers choose Azure for a variety of reasons, but one of the main reasons is to lower their costs. What more could you do if you could save up to 80 percent or more on your database costs? We introduced the Azure SQL family of database services to help businesses cost-effectively adapt and scale to rapidly changing conditions. Here are the top eight ways you can optimize your data spend, with savings available wherever you are in your digital transformation journey.

1. Maintain business continuity in the cloud with free SQL Server licenses

Use your active Software Assurance benefit to get a free license for every SQL Server in your datacenter for a secondary passive replica you can use for disaster recovery to an Azure Virtual Machine.

2. Shift capex to opex with SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines

Migrating your data to virtual

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30

Jun

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – June 2020

Whether you’re a new student, thriving startup, or the largest enterprise, you have financial constraints and you need to know what you’re spending, where, and how to plan for the future. Nobody wants a surprise when it comes to the bill, and this is where Azure Cost Management + Billing comes in.

We’re always looking for ways to learn more about your challenges and how Azure Cost Management + Billing can help you better understand where you’re accruing costs in the cloud, identify and prevent bad spending patterns, and optimize costs to empower you to do more with less. Here are a few of the latest improvements and updates based on your feedback:

More flexibility for budget notifications. Subscribe to active cost recommendations with Advisor digests. Automate subscription creation in Azure Government. Subscription ownership transfer improvements. New ways to save money with Azure. New videos and learning opportunities. Documentation updates.

Let’s dig into the details.

 

More flexibility for budget notifications

You already know Azure Cost Management budgets keep you informed as your costs increase over time. We’re introducing two changes to make it easier than ever to tune your budgets to suit your specific needs.

You can now specify

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15

Jun

Optimize costs and increase agility with the latest SAP on Azure offerings

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW is an event we look forward to year after year, as it’s always a place to meet our customers and learn how we can continue to support their evolving needs. This year, those conversations will take a different format, but thanks to technology, we can still connect with our customers across the globe.

We’re hearing from enterprises that more than ever before they need a trusted cloud partner to support business continuity, agility, and real-time decision making for their mission-critical business processes. In addition, they need help to manage costs effectively.

To help our customers achieve these goals, and as part of the Embrace initiative with SAP, today we’re announcing a series of new offerings and reference architectures. These offerings unlock the power of Azure for SAP workloads, including integration with SAP Cloud Platform and Microsoft products like Office 365 and Power Platform.

M-series virtual machines (VMs): Our latest updates to M-series virtual machine (VM) offerings will help increase agility through seamless scale-up and scale-down. New use cases supported by reference architectures for integration scenarios: As part of our Embrace initiative with SAP, we are announcing five use cases supported by reference architectures that cover integration scenarios

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15

Jun

Six reasons customers trust Azure to run their SAP solutions

As global organizations across every industry adjust to the new normal, SAP solutions are playing an increasingly vital role in addressing immediate needs and paving a path to a resilient future. Now more than ever, companies are realizing the value of running their SAP solutions in the cloud. While some are using advanced analytics to process their SAP data to make real-time business decisions, others are integrating their SAP and non-SAP data to build stronger supply chains. Whether it’s meeting urgent customer needs, empowering employees to make quick decisions, or planning for the future, customers running SAP solutions in the cloud have been well prepared to face the new reality. Check out how Walgreens delivers superior customer service with SAP solutions on Microsoft Azure.

Many organizations running their SAP solutions on-premises have become increasingly aware of the need to be more agile and responsive to real-time business needs. According to an IDC survey, 54 percent of enterprises expect the future demand for cloud software will increase. As global organizations seek agility, cost savings, risk reduction, and immediate insights from their ERP solutions, here are some reasons many of the largest enterprises choose Microsoft Azure as their trusted partner when moving

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27

May

Streamlining your image building process with Azure Image Builder

Customizing virtual machine (VM) images to meet security and compliance requirements and achieve faster deployment is a strong need for many enterprises, but most don’t enjoy the process and energy needed for determining the right tooling, building the right pipeline, and maintaining it continuously.

We built Azure Image Builder service to make building customized images easy in Azure.

Azure Image Builder service offers unification and simplification for your image building process across Azure and Azure Stack with an automated image building pipeline. Whether you want to build Windows or Linux virtual machine images, you can use existing image security configurations to build compliant images for your organization and patch existing custom images using Linux commands or Windows Update. Azure Image Builder supports images from multiple Linux distributions, Azure Marketplace, and Windows Virtual Desktop environments and you can build images for specialized VM sizes, including creating images for GPU VMs.

After you build the image, you can manage it with Shared Image Gallery and integrate your CI/CD pipeline with Azure Image Builder service. When you use Azure DevOps or other DevOps solutions, this gives you easy image patching, versioning, and regional replication capabilities.

Finally, Azure Image Builder service offers unmatched

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12

May

Announcing the general availability of Azure Spot Virtual Machines

Today we’re announcing the general availability of Azure Spot Virtual Machines (VMs). Azure Spot VMs provide access to unused Azure compute capacity at deep discounts. Spot pricing is available on single VMs in addition to VM scale sets (VMSS). This enables you to deploy a broader variety of workloads on Azure while enjoying access to discounted pricing compared to pay-as-you-go rates. Spot VMs offer the same characteristics as a pay-as-you-go virtual machine, the differences being pricing and evictions. Spot VMs can be evicted at any time if Azure needs capacity.

The workloads that are ideally suited to run on Spot VMs include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

Batch jobs. Workloads that can sustain or recover from interruptions. Development and test. Stateless applications that can use Spot VMs to scale out, opportunistically saving cost. Short lived jobs which can easily be run again if the VM is evicted.

Spot VMs have replaced the preview of Azure low-priority VMs on scale sets. Eligible low-priority VMs have been automatically transitioned over to Spot VMs.

Spot Virtual Machine pricing

Unlike low-priority VMs, prices for Spot VMs will vary based on capacity for size or SKU in an Azure region. Spot pricing

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