Category Archives : Virtual Machines

12

Jun

Rendering in Azure with Qube 7
Rendering in Azure with Qube 7

Rendering is the most compute-intensive part of a movie production. By some estimates rendering can account for 90 percent of the total compute hours over the entire life of an animated feature or visual effects-laden feature film. Rendering is a highly-complex, distributed process with dependencies between render jobs and digital assets.

To address this complexity companies like PipelineFX offer render management solutions that simplify the management and control of render pipelines. Their solution integrates on-premises environments with cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure. This gives their customers access to scale and elasticity for accelerating the time-to-production.

PipelineFx recently announced their latest software release, Qube 7. It has a great set of new features that you can read more about on their website. But there’s one thing in particular that caught my eye, the Supervisor is now free to use. Not only that, but the rendering component is free for the first 30 days. This is true regardless of scale.
 
As you probably know already, Azure scales out to big numbers. With the 30 day trial of Qube and our low-priority Virtual Machines, you can get a lot of rendering done without spending a lot of money. Here’s what

Share

12

Jun

Rendering in Azure with Qube 7
Rendering in Azure with Qube 7

Rendering is the most compute-intensive part of a movie production. By some estimates rendering can account for 90 percent of the total compute hours over the entire life of an animated feature or visual effects-laden feature film. Rendering is a highly-complex, distributed process with dependencies between render jobs and digital assets.

To address this complexity companies like PipelineFX offer render management solutions that simplify the management and control of render pipelines. Their solution integrates on-premises environments with cloud service providers such as Microsoft Azure. This gives their customers access to scale and elasticity for accelerating the time-to-production.

PipelineFx recently announced their latest software release, Qube 7. It has a great set of new features that you can read more about on their website. But there’s one thing in particular that caught my eye, the Supervisor is now free to use. Not only that, but the rendering component is free for the first 30 days. This is true regardless of scale.
 
As you probably know already, Azure scales out to big numbers. With the 30 day trial of Qube and our low-priority Virtual Machines, you can get a lot of rendering done without spending a lot of money. Here’s what

Share

07

Jun

Azure Backup for SQL Server on Azure now in public preview

Earlier this week, Corey Sanders announced preview of a new Azure Backup capability to backup SQL workloads running in Azure Virtual Machines in his post about why you should bet on azure for your infrastructure needs today and in the future. In this blog, we will elaborate on how this enterprise backup provides a new breakthrough in backup that differentiates Azure from any other public cloud. This workload backup capability is built as an infrastructure-less, Pay aA You Go (PAYG) service that leverages native SQL backup and restore APIs to provide a comprehensive solution to backup SQL servers running in Azure IaaS VMs.

Key benefits Zero-infrastructure backup: Freedom from managing backup infrastructure (e.g. backup server, agents or backup storage) or writing complex backup scripts. Centrally manage and monitor all backups using Recovery Services Vault: Create policies to specify the backup schedule and retention for both short-term and long-term retention needs using Grandfather-father-son style retention schemes. Re-use these policies across multiple databases across servers. Configure email notification for any backup or restore failure. Monitor the backup jobs using Recovery Services Vault dashboard for all workloads including Azure IaaS VMs, Azure Files and SQL server databases. Restore to any time,

Share

05

Jun

Azure is the best place for analytics

The confluence of cloud, data, and AI is foundational to innovation and is driving unprecedented change. This week at Spark + AI Summit, I talked about how Microsoft enables organizations to take advantage of Azure to build advanced machine learning models and intelligent applications virtually anywhere.

As Satya mentioned during our Build conference last month, applications will increasingly require a ubiquitous computing fabric from the cloud to the edge. These applications also require new machine learning and AI capabilities that enable them to see, hear and predict. The driving force behind these capabilities is data. Data is vital to every app and experience we build today. Organizations are using their data to extract important insights to drive their businesses forward and engage their customers in new ways. Customers like Renault-Nissan are revolutionizing their customer experience with connected cars. Rockwell Automation, a leader in industrial automation has built predictive maintenance capabilities on their equipment to save time and reduce cost associated with device failure. Liebherr, a leader in manufacturing, produces intelligent refrigerators that use object recognition to recommend grocery lists based on refrigerator contents. These are just a few examples of customers leveraging their data, wherever it exists, to turn it

Share

04

Jun

Offering the largest scale and broadest choice for SAP HANA in the cloud

Microsoft at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018

Enterprises have been embarking on a journey of digital transformation for many years. For many enterprises this journey cannot start or gain momentum until core SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) landscapes are transformed. The last year has seen an acceleration of this transformation with SAP customers of all sizes like Penti, Malaysia Airlines, Guyana Goldfields , Rio Tinto, Co-op, and Coats migrating to the cloud on Microsoft Azure. This cloud migration, which is central to digital transformation, helps to increase business agility, lower costs, and enable new business processes to fuel growth. In addition, it has allowed them to take advantage of advancements in technology such as big data analytics, self-service business intelligence (BI), and Internet of Things (IOT).

As leaders in enterprise software, SAP and Microsoft provide the preferred foundation for enabling the safe and trusted path to digital transformation. Together we enable the inevitable move to SAP S/4HANA which will help accelerate digital transformation for customers of all sizes.

Microsoft has collaborated with SAP for 20+ years to enable enterprise SAP deployments with Windows Server and SQL Server. In 2016 we partnered to offer SAP certified, purpose-built, SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances

Share

04

Jun

(Preview) Standard SSD Disks for Azure Virtual machine workloads

We are excited to announce the preview of Azure Standard SSD Managed Disks, a new type of durable storage for Microsoft Azure Virtual machines. Standard SSD Disks are a cost effective storage option optimized for workloads that need consistent performance at lower IOPS levels. The new Azure Standard SSD Disks store data on Solid State Drives (SSDs), like our existing Premium Storage Disks. Whereas our Standard HDD disks store data on Hard Disk Drive (HDD). With the addition of Standard SSD, Azure now offers three types of persistent Disks for use with Azure Virtual machines, optimized for different workload requirements: Premium SSD Disks, Standard SSD Disks, and Standard HDD Disks.

Following is a summary comparing Azure Disk types.

Disk Type

Premium SSD

new Standard SSD

Standard HDD

Summary

Designed for IO intensive enterprise workloads. Delivers consistent performance with low latency and high availability.

Designed to provide consistent performance for low IOPS workloads. Delivers better availability and latency compared to HDD Disks.

Optimized for low-cost mass storage with infrequent access. Can exhibit some variability in performance.

Workload

Demanding enterprise workloads such as

Share

31

May

VNet service endpoints for Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL in preview

This blog post was co-authored by Anitha Adusumilli, Principal Program Manager, Azure Networking.

We recently made Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL generally available. These services offer the community versions of MySQL and PostgreSQL with built-in high availability, a 99.99% availability SLA, elastic scaling for performance, and industry leading security and compliance on Azure. Since general availability, we have continued to bring new features and capabilities like increased storage and availability across more regions worldwide.

We are excited to announce the public preview of Virtual Network (VNet) service endpoints for Azure Database for MySQL and PostgreSQL in all regions where the service is available. Visit region expansion for MySQL and PostgreSQL for service availability. VNet service endpoints enable you to isolate connectivity to your logical server from only a given subnet or set of subnets within your virtual network. The traffic to Azure Database for MySQL and/or PostgreSQL from your VNet always stays within the Azure backbone network. Preference for this direct route is over any specific ones that route Internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises.

There is no additional billing for virtual network access through service endpoints. The current pricing model for Azure Database for MySQL and

Share

23

May

Do more with Chef and Microsoft Azure
Do more with Chef and Microsoft Azure

We’re committed to making Azure work great with the open source tools you know and love, and if you’re using Chef products or open source projects, there’s never been a better time to try Azure. We’ve had a rich history of partnership and collaboration with Chef to deliver automation tools that help you with cloud adoption. Today, at ChefConf, the Chef and Azure teams are excited to announce the inclusion of Chef InSpec, directly in Azure Cloud Shell, as well as the new Chef Developer Hub in Azure Docs.

Inspec in Azure Cloud Shell

In addition to other open source tools like Ansible and Terraform that are already available, today we are announcing the availability of Chef Inspec, pre-installed and ready to use for every Azure user in the Azure Cloud Shell. This makes bringing your Inspec tests to Azure super-simple, in fact it’s the easiest way to try out Inspec – no installation or configuration required.

 

Figure 1: InSpec Exec within Azure Cloud Shell

Chef Developer Hub for Azure

We are launching the new Chef Developer Hub so Azure customers can more easily implement their solutions using Chef open source software. Whether you’re using Chef, Inspec or

Share

22

May

Blue-Green deployments using Azure Traffic Manager

Azure Traffic Manager, Azure’s DNS based load balancing solution, is used by customers for a wide variety of use cases including routing a global user base to endpoints on Azure that will give them the fastest, low latency experience, providing seamless auto-failover for mission critical workloads and migration from on-premises to the cloud. One key use case where customers leverage Traffic Manager is to make their software deployments smoother with minimal impact to their users by implementing a Blue-Green deployment process using Traffic Manager’s weighted round-robin routing method. This blog will show how we can implement Blue-Green deployment using Traffic Manager, but before we dive deep, let us discuss what we mean by Blue-Green deployment.

Blue-Green deployment is a software rollout method that can reduce the impact of interruptions caused due to issues in the new version being deployed. This is achieved by exposing the new version of the software to a limited set of users and expanding that user base gradually until everyone is using the new version. If at any time the new version is causing issues, for example a broken authentication workflow in the new version of a web application, all the users can be instantly* redirected

Share

15

May

Protect virtual machines across different subscriptions with Azure Security Center

We heard from our customers that they wanted an even simpler onboarding experience to Azure Security Center. Today, we are excited to announce the general availability of Azure Security Center’s Cross Subscription Workspace Selection. This capability allows you to collect and monitor data in one location from virtual machines that run in different workspaces, subscriptions, and run queries. 

When first onboarding to Azure Security Center, you’ll need to start in our Data Collection tab to provision a monitoring agent onto Azure. The agent will allow you to monitor the security state of your hybrid cloud resources. As virtual machines are being spun up and down, and workload owners across your organization are creating new workloads and resources, you need to make sure these are protected at the time they are created.

By default, we put the data that the monitoring agent collects in a Log Analytics workspace, but we give you the flexibility to use another workspace if you are using it already for other management functions.

Today, when you select a workspace for your data to reside in, you’ll see all the workspaces across all your subscriptions available. Cross Subscription Workspace Selection allows you to collect data from

Share