19

Mar

Last week in Azure #23: Week of March 12
Last week in Azure #23: Week of March 12

Last week in Azure, we were at the Rice Oil and Gas HPC conference showing how high-performance computing in the cloud is helping companies in that industry get more done. This week, we’ll be at GDC 2018 showing game developers how Azure can handle the management of their gaming platforms so that they can focus on what they do best: make games that make headlines. Week after week, we’re demonstrating how Azure is the cloud for all.

Now in preview

New machine-assisted text classification on Content Moderator now in public preview – Content Moderator enables you to create a complete, configurable content moderation lifecycle by combining automated moderation with human reviews and workflows. Going beyond existing technology that flags profanity terms, the text classification feature helps detect potentially undesired content that may be deemed as inappropriate depending on context. In addition, it can recommend a human review of the content. The text classification feature is in preview and supports the English language.

Now generally available

Azure Data Lake launches in the West Europe region – Azure Data Lake Store (a hyperscale repository for big data analytics workloads) and Azure Data Lake Analytics (a distributed analytics service that makes big data

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19

Mar

Power BI Report Server Update – March 2018
Power BI Report Server Update – March 2018

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-report-server-update-march-2018/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-report-server-update-march-2018/           Today, we’re pleased to announce the release of a new version of Power BI Report Server that contains several new features customers have been anxiously waiting for, including bookmarking, syncing slicers, and quick READ MORE

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19

Mar

Modernize index maintenance with Resumable Online Index Rebuild

As we know, the index is one of the most powerful tools for optimizing database performance. As you insert, update, and delete rows, indexes become more fragmented and less effective. Because of this, DBAs regularly do index rebuild operations.

With the growing sizes of databases, index rebuilds can take a very long time. Combine that with the business needs for your applications to be always available and performant and this can be an issue. Big OLTP environments with busy workloads often have very short maintenance windows with some too short to execute large index rebuild operations.  

Fit rebuild operations into limited maintenance windows

With ROIR (Resumable Online Index Rebuild), you can configure a rebuild to execute only during a maintenance window of defined length. Previously, if an index operation ran longer than the maintenance window the DBA would have to abort the index operation and run it again from the start later. If an index operation regularly took longer than the desired maintenance window there was no way to work around this. With ROIR, the user can simply define a max duration for the rebuild according to the maintenance window.

ALTER INDEX [ix_CustomerIDs] ON [ContosoSales].[ConstosoTransactionData] REBUILD WITH (ONLINE =

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19

Mar

Azure Security Center and discovery of partner solutions
Azure Security Center and discovery of partner solutions

Azure Security Center offers integration with various 3rd party security solutions which provide a unified view for alerting and monitoring of your Azure and non-Azure workloads. For integrated partner solutions, Security Center scans Azure resources and provides recommendations to install the solution while automating the deployment. In addition to these features, we are excited to announce the general availability of auto discovery of partner solutions that have already been deployed in the subscription.

Security Center will now automatically discover partner solutions for Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFW) and Web Application Firewalls (WAF), prompting connection while allowing the integration of logs and alerts. Discovered partner solutions will be displayed in security solutions panel. To allow interoperability with many security vendors, Security Center supports log ingestion using industry standard Common Event Format (CEF) on top of Syslog messages.

Once integrated, Security Center provides visibility into the health of partner solutions and provides links to its management console. Partner solution logs are indexed and stored in customer workspace, they are also enriched with threat intelligence to help with security investigations. Partner solution logs are available to setup custom alerts and be displayed in Security Center alerts page. Custom alerts allow user defined queries to scope

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19

Mar

Join Microsoft at the GPU technology conference

High-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and visualization GPUs have a wide variety of uses. That’s why Microsoft has partnered with NVIDIA to bring a wide variety of NVIDIA GPUs to Azure. Join us in San Jose next week at NVIDIA’s GPU technology conference to learn how Azure customers combine the flexibility and elasticity of the cloud with the capability of NVIDIA’s GPUs.

At Booth 603, Microsoft and partners will have demos of customer use cases and experts on hand to talk about how Azure is the cloud for any GPU workload. We will have demos from our partners at Altair, PipelineFX, and Workspot. In addition, you can learn about work we’ve done in oil & gas, automotive, and artificial intelligence.

Partner and customer sessions in the conference program include:

Transforming the AEC business with cloud workstations in Azure – Jimmy Chang (Workspot) Deploying machine learning on the oilfield: from the labs to the edge – Matthieu Boujonnier (Schneider Electric), Bartosz Boguslawski (Schneider Electric), Loryne Bissuel-Beauvais (Schneider Electric) Autodesk BIM Cloud Workspace on Azure (panel) – Frank Wolbertus (TBI), Adam Jull (IMSCAD Global), Marc Sleegers (Autodesk), Allen Furmanski (Citrix Systems) Identifying new therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease using virtual neurons on an Azure-hosted

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19

Mar

Text Recognition for Video in Microsoft Video Indexer

In Video Indexer, we have the capability for recognizing display text in videos. This blog explains some of the techniques we used to extract the best quality data. To start, take a look at the sequence of frames below.


Source: Keynote-Delivering mission critical intelligence with SQL Server 2016

Did you manage to recognize the text in the images? It is highly reasonable that you did, without even noticing. However, using the best Optical Character Recognition (OCR) service for text extraction on these images, will yield broken words such as “icrosof”, “Mi”, “osoft” and “Micros”, simply because the text is partially hidden in each image.

There is a misconception that AI for video is simply extracting frames from a video and running computer vision algorithms on each video frame but video processing is much more than processing individual frames using an image processing algorithm – for example, with 30 frames per second, a minute-long video is 1800 frames producing a lot of data but, as we see above, not many meaningful words. There is a separate blog that covers how AI for video is different from AI for images.

While humans have cognitive abilities that allow them to complete hidden parts

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19

Mar

Building our report on the opioid crisis for the Gartner bakeoff

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/building-our-report-on-the-opioid-crisis-for-the-gartner-bakeoff/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/building-our-report-on-the-opioid-crisis-for-the-gartner-bakeoff/           You might have read in our previous blog post that Microsoft were invited to take part in the Gartner Data and Analytics summit’s “Bakeoff” competition. We wanted to give you all a feel…

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19

Mar

Global performance acceleration with Azure Traffic Manager

Gaining insights to customer traffic is imperative in providing a best in class user experience. With Traffic View, a new capability in Azure Traffic Manager, you can get rich information and powerful visualization that captures a heatmap of users’ experience. This allows you to understand traffic patterns globally and zoom in on specific geographic locations.

Improve performance by leveraging Traffic View

Today, we are happy to announce the general availability (GA) of Traffic View, announced in public preview last fall. Since then we have received enthusiastic adoption and feedback. Insights provided by Traffic View include geographic location of your user base, latency experienced from these locations, and volume of traffic. These insights can then be used to optimize placement of your workloads in various Azure regions. You can use the visualizations provided through the Azure portal or you can download the raw data to do custom analysis with Power BI or similar tools.

To provide finer granularity, Traffic View can now be enabled at a profile level rather than subscription level. Starting this week, as we rollout the changes, you will have to re-enable Traffic View for the profiles you need. Traffic View will be charged starting May 1,

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19

Mar

Announcing improved multi-member Blockchain networks now available on Azure

We see strong customer interest in the Blockchain solutions that are available on the Azure Marketplace. As customers build production Blockchain scenarios, we understand that network reliability and health monitoring become increasingly important. Today, we are excited to announce significant enhancements to our Ethereum on Azure offering. These improvements are the first of a series of releases designed to enable production-ready consortium Blockchain networks suited for enterprise scenarios.

Through our customer engagements, we have identified and rolled out the following improvements:

High availability of Blockchain network presence: As a participant on a decentralized network, your nodes’ presence in the consensus process is critical towards achieving a fair and secure network. To ensure high-availability, we’ve incorporated cross-region Azure VM Scale Sets (Azure VMSS) and Azure Managed Disks. In the case that a node goes down, Azure VMSS will automatically recover the node, and join it back to the Ethereum network.  As active nodes may change over time, we take care of maintaining an accurate boot-node list, allowing other members to join the network. Simplified deployment experience: Choosing the right network topology for your scenario can be difficult. We’ve invested significant effort into consolidating the various Ethereum network topologies into one experience, which allows

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19

Mar

Serverless computing recipes for your cloud applications

You have heard the hype around serverless computing, read countless online articles about its benefits, and heard industry pundits find new adjectives to describe its pathbreaking nature on a frequent basis. Are you now ready to dig into what you can actually do with real code using serverless computing cloud services like Azure Functions? If so, you should download and read the free Azure Serverless Computing Cookbook that describes with rich code examples, how to solve common problems using serverless Azure Functions.

However, if you need a little more motivation, read on.

Let us get the basics out of the way first. Serverless computing enables:

Full abstraction of servers: Focusing on your application code, not on servers running the code. Instant event-driven scalability: Not worrying about scaling up infrastructure as traffic grows. Pay-per-use: Paying only for the time your code is running and the resources it consumes

However, as a developer there is so much more to it that you should care about.

Your cloud journey can start small

You don’t really have to bet your entire application portfolio on this new way of building software all at once. The good thing about the Functions-as-a-Service (FaaS) model provided

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