27

Jul

NFS 3.0 support for Azure Blob storage is now in preview

Many enterprise and organizations are moving their data to Microsoft Azure Blob storage for its massive scale, security capabilities, and low total cost of ownership. At the same time, they continue running many apps on different storage systems using the Network File System (NFS) protocol. Companies that use different storage systems due to protocol requirements are challenged by data silos where data resides in different places and requires additional migration or app rewrite steps.

To help break down these silos and enable customers to run NFS-based applications at scale, we are announcing the preview of NFS 3.0 protocol support for Azure Blob storage. Azure Blob storage is the only storage platform that supports NFS 3.0 protocol over object storage natively (no gateway or data copying required), with object storage economics, which is essential for our customers.

One of our Media and Entertainment (M&E) customers said, “NFS access to blob storage will enable our customers to preserve their legacy data access methods when migrating the underlying storage to Azure Blob storage.” Other customers have requested NFS for blob storage so they can reuse the same code from an on-premises solution to access files while controlling the overall cost of the solution. Financial

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27

Jul

Advancing resilience through chaos engineering and fault injection

“When I first kicked off this Advancing Reliability blog series in my post last July, I highlighted several initiatives underway to keep improving platform availability, as part of our commitment to provide a trusted set of cloud services. One area I mentioned was fault injection, through which we’re increasingly validating that systems will perform as designed in the face of failures. Today I’ve asked our Principal Program Manager in this space, Chris Ashton, to shed some light on these broader ‘chaos engineering’ concepts, and to outline Azure examples of how we’re already applying these, together with stress testing and synthetic workloads, to improve application and service resilience.” – Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

 

Developing large-scale, distributed applications has never been easier, but there is a catch. Yes, infrastructure is provided in minutes thanks to your public cloud, there are many language options to choose from, swaths of open source code available to leverage, and abundant components and services in the marketplace to build upon. Yes, there are good reference guides that help give a leg up on your solution architecture and design, such as the Azure Well-Architected Framework and other resources in the Azure Architecture Center. But while application development

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27

Jul

Aiming for more than just net zero
Aiming for more than just net zero

Climate experts across the globe agree: if we can’t drastically reduce carbon emissions, our planet will face catastrophic consequences. Microsoft has operated carbon neutral since 2012, and in January 2020 Brad Smith announced our commitment to going carbon negative by 2030. This isn’t a goal we can reach in one easy swoop—it will take time, dedication, and many small steps that coalesce into something greater.

As the cloud business grows, our datacenter footprint grows. In our journey toward carbon negative, Microsoft is taking steps to roll back the effect datacenters have on the environment. Reaching this goal will take many steps, along with the implementation of innovative technologies that have yet to be developed.

Many companies are reaching for net zero emissions, but we’re taking it even further. We’re not just reducing our output to zero. We’re committed to reducing our emissions by half, and then removing the carbon we’ve emitted since 1975, to truly go carbon negative.

The journey to carbon negative

A big part of going carbon negative means completely changing the way datacenters operate. Datacenters have adopted some sustainable methods around cooling, including open-air and adiabatic cooling. These methods have helped to drastically reduce the water and

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23

Jul

Fully managed HashiCorp Consul Service generally available on Azure today

I want to congratulate the HashiCorp and Microsoft Azure teams on the general availability of HashiCorp Consul Service (HCS) on Azure. This is a first-of-a-kind achievement for HashiCorp running a cloud-based service. Within Azure, we have a deep commitment to build a platform where anyone from startups to large-scale enterprises can deliver reliable, compelling services that augment the Azure platform and benefit our customers.

Throughout the process of bringing this service to production-grade availability, the HashiCorp team has been an awesome partner. We learned a lot together and I’m grateful for the strength of our relationship. Seeing HCS launch on Azure is awesome and a great example of the depth of our collaboration and commitment to serve our joint customers.

HCS on Azure enables Azure users to natively provision Consul servers in any supported Azure region directly through the Azure Marketplace. Consul is delivered “as-a-service” where the Consul servers themselves are managed and operated by HashiCorp SREs while Azure takes care of the underlying infrastructure, virtual machines (VMs), and networks. This ensures customers can focus on the application and business logic they’re building and can offload the operational overhead of running Consul to experts at HashiCorp, including managing upgrades, patching,

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22

Jul

Innovate in Azure with confidence
Innovate in Azure with confidence

As the world navigates through the pandemic, it’s inspiring to see companies across every industry innovate to rethink their operations, engage with customers in new ways, and keep their employees safe. When it comes to innovating in the cloud, customers tell us that they need a platform that enables them to stand up solutions quickly, be agile to respond to their dynamic environments, and do so in a cost-effective manner. Azure has them covered.

Customers today are innovating in Azure more than ever before for their applications and their analytics solutions. Here’s why.

Applications

Customers that modernize their applications, or build new ones, on Azure realize significant cost savings and performance gains. A common pattern we see is customers modernizing their .NET applications with Azure App Service and Azure SQL Database. The Clover Imaging Group, for example, successfully migrated 200 applications to Azure with Azure App Service and Azure SQL Database with minimal effort to free their development team from administrative burdens like patching and updates.

Another common pattern we see are customers developing new applications from the ground up based on cloud design principles. These applications are typically built on containers with Azure Kubernetes Service, take advantage of microservices

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22

Jul

Enabling customers for success on Azure

The pandemic continues to test business principles, models, and strategies organizations once thought to be bedrock truths of business. The COVID-19 crisis has challenged everything, from leadership principles, financial models, operations, and sales process, to technology decisions and platform strategies. Organizations have been forced to quickly adapt to maintain efficient operations in these difficult times. Technology has remained the common driver throughout this period of worldwide adaptation to change.

The cloud has surged to the center of the recent digital transformation efforts, by quickly creating new solutions securely and reliably, meeting new business challenges, and driving transformation with continuous technological innovation. In meeting the challenges posed by the global pandemic, the cloud is driving digital transformation faster than ever with more organizations adopting cloud technologies.

Microsoft stands with our partners, and we’re committed to your efforts, enabling customers for successful cloud use, and harnessing the wave of innovation for organizations across the globe during this challenging time.

At Microsoft Inspire, we continue to invest in our customer’s success on Azure focusing on these four priorities:

Generating confidence in their cloud journey, providing technical guidance and skills development resources. Focusing on processes and operations on their terms, at their pace through

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22

Jul

Migrate to the cloud with confidence
Migrate to the cloud with confidence

Organizations today are changing how they run their businesses to ensure safety and efficiency. As we work closely with our customers, their top priorities include optimizing business costs, scaling for a remote workforce, and ensuring business continuity. As a result, cloud migration remains a priority and partners play a critical role.

To support your cloud migration projects, we are committed to solutions that optimize costs, scale efficiencies, and bring unmatched security and compliance. We have amazing offers, like Azure Hybrid Benefit, reserved instances, and free extended security updates to help our customers save money. Azure also delivers the lowest total cost of ownership for Windows Server and SQL Server workloads, with up to 3x better performance over AWS (GigaOm*).

We are also seeing increasing adoption of specialized workloads like the Azure VMware Solution as customers look to migrate their entire IT estate to Azure. Lastly, Azure does all of this while remaining flexible, so customers can extend their on-premises investments and leverage them as they move to the cloud. The new Azure Stack HCI preview is one example that we just announced.

Today, we’re sharing new Azure services that help accelerate migration.

Leverage new Azure infrastructure services to migrate workloads

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21

Jul

Build safer, more resilient workplaces with IoT solutions

We are coming together as a global community, looking for opportunities to act or perform small steps that drive change for the better. Many parts of the world are still in the first stage of responding, actively working through the immediate crisis with urgency. While other areas have started on recovery, looking at how to restart the economy, provide stability, and most importantly bring together our society. Amidst these goals are also questions, how do we make it safe for people to connect in person? To have a meal with friends, travel to see loved ones, or function as a community?

Top of mind for many organizations, and a theme prevalent at Microsoft’s inaugural virtual Inspire conference this week: how do we make it safe for people to return to the workplace? And how can the Internet of Things (IoT) play a role in supporting these phases of responding, recovering, and rebuilding?

Digital capabilities enabling business resilience

The COVID-19 outbreak has been a reminder of how interconnected humanity is globally—and how resilient the human spirit can be. But it has also shown that businesses using technology to stay connected have been more resilient than others.

In the world of IoT,

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21

Jul

Introducing the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework

As the technology requirements of your business or practice grow and change over time, deploying business-critical applications can increase complexity and overhead substantially. To help manage this ever-growing complexity, we are pleased to announce the introduction of the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework. Following industry standards and terms, the Azure Well-Architected Framework provides a set of Azure architecture best practices to help you build and deliver great solutions.

The Azure Well-Architected Framework is divided into five pillars of architectural best practices: cost management, operational excellence, performance efficiency, reliability, and security. These pillars help you effectively and consistently optimize your workloads against Azure best practices and the specific business priorities that are relevant to you or your customers’ cloud journey.

Get started with the Azure Well-Architected Framework:

Read the framework content, reference material, and samples available in the Azure Architecture Center. Take the Azure Well-Architected Review on Microsoft Assessments. Learn how to Build great solutions with the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework on MS Learn.

Here is how each of these modalities can help you improve your workloads and grow your business.

Get started

Designing and deploying a successful workload in any environment can be challenging. This is especially true as agile development

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21

Jul

Deliver hybrid cloud capabilities with the next generation of Azure Stack HCI

Customers are increasingly moving their workloads to the cloud to save money, increase efficiency, and to innovate. At the same time, some workloads need to remain on-premises for compliance, latency, or other business and technical reasons. As organizations look for cost-effective solutions that bring hybrid capabilities to their datacenter while being able to use existing skills and investments, we are committed to giving them more choice and the best solution for their hybrid needs.

Customers have been using Azure Stack solutions to meet their hybrid needs across datacenters, remote offices, and edge locations. Customers have choice and flexibility for running hybrid applications with Azure Stack Hub that is Azure consistent and can be run connected or disconnected, high-performance virtualization on-premises with Azure Stack HCI or an Azure managed appliance that provides intelligent compute and artificial intelligence (AI) at the edge with Azure Stack Edge.

Today, we’re delivering the next generation of Azure Stack HCI, an Azure service that combines the price-performance of hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) with native Azure hybrid capabilities, all while letting enterprises leverage existing skills.

Azure hybrid by design

The new Azure Stack HCI solution is an Azure service, giving customers the latest security, performance, and hybrid

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