05

Jan

From Insights to Action with the Power Apps custom visual
From Insights to Action with the Power Apps custom visual

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/from-insights-to-action-with-the-power-apps-custom-visual/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/from-insights-to-action-with-the-power-apps-custom-visual/           Power BI makes it possible for anyone to explore data and find insights to make better business decisions. But often, the insight itself isn’t the end result – instead, an action needs to READ MORE

05

Jan

Maximize your VM’s Performance with Accelerated Networking – now generally available for both Windows and Linux

We are happy to announce that Accelerated Networking (AN) is generally available (GA) and widely available for Windows and the latest distributions of Linux providing up to 30Gbps in networking throughput, free of charge! 

AN provides consistent ultra-low network latency via Azure’s in-house programmable hardware and technologies such as SR-IOV. By moving much of Azure’s software-defined networking stack off the CPUs and into FPGA-based SmartNICs, compute cycles are reclaimed by end user applications, putting less load on the VM, decreasing jitter and inconsistency in latency.

With the GA of AN, region limitations have been removed, making the feature widely available around the world. Supported VM series include D/DSv2, D/DSv3, E/ESv3, F/FS, FSv2, and Ms/Mms.

The deployment experience for AN has also been improved since public preview. Many of the latest Linux images available in the Azure Marketplace, including Ubuntu 16.04, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, CentOS 7.4 (distributed by Rogue Wave Software), and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3, work out of the box with no further setup steps needed. Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2012R2 also work out of the box.

All the information needed to deploy a VM with AN can be found here, Windows AN VM

04

Jan

JCI smart GLAS thermostat uses Microsoft IoT to cut energy costs
JCI smart GLAS thermostat uses Microsoft IoT to cut energy costs

https://blogs.microsoft.com/iot/2018/01/04/johnson-control/Source: https://blogs.microsoft.com/iot/2018/01/04/johnson-control/     Heating and cooling account for more than 40 percent of energy use in a typical home — the largest energy expense for most families. In commercial spaces, the cost is just as significant. To help consumers READ MORE

04

Jan

Using Qubole Data Service on Azure to analyze retail customer feedback

It has been a busy season for many retailers. During this time, retailers are using Azure to analyze various types of data to help accelerate purchasing decisions. The Azure cloud not only gives retailers the compute capacity to handle peak times, but also the data analytic tools to better understand their customers.

Many retailers have a treasure trove of information in the thousands, or millions, of product reviews provided by their customers. Often, it takes time for particular reviews to show their value because customers “vote” for helpful or not helpful reviews over time. Using machine learning, retailers can automate identifying useful reviews in near real-time and leverage that insight quickly to build additional business value.

But how might a retailer without deep big data and machine learning expertise even begin to conduct this type of advanced analytics on such a large quantity of unstructured data? We will be holding a workshop in January to show you how easy that can be through the use of Azure and Qubole’s big data service.

Using these technologies, anyone can quickly spin up a data platform and train a machine learning model utilizing Natural Language Processing (NLP) to identify the most useful reviews.

04

Jan

Whitepaper: Selecting the right secure hardware for your IoT deployment

How do you go about answering those perplexing questions such as what secure hardware to use? How do I gauge the level of security? How much security do I really need and hence how much premium should I place on secure hardware? We’ve published a new whitepaper to shed light on this subject matter.

In our relentless commitment to securing IoT deployments worldwide, we continue to raise awareness to the true nature of security—that it is a journey and never an endpoint. Challenges emerge, vulnerabilities evolve, and solutions age thereby triggering the need for renewal if you are to maintain a desired level of security.

Securing your deployment as desired comprises planning, architecture, and execution main phases. For IoT, these are further broken down into sub-phases to include design assessment, risk assessment, model assessment, development, and deployment as shown in Figure 1. The decision process at each phase is equally important, the process must take all other phases into consideration for optimal efficacy. This is especially true when choosing the right secure hardware, also known as secure silicon or Hardware Secure Module(HSM), to secure an IoT deployment.
 

Figure 1: The IoT Security Lifecycle

Choosing the

04

Jan

Congratulations to the Winners of the “Bookmarking Feature” Contest!

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-bookmarking-feature-contest/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/congratulations-to-the-winners-of-the-bookmarking-feature-contest/           You may remember that the “Bookmarking Feature” contest launched a few weeks ago to feature the recently updated bookmark feature in Power BI Desktop. We had so many amazing submissions that showcased your READ MORE

04

Jan

Asynchronous refresh with the REST API for Azure Analysis Services

Azure Analysis Services unlocks datasets with potentially billions of rows for non-technical business users to perform interactive analysis. Such large datasets can benefit from features such as asynchronous refresh.

We are pleased to introduce the REST API for Azure Analysis Services. Using any programming language that supports REST calls, you can now perform asynchronous data-refresh operations. This includes synchronization of read-only replicas for query scale out. Please see the blog post Introducing query replica scale-out for Azure Analysis Services for more information on query scale out.

Data-refresh operations can take some time depending on various factors, including data volume and level of optimization using partitions. These operations have traditionally been invoked with existing methods such as using TOM (Tabular Object Model), PowerShell cmdlets for Analysis Services, or TMSL (Tabular Model Scripting Language). The traditional methods may require long-running HTTP connections. A lot of work has been done to ensure the stability of these methods, but given the nature of HTTP, it may be more reliable to avoid long-running HTTP connections from client applications.

The REST API for Azure Analysis Services enables data-refresh operations to be carried out asynchronously. It therefore does not require long-running HTTP connections from client applications. Additionally,

03

Jan

Hello 2018 | Recap of “Top 10” Posts of 2017
Hello 2018  |  Recap of “Top 10” Posts of 2017

As we ring in the new year, we’d like to kick things off in our usual fashion – with a quick recap of our most popular posts from the year just concluded. So here are our “Top 10” posts from 2017, sorted in increasing order of readership – enjoy!

10. Quick-Start Guide to the Data Science Bowl Lung Cancer Detection Challenge, Using Deep Learning, Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit and Azure GPU VMs

Lung cancer – which is the leading cancer when it comes to mortality in both women and men in the US – suffers from a low rate of early diagnosis. The Data Science Bowl competition aimed to help by having participants use machine learning to determine whether CT scans of the lung have cancerous lesions or not. Success in the competition required that data scientists get started quickly and iterate rapidly. Through this post, we showed how to compute features of scanned images with a pre-trained Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), and use these features to classify scans as cancerous or not using a boosted tree – all within one hour.

9. Machine Learning for Developers – How to Build Intelligent Apps & Services

Traditionally, developers would build rules-based engines

03

Jan

Securing Azure customers from CPU vulnerability
Securing Azure customers from CPU vulnerability

An industry-wide, hardware-based security vulnerability was disclosed today. Keeping customers secure is always our top priority and we are taking active steps to ensure that no Azure customer is exposed to these vulnerabilities. At the time of this blog post, Microsoft has not received any information to indicate that these vulnerabilities have been used to attack Azure customers.

The majority of Azure infrastructure has already been updated to address this vulnerability. Some aspects of Azure are still being updated and require a reboot of customer VMs for the security update to take effect. Many of you have received notification in recent weeks of a planned maintenance on Azure and have already rebooted your VMs to apply the fix, and no further action by you is required.

With the public disclosure of the security vulnerability today, we are accelerating the planned maintenance timing and will begin automatically rebooting the remaining impacted VMs starting at 3:30pm PST on January 3, 2018. The self-service maintenance window that was available for some customers has now ended, in order to begin this accelerated update.

During this update, we will maintain our SLA commitments of Availability Sets, VM Scale Sets, and Cloud Services. This reduces impact

03

Jan

Year in Review Contest: Jan. 3-Jan. 31
Year in Review Contest: Jan. 3-Jan. 31

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/year-in-review-contest/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/year-in-review-contest/           Happy New Year! What better way to kick off 2018 than by entering this contest for a chance to win a fabulous prize? Read the full blog post for details and the link READ MORE