02

Jan

Azure #CosmosDB: Recap of 2017
Azure #CosmosDB: Recap of 2017

It was a pretty amazing year for Azure Cosmos DB, highlighted by the launch of the service, the preview and general availability of Graph, Table APIs, MongoDB API, native Spark connector and many other awesome capabilities. There were breakthroughs in making our SLAs truly industry-leading, adding native integration with Azure Functions and launching Try Cosmos DB for free to empower anyone to experience and play with our service without having an Azure account or having to specify a credit card. Below is a look back at 2017 and some of the memorable milestones.

The Launch of Azure Cosmos DB

In May, we were super excited to announce the general availability of Azure Cosmos DB – Microsoft’s globally distributed, massively scalable, multi-model database service. It is the first globally-distributed data service that lets you elastically scale throughput and store across any number of geographical regions while guaranteeing low latency, high availability and consistency. While also backed by the most comprehensive SLAs in the industry. It is the first cloud database to natively support a multitude of data models and popular query APIs. It is built on a novel database engine capable of ingesting sustained volumes of data and provides blazing

02

Jan

Last week in Azure: Azure HDInsight, Azure Cosmos DB, and more

Welcome to 2018! This edition of Last Week in Azure covers the final two weeks of 2017. Just before everyone disappeared for the holiday break here in Redmond, the news focused on Azure HDInsight.

Azure HDInsight

We lowered prices and raised capabilities for Azure HDInsight. Some capabilities of HDInsight, such as Apache Kafka and Azure Log Analytics integration, reached general availability, and the Enterprise Security Package released in Preview. You can also learn about how Xbox uses HDInsight to spelunk through a mountain of gaming data, and then check out how Fast SQL query processing in HDInsight performs at scale against industry standard TPCDS benchmarks.

You can get all of the details in the following Azure HDInsight posts:

Azure HDInsight announcements: Significant price reduction and amazing new capabilities Announcing Apache Kafka for Azure HDInsight general availability Azure HDInsight Integration with Azure Log Analytics is now generally available Xbox – Analytics on petabytes of gaming data with Azure HDInsight Enterprise Security Package preview for Azure HDInsight Azure HDInsight Performance Benchmarking: Interactive Query, Spark and Presto Data

New connectors available in Azure Data Factory V2 – A list of over 25 new data connectors to enable copying data from additional data stores

02

Jan

Happy New Year from Power BI Desktop
Happy New Year from Power BI Desktop

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/happy-new-year-from-power-bi-desktop/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/happy-new-year-from-power-bi-desktop/           Happy New Year! We’ve had a fantastic six months on the Power BI Desktop team and wanted to do a little round-up of some of the highlights.

28

Dec

Azure Log Analytics (OMS) Agent now collects SQL Server audit logs

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlsecurity/2017/12/28/azure-log-analytics-oms-agent-now-collects-sql-server-audit-logs/Source: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlsecurity/2017/12/28/azure-log-analytics-oms-agent-now-collects-sql-server-audit-logs/   We are happy to inform that the Azure Log Analytics (OMS) Agent is now capable of pushing SQL Server audit logs into Azure Log Analytics (OMS), supporting SQL Server both on-premises, as well as on Azure VMs. READ MORE

22

Dec

ICYMI: Recent Microsoft AI Platform Updates, Including in ONNX, Deep Learning, Video Indexer & More

Four recent Microsoft posts about AI developments, just in case you missed it.

1. Getting Started with Microsoft AI – MSDN Article

This MSDN article, co-authored by Joseph Sirosh and Wee Hyong Tok, provides a nice summary of all the capabilities offered by the Microsoft AI platform and how you can get started today. From Cognitive Services that help you to build intelligent apps, to customizing state-of-the-state computer vision deep learning models, to building deep learning models of your own with Azure Machine Learning, the Microsoft AI platform is open, flexible and provides developers the right tools that are the best suited for their wide range of scenarios and skills levels. Click here or on the image below to read the original article, on MSDN.

2. Announcing ONNX 1.0 – An Open Ecosystem for AI

Microsoft firmly believes in bringing AI advances to all developers, on any platform, using any language, and with an open AI ecosystem that helps us ensure that the fruits of AI are broadly accessible. In December, we announced that Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), an open source model representation for interoperability and innovation in the AI ecosystem co-developed by Microsoft, is production-ready. The ONNX

21

Dec

4 tips for keeping your resolution to learn Azure
4 tips for keeping your resolution to learn Azure

It’s that time of year when many people take pride in the resolutions they met, lament the ones they failed to keep, and make new ones to start afresh. Recently, I spoke with a friend and former colleague who is a software developer at a technology company in Virginia. As we shared our plans for 2018, he told me about an unmet resolution he had for 2017, which was to learn Azure. He recalled that this resolution originated back in 2013. As is the case with most abandoned resolutions, he had plenty of reasons at the ready to defend himself. He even joked that he’d keep the tradition alive by resolving to learn Azure in 2018.

I suggested that part of his problem was with the resolution itself (the other being procrastination). For me, the notion of learning Azure triggers the snowclone that it “is a journey, not a destination.” Instead of trying to learn Azure like it was something fixed and finite, I said he should make his resolution to just learn something new about Azure each day. If he implemented that one change, he could be successful with this year’s neglected resolution starting today.

Here are the tips

21

Dec

Sync members from O365 Modern group to a mail-enabled security group

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/sync-members-from-o365-modern-group-to-a-mail-enabled-security-group/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/sync-members-from-o365-modern-group-to-a-mail-enabled-security-group/           I’ve seen a few scenarios where Office 365 modern groups were depended on for security access, but when trying to use them within Power BI you will find they are not available. Power READ MORE

21

Dec

Azure Backup now supports BEK encrypted Azure virtual machines

Azure Backup stands firm on the promise of simplicity, security, and reliability by giving customers a smooth and dependable experience across scenarios. Continuing on the enterprise data-protection promise, today, we are excited to announce the support for backup and restore of Azure virtual machines encrypted using Bitlocker Encryption Key(BEK) for managed or unmanaged disks. This announcement augments the existing capability to backup VMs encrypted using Bitlocker Encryption Key(BEK) and Key Encryption Key(KEK). This support is available using Portal and PowerShell.

Key benefits

With this release, Azure Backup provides:

Backup of VMs encrypted using BEK-only as well as BEK and KEK both: Azure Backup now supports backup of VMs encrypted using BEK along with the already supported scenario of BEK and KEK both. The BEK(secrets) and KEK(keys) backed up are encrypted so they can be read and used only when restored back to key vault by the authorized users. Backup of both managed and unmanaged disks in encrypted VMs: Application-consistent backup for both managed and unmanaged disks is supported now which gives user the freedom to create any kind of encrypted VM and then back it up using Azure Backup. Value proposition

This feature provides:

Simplified experience: With this release,

21

Dec

Benefits of migrating IaaS to Azure Resource Manager

Why IaaS on Azure Resource Manager

It has been more than 2 years since we launched IaaS on Azure Resource Manager. Since then, we’ve been busy adding awesome features to this new stack in addition to all the features of the classic stack. Below are some of the features and benefits you get by deploying your infrastructure on Azure Resource Manager:

Compute Managed Disks – Simplify your storage management by exposing disks as a top level resource. In addition, Managed Disks are designed to improve the availability of your virtual machines. Learn more about the other benefits of using Managed Disks. Virtual machine scale sets – Provide a great blend of IaaS like control with PaaS like manageability. Scale sets allow you to reliably deploy and update a large set of virtual machines at large scale. Availability zones – Have peace of mind knowing that your mission critical applications can withstand datacenter-level failures. Instance metadata service – Provides a RESTful endpoint that allows virtual machines instances to get information regarding its compute, network, and upcoming maintenance events from within the virtual machine. Reserved instances – Allows reservation of virtual machines in advance, and significantly reduce costs compared to pay-as-you-go prices.

21

Dec

Announcing the public preview for Adaptive Application Controls

At Microsoft Ignite, we announced new adaptive applications controls that protect your applications from malware by using whitelisting rules. Today, we are excited to share that these capabilities are available for public preview in Azure Security Center. 

Application controls, such as whitelisting, can help limit exposure to malicious and vulnerable applications. Instead of trying to keep pace with rapidly evolving malware and new exploits, application control simply blocks all but known good applications. For purpose-built servers that typically run a fixed set of application, whitelisting can add significant protection. Application control solutions have existed for some time now, but organizations usually find it too complex and hard to manage, especially when unique rules are required per server or group of servers, and in large scale.

Adaptive Application Controls leverages machine learning to analyze the behavior of your Azure virtual machines, create a baseline of applications, group the virtual machines, and recommend and automatically apply the appropriate whitelisting rules. You can view, modify, and receive alerts for these rules in Azure Security Center.

Adaptive application controls are currently available for Windows virtual machines running in Azure (all versions, classic or Azure Resource Manager). To get started, open Security Center and select