17

Jul

Blockchain as a tool for anti-fraud

Healthcare costs are skyrocketing. In 2016, healthcare costs in the US are estimated at nearly 18 percent of the GDP! Healthcare is becoming less affordable worldwide, and a serious chasm is widening between those that can afford healthcare and those that cannot. There are many factors driving the high cost of healthcare, one of them is fraud. In healthcare, there are several types of fraud including prescription fraud, medical identity fraud, financial fraud, and occupational fraud. The National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association estimates conservatively that health care fraud costs the US about $68 billion annually, which is about three percent of the US total $2.26 trillion in overall healthcare spending. There are two root vulnerabilities in healthcare organizations: insufficient protection of data integrity, and a lack of transparency.

Insufficient protection of data integrity enables fraudulent modification of records

Cybersecurity involves safeguarding the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of data. Often cybersecurity is mistakenly equated with protecting just the confidentiality of data to prevent unauthorized access. However, equally important is protecting the availability of data. That is, you must secure timely and reliable access to data, as well as the integrity of the data. You must ensure records are accurate, complete,

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17

Jul

Azure Monitor: Route AAD Activity Logs using diagnostic settings

Today in partnership with the Azure Active Directory (AAD) team we are excited to announce the public preview of AAD Activity Logs using Azure Monitor diagnostic settings. Azure Monitor diagnostic settings enable you to stream log data from an Azure service to three destinations: an Azure storage account, an Event Hubs namespace, and/or a Log Analytics workspace. This allows you to easily route logs from any Azure service to a data archive, SIEM tool, or custom log processing tool. With today’s announcement, you will now be able to route your AAD audit and sign in logs to these same destinations, centralizing all of your Azure service logs in one pipeline.

Until now, all log data handled by Azure Monitor came from an Azure resource deployed within an Azure subscription. We often describe this type of data as “resource-level log data,” and it is configured using a resource diagnostic setting. AAD log data is the first type of log data from a tenant-level service made available through Azure Monitor. Tenant-level services aren’t deployed as resources within an Azure subscription, rather they function across an entire AAD tenant. To handle this new type of “tenant-level log data,” Azure Monitor has introduced a

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17

Jul

Azure cost forecast API and other updates
Azure cost forecast API and other updates

As your cloud spend starts to increase, being able to accurately forecast usage becomes a critical part of your plan. As the first step in enabling a forward looking view to your spend on a subscription we’re launching a forecast API. The forecast API today supports a daily or monthly grain forecast at a 95 percent confidence interval. The API also returns the last two months of actual usage that should help in looking at any trending scenarios. For future iterations of the API, we plan to support multiple other scopes up and down the hierarchy, like resource groups and enrollments, options for confidence intervals and longer range forecasts. Check out the documentation page for more details on calling the forecast API.

Location and service data normalization

Effective cost management for enterprise customers requires accurate and granular data that can be dimensionalized to support ad hoc queries and accurate rollups of costs in the enterprise hierarchy. As the first step to make the usage data adding more dimensions, we are normalizing the location (InstanceLocation) and service (ConsumedService) fields as there are a few data quality issues with multiple variants of data in these columns. The dimensions currently supported are tags

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17

Jul

Azure cost forecast API and other updates
Azure cost forecast API and other updates

As your cloud spend starts to increase, being able to accurately forecast usage becomes a critical part of your plan. As the first step in enabling a forward looking view to your spend on a subscription we’re launching a forecast API. The forecast API today supports a daily or monthly grain forecast at a 95 percent confidence interval. The API also returns the last two months of actual usage that should help in looking at any trending scenarios. For future iterations of the API, we plan to support multiple other scopes up and down the hierarchy, like resource groups and enrollments, options for confidence intervals and longer range forecasts. Check out the documentation page for more details on calling the forecast API.

Location and service data normalization

Effective cost management for enterprise customers requires accurate and granular data that can be dimensionalized to support ad hoc queries and accurate rollups of costs in the enterprise hierarchy. As the first step to make the usage data adding more dimensions, we are normalizing the location (InstanceLocation) and service (ConsumedService) fields as there are a few data quality issues with multiple variants of data in these columns. The dimensions currently supported are tags

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17

Jul

R3 on Azure: Launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1

As part of our ongoing partnership, which my colleague Kashif Ali discussed in his November update, we are delighted to announce the launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1 to the Azure Marketplace.

This comes at a time when the state of digital ledger, blockchain technology, and the surrounding industry are maturing and continuing to rapidly growth. In particular, maturity around the R3 ecosystem is accelerating.

Today, R3 launches their Corda Enterprise v3.1 offering to the Azure Marketplace with a free trial offer, giving you the opportunity to kick the tires before you buy. As one of the few general purpose enterprise digital ledgers in the market, R3 continues to drive interesting projects like the recently launched KYC solution involving 33 institutions sharing KYC data geographically spread around the world all running in Azure.

Corda Enterprise offers a number of unique Azure features that make standing up a digital ledger environment inside an enterprise much simpler.

The deployment template in the Azure Marketplace:

Dramatically speeds deployment and configuration of Corda Enterprise. Is the gold standard reference implementation. Offers resilience and high availability. Easily integrate with existing enterprise systems through Azure services such as Logic Apps and Power Apps.

Some of the technical

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17

Jul

R3 on Azure: Launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1

As part of our ongoing partnership, which my colleague Kashif Ali discussed in his November update, we are delighted to announce the launch of Corda Enterprise v3.1 to the Azure Marketplace.

This comes at a time when the state of digital ledger, blockchain technology, and the surrounding industry are maturing and continuing to grow rapidly. In particular, maturity around the R3 ecosystem is accelerating.

Today, R3 launches their Corda Enterprise v3.1 offering to the Azure Marketplace with a free trial offer, giving you the opportunity to kick the tires before you buy. As one of the few general purpose enterprise digital ledgers in the market, R3 continues to drive interesting projects like the recently launched KYC solution involving 33 institutions sharing KYC data geographically spread around the world all running in Azure.

Corda Enterprise offers a number of unique Azure features that make standing up a digital ledger environment inside an enterprise much simpler.

The deployment template in the Azure Marketplace:

Dramatically speeds deployment and configuration of Corda Enterprise. Is the gold standard reference implementation. Offers resilience and high availability. Easily integrate with existing enterprise systems through Azure services such as Logic Apps and Power Apps.

Some of the technical nuances

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17

Jul

Announcing the Azure Cloud Shell editor in collaboration with Visual Studio Code

Last year at the //Build conference we launched the Azure Cloud Shell in the Azure portal, providing our users with a cloud-native command-line environment from any device, anywhere in the world. Over the last year, we’ve seen incredible adoption, with thousands of users logging in every day.

We’ve added some incredible integrations that make Cloud Shell even more powerful. We added automatic authorization for pre-installed open source tools like Terraform, Ansible, and InSpec. We’ve also partnered with other Microsoft teams to enable the Try It experiences for Azure and .NET documentation. Additionally, we worked with the Visual Studio Code team to embed Cloud Shell inside of Visual Studio Code and the Azure mobile app team to integrate Cloud Shell into the Azure mobile app for easy access from mobile devices everywhere.

Overall, the feedback we received from our active user base demonstrates the utility and value of Cloud Shell to our users. As we looked at the ways that people are using Cloud Shell, we realized early on that providing our users with easy-to-use choices for managing their cloud infrastructure via the web browser was critical to success.

Since launch, we have provided a variety of editors (vi, emacs, nano)

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17

Jul

Announcing the Azure Cloud Shell editor in collaboration with Visual Studio Code

Last year at the //Build conference we launched the Azure Cloud Shell in the Azure portal, providing our users with a cloud-native command-line environment from any device, anywhere in the world. Over the last year, we’ve seen incredible adoption, with thousands of users logging in every day.

We’ve added some incredible integrations that make Cloud Shell even more powerful. We added automatic authorization for pre-installed open source tools like Terraform, Ansible, and InSpec. We’ve also partnered with other Microsoft teams to enable the Try It experiences for Azure and .NET documentation. Additionally, we worked with the Visual Studio Code team to embed Cloud Shell inside of Visual Studio Code and the Azure mobile app team to integrate Cloud Shell into the Azure mobile app for easy access from mobile devices everywhere.

Overall, the feedback we received from our active user base demonstrates the utility and value of Cloud Shell to our users. As we looked at the ways that people are using Cloud Shell, we realized early on that providing our users with easy-to-use choices for managing their cloud infrastructure via the web browser was critical to success.

Since launch, we have provided a variety of editors (vi, emacs, nano)

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17

Jul

Globally replicated data lakes with LiveData using WANdisco on Azure

The recent announcement of Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 preview and its support on Azure HDInsight is already leading partners to innovate at a global scale. WANdisco enables globally replicated data lakes on Azure for analytics over the freshest data. This blog explains how.

The modern business landscape is ruled by data. Analytics and AI are now essential for driving key business transformation. Customers have benefited tremendously from the performance, flexibility, and low cost offered by Azure for analytics and AI workloads.

Hybrid made easy with a single-click!

For many organizations, however, the process of making their data available in the cloud has been a challenge. The sheer scale of modern data sets combined with the expectations from users of continued system availability make it difficult to use standard tooling for copying data just to get data to Azure. They cannot suffer the business cost of system downtime, nor the potential for inconsistent or unavailable data that produces incorrect analytics results.

The organizations that are maximizing their Azure opportunities are using WANdisco Fusion to ensure they have always accurate and consistent data.  Let’s look at an example of how a customer was able to leverage WANdisco on Azure HDInsight and

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17

Jul

Azure AD Managed Service Identity updates
Azure AD Managed Service Identity updates

This post is authored by Arturo Lucatero, Program Manager, Azure Identity Services.

Azure AD Managed Service Identity has been in preview for several months now, so we wanted to give you an update on what has been happening.

Two types of managed identities

There are now two types of managed identities:

System Assigned: This is the type of managed identity we introduced back in September. It has a 1:1 relation with an Azure resource (e.g., VM) and shares the same life-cycle. When you delete the resource, we automatically clean up the identity.

User Assigned: This new type of managed identity is a standalone Azure resource with its own life-cycle. It enables you to have an identity which can be used by one or more Azure resources. A few notes worth mentioning:

As of today, user assigned managed identities can only be used on Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine Scale Sets. Other resource types are onboarding soon.

The API to assign user assigned managed identities to a resource is going change in the near future. Today, the assigned identities are listed in an array property in Azure Resource Manager. This will be changing to be

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