Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot now generally available

Azure Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot, previously in preview as Connectivity Check, is making general availability sporting a new name. Connection Troubleshoot, part of our Network Watcher suite of networking tools and capabilities, enable you to troubleshoot network performance and connectivity issues in Azure.

Continuing the expansion of tools within Azure Network Watcher, this new addition provides visualization of the hop by hop path from source to destination, identifying issues that can potentially impact your network performance and connectivity.

Network Watcher Connection Troubleshoot features

With the addition of Connection Troubleshoot, Network Watcher will see an incremental increase in its capabilities and ways for you to utilize it in your day to day operations. You can now:

Check connectivity between source (VM) and destination (VM, URI, FQDN, IP Address) Identify configuration issues that are impacting reachability Provide all possible hop by hop paths from the source to destination Hop by hop latency Latency – min, max, and average between source and destination A topology (graphical) view from your source to destination Number of packets dropped during the connection troubleshoot check

Connectivity troubleshoot check graph view output Source: Azure VM and Destination: www.bing.com.

What kind of issues can Connection Troubleshoot detect?




Using the MySQL sys schema to optimize and maintain a database

The MySQL sys schema, which is fully enabled in Azure Database for MySQL 5.7, provides a powerful collection of user friendly views in a read-only database. Building on the MySQL Performance and Information Schemas, you can use the MySQL sys schema to troubleshoot performance issues and manage resources efficiently.

The MySQL Performance Schema, first available in MySQL 5.5, provides instrumentation for many vital server resources such as memory allocation, stored programs, metadata locking, etc. However, the Performance Schema contains more than 80 tables, and getting the necessary information often requires joining tables within the Performance Schema, as well as tables from the Information Schema. Let’s look more closely at how to use the MySQL sys schema.

There are 52 views in the sys schema, and each view is prefixed by one of the following:

Host_summary or IO: I/O related latencies. Innodb: Innodb buffer status and locks. Memory:Memory usage by the host and users. Schema: Schema related information, such as auto increment, indexes, etc. Statement: Information on SQL statements; this can be statements that resulted in a full table scan or long query time. User: Resources consumed and grouped by users. Examples are file I/Os, connections, and memory. Wait: Wait



Using EXPLAIN to profile slow queries in Azure Database for MySQL

Azure Database for MySQL is a PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution that Microsoft offers on Azure. Using Azure managed services for MySQL (and PostgreSQL), enables one to easily build an intelligent and secure application.

Though Microsoft has done a lot of work to optimize database performance, sometimes a simple query can easily become a bottle neck impacting overall database performance. Luckily, MySQL integrates a handy tool – the EXPLAIN statement – that can profile client queries and thus help you identify the root cause of a slow query. You can use an EXPLAIN statement to get information about how SQL statements are executed. With this information, you can profile which queries are running slow and why.

The output below shows an example of the execution of an EXPLAIN statement.

mysql> EXPLAIN SELECT * FROM tb1 WHERE id=100G *************************** 1. row *************************** id: 1 select_type: SIMPLE table: tb1 partitions: NULL type: ALL possible_keys: NULL key: NULL key_len: NULL ref: NULL rows: 995789 filtered: 10.00 Extra: Using where

As you can see from this example, the value of key is NULL. This means that MySQL cannot find any indexes optimized for the query and it performs a full table



Azure ExpressRoute updates – New partnerships, monitoring and simplification

Azure ExpressRoute allows enterprise customers to privately and directly connect to Microsoft’s cloud services, providing a more predictable networking experience than traditional internet connections. ExpressRoute is available in 42 peering locations globally and is supported by a large ecosystem of more than 100 connectivity providers. Leading customers use ExpressRoute to connect their on-premises networks to Azure, as a vital part of managing and running their mission critical applications and services.

Cisco to build Azure ExpressRoute practice

As we continue to grow the ExpressRoute experience in Azure, we’ve found our enterprise customers benefit from understanding networking issues that occur in their internal networks with hybrid architectures. These issues can impact their mission-critical workloads running in the cloud.

To help address on-premises issues, which often require deep technical networking expertise, we continue to partner closely with Cisco to provide a better customer networking experience. Working together, we can solve the most challenging networking issues encountered by enterprise customers using Azure ExpressRoute.

Today, Cisco announced an extended partnership with Microsoft to build a new network practice providing Cisco Solution Support for Azure ExpressRoute.   We are fully committed to working with Cisco and other partners with deep networking experience to build and expand on



Share reports with your teams and partners
Share reports with your teams and partners

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/share-reports-with-your-teams-and-partners/Source: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/share-reports-with-your-teams-and-partners/           We’re excited to announce we’re rolling out report sharing to users worldwide. Now reports and dashboards have the same sharing features, making it even easier for Power BI users to collaborate with their READ MORE



Compliance assessment reports for Azure Stack are now available

A few months ago, we announced we were performing a compliance assessment on Microsoft Azure Stack, today we are happy to share that the compliance assessment is done and available to you.

Knowing that preparing compliance paperwork is a tedious task, we precompiled the documentation for our customers. Since Azure Stack is delivered as an integrated system through hardware partners, we are in a unique position to perform a formal compliance assessment of Azure Stack that applies to all our customers. This resulted in a set of precompiled compliance documents that customers can now use to accelerate their compliance certification process.

We are glad to announce that Coalfire, a Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and independent auditing firm, has audited and evaluated Azure Stack Infrastructure against the technical controls of PCI-DSS and the CSA Cloud Control Matrix, and found that Azure Stack satisfies the applicable controls.

In the assessor’s words:

“It is Coalfire’s opinion that Microsoft Azure Stack integrated system, reviewed between July 2017 and October 2017, can be effective in creating a PCI DSS compliant infrastructure and to assist in a comprehensive program of compliance with PCI DSS version 3.2.”

“It is Coalfire’s opinion that Microsoft Azure Stack as deployed



Azure Standard support now offers the highest value support for production workloads amongst major cloud providers

Our Azure customers have three common needs from their cloud support plan:

A fixed monthly cost that is affordable and simple to forecastFast response time for critical casesA plan that covers their entire organization and eliminates guesswork in how many support plans are needed and who can use them

We are pleased to announce important updates for Azure Standard support. With these changes, Azure now offers the most cost effective and predictable support offering amongst major cloud providers.

Azure Standard support now includes:

A significant price drop to a fixed cost of $100 USD per month, so forecasted support costs are completely predictableFaster initial response time, now at 1 hour for critical casesContinuing our current offering of unlimited 24×7 technical and billing support for your entire organization

Get Azure Standard support now >>

Click here for more details, eligibility, and frequently asked questions.

Azure is continuously improving and expanding the range of options to help you accelerate your cloud journey. From the built-in Azure Advisor service that provides free, proactive, and personalized best practice recommendations, to direct connection with Azure engineers through multiple levels of Azure support. There are also unique support options for different types of



Cognitive Services – Availability of SDKs for the latest Bing Search APIs

We are pleased to announce preview availability of SDKs for the Cognitive Serivces – Bing Search APIs. Currently available as REST APIs, the Bing APIs v7 now have SDKs in four languages: C#, Java, Node.js, and Python. These SDKs include offerings such as Bing Web Search, Bing Image Search, Bing Custom Search, Bing News Search, Bing Video Search, Bing Entity Search, and Bing Spell Check. 

Here are some of the salient features of these SDKs:

Easy to use and highly flexible in adjusting your basis application scenario. Encompass all the API v7 functionalities, languages, and countries. Reduce assembly footprint through individual SDK for each Bing offering. Enable development in C#, Java, Node.js, and Python. Provide ability to use the new/existing Bing APIs access keys, both free and paid. Well documented through samples and parameter references. Supported through Azure and other developer forums. Opensource under MIT license and available on GitHub for collaboration.

Getting Started with Bing SDKs

For C#, both NuGet packages and SDKs are available for individual Bing offerings. The best place to start is with C# samples. These samples provide an easy to follow step-by-step guide on running various application specific scenarios through corresponding NuGet packages.




Accelerated Spark on GPU-enabled clusters in Azure

The ability to run Spark on a GPU enabled cluster demonstrates a unique convergence of big data and high-performance computing (HPC) technologies. In the past several years, we’ve seen the GPU market explode as companies all over the world integrate AI and other HPC workflows into their businesses. Tensorflow, a framework designed to utilize GPUs for numerical computation and neural networks has skyrocketed into popularity, a testament to the rise of AI and consequently the demand for GPUs. Simultaneously, the need for big data and powerful data processing engines has never been greater as hundreds of companies start to collect data in the petabyte range.

By providing infrastructure for high performance hardware such as GPUs with big data engines such as Spark, data scientists and data engineers can enable many scenarios that would otherwise be difficult to achieve.

Along with the recent release of our latest GPU SKUs, I’m excited to share that we now support running Spark on a GPU-enabled cluster using the Azure Distributed Data Engineering Toolkit (AZTK). In a single command, AZTK allows you to provision on demand GPU-enabled Spark clusters on top of Azure Batch’s infrastructure, helping you take your high performance implementations that are usually



Start replicating in under 30 minutes using Azure Site Recovery’s new onboarding experience

We on the Azure Site Recovery product team are consistently striving to simplify the business continuity and disaster recovery to Azure solutions for our customers. With the latest release of the Azure Site Recovery service for VMware to Azure, we bring a new, intuitive and simplified getting started experience, which gets you setup and ready to replicate virtual machines in less than 30 minutes!

What is new? Open Virtualization Format (OVF) template-based configuration server deployment

Open Virtualization Format (OVF) template is an industry standard software distribution model for virtual machine templates. Starting January 2018, configuration server for the VMware to Azure scenario will be available to all our customers as an OVF template.

With the OVF template, we ensure that all the necessary software, except MySQL Server 5.7.20 and VMware PowerCLI 6.0, is pre-installed in the virtual machine template, and once the template is deployed in your vCenter Server, the configuration sever can be registered with the Azure Site Recovery services in less than 15 minutes.

Here is a quick video that walks you through the new onboarding experience.

Read more on how to deploy the configuration server template to your VMware vCenter Server / ESXi host.

New intuitive