We’re committed to delivering a world-class cloud computing platform that helps our partners and customers innovate and succeed in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world. As we head into our Worldwide Partner Conference next week in Washington, D.C., I’m excited to share with you that we are continuing to rapidly innovate on the Azure platform with new and enhanced cloud services that will help our partners and customers take advantage of the speed, flexibility and cost savings of the cloud.
Azure Preview Portal enhancements
In April, you saw us unveil a first-of-its-kind cloud environment—the Azure preview portal—that bridges the gap between infrastructure and platform services, so developers and IT professionals no longer have to work in disparate cloud environments. With every release, we are making the experience within the portal richer and more powerful. Starting next week, customers will be able to experience the following new capabilities in the Portal:
- IaaS Functionality: Create, deploy, monitor and manage rich virtual machines’ based applications, and manage virtual networks within a fully customizable Portal experience. In addition to creating simple virtual machines, we are adding the ability to automate the deployment of rich multi-machine application templates with a few clicks. With this, deploying a multi-tier, highly-available SharePoint farm from the portal will be a few clicks away!
- Resource Group enhancements: Manage infrastructure services like virtual machines and virtual networks along with platform services like web sites and databases, all within the same Resource Group, as a single application. This level of flexibility and control is an example of how Azure is leading the way in blurring the lines between infrastructure and platform services, giving customers the choice to pick the best platform for their application needs.
- Azure Image Gallery Updates: The completely re-imagined Azure Gallery is more powerful with the addition of several new virtual machine images that enable you to provision dev/test servers or production applications in minutes. The new virtual machine images and templates take the guesswork out of building, orchestrating and deploying complex applications, thus letting you focus on creating business value instead of managing the infrastructure.
- Azure SQL Database: Customers can manage their Azure SQL Databases within the Portal, consistent with other Azure services. This includes provisioning databases across Web and Business (currently in general availability) and Basic, Standard, and Premium (currently in preview).
If you haven’t already, get started on the new Azure Preview Portal here to experience a unique, powerful yet simple way of managing your cloud applications.
Event Hub provides high-performance, real-time event streaming
Today’s connected world is defined by big data—coming from connected cars and thermostats that produce telemetry data every few minutes, application performance counters that generate every second on every service and mobile apps that capture telemetry for every user’s individual action. Processing this avalanche of data requires an ‘ingestor’ capable of virtually infinite scale, so that you can get analytics and insights in real-time or batches. With Azure Event Hub, which launches in preview next week, you can reliably and efficiently stream millions of events per second from millions of devices into multiple applications and storage systems.
Continued commitment to enabling Hybrid cloud
Microsoft is focused on creating a globally connected hybrid world where customers have the tools to easily scale their solutions into the cloud without sacrificing resources, time or cost.
Azure ExpressRoute, which we recently launched, bridges on-premises environments to Azure through a dedicated, private connection, eliminating the pains of latency, speed and security associated with a public connection. Today ExpressRoute is available in three locations in the US and Europe, but thanks to our growing partnership with Equinix, access to Azure via ExpressRoute will roll out this week in six additional locations around the world.
New Azure US Central and US East 2 Regions set to launch
Next week we’re also planning to launch the US Central and US East 2 regions in Iowa and Virginia respectively. With demand for Azure growing rapidly, these new regions will help us continue to double capacity every six to nine months without sacrificing performance. The Azure website will be updated to provide detailed information on available services and pricing for new regions.
Expanded Preview for Azure Government Cloud
Microsoft is expanding the preview of the Azure Government Cloud to include more partner and customer solutions and workloads. Initially entering private preview at Federal Forum earlier this year, the Azure government cloud is an isolated instance of Azure, specifically for U.S. public sector workloads.
New StorSimple Hybrid Storage solution and Azure Machine Learning preview
We are also excited to announce the Microsoft Azure StorSimple 8000 series hybrid storage arrays, addressing the needs of enterprise customers that require high performance, large on-premises capacity and 10G LAN connectivity.
Finally, Azure Machine Learning, a fully managed service for advanced analytics in the cloud will be available for public preview next week. To learn more, visit the Azure ML blog.
The breadth and speed of innovation we are bringing to the market is immense and we’re excited about the possibilities these updates bring to our partners and customers. Follow along here and check out our WPC blog to learn more about how the cloud can deliver value to your business.