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Azure Newsletter: September 2017

Stay informed about the latest Azure features, events and community activities. Browse through past newsletters or subscribe and get the latest Azure news delivered to your inbox.

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Customer-submitted story: Aspectize

"We developed ProSap, a full ERP dedicated to a private school, which specializes in professional training in the field of care services. The software enables their 800 students, 20 teachers, 7 administrators, and 100 partners to access and manage planning, transcripts, course certificates, billing, and all other information needed for the school to be managed. All infrastructure is in Azure, the development has been done in C# and JavaScript with Visual Studio 2015, and everyone can access the apps from any device."

Microsoft Tech Summit is back – register today

Build your skills with the latest in cloud technologies at a free technical learning event for IT pros and developers. Whether you’re developing innovative apps or delivering optimised solutions, Microsoft Tech Summit can help evolve your skills, deepen your expertise and develop your career. Choose from more than 70 sessions featuring the top engineers across Azure, Office 365 and Windows 10. Find a free event near you!


Upcoming events

Microsoft Ignite
25 September 2017
Orlando, Florida, US
8 October 2017
New York, New York
GeekWire Summit 2017
9 October 2017
Seattle, Washington
PASS Summit 2017
31 October 2017
Seattle, Washington
Modern Apps Live!
12 November 2017
Orlando, Florida, US
Microsoft Tech Summit Sydney
16 November 2017
Sydney, Australia

Be Informed

Try Azure Cosmos DB at no cost for a limited time

You can get a free time-bound Azure Cosmos DB account without requiring you to have an Azure subscription. This lets you evaluate Azure Cosmos DB more easily and at no cost to you. Start your free offer today.


Register for webinar: Get started with Azure Cosmos DB and build lightning-fast, planet-scale apps

Azure Cosmos DB lets developers easily build globally distributed apps without the hassle of complex multiple-datacentre configurations. Learn how to get started easily and use its unique consistency model to fine-tune performance based on your specific needs, preferences and more. Register to attend on 20 September 2017, or watch on demand later.

Azure Cosmos DB: Event-driven architectures with Change Feed Processor library

Build event-driven architectures and receive a real-time stream of database updates with Azure Cosmos DB change feed. Change feed enables reactive programming models for Internet of Things (IoT) telemetry and e-commerce ordering pipelines. Reading change feed across multiple partitions is easy with the Change Feed Processor library, now available as a NuGet package for .NET development. This library facilitates the distribution of change feed event processing across multiple consumers. It also provides a thread-safe, multi-process, safe runtime environment with checkpoint and partition lease management for large-scale distributed event processing applications.


Azure SQL Database new performance levels and storage add-ons in public preview

New Standard performance levels S4, S6, S7, S9 and S12 are well suited for CPU-intensive workloads that don’t require the IO performance provided by the Premium tier. New storage add-ons enable you to purchase extra storage without having to increase DTUs or eDTUs. Purchase extra storage for S3–S12, P1–P6 and PRS1–PRS6 databases up to 1 TB; for Standard elastic pools up to 4 TB; and for smaller eDTU Premium pools up to 1 TB. Visit the Azure Blog for more information about these new performance levels and storage add-on options.

Transparent data encryption with BYOK support for Azure SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse

Bring your own key (BYOK) for encryption is now available in Azure SQL Database and SQL Data Warehouse with Azure Key Vault integration for SQL transparent data encryption. With this added support, your organisation can assume higher control over key management by using a key from Key Vault for encryption at rest, and control who has access to your data and when. Learn more.

Data Exposed: Azure SQL Database elastic pools and elastic jobs

In this Data Exposed video on Channel 9, find out about Azure SQL Database elastic pools and elastic jobs.


Azure Virtual Machines H-Series now available in UK South

Azure Virtual Machines delivers the power of server virtualisation in the cloud, supporting a wide variety of Linux distributions, Windows Server, SQL Server, Oracle, IBM and SAP. It enables solutions including dev and testing, running production apps and extending the scale of your data centre, giving you the power to deploy an app in seconds instead of weeks. H-Series virtual machines target complex and high-performance computing tasks. They are among the fastest available virtual machines in the public cloud today and are an excellent fit for any compute-intensive workload.

Azure Virtual Machines: N-Series instances for compute (NC) now available in West Europe

The N-Series, part of Azure Virtual Machines, comes with GPU capabilities. GPUs are ideal for compute and graphics-intensive workloads, helping you to fuel innovation through scenarios such as high-end remote visualisation, deep learning and predictive analytics. N-Series instances are powered by NVIDIA graphics processing units and are highly optimised for accelerated compute jobs running CUDA, AI training jobs and remote visualisation. Virtual Machines N-Series instances for compute (NC-Series) are now available in the West Europe region.

Azure Standard Managed Disks promotion extension

Azure Managed Disks is the recommended disk storage offering for use with Azure Virtual Machines for persistent storage of data. Standard Disks are suitable for development and testing scenarios or other workloads that are less sensitive to performance variability. Standard Managed Disks promotional pricing, which entitles eligible customers to receive a 50 per cent promotional discount, will be extended to 30 September 2017. With effect from 1 October 2017, the 50 per cent promotional discount for Standard Managed Disks will end and pricing will revert to general availability (GA) levels.

Azure Event Grid in public preview

Azure Event Grid offers a fully managed event service that lets you easily subscribe and react to interesting events happening anywhere in Azure services or your own apps. It removes the need to continuously poll by reliably routing events at high scale and low latency. Modern serverless architectures can benefit from the rich coverage and reactive event model enabled by Event Grid. Learn more from the Azure Blog.

Build apps faster with Azure serverless

Azure serverless offerings let developers build and deploy elastic-scale apps faster than ever. Serverless technology lets developers focus on their apps rather than provisioning, managing and scaling the underlying infrastructure. Azure provides unique serverless tools to accelerate development by seamlessly tapping into the benefits of the cloud. Learn more.

Register for webinar: Go serverless to build apps faster and stop worrying about infrastructure

Serverless architecture represents the next evolution in cloud apps – making it easier for you to innovate faster and pay only for what you use. By running your code on demand in the cloud while utilising fully managed auto-scale services, you get to focus on what matters most – your apps. Register to attend on 13 September 2017, or watch on demand later as we explore what Azure serverless services could mean for your business.

Azure Archive Blob Storage and blob-level tiering in public preview

If you’re looking to lower your storage costs for rarely accessed data, Azure Archive Blob Storage Preview provides a cold storage option. Archive Blob Storage Preview exists alongside the Hot and Cool Storage tiers and provides blob-level tiering, which makes it easy to move objects between Hot, Cool and Archive Storage tiers. Availability for the public preview will be limited to the East US 2 region. Sign up for the Archive Blob Storage Preview.

Instantly speed up webpage load times with Azure Content Delivery Network Dynamic Site Acceleration

Azure Content Delivery Network Dynamic Site Acceleration (DSA), now generally available, lets you deliver secure, reliable content with a broad global reach and rich feature set with acceleration for dynamic content. DSA improves the quality of the consumer experience by improving load times of webpages with dynamic content. It’s specifically targeted to accelerate web content that isn’t cacheable, such as user credentials and personal data. While static object delivery mainly uses caching to improve speed, DSA focuses on optimising the route and network between the requester and customer origin.

Be empowered

Azure Friday: Azure Container Instances

Azure Friday’s Donovan Brown learns about Azure Container Instances, which make it possible to run Linux and Windows containers directly on the Azure infrastructure without setting up and managing virtual machines and without adopting a higher-level service. See how easy it is to create and manage containers with the Azure CLI and the Azure portal, and learn how Container Instances relate to container orchestrators, such as Kubernetes. Watch now.


Java on Azure

We’re proud to be a sponsor of the upcoming JavaOne event in San Francisco from 1–5 October 2017. Learn more about how Azure makes it easy to deploy and scale Java apps using the tools you know and love. Get started.

Come and see us at ServerlessConf NYC: Learn all about Azure serverless

We’re proud to be sponsoring ServerlessConf NYC, a community-led conference focused on serverless app development taking place from 8–11 October 2017. We’ll have interesting sessions, an exciting workshop and several people from the Azure product teams at the Azure booth. Come and learn all about the new serverless technologies and how Azure helps you build apps faster and cheaper. Use this 30 per cent discount code and register for the conference and the Azure workshop.

Get trained on Azure

Discover training options to sharpen your Azure skills. With in-depth courseware, labs, videos and assessments, our Azure Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) catalogue includes training for beginners to professionals. Complete a course to earn a digital certificate of completion that you can share on your professional networking sites. Or complete courses that can help you pass a Microsoft certification exam. Invest in training to unlock new professional opportunities. Explore our curated course catalogue.

Smart World #DPK17: Microsoft IoT in Action pre-day

Join us in Leipzig, Germany on 23 October 2017 to learn how to make the Internet of Things (IoT) work for your business with Microsoft. The IoT pre-day will be an exciting prelude of #DPK17, with informative presentations and showcases on intelligent networking. It will give you insights into where our technological journey is heading and how other partners have successfully implemented IoT solutions for customers.

Register for webinar: IoT insights from your time series data

Effectively managing your time series data comes with great rewards. You can spot patterns and anomalies in your data, conduct root cause analysis, compare assets and locations, and inject real-time insights into your own apps. Register to join us for a webinar and live question and answer session on Tuesday, 19 September 2017, or watch on demand later as we explore what you can do with your time series data and show you how it integrates with the broader Azure Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio.

Download white paper on partner success stories and top best practices from Microsoft

Companies building Internet of Things (IoT) solutions need a structured approach to enhance the development process. Read this new white paper published by IoT Analytics to learn about our five phases of IoT solution development, top best practices, and success stories from leading Microsoft partners.

On-demand Azure Marketplace virtual hands-on labs

It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to Azure Marketplace solutions or already an expert – these labs give you the detailed information you need to compare, test and deploy technologies in your organisation through a hands-on demo, in 45 minutes or less. Sign up for one or more complimentary on-demand labs and get hands-on experience with popular solutions from Commvault, Chef, Veeam and others. Learn more and register.

Course: Processing big data with Hadoop in Azure HDInsight

How to analyse big data? Enrol in this free, five-week course to learn how to use the Hadoop technologies in Azure HDInsight to build batch processing solutions that cleanse and reshape data for analysis. You’ll also find out how to use technologies like Hive, Pig, Oozie and Sqoop with Hadoop in HDInsight and how to work with HDInsight clusters from Windows, Linux and Mac OS X client computers. Providing hands-on practice, this self-paced course prepares you for taking on the challenge of analysing big data. Enrol now.

Data Exposed: Connecting on-premises Hadoop to Azure Data Lake Store

In this Data Exposed video on Channel 9, find out how to connect an on-premises Hadoop cluster to Azure Data Lake Store in three easy steps.


Register for webinar: Migrate to the cloud and transform your company

Looking to migrate your apps to the cloud quickly and cost-effectively? Register to attend our live webinar on 13 September 2017, or watch on demand later. You’ll learn how to prepare your organisation to move to the cloud, prioritise which apps should move first, tune your deployments so that you realise the greatest cost efficiencies, and use cloud features like backup and restore and disaster recovery to get even more savings.

Course: Azure security and compliance

This self-paced online course introduces you to Azure security and compliance – a topic of great importance for all types of organisations implementing cloud computing. Focusing on Azure Trust Center, Azure Key Vault and Azure Security Centre, the course briefly reviews built-in security features such as Azure Storage keys and shared access signatures, network security groups and identity management strategies. Enrol now.

Be entertained

*Comic source: Reprinted with permission.

Be inspired

Regional utility company transforms its digital landscape with cloud services

Duquesne Light Company supplies electricity to nearly 600,000 people in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. The company is transforming its digital landscape and driving innovation with the Azure platform and Visual Studio Team Services. After migrating its website to Azure, Duquesne Light has already moved on to more projects, including an Internet of Things (IoT) initiative and a natural language bot.

Learn more

ASICS EMEA hits the ground running with cloud-based mobility solution

ASICS EMEA, the European subsidiary, uses the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security solution to enable highly secure, mobile access to email and documents from anywhere on any device for 1,500 employees. With productivity ensured in a mobile-first world, everyone at ASICS is in better shape to help the company attain its goal to become the number one brand for the sports enthusiast.

Learn more

Be Enhanced: Partners

Automated, DevOps-friendly security for your Azure workloads

Migrating critical apps to Azure? Symantec Cloud Workload Protection (CWP) automates security for Azure workloads with rapid discovery, visibility and elastic protection that scales effortlessly with your business. CWP provides app isolation and control, operating system hardening, IDS/IPS, RT-FIM, and even supports Docker. Cloud-native integration builds security into DevOps workflows. In this video, see how Symantec Cloud Workload Protection secures Azure workloads.

Learn more

Co-selling helps OSIsoft achieve wins with Barrick Gold, Deschutes Brewery

In recent months, the co-selling relationship between operational intelligence provider OSIsoft and Microsoft has become closer than ever. “Working together in the co-sell process with Microsoft, especially on our joint OSIsoft/Microsoft Red Carpet Incubation Programme (RCIP), I feel like we are part of one team,” said Prabal Acharyya, Worldwide Director of IoT Analytics and One Microsoft at OSIsoft.

Learn more

Azure Marketplace

Featured: Hybrid cloud monitoring, with AI-powered root cause analysis for Azure workloads

The Dynatrace platform provides customers with an all-in-one performance monitoring solution that includes user experience management, app performance and infrastructure monitoring with AI-powered root cause analysis. Dynatrace supports out-of-the-box integrations to Azure services such as Compute, Web Apps, Service Fabric and Container Services, as well as third-party integration with Docker, Open Shift and Cloud Foundry.

Visit Marketplace page

Test Drive: Deploy a DataStax Enterprise Cluster on Azure

DataStax Enterprise (DSE) is an always-on data platform for cloud apps powered by Apache Cassandra. DSE makes it easy to distribute your data across data centres or cloud regions, making your applications always-on, ready to scale, and able to create instant insight and experiences. Take a free test drive of DataStax Enterprise today.

Visit Marketplace page

Editor's note


It’s just a couple of weeks until Microsoft Ignite, an event that’s sure to be packed with informative presentations, lots of opportunities to network, as well as an exciting expo to explore. If you can’t make it, keep an eye out for an early edition of our next newsletter that will go out just a few days after Ignite. It’ll include many Ignite-related announcements, as well as links to on-demand content.