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Azure Newsletter: July 2018

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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Welcome to the website version of the Azure Newsletter! We’ve created this to help make it easier for you to view the articles you’re interested in reading. If you select a category below, it will just display the articles for that topic. Want to see everything again? Click all.


Get special savings on Microsoft Azure Security Center book

Save 40 percent on Microsoft Azure Security Center, the new release from Microsoft Press. Apply discount code MASC during checkout. Offer ends July 31, 2018. Purchase now.


Design your cloud solutions with high availability, security, and scalability

In Azure for Architects by Packt Publishing, find common design patterns, principles, and best practices to design for high availability, performance, scale, and resilience—so you can make informed decisions in your deployment strategies. Review guidance on core Azure services as well as special topics like the Internet of Things (IoT), serverless computing, DevOps, data services, cost management, security, and monitoring. Download now.


Upcoming events

Open Source Summit North America
August 29, 2018
Vancouver, Canada
Microsoft Ignite
September 24, 2018
Orlando, Florida
Microsoft Envision
September 24, 2018
Orlando, Florida

Be Informed

Create your first intelligent bot with Azure AI

Written in conjunction with O'Reilly, A Developer's Guide to Building AI Applications provides a comprehensive roadmap to developing artificial intelligence (AI)-infused apps. Discover the key ingredients needed to create an intelligent chatbot, get an introduction to the tools, infrastructure, and services on the Microsoft AI platform, and learn about the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX). Download now.


Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Infrastructure as a Service

For the fifth consecutive year, Gartner has positioned Microsoft as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Worldwide, 2018 report. Azure offers unique hybrid deployment models and industry-leading compliance and security. It supports open source technologies, so you can use the tools you prefer. Gartner’s extensive evaluation of IaaS providers covers strengths, cautions, and recommended uses of the top cloud vendors. Download the full Gartner report.

Top challenges facing I&O leaders and what to do about them

This Gartner report represents what IT professionals shared as their top concerns this year. Concerns included building a successful hybrid cloud strategy, finding the right IT talent, and deciding if they should modernize or retire legacy apps. Find recommended next steps and potential solutions to help improve your infrastructure and operations (I&O) capabilities to effectively support your digital business. Read now.

Download: Defense-in-Depth Security in Azure

In Defense-in-Depth Security in Azure, learn how Microsoft designs and operates Azure, and get an overview of Azure services and capabilities to secure, manage, and monitor your data, apps, and infrastructure. Then watch a short video overview and get hands-on practice to quickly apply what you've learned to a current or future role. Download now.

New innovation and offers to help you migrate your apps, data, and infrastructure to Azure

It's now easier to migrate all your workloads, including migration options for older server software versions like Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 systems, which will reach end of support soon. Get three years of extended security updates free, only in Azure. Other options include upgrading to more recent versions or purchasing extended security updates on-premises. Save during the move with Azure Hybrid Benefit. Many MySQL and PostgreSQL databases are migrating to Azure, which Azure Database Migration Service supports. Learn more, get Azure migration guidance, and watch this Azure migration webcast.

Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 in preview

Get secure and scalable data lake storage for superior big data analytics with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2. Use the scale, availability, and advanced features of Azure Blob storage with a hierarchical filesystem that supports granular file and folder permission assignments (ACLs). Learn more.

Azure Data Factory capabilities generally available

Azure Data Factory is the cloud-based data integration service that lets you easily create, schedule, and manage data pipelines at scale with a graphical user interface. Use code-free data movement from more than 70 data source connectors, easily lift your SQL Server Integration Services packages to Azure, and let Data Factory manage resources for you. Learn more.

Azure Service Bus offering support for Azure Availability Zones in preview

With Azure Availability Zones support for Azure Service Bus, build mission-critical apps with higher availability and fault tolerance using cloud messaging between apps and services. Learn more.

Azure IoT Edge generally available

Azure IoT Edge is a fully managed service that delivers cloud intelligence locally by deploying and running AI, Azure services, and custom logic directly on cross-platform IoT devices. Learn more.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse generally available in UK West region

The Compute Optimized Gen2 tier in Azure SQL Data Warehouse is generally available in the UK West region. Provision the latest tier of SQL Data Warehouse across 23 regions with the financially backed 99.9 percent service-level agreement (SLA). Learn more.

Storage add-ons generally available in Azure SQL Database

Now generally available, storage add-ons let you purchase extra storage without having to increase database transaction units (DTUs) or elastic database transaction units (eDTUs). Buy extra storage for performance levels S3–S12 and P1–P6 databases up to 1 TB, for smaller eDTU premium elastic pools up to 1 TB, and for standard elastic pools up to 4 TB. Learn more about these add-on storage options.

Virtual network service endpoints for Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL server

Now in preview, virtual network service endpoints for Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL are accessible in all regions where the services are available. The endpoints let you isolate connectivity to your logical server from only a given subnet or set of subnets within your virtual network. Traffic to Azure database services for MySQL or PostgreSQL from the virtual network service endpoints stays within the Azure backbone network, preferring this direct route over any specific routes that take internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises.

Azure Database for PostgreSQL: version 10.3 released

The latest update to PostgreSQL version 10, version 10.3, is now generally available in Azure Database for PostgreSQL. Features in this version include improved query parallelism and declarative table partitioning. To start using this version, select version 10 while creating a new Azure Database for PostgreSQL server.

Data-in replication for Azure Database for MySQL generally available

Azure Database for MySQL now supports data-in replication. Use data-in replication to synchronize data from a MySQL server running on-premises, in virtual machines (VMs), or database services outside Azure into Azure Database for MySQL. Learn more about data-in replication and how to configure data-in replication.

Elastic database jobs preview available for Azure SQL Database

Now available in preview, elastic database jobs is a fully Azure-hosted feature that makes executing T-SQL-based jobs against a group of databases even easier. Elastic database jobs can now target databases in one or more Azure SQL Database servers, Azure SQL elastic database pools, or across multiple subscriptions. Elastic database jobs can be composed of multiple steps and can dynamically enumerate the list of targeted databases while additional databases are added or removed from the service. Learn more.

New purchasing model for Azure SQL Database

The vCore-based purchasing model for Azure SQL Database elastic pools and single databases is now generally available. This model is in addition to the existing DTU-based model. Designed to give you flexibility, control, transparency, and an easier way to compare to on-premises workloads, it lets you scale compute, storage, and input/output (I/O) independently based on your workload needs. Options within the vCore-based model are also eligible for up to 55 percent savings with the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

Azure SQL Database managed instance business critical tier in preview

Following the introduction of the business-critical tier for Azure SQL Database and elastic database pools, the same option is now available for Azure SQL Managed Instance. The business-critical tier is designed for mission-critical business apps with high I/O requirements and supports high availability with the highest level of storage and compute redundancy. Additionally, Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server is supported in this preview—save up to 55 percent when you apply it.

Azure SQL Database supports auto-failover

Auto-failover groups are now generally available for Azure SQL Database, supporting transparent geographic failover of multiple databases with automatic activation. Learn more.

Long-term backup retention feature of Azure SQL Database generally available

The long-term backup retention feature is available in all Azure regions and provides greater flexibility in setting your retention policies and managing individual backups. Backups also now use read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS) storage, which provides an even higher degree of protection for your data. Learn more.

New query features in Azure Search

Azure Search has two new generally available features. The autocomplete API feature searches an existing index to suggest terms to complete a partial query. The synonyms functionality feature enables Azure Search to not only return results that match the query terms that were typed into the search box, but also return results that match query terms synonyms that you define.

Zone-redundant configuration for premium service tier generally available in Azure SQL Database

Zone-redundant premium databases and elastic pools are generally available in select regions. The built-in support of Azure Availability Zones further enhances business continuity of Azure SQL Database apps and makes them resilient to a much larger set of unplanned events, including catastrophic datacenter outages. The supported regions include Central US and France Central, with more regions to be added over time.

Resumable online index create feature of Azure SQL Database in preview

The resumable online index create feature lets you pause an index create operation and resume it later from where the index create operation was paused or failed. With this release, we extended the resumable functionality by also adding this feature to the resumable online index rebuild feature.

Data sync for Azure SQL Database generally available

Data sync for Azure SQL Database provides unidirectional and bidirectional data synchronization capabilities between Azure SQL Database and Microsoft SQL Server endpoints deployed anywhere in the world. Manage your data sync topology and schema and monitor the sync progress centrally from the Azure portal. Data sync also provides a stable, efficient, and secure way to share data across multiple SQL or SQL Server databases. Learn more.

Static website hosting feature of Azure Storage available in preview

With the static website hosting feature in preview, use Azure Storage to host your web apps’ static content like HTML/CSS files, images, and graphics. Learn more, and then try it out by building your first serverless web app, with Azure Functions running your backend and Azure Blob storage hosting your frontend content.

New extended security options to manage your SQL Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 transition

End of support is approaching for two popular server products: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (July 9, 2019) and Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 (January 14, 2020). This means the end of security updates and patches for these products, which may expose your organization to security and compliance risks. There are a few new options to manage your end-of-support transition in Azure. Learn more.

Instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved VM Instances generally available

Instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances is now generally available. This new feature is applicable to all new and existing Azure Reserved VM Instances purchases. With it, simplify and automate the management of Azure Reserved VM Instances, and avoid the need to exchange or cancel a reserved instance to apply its benefit to other VMs within the same Azure RI VM group and region. Instance size flexibility applies to both Windows and Linux VMs in Azure. Learn more.

Announcing the Preview of Azure Data Box Disk

With the introduction of Azure Data Box Disk, we’re expanding the Azure Data Box family to offer you yet another option for offline data transfer to Azure. The Data Box Disk is an SSD-disk based option to get your data, no matter where it resides, into Azure with ease. It is ideal for a recurring or one-time data migration of up to 35 TBs and especially well-suited for data transfer from multiple remote/branch offices. As part of the service offering, we send you up to 5 encrypted SSD disks with USB/SATA interface for secure data transfer and provide forward/return shipping to our data center. Learn more on the Azure Blog.

Azure Friday—Azure Kubernetes Service generally available

In this video, learn how to use Azure Kubernetes Service to drastically simplify how you build and run container-based solutions without deep Kubernetes expertise.


Be empowered

Live from Seattle—watch the Microsoft Business Applications Summit keynote

If you can't make it to the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, we’re livestreaming our opening keynote. Join us and learn alongside attendees on July 23, 2018, from 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM Pacific Time. The live broadcast will cover Dynamics 365, Power BI, Excel, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow, and more. In addition to the livestream, all session content will be available on demand after the event.

Course: Enterprise Security Hands-On Lab

In this course, put your enterprise security skills to the test as you try to successfully shut down attacks—while also keeping the system up and running. Launch a virtual environment, get notified of hacks, determine which security controls to employ, and track your progress on a scoreboard. Bring your understanding of Windows administration and security practices to this challenging and engaging lab. Register now.

Learn high performance computing in less than an hour

Learn how to run your most compute-intensive workloads on Azure. Whether you require large amounts of memory, high CPU performance, dedicated GPUs, or even dedicated supercomputers, Azure can deliver on all sizes of computation. Watch now.


Free Pluralsight course: Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines - Getting Started

Explore the various methods for deploying Azure VMs in a highly available environment. You’ll be equipped to perform configuration management and disaster recovery tasks in your new environment. Register now.

Course: Cloud Application Development

In this course, learn how Azure can help increase developer productivity in a tool-agnostic way. Find out how to build cross-platform mobile apps, and then learn about data services provided by Azure. Explore microservices, containers, and identity as the core of enterprise mobility. See how to set up a DevOps pipeline, and much more, in this practical cloud app development tutorial. Watch now.

Golf’s first AI caddie just got smarter

In this Developer Blog post, learn how AI and machine learning technologies were applied to enable a golf performance tracking startup to build an app that helps golfers make better decisions on the course.

Be inspired

Medical device provider builds an Azure data estate for any future

Danish med-tech company Coloplast makes innovative care products for people with intimate health challenges. Coloplast migrated from an on-premises data warehouse and business intelligence (BI) solution to Microsoft Power BI, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and other Azure services. The migration is part of a general modernization of the BI capabilities at Coloplast and is expected to provide benefits across the entire organization.

Learn more

Be Enhanced: Partners

Securely deliver Windows desktops and apps from Azure with VMware Horizon Cloud

VMware Horizon Cloud on Azure combines the benefits of virtual desktops and apps with the flexibility of public, consumption-based IaaS to deliver a better, more cost-effective digital workspace. The solution offers an easy deployment process, simplified management, and an architecture built for the cloud. Contact VMware to learn more about VMware Horizon Cloud on Azure, and find out how your organization can provide secure access to Windows desktops and apps anywhere, anytime, from any device.

Learn more

WhiteSource helps software development teams harness the power of open source

You depend on open source components to work faster and more efficiently. WhiteSource, built on Azure, is secure and manages the open source components in your software. Through integration with continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) tools, WhiteSource on Azure offers continuous monitoring to detect vulnerable and problematic open source components in real-time, enforce policies automatically, and generate a wide range of reports with a click of a button.

Learn more

Azure Marketplace

New: accelerate your cloud migration

Manage cloud operations through Wipro’s Cloud Operation Center, a single solution for migration. It includes an integrated platform to accelerate your journey to the cloud; actionable insights provided at all points from discovery to assessment and throughout migration; and cloud agnostic prebuilt templates and test cases to bring a higher level of automation to your enterprise.

Set up a one-hour briefing session

New: trusted SaaS partner for disaster recovery

CloudEndure Live Migration gives you the flexibility and security needed by enterprises to succeed in today’s fast-paced digital ecosystem. It’s a powerful IT suite used across all infrastructure and it has a live migration solution. Get it on the Azure Marketplace or schedule a demo with CloudEndure.

Visit Marketplace page