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Azure Newsletter: March 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.


Meet Mark Russinovich

Watch Mark Russinovich, Chief Technology Officer for Azure, talk about free training resources available to take you from novice to expert, and get certified along the way. Visit Azure Essentials to learn more.

Global Azure Bootcamp 2018 is next month

For the sixth year in a row, Global Azure Bootcamp brings together local user groups and anyone with an interest in Azure to learn about and work with the newest features. Join us on 21 April 2018, at one of the more than 175 locations around the globe – or organise an additional location near you.

Download: Azure Serverless Computing Cookbook by Packt Publishing

Download the serverless computing e-book for access to dozens of step-by-step recipes for quickly building serverless apps. Get your solutions to market faster using Azure Functions, a fully managed compute platform for processing data, integrating systems, and building simple APIs and microservices. In this e-book, find use cases, hands-on steps and tutorials for quickly configuring your own serverless environments, and then visit the GitHub repository for code examples.

Download: Designing Distributed Systems by O’Reilly Publishing

Distributed systems enable different areas of a business to build specific apps to support their needs and to drive insight and innovation. While great for the business, this new normal can result in development inefficiencies when the same systems are reimplemented multiple times. This free e-book provides repeatable, generic patterns and reusable components to help make developing reliable systems easier and more efficient – so you can use your time to focus on core development of your app.

Upcoming events

PostgresConf US 2018
16 April 2018
Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
RSA Conference 2018
16 April 2018
San Francisco, California, USA
Microsoft Tech Summit Stockholm
17 April 2018
Stockholm, Sweden
Global Azure Bootcamp 2018
21 April 2018
Multiple locations worldwide
Summit EMEA
24 April 2018
Dublin, Ireland
Microsoft Tech Summit Warsaw
25 April 2018
Warsaw, Poland

Be Informed

Don’t miss the ideas and innovation at Microsoft Build

Create tomorrow at Microsoft Build, 7-9 May 2018, in Seattle, Washington. It’s the place to be for brilliant devs and industry game changers who want to explore the latest tech, spark ideas and build what’s next. With over 300 technical sessions and 80 interactive workshops delivered by Microsoft experts on the products you use every day including Azure, Windows, Visual Studio, Microsoft 365 and more, you get to dive into artificial intelligence (AI), mixed reality, cloud and data – or get a taste of each. You won’t want to miss Microsoft Build, so learn more today.

Azure SQL Database Information Protection in preview

Now available in preview, SQL Database Information Protection introduces advanced capabilities built into Azure SQL Database for discovering, classifying, labelling and protecting your sensitive data. SQL Database Information Protection is also available for all versions of SQL Server 2008 to SQL Server 2017 via the latest SQL Server Management Studio. Data classification plays a pivotal role in your organisational information protection stature, serving as infrastructure for meeting data privacy standards and regulatory compliance requirements (such as General Data Protection Regulation [GDPR]), as well as controlling and monitoring access to highly sensitive data. Learn more.

Azure SQL Database: zone-redundant premium databases and elastic pools in preview

Azure SQL Database has added more fault resilience to premium databases by using availability zones in selected regions. Provision your premium databases or premium elastic pools with multiple replicas deployed to different availability zones at no extra cost. Zone-redundant premium databases and elastic pools expand on the automatic data and compute redundancy that SQL Database currently provides for databases in the same region. This offering is currently available in Central US, East US 2, West Europe, France Central and Southeast Asia, with additional regions being added over time.

Azure SQL Database Managed Instance in preview

Managed Instance (preview) is a new deployment option in Azure SQL Database that provides SQL Server compatibility and native virtual network support. Move your SQL Server workloads to an intelligent, fully managed service without rearchitecting your apps, and use the new vCore-based performance tiers for easy translation of on-premises requirements to the cloud. Learn more about SQL Database Managed Instance and the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

Azure Cosmos DB and Microsoft Project Olympus honoured by InfoWorld

InfoWorld recently named Azure Cosmos DB and Microsoft Project Olympus as winners in the InfoWorld Technology of the Year Awards for 2018. Calling out the database’s unique consistency levels, InfoWorld recognised how Azure Cosmos DB delivers data globally, enabling users to see the same version of data wherever they are. InfoWorld also lauded Microsoft Project Olympus for its flexible designs available to any manufacturer. Learn more.

Custom Vision Service announces new export capabilities

Custom Vision Service, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, can embed your classifier directly into your app and run it locally on Android and many other devices using TensorFlow. Now available to all users, this feature lets you export trained compact models that can be run offline in an app. If you decide to utilise the new export capabilities but have already built your model, you’ll need to retrain that model using domains marked as “compact”. Take a look at our sample codes to get started today.

Video Indexer (preview) now integrated with Custom Speech Service

Video Indexer is now integrated with Custom Speech Service (part of Microsoft Cognitive Services). It lets you easily execute simple language model adaptation and support industry and business specific customisation for automatic speech recognition. This new capability is available to any Video Indexer account, provided that the account has enabled the language customisation option. Read more on the Azure Blog.

Introducing Bing SDKs (preview) for the latest API suite

Currently available on Microsoft Cognitive Services as REST APIs, the Bing APIs now have SDKs available in four coding languages: C#, Java, Node.js and Python. The breadth of offerings helps you easily find a suitable SDK for your app. Look at a few simple coding samples on the APIs documentation web page, and get started building today. Learn more from the Azure Blog.

Azure Friday: Protect your data with Azure Backup

In this video, learn how simple it is to set up Azure Backup, how its built-in security features can protect your backup data from ransomware and how easy it is to restore your data from Azure.

Consulting services offerings available on Microsoft AppSource

Implementation partners play a vital role in helping customers assess their business needs. To help connect with the right partner, we’ve added a catalogue of consulting services offerings for solutions based on Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft PowerApps to AppSource in September 2017. Take a look at the entire catalogue of more than 300 consulting services offerings.


From Pluralsight: Discover the right Microsoft Azure service
13 March 2018
10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
IDC: How can federal agencies maximise the value of the cloud?
13 March 2018
10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
What are Microservices and why should you be using them?
14 March 2018
10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
How to best secure your IoT deployment
21 March 2018
1:00 PM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
Customise computer vision models with Custom Vision Service
28 March 2018
10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
Three essential components for Linux cloud management
28 March 2018
1:00 PM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
Implement smart manufacturing with Microsoft IoT Solutions
19 April 2018
10:00 AM Pacific Time (UTC-7)
Join a getting started with Azure live webinar with Q&A each Tuesday and Thursday

Be empowered

New Internet of Things show on Channel 9

Meet the engineers building the Internet of Things (IoT) at Microsoft and get insights plus tips and tricks on all things IoT. Watch the new show now.

Transform your business with the IoT in Action webinar series

This series delivers live and on-demand webinars that help you bring your business together in new insightful ways with the Internet of Things (IoT) – from increasing process efficiencies to delivering better customer experiences to generating new revenue streams. Watch now to learn how to transform your business with IoT.

Azure Cosmos DB training webinars

Join us as we explore Azure Cosmos DB in our seven-part training series with interactive question and answer opportunities throughout. In addition to a technical deep dive on Azure Cosmos DB, this series covers a wide array of topics including Graph API, Table API and migrating Mongo DB apps to Azure Cosmos DB. By the end of this series, you’ll learn about building serverless apps and conduct real-time analytics using Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Functions and Spark connector.

Azure Cosmos DB: An expert’s introduction

Alex Bennett and Mike Brown from Firebrand Training take a detailed look at Azure Cosmos DB and what it means for developers. Learn more.

Case study: Redefining the MyOrder procurement experience with Azure Search and Azure Cosmos DB

Find out how Microsoft IT revamped the internal MyOrder web app with Azure Search and Azure Cosmos DB to improve the purchasing experience.

Azure Essentials just received an upgrade

The single place for the resources that you need to learn Azure just improved with new personalisation features and content. Track what you’ve completed, add items to your queue and see what’s new since your last visit. Azure Essentials also has three new content tracks to set you up for further learning. Take a look and come back often – you’ll soon be on your way to deep Azure knowledge.

Build your cloud skills with the latest in Azure

Microsoft Tech Summit, a free technical learning event for IT professionals and developers, is coming to a city near you. Discover the latest trends, tools and product roadmaps, and meet the experts who build and run Microsoft cloud services. Whether you’re developing innovative apps or delivering optimised solutions, Microsoft Tech Summit gives you two days of learning, networking and skill-building. Find a free event near you.

Upgrade your skills with the Microsoft Professional Program

With expert training, gain in-demand technical skills that can open career doors for you. The Microsoft Professional Program offers self-paced, online courses featuring practical demos, hands-on labs, and a final capstone project. You’ll get real-world experience that can help advance your career. Browse the currently available tracks, in a variety of technologies, and start building your skills at your own pace. Find out more.

March certification spotlight: Azure infrastructure

Are you experienced in implementing an infrastructure solution in Azure and ready to get certified? Or maybe you’re almost there and need some advanced training to ace the exam? Either way, schedule your 70-533 exam or find places to help you practise and prepare. Learn more.

How to choose a virtual machine

Migrating to the cloud can be daunting, especially with hundreds of virtual machine (VM) options to choose from (VMs in Azure are categorised into types, families and sizes). Learn how VMs differ in terms of power, price and functionality.

NoSQL series

Get the details on NoSQL in this practical training that can help answer your NoSQL questions. For the basics, start with Introduction to NoSQL Data Solutions. Ready for a deep dive into Azure Cosmos DB? Don’t miss Developing Planet-scale Applications in Azure Cosmos DB. Or, if you’ve got on-premises needs that you don’t want to put in the cloud, take a look at the very informative Using Non-relational Data in SQL Server course.

#FiveThings about RxJS with Angular

Learn how Angular uses RxJS, find out about Reactive Forms and discover how RxJS helps with cloud development with Ward Bell and John Papa. Learn these and more in this episode of Five Things.

Course: Architecting Distributed Cloud Applications

Learn how to architect distributed cloud apps with the correct developer mindset using the right technologies and cloud patterns. This technology-agnostic course begins by explaining the benefits of distributed cloud apps with an emphasis on maintaining high availability and scalability in a cost-effective way while also dealing with inevitable hardware and software failures.

Download .NET Microservices Architecture e-book

This guide is an introduction to developing microservices-based apps and managing them using containers. It discusses architectural design and implementation approaches using .NET Core and Docker containers. To make it easier to get started with containers and microservices, the guide focuses on a reference-containerised and microservice-based app that you can explore. The sample app is available at the eShopOnContainers GitHub repository.

.NET Core 2.1 Roadmap

Watch our experts cover some of the exciting new features and improvements being added to .NET Core 2.1, ASP.NET 2.1 and Entity Framework 2.1.

Build microservices on Azure

This multi-part series takes you through the process of designing and building a microservices architecture on Azure with Kubernetes. It includes a reference implementation in a drone delivery scenario. Read the guide in the Azure Architecture Center.

Choose the right Kubernetes objects for your Azure workloads

Mahesh Kshirsagar demystifies Kubernetes objects in this e-book by focusing on a real-life scenario where a basic tiered app is deployed using pods and controllers. Kubernetes provides multiple deployment objects, each with its unique advantages that are explained in context. Download the e-book and get your step-by-step guide to Kubernetes.

Learn about Mesh and hub-and-spoke networks on Azure in this white paper

Virtual network peering gives Azure customers a way to provide managed access to Azure for multiple lines of business or to merge teams from different companies. This white paper covers the two main network topologies used by Azure customers and shows how enterprises work with, or around, the default maximum number of peering links.

Use the open-source Jenkins server on Azure

This documentation explains how to install, configure and run a scalable, enterprise-grade Jenkins server – an open-source automation server – secured with single sign-on (SSO). The architecture also uses Azure Monitor to monitor the state of the Jenkins server. Get started today.

Interview with Peggy Johnson, executive VP of business development

As executive vice president of business development, Peggy Johnson is responsible for driving strategic partnerships and transactions to accelerate growth for Microsoft and its customers. Watch this interview to learn more about Peggy’s career growth, family history and more on a new episode of GALs.

Be entertained

*Comic source: Reprinted with permission.

Be inspired

Kohler brings the IoT revolution to your bath

Kohler is building the next generation of smart kitchen and bath products using Azure Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Learn more

Hokkaido University uses the cloud to improve online learning

Developing a globally engaged citizenry is critical for all countries, and Japan has made it a special priority. The Faculty of Engineering at Hokkaido University encourages students to study abroad, and they created a Moodle-based e-learning system to help them keep up with coursework back home.

Learn more

Be Enhanced: Partners

Manage your Microsoft Stack on one platform with Rubrik

Rubrik delivers all aspects of data protection with management simplicity and powerful performance for all your Microsoft apps – Windows, SQL, Hyper-V, Azure Stack and Azure. Instantly provision zero-copy clones of your SQL databases for dev/test. Burst to Azure for disaster recovery or dev/test with Rubrik CloudOn, which converts virtual machines (VMs) into cloud instances. Now, enterprises can mobilise apps from data centre to cloud.

Learn more

Azure Marketplace

Featured: Take just one simple step to keep your dynamic Azure environment backed up

Simplify data protection in Azure. Imagine automatically protecting new Azure instances as soon as they launch, or imagine granularly recovering SQL from an Azure snapshot. Lastly, imagine having the freedom to integrate and protect other clouds. All of this is possible. CloudPoint in Azure offers you native-snapshot orchestration through an easy-to-use dashboard and complements that with enterprise data protection functions that are years ahead of other solutions. Learn more and get started with CloudPoint today.

Visit Marketplace

Test drive: Check Point CloudGuard IaaS

Check Point CloudGuard IaaS (formerly vSEC) delivers advanced, multi-layered threat prevention to protect customer assets in Azure from malware and sophisticated threats. As a Microsoft Azure-certified solution, CloudGuard IaaS enables you to easily and seamlessly secure your workloads while providing secure connectivity across your cloud and on-premises environments.

Visit Marketplace

Test drive: DataStax Enterprise

DataStax Enterprise (DSE) is the always-on data platform for cloud apps powered by the industry’s best version of Apache Cassandra. By ensuring that your apps always work, you can focus on what matters most to you. DSE makes it easy to distribute your data across data centres or cloud regions, making your apps always on, ready to scale, and able to create instant insight and experiences.

Visit Marketplace