Azure Newsletter: December 2017
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Free e-book: Cloud Application Architecture Guide
This 300-page cloud computing architecture e-book focuses on architecture, design and implementation—considerations that apply no matter which cloud platform you choose. Download now to explore best practices and get access to design review checklists, reference architectures and more.
24th January 2018
Birmingham, United Kingdom
13th February 2018
San Francisco, California
26th February 2018
1st March 2018
5th March 2018
Las Vegas, Nevada
5th March 2018
Azure Advisor—your personalised best practices service just got better
Azure Advisor brings an all-new dashboard to help you more easily review the overall status of your recommendations across multiple subscriptions, downloadable reports and customisation options to tune Advisor to your needs. Review your recommendations at no cost in Advisor in the Azure portal.
Windows Server system state backup to Azure with Azure Backup generally available
With this release, Azure Backup has full production support for protecting Windows File Servers, Active Directory and Internet Information Services (IIS) web servers hosted on Windows Server 2016 all the way back to Windows Server 2008 R2. Backing up your Windows Server system state to Azure gives you simple, secure and cost-effective protection for Windows Server as well as recovery of dynamic operating systems and app configuration from Azure in the event of an IT disaster. Sign up for your Azure free account.
Azure SQL Database engine functionality updates
Three new Azure SQL Database engine features are generally available. With the resumable online index rebuild feature, you can pause an operation and resume it later from where the rebuild operation was paused or failed. The database-scoped temporary tables enable the use of global temporary tables scoped to a specific database, so all user sessions can share tables within the same database. The Catalog Collation feature specifies the default collation for the metadata catalog.
Transactional replication to Azure SQL Database generally available
The transactional replication to Azure SQL Database feature replicates your data from on-premises SQL Servers to Azure SQL databases in one direction. This feature enables you to migrate your on-premises SQL Server databases to Azure SQL databases with minimum downtime. Learn more on the Azure Blog.
Azure Cosmos DB: Storage Explorer now in preview
Azure Cosmos DB now comes with desktop data management tooling offered via Azure Storage Explorer. This is a fast, responsive, cross-platform data management experience for Azure Cosmos DB on Mac, Windows and Linux, consistent with the Azure Cosmos DB Portal. The preview helps users manage Azure Cosmos DB entities across multiple accounts, manipulate data and update stored procedures and triggers. Learn more on the Azure Blog.
Azure Cosmos DB Table API generally available
Azure Cosmos DB Table API is now generally available in all Azure regions. With Azure Cosmos DB Table API support, apps written for Azure Table storage can now use the premium capabilities of Azure Cosmos DB, including turnkey global distribution, low latency reads and writes, automatic secondary indexing, dedicated throughput and much more. Azure Cosmos DB Table API support is accessible through the Azure portal.
Azure Cosmos DB Graph API: Improved support for PHP
The Azure Cosmos DB Graph API now supports the Apache Tinkerpop-recommended Gremlin framework, gremlin-php. Check out our new guide for Quickstart with Azure Cosmos DB Graph API in PHP.
Azure Cosmos DB network security: New IP firewall rule
There is now support for a new firewall rule which helps customers limit access to an Azure Cosmos DB account from services deployed in Azure. This is in addition to the IP-based firewall support Azure Cosmos DB already supports to limit database access to specific IP addresses.
Microsoft IoT Central in preview
Microsoft IoT Central is a fully managed software as a service (SaaS) offering which enables powerful Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios without requiring cloud solution expertise. Built on Azure, Microsoft IoT Central simplifies the development process and makes it easy and fast for customers to get started, making digital transformation more accessible to everyone. Microsoft IoT Central is available along with our existing platform as a service (PaaS) solution, Azure IoT Suite, which enables deep customisation and full control.
Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service generally available
Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service dramatically simplifies the job of provisioning Internet of Things (IoT) devices to a solution. It works in harmony with Azure IoT Hub to help solutions enable zero-touch, “plug and play” provisioning of IoT devices. You can pre-register devices to centrally control which IoT hub each device should be connected to and move devices between IoT hubs. Once connected, the device can be provisioned with the correct software, firmware and configuration using the device management capabilities in IoT Hub.
Azure Functions: Azure IoT Edge, Linux and Proxies
Azure Functions has new features and functionalities. Functions on IoT Edge enables developers to run Functions even on devices which are not always connected to the cloud. Functions Proxies streamlines the creation of serverless API and microservices architectures using Functions. Functions on Linux gives you additional deployment options: bring your code and run it on pre-configured Linux containers or deploy your own containers, including all dependencies.
Azure Bot Service generally available
Azure Bot Service provides a scalable, integrated bot development and hosting environment for intelligent bots that can reach customers across multiple channels. Bot Service helps speed up development by providing an integrated environment purpose-built for bot development. You can get started in seconds with out-of-the-box templates. Microsoft Bot Framework is built into each template to streamline your workflow, increase your interactions and reach more customers in multiple channels from your website or app. By adding Microsoft Cognitive Services you can also enable your bots to see, hear, interpret and interact in more human ways.
Microsoft Cognitive Services: Language Understanding (LUIS) generally available
Now generally available on the Azure portal, the Language Understanding service (LUIS) provides simple tools which enable you to build your own language models which allow any application or bot to understand your commands and act accordingly. Use a comprehensive set of APIs which will interpret your sentences and identify intents and entities which you have trained into your LUIS model, helping any bot or app provide natural language-based interactions for users. Easily integrate Language Understanding with your Azure Bot Service bots and Microsoft Cognitive Services APIs, such as Bing Spell Check and Speech.
On-demand webinar: Building bots with Azure Bot Service and LUIS
Learn how new Azure Bot Service and Language Understanding service (LUIS) features enable developers to build bots and language models which allow any app to understand language commands and act accordingly. Register now.
Innovate.AI: A Global Startup Competition
Are you working on a product which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and/or machine learning? There is still time to enter the Innovate.AI startup competition. Three winning companies will each win a $1 million US dollar (USD) investment and $500000 USD in Azure credits from Microsoft Ventures and our partner venture capital (VC) firms. Participating companies must be located in North America, Europe and Israel and have raised less than $4 million USD. Learn more and apply today.
Azure ExpressRoute monitoring in preview
Network Performance Monitor can now monitor end-to-end (E2E) connectivity and performance to your virtual networks in Azure over Azure ExpressRoute. With Network Performance Monitor you can measure packet loss and network latency, bandwidth utilization, detect downtime of the primary and secondary circuits and set alerts. Learn more and sign up for the preview.
Azure Archive Storage generally available
Azure Archive Storage and blob-level tiering are generally available. Archive Storage provides a very low-cost option for storing infrequently accessed data and it is generally available in 14 Azure regions. Learn more about Archive Storage and its availability, as well as pricing for blob-level tiering.
Azure Friday: Azure DDoS Protection service
Azure Friday’s Scott Hanselman learns about protecting apps on Azure from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks with the Azure DDoS Protection service. Azure resources now have access to the same DDoS protection technology that protects other Microsoft online services, such as Xbox Live and Office 365. Watch now.
See IoT in Action with Microsoft in Tokyo and Seoul
Whether you are looking to create new revenue streams or identify new business opportunities, the IoT in Action event is for you. Meet and hear from Microsoft visionary Internet of Things (IoT) leaders, gain industry insights and build partnerships with key IoT solution providers from around the world. IoT in Action is coming to Tokyo on 25th January 2018 and Seoul on 30th January 2018. Register now.
Watch on-demand: Microsoft Azure OpenDev
The latest episode in our online open source community meetup is now available on demand for free. This second edition focuses on DevOps with technical talks and demos showcasing the journey of an enterprise app to the cloud. Top developers will show how to combine leading projects in a DevOps toolchain with the power of Azure. Watch now and see what is possible with open source on the cloud.
New to Azure? Register for a live getting-started webinar with Q&A—every Tuesday and Thursday
Join us for a live overview of the Azure portal and products. See Azure in action as we demonstrate easy ways to begin deploying resources and answer your questions in real-time with Azure technical experts. Register now.
On-demand webinar: How one city responded to a natural disaster
With a natural disaster such as a hurricane, a city needs to understand what they can do to keep key functions up and running. Learn how the City of Houston, Texas responded during Hurricane Harvey. Hear from Chief Information Officer Lisa Kent on how her team kept citizen services, datacenters, email, voice and other essential IT services up and running despite the flooding and winds. Watch on demand now.
Rebuilding for the cloud
Rebuilding for the cloud forces engineers to break habits, try new tech and leave their comfort zones. Watch the video.
Case study: Bringing digital transformation to the supply chain with Azure IoT Suite
At Microsoft, we are using Azure IoT Suite and Power BI to transform our hardware manufacturing and supply chain in three phases. The first phase brings together data from disparate sources in common reports which provide people with the right data about manufacturing trends. The second phase uses data for predictive insights about our operations. Our third and final phase integrates machine learning and predictive maintenance into our supply chain process for even more efficiency and cost savings. Read more.
On-demand webinar: Get started with Azure IoT Edge
Azure IoT Edge is a service which enables cloud intelligence to run locally on your Internet of Things (IoT) devices. With Azure IoT Edge, you can deploy cloud workloads such as artificial intelligence (AI), Azure Machine Learning, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Functions and custom code via containers directly on your IoT device to enable real-time insights. Register now.
On-demand webinar: Migrate to Azure with Windows Containers
Learn how to approach the modernisation of your existing .NET Framework web or service-oriented apps. App modernisation, commonly referred to as “lift and shift,” is the action of moving a workload to a newer or more modern environment without altering the app's code and basic architecture. In this webinar, you will find out how to move your existing .NET Framework server apps directly to Azure by modernising specific areas, without re-architecting or recoding entire apps. Register now.
On-demand webinar: Repeatable deployments with Terraform on Azure
In the past, deploying and managing infrastructure has often been an error-prone, manual process. In this webinar, you will find out how to use Terraform and Infrastructure as Code (IaC) patterns to create reliable, repeatable and automated deployments on Azure. You will also learn how to create a real-world deployment example which equips a multi-tier app with networking and security requirements. Register now.
On-demand webinar: Add the power of Azure to your Windows Server workloads
In this webinar, learn about the benefits of using the Azure cloud for your Windows Server workloads. We will demonstrate how to use Azure to add cloud agility and efficiency to your Windows Server environment. You will learn how to migrate apps and workloads and integrate on-premises Windows Server environments with innovative hybrid capabilities such as backup and storage. You will also see how to set up powerful hybrid security for Windows and Linux apps running on Windows Server in Azure or on-premises. Register now.
Case study: Managing modern mobile productivity with Enterprise Mobility + Security
With more people using personal devices for work, there is an ever-expanding need to protect corporate resources, documents and data. At Microsoft, we manage mobile productivity for a consistent experience on work and personal devices. Find out how to manage the opportunities and challenges of mobile productivity using Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory to balance mobility with app security and identity management. Read more.
*Comic source: www.cloudtweaks.com. Reprinted with permission.
GoDaddy ports communications services to Linux in six weeks using .NET Core
From building websites to hosting productivity tools, GoDaddy provides technology which helps small businesses succeed. The company acquired FreedomVoice in 2016 to enlarge its portfolio of communication offerings. Find out how GoDaddy developers quickly and easily ported the Microsoft .NET-based technology stack from FreedomVoice to .NET Core—a step critical to creating a new end-to-end business telephony solution running on Linux.
TD builds on its reputation for excellent service with the Microsoft Cloud
TD Bank Group is focused on building the bank of the future—a future where digital is one of the core driving forces of its transformation journey; where data provides insights into customer beliefs, needs and behaviors and where technology will be the centerpiece of the bank’s delivery model. See how the Microsoft Cloud can help harness the data TD will require to deliver on its promise of legendary service at every touch-point.
Be Enhanced: Partners
ScaleArc helps get your apps onto Azure with no code changes
The ScaleArc software works with SQL Server on Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Azure SQL Database to make database apps Azure-ready. Database workloads running on the cloud must run on smaller virtual machines (VMs). ScaleArc enables this automatically, performing read/write split so apps can run on horizontal, scaled-out database servers with no code changes. ScaleArc also augments database failover to make it transparent to users. See how NHS Choices was able to improve uptime and performance on Azure with ScaleArc.
BioCatch collaborates with Microsoft on global, regional levels
Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company BioCatch has worked with Microsoft since its inception in 2011. Frances Zelazny, Vice President of Marketing said, “BioCatch has been working very closely with Microsoft over the past year and has seen quantifiable impact on our pipeline and revenue growth prospects.” Find out how the partnership has helped BioCatch grow its solution and business capabilities.
New: F5 web application firewall solutions comprehensively protect Azure workloads
The F5 web application firewall (WAF) solution, named a Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in 2017, is powered by industry-proven F5 BIG-IP Application Security Manager and BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager technologies. This solution provides complete visibility into application traffic. That enables industry-leading protection against all Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) top-10 threats, layer 7 Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, malicious bot traffic and other vulnerabilities. Download a 30-day free trial and learn more about F5’s leadership position in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Web Application Firewalls.
New: Azure and Forcepoint team up to launch Forcepoint Next Gen Firewall
With Forcepoint Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), you can safely and easily extend your organisation's network into your Azure cloud environment via a secure VPN gateway. That includes remote sites, branch offices, datacenters, and network edge. Our centralised management helps you create and deploy policies swiftly and consistently across all of your systems so you can quickly zero in on what is happening in both your Azure environment and your physical network.