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As businesses shift priorities to enable remote work, take advantage of cloud innovation, and maximize their existing on-premises investments, relying on an effective multi-cloud, multi-edge hybrid approach is even more important than it has ever been.

Since the beginning, Microsoft Azure has always been hybrid by design, providing customers consistency and flexibility in meeting their business needs and empowering them to invent with purpose. This is one of the many reasons that the world’s leading brands trust their businesses to run on Azure. As we expand our Azure hybrid capabilities, we give customers a holistic and seamless approach to run and manage their apps anywhere across on-premises, multi-cloud, and the edge. Today, we are releasing even more innovation in our Azure hybrid portfolio.


Azure Arc: Bring Azure to any infrastructure

In November 2019, we launched Azure Arc to give customers the flexibility to innovate anywhere with Azure. Azure Arc does two key things: first, it brings Azure management capabilities to any infrastructure, and second, it enables Azure services to run anywhere. Since its launch, Azure Arc has seen tremendous customer interest and adoption across all industries. Organizations such as Africa’s Talking, Avanade, DexMach, Ferguson, Fujitsu, KPMG, and Siemens Healthineers are already realizing value with Azure Arc. They use Azure Arc to manage and govern their resources more efficiently in distributed environments, and they use Azure Arc to bring Azure data services on-premises.

Today, we are announcing more innovation with Azure Arc:

  • Azure Arc enabled data services is now in preview. Now, Azure SQL Managed Instance and Azure PostgreSQL Hyperscale can run across on-premises datacenters, multi-cloud, and the edge. Customers can now take advantage of the latest Azure managed database innovation, such as staying always current with evergreen SQL, elastic scale, and a unified data management experience, regardless of whether it’s running in Azure, running in their datacenter, or running in a different public cloud. And, these data services work in both connected and disconnected modes. Customers are seeing wide-ranging benefits in improving their IT productivity and business agility with Azure Arc enabled data services. Sign up for the preview of Azure Arc enabled data services.
  • Azure Arc enabled servers is now generally available. Customers can seamlessly organize and govern Windows and Linux servers—both physical and virtual machines (VMs)—across their multi-cloud, multi-edge environment, all from the Azure portal. Customers can now use Azure management services to monitor, secure, and update servers, and audit them with the same Azure Policy across multi-cloud and multi-edge deployments. In addition, customers can implement standardized role-based access control across all their servers to meet important compliance requirements. Learn more about Azure Arc.

Azure Stack HCI and Azure Stack Hub: Modernize on-premises datacenters

Over three years ago, we were first to market with Azure Stack that enables customers to bring cloud innovation into their own datacenters to take advantage of cloud technology while meeting any regulatory compliance requirement and the ability to run disconnected. Since then, we’ve continued to grow the Azure Stack portfolio to provide cloud consistent infrastructure and Azure services to a range of solutions within local datacenters and running at the edge.

Today, we’re launching new Azure Stack capabilities to help customers modernize their datacenters:

  • Preview of Azure Kubernetes Services (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI. AKS on Azure Stack HCI enables customers to deploy and manage containerized apps at scale on Azure Stack HCI, just as they can run AKS within Azure. This now provides a consistent, secure, and fully managed Kubernetes experience for customers who want to use Azure Stack HCI within their datacenters. Sign up for the preview of AKS on Azure Stack HCI.
  • Azure Stack Hub is now available with GPUs. To power visualization intense apps, we’ve partnered with AMD to bring the AMD Mi25 GPU to Azure Stack Hub, which allows users to share the GPU in an efficient way. The NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPU enables customers to run compute intense machine learning workloads in disconnected or partially connected scenarios. The NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPU provides visualization, inferencing, and machine learning for less compute intense workloads. Learn more about Azure Stack Hub.

Azure VMware Solution: Seamlessly extend and migrate VMware workloads to Azure

Many customers want the ability to seamlessly integrate their existing VMware environments with Azure. Today, we are announcing Azure VMware Solution is now generally available. Designed, built, and supported by Microsoft, Azure VMware Solution is cloud verified by VMware and enables customers to migrate VMware workloads to the cloud with minimal complexity. The Azure service includes the latest VMware Cloud Foundation components such as vSphere, NSX-T, HCX, and vSan, and integrates with a rich set of partner solutions, so customers can continue to use existing tools and skills. In addition, with our licensing offering Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure is the most cost-effective cloud to migrate your Windows Server and SQL workloads to, whether they run on VMware or elsewhere. Learn more about Azure VMware Solution.

New innovation to run compute and AI at the Edge

Organizations are extending compute and AI to the edge of their network to unlock new business scenarios. Imagine that a retail store always stocks the right products at the right places, a hospital extends patient care to the most remote areas in the world, or a factory optimizes its performance level against capacity in real time. It’s what we call the intelligent edge. Azure offers a comprehensive portfolio of cloud services and edge device support to help customers realize these new use-cases.

Today, we are releasing new edge capabilities:

  • Azure SQL Edge is now generally available, bringing the most secure Microsoft SQL data engine to IoT gateways and edge devices. Optimized for edge workloads, this small-footprint container supports built-in data streaming, storage, and AI in connected or disconnected environments. Built on the same codebase as SQL Server and Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Edge provides the same industry-leading security, the same familiar developer experience, and the same tooling that many teams already know and trust. Learn more about Azure SQL Edge.
  • Two new Azure Stack Edge rugged devices are available. Customers can perform machine learning and gain quick insights at the edge by running the Azure Stack Edge Pro R with NVIDIA’s powerful T4 GPU and the lightweight, portable Azure Stack Edge Mini R. Both devices are designed to operate in the harshest environments at remote locations. To check out these new devices through augmented reality in 3D, download the Microsoft Hardware Experience on iOS or on Android.
  • Azure Stack Edge is now available with GPUs. Customers can run visualization, inferencing, and machine learning at the edge with the Azure Stack Edge Pro series powered by the NVIDIA T4 Tensor Core GPU. This unlocks a broad set of new edge scenarios, such as automatically recognizing license plates for efficient retail curbside pickup, and detecting defects in real time in products on a manufacturing assembly line. Learn more about Azure Stack Edge.
  • AT&T builds cellular-enabled guardian module with Azure Sphere: AT&T and Microsoft are teaming up to enable enterprise customers to connect their machines and equipment securely by Azure Sphere guardian devices to the cloud seamlessly via AT&T’s cellular network, without needing to rely on Wi-Fi systems. This enables customers to connect their devices where Wi-Fi does not meet their security standards. For example, customers who operate franchises in third-party locations will be able to connect their machines directly to their own clouds, bypassing third-party-owned Wi-Fi. The AT&T powered guardian device expands Azure Sphere’s reach with the AT&T Global SIM that can operate in over 200 countries, and provides multi-layered, unified security from edge to cloud. Learn more about Azure Sphere.

We look forward to sharing even more updates on our innovation in multi-cloud, multi-edge hybrid at Microsoft Ignite this week! To learn more about our Azure hybrid offerings, visit the Azure hybrid solutions page. You can also register for our upcoming webinar series that will demonstrate use case scenarios and best practices using key Azure hybrid offerings.

Azure. Invent with purpose.

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