Built-in security and operations management for Azure and hybrid environments

Posted on September 25, 2017

Director, Azure Security and Management

The growth of cloud infrastructure usage has been tremendous in the last couple years. In my conversations with customers, many are looking for technologies to help with cloud security and cloud management. More customers are asking for management that is rooted in the cloud and really designed for the new cloud paradigm. At Microsoft we are your trusted partner for enterprise today and in the future, and we are in a unique position where we build both a cloud platform and have a long history of delivering management and security services.

With Azure we are blurring the lines between the traditional categories of platform and management as we deliver an open cloud platform that has built-in security and operations management – and can still meet the needs of our largest enterprise customers. Our customers benefit from this approach with a simpler experience across the full security and operations management lifecycle. We also recognize the importance of building tools that manage and secure not just Azure but also your traditional workloads, and that’s why we are focused on delivering hybrid capabilities.

Today I’m excited to announce several new services and features across these areas:

  • Azure Cost Management by Cloudyn available for free. Azure Cost Management helps organizations manage and optimize cloud spend across Azure, AWS and Google Cloud Platform. Cost management has been one of the most popular requests from our customers and I’m excited to announce that it is now available for free to Azure customers and partners to manage Azure spend. Learn more about Azure Cost Management by Cloudyn.
  • Azure Security Center protection for hybrid workloads. Azure Security Center helps you protect workloads running in Azure from cyber threats and can now also be used to secure workloads running on-premises and in other clouds. Today we are releasing new capabilities to better detect and defend against advanced threats, automate and orchestrate security workflows, and streamline investigation of threats. Learn more about Azure Security Center updates.
  • Integration of management into the virtual machine experience in the Azure portal. This new experience simplifies the process of adding backup, site recovery, monitoring, update management and more to your existing virtual machines.
  • Update management, configuration management & change tracking included at no cost for Azure customers to help you manage missing updates and track configuration changes efficiently across Windows and Linux virtual machines in Azure, and across your hybrid environments. Python support has been added to the Automation service in addition to the existing PowerShell & Graphical authoring capabilities to make it easier to automate both Windows and Linux environments. Learn more about Azure Automation and configuration updates.
  • End to end monitoring from the application to the infrastructure. The new Azure monitor user experience centralizes the monitoring services together so that you can get visibility across infrastructure and applications. In addition, we have significantly optimized your experience for Azure Log Analytics, as well as with metrics exploration, application performance monitoring, and failure diagnostics in Application Insights. We have also integrated Azure alerts with IT Service Management tools and released new solutions for Container Monitoring. Learn more about Azure Monitoring updates.
  • Azure Policy to help you deliver governance and compliance. The new Azure Policy service, now in limited preview, helps you establish standards, guardrails, and continually monitor compliance to deliver enterprise-wide governance. Azure policies can be applied over your Azure resources, from a single subscription to a management group with control across your entire organization. Sign up for the Azure Policy limited preview.
  • PowerShell support in Azure Cloud Shell complements Bash as another authenticated, browser-based shell tool to streamline your Azure management experience. Learn more about PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell.

The importance of securing and managing your cloud workloads

In this world where customers expect to do business with you 24x7 and threats are only getting more sophisticated, we recommend that at a minimum you turn on security, backup and monitoring for your virtual machines. The Azure platform is designed to reduce your security and operations management burden for building, maintaining, and securing the datacenters, but as a customer you can partner with us to ensure that your Azure resources are secure and well-managed with the right security and compliance controls in place. 

I hope you will join me at Microsoft Ignite, either in person or virtually, to see these new features and updates in action. I’m excited to hear from you on how you are securing and managing your resources in the cloud and encourage you to continue sending us feedback. You can create a free account to get started exploring Azure security and operations management today.