Last week in Azure: Cray supercomputers, managed Kubernetes, GDPR help, & more

Posted on October 30, 2017

Sr. Product Marketing Manager

Last week in Azure focused on three topics that were once unfamiliar territory for Microsoft: Big Computing, containers, and open source. It used to be that Big Computing was the exclusive domain of the few organizations and governments who could afford to house their own supercomputers. The promise of the cloud made this a bit more accessible, but last week’s announcement of Microsoft’s alliance with Cray to bring supercomptuers to Azure provides a whole new level of Big Computing in the cloud. The use of container technology as a fundamental unit of deployment in the cloud accelerated the creation of technologies supporting it to make it easier to deploy, manage, and orchestrate them using popular open source projects, such as Kubernetes. You encounter open source quite a bit at Microsoft in recent years. Several open source community leaders joined us for Azure OpenDev last week to illustrate how easy it is to create and operate the open source DevOps toolchain you prefer on Azure.

1. Check out the big brain on Azure!

Thanks to an exclusive strategic alliance between Cray and Microsoft, dedicated Cray XC and CS series supercomputers are coming to Azure. Increasingly, Azure customers are seeking access to Big Computing capabiities for extreme performance, scalability, and elasticity. These systems integrate with many Azure services for rich workflows and collaboration on the public cloud with the most datacenters worldwide.

2. What if using Kubernetes was free and easy? Well, now it is.

We introduced AKS (Azure Container Service) with managed Kubernetes and Azure Container Registry geo-replication. AKS gives you the benefit of open source Kubernetes without complexity and operational overhead by eliminating the complicated planning and deployment of fully-orchestrated containerized applications. It provides an Azure-hosted control plane, automated upgrades, self-healing, easy scaling, and a simple user experience for both developers and cluster operators. Azure Container Registry geo-replication enables you to manage a single registry, replicated across any number of regions so that we can route the push or pull of a container image to the nearest ACR regsitry. In other container news, open-source projcet Brigade introduces event-based scripting for Kubernetes.

3. Azure OpenDev

On Wednesday last week, Ashley McNamara hosted the second Azure OpenDev, which was a live technical series of session featuring open source community leaders who showed how they use their DevOps toolchain on Azure. Demonstrated tools included Terraform, Kubernetes, InnerSource, Elastic Stack, and more. Now all of that awesome content is available for your on-demand viewing.

4. Helping you get ready for GDPR

Azure gives you the tools you need to comply with complex regulations, including GDPR. Our attention to, and preparation for the impact of GDPR continues to show how we equally prioritize the best cloud technology with the best compliance offerings and Azure GDPR resources.

5. Easy replication for Azure VMs

It's easier than ever to configure and prepare for disaster recovery. Now in public preview, Azure Site Recovery (ASR) is built into the virtual machine experience, which provides one-click replication for Azure virtual machines. The target resource group, availability set, virtual network and storage accounts are auto-created based on your source VM configuration.

6. Azure shows

Container Orchestration Simplified with Managed Kubernetes in Azure Container Service (AKS) - Gabe Monroy joins Scott Hanselman to discuss Azure Container Service (AKS), Microsoft's new managed Kubernetes service. Now you can easily manage your Kubernetes environment by simplifying the deployment, management, and operations activities without sacrificing portability. You gain all the benefits of Kubernetes without the complexity and operational overhead.

Azure Container Registry Geo-replication - Steve Lasker joins Donovan Brown to explain Azure Container Registry (ACR) Geo-replication. With ACR, you can now manage your global Azure footprint as one resource, enabling network-close deployments of your Docker containers. With regionalized WebHooks, you can deploy regions as your images arrive.

Azure Building Blocks 2.0 (azbb) - Telmo Sampaio joins Scott Hanselman to discuss Azure Building Blocks 2.0 (azbb), which is an open-source command line tool and set of Azure Resource Manager templates designed to simplify deployment of Azure resources. It enables you to use infrastructure as code in Azure without worrying about the complexity of ARM resources.

The Azure Podcast: Episode 201 - Quantum Computing - A fascinating discussion with Dr. Krysta Svore, a Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research, where she leads the Quantum Architectures and Computation (QuArC) group. Discussion includes near-term and long-term plans to get Quantum Computing into Azure.