Azure Newsletter

Stay informed on the latest Azure features, events, and community activities. Browse through past newsletters or subscribe and get the latest Azure news delivered to your inbox.


AzureCon: Be the first to see what's next with Azure

Attend AzureCon, our free virtual event on September 29, 2015, starting at 09:00 Pacific Time (UTC-7). Leading engineers will discuss easy-to-adopt technologies and cutting-edge innovations. Customers will share Azure best practices and experiences that helped them accelerate time to market, differentiate themselves from the competition, and reduce costs. Don’t miss the live keynotes from our Cloud + Enterprise leaders, Executive Vice President Scott Guthrie, Corporate Vice President Jason Zander, and Corporate Vice President Bill Staples. We’ll also have live Q&A via social media with the architects and engineers who are building the latest Azure features and capabilities. And there are 50 easy-to-consume, deep-dive technical sessions to help you accelerate your journey to the cloud. Join us.

Microsoft acquires Adallom to advance identity and security in the cloud

Microsoft has acquired Adallom, an innovator in cloud security and a leader in helping customers protect their critical assets across cloud applications. This acquisition is the latest example of our commitment to delivering innovative identity and security capabilities to our customers, across both on-premises and multiple clouds. Adallom works with popular cloud applications including Salesforce, Box, Dropbox, ServiceNow, Ariba, and, of course, Office 365. As a cloud-delivered, security-as-a-service solution, Adallom will complement existing offerings that Microsoft makes available today as part of Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), including our recent Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics release. Additional information can be found on The Official Microsoft Blog.

New Azure SQL Database Premium performance levels generally available

As more customers build more powerful applications in Azure using Azure SQL Database, we've seen strong demand for additional options to scale both performance and database size. To help meet this demand, we’ve announced two new performance levels within our Premium service tier: P4 and P11. P4 makes it easier for customers to scale performance with more granularity, while P11 offers greater performance and larger database size. The P6 offering is now available to replace P3, with no impact to database cost or service. Customers who create or assign performance levels in code or scripts can visit the Create Database documentation webpage for more information.

Azure SQL Database Elastic Database Basic and Premium tiers in public preview

Elastic databases support SaaS applications that have many databases and unpredictable database resource demands. Now you can use the flexibility of elastic databases to support both explosive growth and competitive SaaS business models. Instead of overprovisioning databases to meet peak demand, you can combine elastic databases in a pool where a large number of them leverage the same resources, all within a budget that you control. This can be much more efficient than individually dedicating resources to each database—and that can mean cost savings. Now in public preview, the Basic tier enables small, less demanding databases to be combined in a pool, while the Premium tier allows larger, more demanding databases to be pooled. In addition to the public preview of Basic and Premium tiers, we've increased the Standard tier's maximum databases per pool from 100 to 200 databases.

Azure Backup can help protect your Windows and Linux IaaS VMs

Azure Backup performs online backups of Azure IaaS virtual machines (VMs) using Windows and Linux, and then restores them as needed. You can use Windows PowerShell to do backups and restores, to monitor jobs, to get job-failure alerts, and to generate reports. You can also retain copies of your applications and data for years to help meet regulatory requirements. In addition to helping protect IaaS VMs, Backup can help secure corporate laptops and datacenters, as well as help protect your Windows client data, shared files, and shared folders. Through first-class integration with Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM), Backup can also help protect Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SQL Server, Hyper-V VMs, and other application data. Backup is now available through Microsoft Operations Management Suite, the all-in-one IT management solution for Windows or Linux, across on-premises, or any cloud environments.

Geospatial support available in Azure DocumentDB

Building your location-aware applications and Internet of Things (IoT) systems is now much easier with geospatial support in Azure DocumentDB. DocumentDB now natively understands spatial data, including points and polygons represented in the GeoJSON standard. The latest DocumentDB service update includes support for automatic indexing of geospatial data, as well as SQL support for performing proximity queries on data stored in DocumentDB. If you download version 1.4.0 or later of the .NET SDK, you'll find new data types for representing points and polygons, support for creating and enabling spatial indexing on DocumentDB collections, and new LINQ (Language-Integrated Query) operators for performing spatial queries. Geospatial is also fully supported through the REST API and other SDKs.

Azure DocumentDB generally available in Australia

Azure DocumentDB, now generally available in the Australia East and Australia Southeast regions, is a fully managed NoSQL JSON database that supports queries and transactions across your data by indexing everything automatically. Customers use DocumentDB to support a wide range of application scenarios, including device registry, configuration stores in IoT solutions, and catalog- and user-generated data for web apps. As part of our commitment to listen to customers and improve our services, apps running in Australia can now offer experiences with lower latency.

Consumer identity and access management with Azure Active Directory B2C

Azure Active Directory, the cloud service with the proven ability of handling billions of authentications per day, extends its capabilities to manage consumer identities with a new service: Azure Active Directory B2C, now in public preview. Azure Active Directory B2C is a comprehensive, identity management solution for your consumer-facing applications that can be easily integrated to nearly any platform, and accessible from virtually any device. The service will be free during public preview.

Share resources with your partners with Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration

Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration, now in public preview, simplifies management and helps improve security of partner access to resources including SaaS apps such as Office 365, Salesforce, and many more, as well as Azure Services and other mobile, cloud, and on-premises claims-aware applications. An email-verified process will allow to partners of all sizes, with or without an existing Azure Active Dirctory, to manage their own accounts and access the resources you want to share. Azure Active Directory B2B collaboration will be provided at no additional cost with all Azure Active Directory editions.

Azure Service Bus Premium messaging in public preview

Publish-subscribe messaging is the cornerstone of reliable distributed applications. To better support a broader array of mission-critical cloud apps, we’ve introduced Azure Service Bus Premium messaging. This new tier provides all the messaging features of Service Bus queues and topics, with more predictable, repeatable performance and improved availability. Unlike the multitenant model used by Basic and Standard Service Bus tiers, the Premium tier uses a microservices model to provide resource isolation and more consistent performance.

Azure Automation DSC in public preview

Azure Automation Desired State Configuration (DSC) builds on PowerShell DSC to provide an even easier configuration management experience. Automation DSC brings the same management layer to PowerShell DSC as Azure Automation offers for PowerShell scripting today. Automation DSC allows you to author and manage PowerShell DSCs, import DSC resources, and generate DSC node configurations, all in the cloud. These DSC items are placed on the Automation DSC pull server so that target nodes (such as physical and virtual machines) in the cloud or on-premises can pick them up, automatically conform to the desired state, and report back on compliance with the desired state to Automation. Now in public preview, Automation DSC is available in Free and Basic tiers. Automation DSC will be included in the Microsoft Operations Management Suite add-on when the service becomes generally available.

Ability to transfer Azure subscriptions now available

You can now easily transfer a subscription you own to another user via the Azure Account Center. This means you can update billing ownership, change the account admin to a different user, move your Azure subscription from one directory to another, or consolidate Azure and Office 365 subscriptions from multiple tenants. For more information, please visit the Transferring an Azure subscription documentation webpage. Note that so far this has been rolled out to accounts in the United States for Pay-As-You-Go subscriptions, but we’re actively working on expanding to other countries and offers as well.

New 12-month Azure prepayment offer

Beginning September 10, 2015, when you prepay for your planned Azure consumption, you can choose a new offer featuring discounts across Azure services. You can still opt for Pay-As-You-Go monthly billing, but now prepaying for your planned Azure spend means you can save even more. For more information, please visit the 12-month prepayment offer webpage.

Be Empowered

How the viral website was created and scaled

Azure Friday’s Scott Hanselman finds out how was made, how it works, and more importantly, how it scaled when the Internet showed up at its door. Watch now.

Microsoft acquires Adallom to advance identity and security in the cloud

Please join us for this free, hands-on event led by experienced IT pros to learn how you can use Microsoft datacenters as an integral part of your disaster-recovery plan. Over the next few months, we’ll visit cities across the United States to provide education and insight into disaster recovery, along with demonstrations of the ways our technologies can help support your existing strategies. Register for the training.

Special Cloud Cover episode: Azure Data Factory and Big Legacy Data

In this special episode, Microsoft Technical Evangelist Shweta Gupta talks about her experience helping a healthcare customer solve a big legacy data problem with Azure Data Factory. In this scenario, they wanted to use streaming analytics, but needed to figure out how to get legacy data into the system. Watch now.

You may also be interested in this episode on the new Usage and RateCard APIs released by the Azure Commerce team.

Free e-book - Microsoft Azure Essentials: Azure Machine Learning

Get a free introduction to Azure Machine Learning, a service developers can use to build predictive analytics models (using training datasets from a variety of sources) to easily deploy for consumption as cloud web services. From Microsoft Press, this e-book presents an overview of modern data-science theory and principles, associated workflows, and some of the more common machine learning algorithms currently in use. Download the e-book today.

Why Enterprise Mobility with Microsoft

Enterprise mobility management is a hot topic these days—and it’s all about providing an end-to-end solution that helps simplify identity, device, application, and data management. Learn why Microsoft Enterprise Mobility makes the most sense for your business. Our webinar on September 29, 2015, will demonstrate how to keep your employees more productive on their favorite apps and devices, all while helping you ensure your company data is protected. Each of our 30-minute webinars includes a high-level overview, demo (if applicable), and live question-and-answer session. Register for this webinar now.

Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions

Watch this free on-demand course to get ready for Exam 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions and for help with setting up enterprise-grade projects. Our expert instructors provide conceptual overviews and useful tips—along with demos to showcase the skills and technical tasks verified by the exam—so you’ll be prepared for Microsoft Azure Developer Specialist certification. Get practical information to take your web development skills to the next level.

Let's dev this. | Cloud Tour

Learn how to use the new features of Visual Studio 2015 and Azure to build a more powerful, enterprise-grade cloud platform you can trust. Please join us in cities across the United States for full-day training sessions led by Microsoft experts, created specifically for developers. At these events, you'll learn to build and move a variety of apps to the cloud. Register for a training event.   

Be Entertained

*Comic source: Reprinted with permission.

Be Inspired

E-commerce challenger eyes the top spot, runs on the Microsoft cloud

To get up and running quickly, Jet built its entire e-commerce platform on Azure, including development and delivery infrastructure, using both .NET and open-source technologies.

Learn more

Healthcare technology firm launches new perioperative solution on Azure

Talis Clinical wanted to make an innovative anesthesia-information management system more widely available, so they redesigned their application to run in the cloud on Azure. Their patient-centric solution, ACG-Anesthesia, provides centralized, automated visibility into patient-risk factors and changing physiologic conditions, from the decision to perform surgery through the recovery.

Learn more

Be Enhanced

Visit Marketplace


Azure API Management and SmartBear Ready! API

Before you bring customers to your API, make sure you’ve done everything you can to help ensure it’s of high quality and production-ready. With the Azure API Management plug-in for SmartBear Ready! API, you can import your API from your API Management portal and more quickly generate a complete suite of tests and virtual APIs based on your API definition. Learn more about this suite of tools for managing, testing, and monitoring your APIs.

Azure Marketplace

Featured: Consume Azure services with confidence—no subscription overruns and optimized VM performance with Hanu Managed Services for Azure

Enjoy increased control with self-service simplicity and nearly seamless integration into your existing Azure environment. Hanu Managed Services for Azure delivers more visibility, governance, and financial management tools that you may need. Help manage your Azure-based workloads better than you manage them in your own data center. Help eliminate underutilized Azure VMs that may be costing you needlessly. Help maximize return on Azure investments and help prevent overruns with end-to-end visibility of your Azure spend. Clearly see who is consuming Azure services, from which department, for which project.

Visit Marketplace page

New: Signiant Flight accelerates the delivery of large files and big data sets into Azure Blob storage

Signiant Flight for Azure is a unique SaaS solution that provides a faster, secured way to upload large files and big data sets into Azure Blob storage. Flight's acceleration technology helps enable organizations to upload files into Azure storage up to 200 times faster than standard internet transfers. And with multiple layers of security built in, including end-to-end encryption, Flight helps keep files more secure while at rest, during transfer, and when held in Azure storage. Flight is a scalable, economic solution that's ideal for transferring data from a single location or multiple locations around the world into Azure blob storage. You can get started today with a few clicks and only pay for what you transfer with no minimum commitment. 

Visit Marketplace page

New: Help protect your apps and data from threats, malware, and vulnerabilities with Trend Micro Deep Security

Built to work nearly seamlessly with Azure, Deep Security provides a suite of security capabilities for your VMs in a single platform for cloud and hybrid deployments. Take advantage of the free 30-day trial and see how easy it is to get the security you need while preserving the agility of Azure.
Visit Marketplace page

New: Help accelerate software development and reduce costs with Chef

Chef, the leader in automation for DevOps, is now available in the Azure Marketplace. Azure users can directly access Chef for consumption at an hourly rate, providing maximum flexibility in automation and cloud technologies that help accelerate software development and reduce costs. Chef's availability in Azure makes it even easier and faster for enterprises to migrate workloads to Azure, create hybrid clouds, and manage heterogeneous Windows and Linux workloads at any scale. Chef also offers automation for Windows PowerShell DSC, while Microsoft Open Technologies has its own Chef Cookbook.

Visit Marketplace page

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