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Azure Newsletter: September 2018

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Welcome to the website version of the Azure Newsletter! We created this to help make it easier for you to view the articles you’re interested in reading. If you select a category below, it will display articles only for that topic. Want to see everything again? Click All.


Microsoft Ignite is home to developers

Check out all the new dev- and Azure-focused content in the Microsoft Ignite session catalog. If you’re not attending in person, be sure to watch the live stream starting September 24, 2018.


Save up to 64 percent with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server software plans

SUSE customers on Azure can now purchase SUSE software plans and save up to 64 percent over pay-as-you-go prices on their on-demand costs. Prepurchase Standard (12 hours a day, 5 days a week) and Priority (24 hours a day, seven days a week) support for multiple SUSE products. Buy software for a period of one or three years, and the cost will be deducted from your Enterprise Agreement Azure monetary commitment, if available. Learn more and get started.

Upcoming Events

Microsoft Ignite
September 24, 2018
Orlando, Florida
Microsoft Envision
September 24, 2018
Orlando, Florida
IoT in Action: Barcelona
October 15, 2018
Barcelona, Spain

Be Informed

Plan better, code with other devs, and ship faster with Azure DevOps

Azure DevOps is a set of services that includes Azure Pipelines, Azure Repos, Azure Boards, Azure Artifacts, and Azure Test Plans. Use these cloud-hosted services together or independently to continuously deliver applications. Take advantage of Azure DevOps to plan and track backlogs, store code in Git repositories, build code with cloud-hosted build agents for Mac, Linux, or Windows, and create continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines. Azure DevOps is the evolution of Visual Studio Team Services and offers free CI to open source projects. Learn more.

Azure Cosmos DB emulator build task for Azure DevOps is now in preview

The Azure Cosmos DB emulator build task extension for Azure DevOps (formerly Visual Studio Team Services) is now available in preview in the Visual Studio Marketplace. With the new build task, run tests directly against an instance of the Azure Cosmos DB emulator as part of your CI/CD pipeline—without the need to write custom code to download, install, and start the emulator. Learn more via the tutorial and the Visual Studio Marketplace.

BulkExecutor for the Azure Cosmos DB Gremlin API is now available

The BulkExecutor library for the Azure Cosmos DB Gremlin API is now generally available. Perform fast data migration operations with configurable parameters to adapt to the specific needs for every database. Learn more and check out the sample.

Managed instance general purpose tier in Azure SQL Database will be generally available

Effective October 1, 2018, the managed instance general purpose tier in Azure SQL Database will be generally available. With it, get balanced and scalable compute and storage options that fit most business workloads. Create a managed instance today, and use your Microsoft SQL Server licenses and active Software Assurance to save up to 55 percent with Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

SKU recommendation utility in Azure SQL Database is in preview

Expand the scope of environment assessments to migrate legacy Microsoft SQL Server instances to Azure SQL Database with the free SKU recommendation utility. Use it in conjunction with the Data Migration Assistant to get a recommendation on the proper cloud database service tier and sizing configuration based on an existing on-premises workload. Learn more.

Database Experimentation Assistant now supports A/B testing against Azure SQL Database

A/B test against Azure SQL Database and SQL Database managed instance with the version 2.6 release of the Database Experimentation Assistant, a free solution for identifying changes between Microsoft SQL Server environments. Use the assistant to capture and replay XEvent-based traces, get enhanced reports and SQL Server authentication, access additional reports to identify deprecated features of SQL Server, and take advantage of built-in replay functionality.

Virtual network service endpoints are generally available for Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL

Now generally available, virtual network service endpoints for Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL are accessible in all available regions. With virtual network service endpoints, isolate connectivity to your logical server from only a given subnet or set of subnets within your virtual network. Traffic to Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL from the virtual network service endpoints stays within Azure. This direct route is preferred over any specific routes that take internet traffic through virtual appliances or on-premises.

Support for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server online migrations is in preview

Get the help you need when you migrate your databases to Azure. Use Azure Database Migration Service support for minimal downtime with these migration scenarios:

Plus, learn how to use existing backup files for SQL Server database migrations.

Create a project and run an activity with Azure Database Migration Service

Now, create a migration project and perform a specific migration activity—like an offline migration—in a single workflow with Azure Database Migration Service. This new capability reduces the number of steps required to perform migrations when you’re using Azure Database Migration Service. Learn more.

Tier changes and additions for Azure Database Migration Service

We renamed the basic 1 and 2 vCore tiers for Azure Database Migration Service to general purpose 1 vCore and 2 vCore, and we added a general purpose 4 vCore tier. In addition, a new business-critical 4 vCore tier is available for higher-end workloads. Learn more.

Azure HDInsight is in preview with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2

Store and analyze petabyte-size files and trillions of objects with Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, a globally available Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). Use the service as a foundation for building scalable, highly performant big data analytics solutions with HDInsight. Try it today.

Azure HDInsight updates to Apache Hadoop ecosystem

Take advantage of the latest Azure HDInsight updates to Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark 2.3, and Apache Kafka 1.0, and more than 2,000 bug fixes across 20 open source frameworks that are part of HDInsight. Try HDInsight today.

Azure HDInsight Machine Learning Services cluster is generally available

Your open source analytics get greater scale and performance with the Azure HDInsight Machine Learning Services cluster, which combines enterprise-grade R and Python analytics with the power of Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark. Train your models on terabytes of data for better predictions with multithreaded math libraries and transparent parallelization. Get started.

Compute Optimized Gen2 tier in Azure SQL Data Warehouse is available in Australia, France, and Azure Government

Get the Compute Optimized Gen2 tier in Azure SQL Data Warehouse, which uses adaptive caching and instant data movement and brings at least five times’ better performance than previously available. The tier is now available in 23 regions, including Australia Central, Australia Central 2, France Central, US Gov Virginia, and US Gov Arizona. Learn more.

SAP connector in Azure Logic Apps is in preview

Azure Logic Apps SAP connector (preview) enables SAP ERP Central Component and SAP S/4HANA bi-directional integration. Use Logic Apps to enhance productivity for application to application, business to business, cloud, mobile, and software as a service (SaaS). Do this with the most common out-of-the-box connectors for Azure services, Office 365, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP, and others. Try Logic Apps.

Be empowered

Get the Visual Studio and Unity bundle for better game development

With Visual Studio—the IDE of choice for Unity—get seamless integration and a powerful set of tools. Create compelling games and immersive and interactive 3D experiences across a variety of use cases and industries. If you’re thinking of getting Visual Studio Professional with Unity Pro, there’s an opportunity to save big—and unlock USD50 in monthly Azure credits—with the Unity Pro & Visual Studio Professional Bundle.

Learn how top Microsoft customers are using Azure

Quickly access technical case studies that explore how some successful companies are architecting their apps on Azure services. Get a deep dive into how Alaska Airlines, Citrix, Honeywell,, SiriusIQ, Societe Generale and Qarnot Computing, and Solidsoft Reply are making Azure work for them.

Be inspired

Human capital management company achieves on-demand scalability in the cloud

More than 30,000 small and medium-sized businesses trust Paycor to help them manage their most valuable asset—their people. To remove barriers to business growth, Paycor is migrating its software as a service (SaaS) apps to Azure, where it has the scalability needed to meet both seasonal usage surges and organic growth.

Learn more

Siemens Healthineers moves more computing to the cloud

Helping millions of patients benefit from better care is all in a day’s work for worldwide healthcare technology company Siemens Healthineers. Siemens Healthineers is leading the digitalization of healthcare with its Digital Ecosystem, which helps health providers and solution developers bring more value to the delivery of care, ultimately improving the quality of insights derived from healthcare data.

Learn more

Be Enhanced: Partners

Lixar is now available for Canadian customers

Discover a cloud solution that’s right for your business environment with one of the consulting service offerings from Lixar. Benefits include best practices of a distributed cloud environment and fully automated single-click backups with one of the advanced cloud architecture and real-time auditing and event logging solutions.

Azure Marketplace

SAML-based single sign-on with Elasticsearch and Azure Active Directory

Use new features in Elastic’s Azure Resource Manager template that provide easy integration of Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-based single sign-on with Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and Elasticsearch deployed on Azure. Take advantage of user, group, and role information within Azure AD for seamless authentication and access control to Elasticsearch—without the need to provision or map user accounts.

Learn more

Test drive: Free Barracuda CloudGen WAF trial

Barracuda CloudGen WAF inspects inbound web traffic and outgoing server responses, protecting against cybersecurity threats and data loss. Bring your own license or pay for it by the hour.

Start your test drive today