• 7 min read

Azure.Source – Volume 82

What a great week we had at Build 2019! We all had tremendous fun meeting developers, talking about new technologies, and sharing our vision for the future. Plus, the weather was nearly perfect, and attendees had time to see some sights and sample Seattle’s terrific restaurant scene.

An image of the Seattle skyline. 

Azure makes big news at Build 2019

What a great week we had at Build 2019! We all had tremendous fun meeting developers, talking about new technologies, and sharing our vision for the future. Plus, the weather was nearly perfect, and attendees had time to see some sights and sample Seattle’s terrific restaurant scene.

Azure was one of the stars of the show. And as you can imagine, we had a ton of announcements to make that we think are really going to benefit developers using Azure. Three of the top ones:

Partnering with the community to make Kubernetes easier

Offering serverless Kubernetes has been key part of our vision to make Kubernetes simpler for everyone. At Build we announced the general availability of AKS virtual nodes and Azure Dev Spaces, as well as Kubernetes-based Event-driven Autoscaling, and a preview of Azure Policy support for Azure Kubernetes Service.

Accelerating DevOps with GitHub and Azure

We continue to innovate to make our DevOps services even easier and more productive. We were excited to announce new innovations to help our customers build better apps. GitHub and Azure play big parts in this.

Get high-performance scaling for your Azure database workloads with Hyperscale

We announced a high-performance scaling capability for applications using the relational model, Hyperscale, which further removes limits for application developers.

And that was just a start. Keep reading, or visit our Microsoft Azure Blog to learn more. And be sure to watch the stream of Satya Nadella’s keynote, as well as on-demand video of many of the sessions. Well worth a watch!

And now, on to what else is happening in the world of Azure.

News and updates

News and updates header image.

Azure IoT at Build: making IoT solutions easier to develop, more powerful to use

IoT is transforming every business on the planet, and that transformation is accelerating. Companies are harnessing billions of IoT devices to help them find valuable insights into critical parts of their business that were previously not connected—how customers are using their products, when to service assets before they break down, how to reduce energy consumption, how to optimize operations, and thousands of other user cases limited only by companies’ imagination. At Build we shared share our latest innovations that further simplify IoT and dramatically accelerate time to value for customers and partners.

Analytics in Azure remains unmatched with new innovations

Digital disruption has created unlimited potential for companies to embrace data as a competitive advantage for their business. As a result, analytics continues to be a key priority for enterprises. When it comes to analytics, customers tell us that they need a solution that provides them with the best price, performance, security, and privacy, as well as a system that can easily deliver powerful insights across the organization. We’re excited to announce new capabilities in both Azure Data Factory and Azure SQL Data Warehouse that further strengthen analytics and time to insights.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse releases new capabilities for performance and security

As the amount of data stored and queried continues to rise, it becomes increasingly important to have the most price-performant data warehouse. While we’re excited about being the industry leader in both of Gigaom’s TPC-H and TPC-DS benchmark reports, we don’t plan to stop innovating on behalf of our customers. To enable customers to continue improving the performance of their applications without adding any additional cost, we’re announcing preview availability of result-set caching, materialized views, and ordered clustered columnstore indexes.

Improved cloud service performance through ASIC acceleration

Delivering new, transformational capabilities increasingly requires that we develop for ourselves competencies which we’d previously turned to our suppliers for. At the Open Compute Project 2019 conference, we unveiled Project Zipline. Project Zipline is comprised of a new, cutting-edge compression and encryption pipeline and the contribution to open source of the register transfer language (RTL), which is used to implement it in hardware. Now we’ve announced the companion technology to Project Zipline — Project Corsica. Over two years in the making, Corsica is our ASIC implementation of Zipline technology. It delivers Zipline’s first-rate performance in compression, encryption, and data authentication, all accelerated in a special ASIC developed by Microsoft in collaboration with Broadcom.

Connecting the colossal: How to scale innovation with serverless integration

Starting the process of migrating to the cloud can be daunting. Legacy systems that are colossal in scale often overwhelm the average team tasked with the mission of digital transformation. How can they possibly untangle years of legacy code to start this new digital transformation initiative? Not only are these systems colossal in scale, but also colossal in terms of business importance. Enterprise applications like SAP and IBM, are integral to the daily rhythm of business. A seemingly simple mistake can result in catastrophic consequence. Over the past year, Azure Integration Services has been reflecting on solutions to help with these challenges and we’re excited to announce new capabilities that are developer-focused, enterprise-ready, and serverless-first. Read more to learn about them.

SAP and Microsoft bring IoT data to the core of the business applications

As a leader in the IoT (Internet of Things) cloud ecosystem, Microsoft enables a full stack of business applications, within different industries, across the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud. The continued growth of the IoT industry is going to be a transformative force across all organizations. Microsoft and SAP have collaborated for over two decades to enable enterprise SAP solution deployments and the partnership has expanded across the Industrial Internet Consortium, the OPC Foundation, and the Platform Industrie 4.0. At Mobile World Congress in February, SAP and Microsoft announced our extended collaboration to physical assets in the IoT space. Now we are excited to announce the general availability of SAP Leonardo IoT integration with Azure IoT Hub.

Reshaping the business landscape with serverless APIs

Things are changing for the modern business. API-first development and microservices architecture is opening the door to new innovations. Many of these new approaches are possible in part due to the evolution of serverless technology, which eliminates the need for the management of infrastructure. Over the past year, API Management has collaborated with Azure Functions to build a stronger integration between the two services. Our goal is to increase developers’ productivity and provide better, more impactful experiences for creating serverless, API-first applications. To achieve that goal, we are announcing that two new capabilities are now generally available:

Generally available: Azure Red Hat OpenShift

At Red Hat Summit 2018, distinguished engineer Brendan Burns worked with Scott Guthrie to demonstrate the new managed OpenShift on Azure that we were building into the Azure platform in partnership with Red Hat. Now at Red Hat Summit 2019, Burns announced that the fruits of this collaboration have reached general availability. This means that enterprises can use OpenShift for their most critical production workloads and know that both Red Hat and Microsoft are standing behind the service to ensure your success.

Key improvements to the Azure portal user experience

We’re constantly working on user experience improvements in the Azure portal. Our goal is to offer you a productive and easy-to-use platform so you can build, manage, and monitor your service from a single pane of glass. We’d like to share a few of the exciting updates that improve the user experience.

Now in preview

Introducing health integrated rollouts to Azure Deployment Manager

At Ignite 2018, we unveiled Azure Deployment Manager (ADM), which allows you to perform staged rollouts of Azure Resource Manager resources, in preview for the first time. We’re happy to announce that health integration features are now available in the ADM preview. These health integrated rollouts mean that if unacceptable signals are detected, deployment will automatically stop, allowing you to troubleshoot and reduce the scale of the impact. This exact set of tools is already used internally by hundreds of Microsoft services to carry out safe and reliable deployments, ensuring high availability and preventing or dramatically reducing service downtime caused by regressions in updates.

This feature is for you if:

  • You’re deploying your service across multiple regions
  • You’re testing various configurations
  • You already use a health monitoring service of some kind

Technical content

Deploy WebAssembly from GitHub to Azure Storage Static Websites with Azure Pipelines

WebAssembly is a new technology (just released in 2017) that enables a stack-based virtual machine to run byte code (called Wasm) in your browser without plugins. The latest stable version works in all modern browsers, including mobile. The byte code format, standard instruction set, and simple memory model enables Wasm to run at near-native speeds. It also serves as a viable compilation target for multiple languages. The key benefits of Wasm include better performance compared to JavaScript, a smaller footprint for client-side code, and the ability to reuse existing software written in the language of your choice.

Building rootless applications and services

There are a lot of articles about how to write your first app, or how to get started with specific technology, and these are all fantastic resources. There is a hidden danger lurking that we don’t often talk about which is the glue of how things work or talk to each other. One of the often-quoted maxims is “Don’t log in as root,” and so we don’t, and yet we often do something that is close.

Preview web apps with Azure Cloud Shell Web Preview

If you have worked with the Azure Cloud Shell in the last couple of days, you might have seen a new button called Web Preview. The Azure Cloud Shell Web preview feature allows you to run web applications on the Cloud Shell container instance and preview them before you deploy them. You can run web applications that listen to HTTP requests on the Cloud Shell from port 1025-8079 and 8091-49151. If you are running for example a .NET Core application in Cloud Shell, you can preview this to the Cloud Shell gateway. A short video shows how.

Azure Podcasts

Jeffrey Palermo on .NET DevOps for Azure

This week is a special solo-edition episode with your host, Jeffrey Palermo! Recently, Jeffrey published his fourth book, .NET DevOps for Azure, on April 26th, 2019. This book has been a long-time coming for Jeffrey and his hopes for it are to address some big issues in the current industry.