• 6 min read

Azure.Source – Volume 85

HB-series Azure Virtual Machines achieve cloud supercomputing milestone; Azure NetApp Files is now generally available; Azure IoT Hub message enrichment simplifies downstream processing of your data; and much more.

News and updates

HB-series Azure Virtual Machines achieve cloud supercomputing milestone

Azure Virtual Machine HB-series are the first on the public cloud to scale an MPI-based high performance computing (HPC) job to 10,000 cores. This level of scaling has long been considered the realm of only the world’s most powerful and exclusive supercomputers, but is now available to anyone using Azure. HB-series virtual machines (VMs) are optimized for HPC applications requiring high memory bandwidth. For this class of workload, HB-series VMs are the most performant, scalable, and price-performant ever launched on Azure or elsewhere on the public cloud.

Simplifying event-driven architectures with the latest updates to Event Grid

Event-driven architectures are increasingly replacing and outpacing less dynamic polling-based systems, bringing the benefits of serverless computing to IoT scenarios, data processing tasks, or infrastructure automation jobs. As the natural evolution of microservices, companies all over the world are taking an event-driven approach to create new experiences in existing applications or bring those applications to the cloud, building more powerful and complex scenarios every day. Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce a series of updates to Event Grid that will power higher performance and more advanced event-driven applications in the cloud.

Generally available

Azure NetApp Files is now generally available

We're excited to announce the general availability (GA) of Azure NetApp Files, the industry’s first bare-metal cloud file storage and data management service. Azure NetApp Files is an Azure first-party service for migrating and running the most demanding enterprise file-workloads in the cloud including databases, SAP, and high-performance computing applications with no code changes. This milestone is the result of deep investment by both companies to provide a great experience for our customers through a service that’s unique in the industry.

Azure IoT Hub message enrichment simplifies downstream processing of your data

We just released a new capability that enables enriching messages that are egressed from Azure IoT Hub to other services. Azure IoT Hub provides an out-of-the-box capability to automatically deliver messages to different services and is built to handle billions of messages from your IoT devices. Messages carry important information that enable various workflows throughout the IoT solution. Message enrichment simplifies the post-processing of your data and can reduce the costs of calling device twin APIs for information. This capability allows you to stamp information on your messages, such as details from your device twin, your IoT Hub name, or any static property you want to add.

Now in preview

Simplify the management of application configurations with Azure App Configuration

We’re excited to announce the public preview of Azure App Configuration, a new service aimed at simplifying the management of application configuration and feature flighting for developers and IT. App Configuration provides a centralized place in Microsoft Azure for users to store all their application settings and feature flags (also known as, feature toggles), control their accesses, and deliver the configuration data where it's needed.

Manage your cross cloud spend using Azure Cost Management

It’s common for enterprises to run workloads on more than one cloud provider. However, adopting a multi-cloud strategy comes with complexities like handling different cost models, varying billing cycles, and different cloud designs that can be difficult to navigate across multiple dashboards and views. We’ve heard from many of you that you need a central cost management solution built to help you manage your spend across multiple cloud providers, prevent budget overruns, maintain control, and create accountability with your consumers. Azure Cost Management now offers cross-cloud support. This is available in preview and can play a critical role in helping you efficiently and effectively managing your organization’s multi-cloud needs.

Technical content

Isolate app integrations for stability, scalability, and speed with an integration service environment

Innovation at scale is a common challenge facing large organizations. A key contributor to the challenge is the complexity in coordinating the sheer number of apps and environments. Integration tools, such as Azure Logic Apps, give you the flexibility to scale and innovate as fast as you want, on-premises or in the cloud. This is a key capability you need to have in place when migrating to the cloud, or even if you're cloud native. Oftentimes integration has been relegated as something to do after the fact. In the modern enterprise, however, application integration is something that has to be done in conjunction with application development and innovation.

Key causes of performance differences between SQL managed instance and SQL Server

Migrating to a Microsoft Azure SQL Database managed instance provides a host of operational and financial benefits you can only get from a fully managed and intelligent cloud database service. Some of these benefits come from features that optimize or improve overall database performance. After migration, many of our customers are eager to compare workload performance with what they experienced with on-premises SQL Server, and sometimes they're surprised by the results. This article will help you understand the underlying factors that can cause performance differences and the steps you can take to make fair comparisons between SQL Server and SQL Database.

Deploying Azure with Azure Resources Templates and Chef Automate

This video shows how to use a combination of Azure and Chef to build a website.

Serverless Video: Less Servers, More Code

Serverless is a word that marketing teams around the world love to associate with cloud-based offerings, but what does it really mean? What’s the difference between fully managed offerings and true “serverless?” Are there really no servers involved? Should you migrate existing application services to serverless? How do you decide what new projects should incorporate serverless? This video explains.

Azure shows

Servereless geo-distributed applications with Azure Cosmos DB | Azure Friday

Matias Quaranta joins Scott Hanselman to share some best practices for creating serverless geo-distributed applications with Azure Cosmos DB. With the native integration between Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Functions, you can create database triggers, input bindings, and output bindings directly from your Azure Cosmos DB account. Using Azure Functions and Azure Cosmos DB, you can create and deploy event-driven serverless apps with low-latency access to rich data for a global user base.

Updating the WinForms Designer for .NET Core 3.0 | On .NET

There are many benefits that .NET Core can bring to desktop applications. With .NET Core 3.0, support is being adding for building desktop application with WinForms and Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). In this episode, Jeremy is joined by Merrie McGaw and Dustin Campbell who share some interesting insights on the work that's going into getting the WinForms designer ready for .NET Core 3.

Parkinson’s patient: Before and after Sensoria Smart Sock | Internet of Things Show

Sensoria is an Azure IoT partner whose vision is The Garment is The Computer®. Sensoria's proprietary sensor-infused smart garments, Sensoria® Core microelectronics and cloud system enable smart garments to convert data into actionable information for users in real-time. Davide Vigano shares the vision and the product on the IoT Show and how they partner with Azure IoT.

Version tracking (Xamarin.essentials API of the week) | The Xamarin Show

Xamarin.Essentials provides developers with cross-platform APIs for their mobile applications. On this week's Xamarin.Essential API of the week we take a look at the Version Tracking API.

Visual Studio Productivity Tips | Visual Studio Toolbox

In this episode, Robert is joined by Kendra Havens. Every version of Visual Studio introduces new productivity features. If you want to see some of the ones introduced in Visual Studio 2019, check out Kendra's video “Write beautiful code, faster.” But what about the ones that have been in Visual Studio for a while that you may have missed? To see some of those, watch this video.


A Cloud Guru: Explaining Azure’s new certifications | A Cloud Guru

Lars sits down with Tiago Costa, Cloud Architect and Advisor, as he breaks down Microsoft’s newly launched role-based certifications, from the MVP Global Summit. We get some insight into the “why” behind the certification change, and some bonus exam tips from this Azure MVP and Microsoft Certified Trainer.

The Azure Podcast

Episode 281 – Disaster Recovery | The Azure Podcast

Kendall and Cynthia talk with Sujay Talasila and Won Huh on how to think about disaster recovery, differences that need to be considered between disaster recovery and backups, and recommended practices that users should consider.

Partners and industries

Visual data ops for Apache Kafka on Azure HDInsight, powered by Lenses

Apache Kafka is one of the most popular open source streaming platforms today. However, deploying and running Kafka remains a challenge for most. Azure HDInsight addresses this challenge by providing a range of improvements. This blog describes them, and also shows how you can now successfully manage your streaming data operations, from visibility to monitoring, with Lenses, an overlay platform now generally available as part of the Azure HDInsight application ecosystem, right from within the Azure portal.