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Connect(“2017”).GetTopAnnouncementsList (“Cloud”,”Data”,”AI”);

Introducing Azure Databricks, Azure Cosmos DB with Apache Cassandra API, and Azure Database for MariaDB, to name a few…

Introducing Azure Databricks, Azure Cosmos DB with Cassandra API, and Azure Database for MariaDB, to name a few…

Today at the annual Microsoft Connect(); event in New York City, we made exciting announcements that will empower every developer, data scientist, and data professional to do more with data—specifically at the core of our news, we’re delivering more open source data technologies, making AI easier to consume, and helping organizations streamline their journey to the cloud.

The confluence of cloud, data and AI is driving unprecedented change. The ability to manage and manipulate data and to turn it into breakthrough actions and experiences, is foundational to innovation today. We view data as the catalyst to augment the human ingenuity, removing friction and driving innovation. Our goal is to build technology that empower today’s innovators, from data scientists to developers to data professionals, to unleash the power of data and reimagine possibilities that will improve our world.

To enable this journey, today we announced the preview for Azure Databricks, a fast, easy, and collaborative Apache® Spark™-based analytics platform optimized for Azure and enhancements to Azure Machine Learning. We introduced Apache® Cassandra-as-a-Service, powered by Azure Cosmos DB, our globally distributed, multi-model NoSQL database service. Cosmos DB is the first and only database service to offer comprehensive 99.99% SLAs for throughput, latency, availability and latency at the 99th percentile. Today, we are excited to further strengthen its SLA with 99.999% availability for reads. We also announced that Microsoft is joining the MariaDB Foundation as a platinum sponsor, upcoming previews for Azure Database for MariaDB and Azure Database Migration Service, and enhancements to Azure SQL Database.

Delivering more open source data technologies

Starting with data scientists and data engineers, we’re excited to announce the preview of Azure Databricks, a fast, easy and collaborative Apache® Spark™-based analytics platform optimized for Azure. Designed in collaboration with the founders of Apache Spark, Azure Databricks combines the best of Databricks and Azure to help customers accelerate innovation with one-click set up, streamlined workflows, and an interactive workspace that enables collaboration between developers, data scientists, data engineers, and business analysts. Native integration with Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, and Power BI simplifies the creation of modern data warehouses that enable organizations to provide self-service analytics and machine learning over both relational and non-relational data with enterprise-grade performance and governance. Customers inherently benefit from enterprise-grade Azure security, compliance, and SLAs and simplified security and identity control with Azure Active Directory integration. With these innovations, Azure is the one stop destination to unlock powerful scenarios that make AI easy.

Azure Cosmos DB delivers a globally distributed, multi-model service with native NoSQL support, backed by 99.99% comprehensive SLAs encompassing throughput, availability, consistency and latency at the 99th percentile. To meet developers wherever they are, we are thrilled to announce a preview of Azure Cosmos DB with Apache® Cassandra API which delivers Cassandra as-a-service with the familiarity of the Cassandra SDKs and tools combined with the leading benefits of Azure Cosmos DB and no code changes to the application. Additionally, starting today, you will be able to configure your database accounts spanning multiple regions with strong consistency, which allows many applications dependent on strong consistency to easily go planet-scale. We also announced the general availability of the Tables Storage API and Spark APIs and upcoming general availability of the Gremlin Graph API, which join the MongoDB API which is already in GA. We are expanding on this industry-leading platform with 99.999% read availability guarantees, which means even stronger SLAs for your mission-critical applications.

Continuing this journey to bring more open source choice to developers, we are proud to be joining the MariaDB Foundation as a platinum sponsor to further the open collaboration of the MariaDB ecosystem.

Monty Widenius, Founder and CTO of MariaDB Foundation, stated, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, the MariaDB Foundation welcomes Microsoft as a Platinum member. I founded MariaDB to give back to the open source community and ensure a strong and open future for MySQL. I’ve seen firsthand how Microsoft has been changing its business in an open way, and how Microsoft Azure is open and flexible.  Microsoft is a leading contributor on GitHub and we look forward to engineers from Microsoft and its developer ecosystem supporting MariaDB.”

We are also excited to announce an upcoming preview for Azure Database for MariaDB to join both the Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL services, which are already in preview. Azure database services for MySQL and PostgreSQL have enjoyed tremendous growth since launching at Microsoft Build, proving that developers want database choices delivered on a simple, fully managed service platform that removes the complexities around data availability, protection, and scale. Over the course of preview, we have introduced new regions including India, Brazil, and Canada, and we have delivered a Standard tier with additional performance choices.

Additionally, we’re excited to introduce a preview of SQL Operations Studio, a new tool for developers and DBAs that is lightweight and works cross-platform, including MacOS, Linux, and Windows. With this new tool, we are making it easier for developers and DBAs to easily perform schema changes, rollbacks, restores, monitoring, and source control to name a few on a platform of their choice for SQL Server on Linux, Docker, and Windows, Azure SQL Database, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse.

Making AI easier to consume

At Microsoft Ignite earlier this year, we introduced the next generation of Azure Machine Learning with new capabilities for developers to leverage big data, GPUs, data wrangling, and a container-based deployment model. Today, we introduced enhancements to Azure Machine Learning that make it easier to seamlessly run models in Azure IoT Edge and to deploy and run models on Core ML. This allows developers to train models with Azure Machine Learning Workbench and Experimentation Services, and then deploy to where the model can be used right on edge devices. Additionally, we released new functionality to the core service, including support for publishing models from Notebooks, MMLSpark updates, improved MacOS install vis .NET Core 2.0 support, syntax highlighting, and broader geographical availability in West Europe and SE Asia.

Helping organizations streamline their journey to the cloud

At Microsoft Build, we announced the upcoming Azure Database Migration Service, and today we are excited to announce the preview. The Azure Database Migration Service is designed as a seamless, end-to-end solution for moving on-premises SQL Server to Azure SQL Database as the first click-stop on a full roadmap of database support. The complete service roadmap will support database migrations across a variety of database sources and destinations with a streamlined migration process that is easy to understand and implement.

While getting there is part of the journey, the destination is what really matters. As mentioned above, we are making it possible to move any application to Azure without application changes by supporting fully managed database services across MongoDB, Cassandra, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server. For SQL Server, we are making it even easier with an upcoming new deployment option in Azure SQL Database, Managed Instance that will go into preview in the coming weeks. Managed Instance offers full engine compatibility with existing SQL Server deployments including capabilities like SQLAgent, DBMail, and Change Data Capture, to name a few, and built-on the highly productive SQL Database service.

Only Azure SQL Database delivers intelligence built-in to create ‘self-driving’ capabilities across high availability, performance tuning, and threat alerts. In an Azure SQL Database business value study, IDC illustrates the value of migrating an on-premises/hosted database to Azure SQL Database at a stunning 406% ROI—and notes the service is 53.2% less expensive than on-premises/hosted with a 46.7% increase in staff efficiencies and 98% less database-related downtime. In five years each database can deliver upwards of $18,784 in savings. It’s easy to see why we have high demand from across our customer base to move the long tail of their SQL Server estate to Azure SQL Database—even just a thousand databases migrated can yield upwards of $18.7M in savings per the calculations in the IDC study.

At Ignite, we also announced support for SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) in Azure Data Factory, making it seamless for customers to also migrate their SSIS workloads into Azure. Across Azure Database Migration Service, SQL Database with new Managed Instance, Azure Analysis Service, and SSIS support in Azure Data Factory, customers have an end-to-end solution for modernizing their on-premises assets.

We are very excited and proud to introduce this ever-expanding portfolio of innovation and capability to our growing community of developers, data scientists, and data professionals. Please explore all the new previews and generally available services and send us your feedback—we look forward to seeing how these expanded offerings and capabilities will help today’s innovators, from data scientists to developers to data professionals, unleash the power of data and reimagine possibilities that will improve our world.