• 5 min read

Last week in Azure: Azure France regions, cost savings, and more

Highlights from last week in Azure for the week of December 11, 2017: Azure France regions available in preview with availability zones, new management & cost savings, and more

Two new Azure regions are now in preview in France: France Central in Paris, and France South in Marseille. These regions are part of Azure’s global portfolio of announced regions in 42 locations around the world. Availability Zones in France Central can be paired with the geographically separated France South region for regional disaster recovery while maintaining data residency requirements. This past week also saw new capabilities added to help manage cost on Azure. With Azure Cost Management, Azure is the only platform that offers an end-to-end cloud cost management and optimization solution to help customers make the most of cloud investment across multiple clouds. Cost Management is free to all customers to manage their Azure spend.


Microsoft Azure preview with Azure Availability Zones now open in France – The preview of Microsoft Azure in France is open today to all customers, partners and ISVs worldwide giving them the opportunity to deploy services and test workloads in these latest Azure regions. This is an important step towards offering the Azure cloud platform from our datacenters in France.

Cloud storage now more affordable: Announcing general availability of Azure Archive Storage – Learn how to reduce your storage costs by storing your rarely accessed data in Archive Blob Storage, the new, third tier of Blob-Level Tiering. Blob-Level Tiering is now generally available and includes hot, cool, and archive tiers.

New Azure management and cost savings capabilities – Learn about four new management and cost savings capabilities: Azure Policy provides control and governance at scale for your Azure resources; Azure Cost Management is rolling out the support for Azure Virtual Machine Reserved Instances management later this week to help you maximize savings over time; reduced pricing on our Dv3 Series virtual machines in several regions; as mentioned above, our lowest priced Storage tier Azure Archive Storage is generally available.

Azure Marketplace – New offers in November 2017 – The Azure Marketplace is an online applications and services marketplace that enables start-ups and ISVs to offer their solutions to Azure customers around the world. The Azure Marketplace currently offers virtual machine images, virtual machine extensions, APIs, applications, and machine learning services. In the past month, 35 new offers went live, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, Docker EE for Azure (Basic), Cassandra Cluster from Bitnami, EDB Postgres Ark, and more.

Microsoft expands scope of Singapore MTCS certification – As part of its commitment to customer satisfaction, Azure has adopted the MTCS standard to meet different cloud user needs for data sensitivity and business criticality. Azure has maintained its MTCS certification for the fourth consecutive year. A Level 3 certification means that in-scope Microsoft cloud services can host high-impact data for regulated organizations with the strictest security requirements.

Azure Monitor: Send monitoring data to an event hub – Now you can set up your resource-level diagnostic logs and metrics to be streamed to any of three destinations including a storage account, an Event Hubs namespace, or Log Analytics. Sending to an Event Hubs namespace is a convenient way to stream Azure logs from any source into a custom logging solution, 3rd party SIEM product, or other logging tool.

How cloud speed helps SQL Server DBAs – Learn how Azure SQL Database significantly transformed the SQL Server engineering model and how the evolution continues. The build-and-ship process continues to be streamlined and improved to provide continuous value and innovation to our customers both in Azure SQL Database and SQL Server.

General availability of Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner for VMware and Hyper-V – Use this tool to understand your on-premises networking requirements, Microsoft Azure compute and storage requirements for successful Azure Site Recovery replication, and test failover or failover of your applications. In addition, the GA release of this tool includes detailed cost estimates of disaster recovery to Azure for your environment.

Azure ARM API for consumption usage details – An updated usage details API is now available, which is a first step in the consolidation of Azure cost and usage based APIs in the ARM (Azure Resource Manager) model. The Azure Consumption APIs give you programmatic access to cost and usage data for your Azure resources.

Announcing the General Availability of Azure Bot Service and Language Understanding, enabling developers to build better conversational bots – Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Cognitive Services Language Understanding (LUIS) are both generally available. Azure Bot Service enables developers to create conversational interfaces on multiple channels while LUIS helps developers create customized natural interactions on any platform for any type of application, including bots. Learn more in the Conversational Bots Deep Dive – What’s new with the General Availability of Azure Bot Service and Language Understanding.

Top themes from KubeCon 2017 (Microsoft + Open Source blog) – Read how the Kubernetes community came together in record numbers at KubeCon earlier this month, with the goal of making it easier than ever to use containers to modernize existing applications and manage new applications.

Service updates

Azure shows

AKS cluster upgrades and managed K8s – Corey Sanders, Director of Program Management on the Microsoft Azure Compute team sat down with Gabe Monroy a principal PM on the Azure Compute team. Gabe shows off new functionality to auto upgrade Kubernetes clusters as part of the relaunch of AKS.

Azure IoT Hub – Olivier Bloch joins Scott Hanselman to discuss Azure IoT and how it is more than just about connecting IoT devices and sending telemetry to the Cloud. They also talk about Azure IoT device topics such as twins, provisioning, and lifecycle management.

Windows 10 IoT and Azure IoT Device Management Enhancements – David Campbell joins Scott Hanselman to discuss Windows 10 IoT and how it enhances Azure IoT Device Management (DM) capabilities on Windows IoT, simplifying DM and aligning Azure DM with other Windows DM solutions.

Jenkins CI/CD with Service Fabric – In this episode, Mani Ramaswamy shows Scott Hanselman how to use Jenkins for your CI/CD pipeline with Service Fabric and run your Jenkins build server directly on the Service Fabric cluster. The Service Fabric team uses Jenkins internally for testing on Linux, and you can learn about how it is configured.

The Azure Podcast: Episode 208 – From College to Azure – We chat with Kendal Roden, an Azure Consultant at Microsoft, about the journey she went through, graduating from college to getting ramped up on Azure and working on real engagements with customers.

Cloud Tech 10 – 18th December 2017 – Bot Service, Language Understanding, Azure France and more – Each week, Mark Whitby, a Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft UK, covers what's happening with Microsoft Azure in just 10 minutes, or less. In this episode: