• 16 min read

Azure.Source – Volume 51

Keep current on what's happening in Azure, including what's now in preview, generally available, news & updates, and more.

A Microsoft Ignite 2018 retrospective

As you probably know by now, many thousands of people descended on Orlando, Florida last week for Microsoft Ignite 2018. In this volume of Azure.Source, I've gathered in one place the links you need to dig through all of the announcements we made. As you will read and see below, a LOT happened last week.

Microsoft Ignite 2018 – Vision keynote – Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, kicks off Ignite and Envision 2018 with this keynote that lays out the Microsoft vision that will empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

IT and developer success with Microsoft Azure – Microsoft Azure gives you the freedom to build, manage, and deploy cloud native and hybrid applications on a massive, global cloud using your favorite tools and frameworks. Join Scott Guthrie, EVP Cloud + AI & Julia White, CVP Azure, as they demonstrate the latest advances.

Microsoft Ignite | The Tour – If you missed out on attending Ignite in Orlando, don't fret – Ignite may be coming to a city near you over the coming months. Join us at the place where developers and tech professionals continue learning alongside experts. Explore the latest developer tools and cloud technologies and learn how to put your skills to work in new areas. Connect with our community to gain practical insights and best practices on the future of cloud development, data, IT, and business intelligence.

Microsoft Ignite 2018 news and highlights – In September, we did some work on the Updates area of the Azure website to make it easier to track changes to Azure services and the roadmap showing what's in development. This section of Updates provides a concise directory of what we announced at Ignite.

Microsoft Learn – A new way to learn Azure by following guided learning paths to build practical job skills you can start using right away: Azure Fundamentals, Administer infrastructure resources in Azure, and more.

Microsoft Learn illustration


A crazy amount of new Azure infrastructure announcements – Core Sanders, Corporate Vice President, Azure, covers a plethora of announcements in this blog post, which is a companion post to his general session at Ignite:

Get the details:

Azure Friday | Introducing the Azure Data Box family – Mathew Dickson joins Donovan Brown to discuss the Data Box family of solutions to meet the challenge of moving data to the cloud. Azure Data Box offline devices help you transfer large amounts of data to Azure when the network isn't an option. Data Box online products act as network storage gateways to intelligently manage data between your site and Azure.

Azure Friday | Azure Front Door Service (Preview) – Sharad Agrawal joins Lara Rubbelke to discuss the recently announced Azure Front Door Service, which takes your application availability global and real-time while maximizing performance by connecting you to your users using Microsoft's massive global edge network. In this session, you'll learn how to set up a Front Door for your application and the performance and reliability benefits you can achieve.


Ignite 2018 – Making AI real for your business with Azure Data – Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Azure Data, shares how the confluence of Cloud, Data, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is driving unprecedented change and is rapidly becoming foundational to innovation in every industry, which is a companion post to his general session at Ignite:

Get the details:

Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Redefine data analytics with Modern Data Warehouse on Azure – John Macintyre Partner Group Program Manager, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, demonstrates why thousands of customers are now using Azure SQL Data Warehouse to take advantage of the fast, flexible, and secure analytics platform to gain deeper insights and make better decisions.

See also:

Azure Cosmos DB

Azure Cosmos DB – database for Intelligent Cloud – Intelligent Edge era – Rimma Nehme Product Manager and Architect, Azure Cosmos DB, announces new capabilities that serve as a crucial step towards enabling anyone to easily build globally distributed apps for the Intelligent-Cloud-Intelligent Edge era.

See also:

Azure HDInsight

Deep dive into Azure HDInsight 4.0 – Ashish Thapliyal Principal Program Manager, Azure HDInsight, announces HDInsight 4.0, which brings the latest Apache Hadoop 3.0 innovations representing over 5 years of work from the open source community and our partner Hortonworks across key Apache frameworks to solve ever-growing big data and advanced analytics challenges.

See also:

Artificial Intelligence

Azure AI – Making AI real for business – Eric Boyd Corporate Vice President, Azure AI, announces a range of innovations across Machine Learning, Cognitive Services, and knowledge mining to make Azure the best place for AI. This blog post is a companion post to his general session at Ignite:

Get the details:


New full stack monitoring capabilities in Azure Monitor – Shiva Sivakumar, Director of Program Management, Azure Monitoring & Diagnostics, announces that Azure Log Analytics and Azure Application Insights are now available as integrated features within Azure Monitor, without any loss or compromise of any capability, and with the same pricing.

Get the details:

See also:

Internet of Things

Microsoft Azure enables a new wave of edge computing. Here’s how. – Julia White, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Azure, shares how we’re building Azure cloud/edge capabilities aligned with these enduring principles while uniquely delivering consistency across the cloud and the edge.

Get the details:

Azure Friday | Introducing Azure Data Box Edge – Andrew Mason joins Donovan Brown to introduce Data Box Gateway and Data Box Edge, two new data network transfer solutions from Azure. They both enable easy data transfer to the cloud, with Data Box Edge providing pre-processing for fast, local results or to modify the data before upload.

The IoT Show | Deploying and Managing IoT From an Ops Perspective – Shot live at Microsoft Ignite 2018.

The IoT Show | Routing Messages in Azure IoT Hub based on Device Twin – Check out this great demo of the new way to configure message routing in Azure IoT Hub using Device Twin properties and the updated UI in the Azure portal. Paul Montgomery, Senior Software Engineer in the Azure IoT Team shows us how this all works using an ESP32 based microcontroller, a temperature sensor, a glass of hot water and another glass of iced water.

The IoT Show | First Anniversary for Azure IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service – IoT Hub Device Provisioning Service helps customers provision and register IoT devices at scale in a secure manner. To celebrate the service anniversary, Nicole Berdy, PM in the Azure IoT team shows us the latest additions to the service to make it even easier to provision IoT devices.

The IoT Show | Azure Sphere Overview – What is Azure Sphere? Let's ask Ed Nightingale, Partner Architect for the new Microsoft solution for creating highly-secured, connected MCU powered devices.

The IoT Show | Azure IoT Central is now Generally Available – The Microsoft SaaS offer for IoT, Azure IoT Central, is now generally available. This means you can now take it to production. That also means you get a load of new features enabling IoT scenarios at scale such as the support for automatically provisioning devices, the ability to setup advanced analytics rules, continuously export devices data and meta data to a blob storage, a simple per-device cost, a totally free trial and much more. Marcello Majonchi and Larry Jordan from the IoT Central team visited the IoT Show to tell us all about these new features.

The IoT Show | Dial up your MXChip Azure IoT starter kit – Connect an Azure IoT DevKit to the Azure IoT Hub and view sensor readings in a custom web application and see how Azure IoT Hub is able to process messages in real-time from tangible devices. The sample also covers communicating to the device via Direct Methods, setting up a rules engine.


Azure Networking Fall 2018 update – Yousef Khalidi CVP, Azure Networking, announces 100 Gbps, fastest connectivity in public cloud and availability of branch connectivity, new cloud native security capabilities and application performance services.

Get the details:

The Azure Podcast

The Azure Podcast | Episode 248 – Updates from Ignite 2018 – A whole bunch of Azure updates were announced at Ignite so Cynthia, Cale and Sujit try to cover as much as possible in 30 minutes!

Now in preview

Azure Container Registry: Public preview of Helm Chart Repositories and more – As customers deploy multi-container applications, Helm has evolved as the defacto standard to describe Kubernetes-based applications. With Helm repositories, customers can push their Helm Charts to Azure Container Registry, providing a single source of truth for their images and deployment definitions running in Kubernetes.

Announcing the public preview of Shared Image Gallery – Shared Image Gallery provides an Azure-based solution to make the custom management of virtual machine (VM) images easier in Azure.

Announcing private preview of Azure VM Image Builder – Azure Virtual Machine (VM) Image Builder, now available in private preview, enables you to migrate your image building pipeline to Azure.

Azure Active Directory authentication for Azure Files SMB access now in public preview – Integration with Azure AD enables SMB access to Azure file shares using Azure AD credentials from Azure AD DS domain joined Windows VMs. In addition, Azure Files supports preserving, inheriting, and enforcing Microsoft file system NTFS ACLs on all folders and files in a file share.

Introducing Azure Premium Blob Storage (limited public preview) – Azure Premium Blob Storage complements the existing Hot, Cool, and Archive tiers by storing data on solid-state drives, which are known for lower latency and higher transactional rates compared to traditional hard drives.

Announcing Webapps Undelete (Preview) – Undelete a deleted web app to restore a site deleted in the past 30 days, including the content and configuration, and it will also restore the host name, if available.

Microsoft 365 adds modern desktop on Azure – A cloud-based service that delivers a multi-user Windows 10 experience, optimized for Office 365 ProPlus, and includes free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates.

A new era for Azure Files: Bigger, faster, better! – Get larger, low latency file shares with more IOPS, higher throughput, and Azure Active Directory integration. In addition, a new Azure File Sync agent is coming with significant improvements in the sync performance, tiering, and reporting.

Diagram showing Azure Files scale and performance

Premium Files pushes Azure Files limits by 100x! – Azure Premium Files provides fully managed file services, optimized to deliver consistent performance at 100x improvement over the existing Azure Files. It is designed for IO intensive enterprise workloads that require high throughput and a single digit millisecond latency.

Announcing Bring your own Storage to App Service – A new feature to App Service on Linux and Web App for Containers that supports mounting Azure Blobs and Azure Files into your Azure App Service. You can configure up to five Azure storage accounts for a given App Service.

Now generally available

Azure SignalR Service now generally available – Get a fully-managed SignalR service that enables you to focus on building real-time web experiences without worrying about setting up, hosting, scaling, or load balancing your SignalR server.

General availability of Tomcat and Java SE on App Service on Linux – Using App Service on Linux, you can deploy your Java project to either Tomcat or your favorite Java SE platform, such as Spring.

Serial console for Azure VMs now generally available – Serial console for Azure VMs is now generally available in all public regions. New features include magic SysRq keys, non-maskable interrupts, and subscription-wide enable/disable.

Azure Friday | Troubleshoot and diagnose Azure Virtual Machines with Serial Console – Alfred Sin joins Donovan Brown to discuss the Azure Serial Console, which is now generally available in all public clouds. Serial console enables you to use an interactive shell in situations where you may be unable to SSH or RDP into your VM, which make it super-easy for troubleshooting and self-serve diagnosing of your VM.

Introducing Azure Functions 2.0 – In addition to UX updates, now you can use your cross-platform .NET Core assets within your Functions apps. At the core of the Azure Functions runtime is the function host, re-written to run in .NET Core 2.1. This not only brings significant performance improvements, but also allows Functions to be written and hosted locally on all major platforms—Windows, Mac, and Linux.

News and updates

Announcing the New App Service Diagnostics Experience – App Service Diagnostics is our intelligent and interactive experience to help you diagnose and troubleshoot issues with your app. You can use Genie to guide you through the different ways to troubleshoot a variety of potential issues, since sometimes bad things happen to good apps.

Data-driven styling and more in the latest Azure Maps Web SDK update – The latest update to the Azure Maps Web SDK is now available, which includes developer-focused API improvements, a spatial math library, and more.

SAP at Microsoft Ignite: Announcing SAP Data Custodian for Azure – SAP Data Custodian, a SaaS offering from SAP, will soon become available on Azure. SAP Data Custodian combines Azure’s built-in compliance controls and the deep expertise of SAP to provide customers end-to-end visibility of their SAP data on Azure and an easy to use set of data governance controls. This will help customers to fulfill their responsibility for data governance, segregation of oversight duties, and achieve independent verification.

Building with blockchain on Azure – Provides an update on companies building with blockchain on Azure and the Azure Blockchain Workbench, which simplifies development and eases experimentation with prebuilt networks and infrastructure.

Azure Pipelines is the CI/CD solution for any language, any platform, any cloud – Azure Pipelines is a CI/CD service that enables you to continuously build, test, and deploy to any platform or cloud. It has cloud-hosted agents for Linux, macOS, and Windows, powerful workflows with native container support, and flexible deployments to Kubernetes, VMs, and serverless environments. Azure Pipelines provides a great offer for Open Source Projects by providing unlimited build minutes and 10 free parallel jobs, and integrates well with GitHub repos

Go Cloud-native with Spring Cloud on Azure – To streamlined your efforts for running Spring apps in the cloud, we announced the Spring Cloud for Azure project. In addition, with the new Spring Boot Extension Pack in Visual Studio Code, you can have a lightweight development experience with your Spring Boot applications.

Manage Azure Monitor using Java – We released version 1.16 of the Azure Management Libraries for Java. Now you can programmatically manage Azure Monitor using Azure Management Libraries for Java.

Azure Quickstart Center update – Azure Quickstart Center helps you start your projects in Azure quickly with step-by-step guidance. New enhancements to the Azure Quickstart Center experience help you set up your Azure environment with best practices and guidance from Azure.

Launching Quickstart Center from the global search box

New features and enhancements released in Bing Custom Search V3 – We released additions and enhancements to the Bing Custom Search product to help developers and non-developers to harness the power of the web by enabling them to build an even more powerful and customizable search experience.

Red Hat OpenShift and Microsoft Azure Stack together for hybrid enterprise solutions – OpenShift and Azure Stack enable a consistent application experience across Azure, Azure Stack, bare-metal, Windows and RHEL bringing together Microsoft’s and Red Hat’s developer frameworks and partner ecosystems.

Move Managed Disks and VMs now available – Move Managed Disks and VMs across resource groups and subscriptions with a single click. This also enables you to move Managed Images and Snapshots.

Azure Service Fabric updates at Ignite 2018 – Service Fabric is a microservices platform to build, deploy, discover, and scale services with message routing, low-latency storage, and health monitoring. Announces an update of Service Fabric Mesh preview and the pending release of Service Fabric runtime version 6.4 with corresponding SDK and tooling updates.

Strengthen security with key Azure innovations – We announced new capabilities and services at Ignite that enable you to manage your identity without a password, added new layers to network protection, protecting data wherever it is to enable confidential computing, and more.

Microsoft Azure: The only consistent, comprehensive hybrid cloud – More than 95 percent of Fortune 500 companies trust their business on Azure today, and many of them take advantage of Azure hybrid capabilities to fuel innovation and deliver great business outcomes. Learn how customers are taking advantage of these capabilities and how we're supporting your hybrid needs with the ultimate consistent hybrid cloud.

The Azure DevOps Podcast

The Azure DevOps Podcast | Sam Guckenheimer on Testing, Data Collection, and the State of DevOps Report – Episode 003 – Sam Guckenheimer explains the exciting new offer around Azure Pipelines for open source teams, changes he has seen in the industry from his many years of working at Microsoft, and some of the biggest changes in how users work with Azure DevOps.

Technical content and training

The OWASP DevSlop Show – Learn about DevSecOps, which weaves security through DevOps on the OWASP DevSlop Show, which streams live every Sunday at 1:00 PM ET, on Mixer, Twitch, and YouTube, for approximately an hour. Past episodes are available on YouTube.

Azure Functions and Azure Storage: secure authentication with Managed Identities and without managing keys! – Learn about using Managed Identities for secure and convenient approach to authenticate to Azure services from Serverless Functions without managing or storing any access keys or credentials.

How to securely access cloud resources from Linux VMs on Azure – Learn how to significantly improve authentication process between cloud resources, reduce operational overhead and vulnerability of managing and storing authentication credentials.

Broadcast Real-time Updates from Cosmos DB with SignalR Service and Azure Functions – Learn how you can use Azure Functions and SignalR Service to broadcast real-time document changes in Cosmos DB to clients over WebSockets.

Azure tips & tricks


How to test web applications in production – Learn how to test web applications for production using Azure App Service. Using this testing in production feature, makes it easier for you to carry out AB testing with different versions of your application.


How to use the Azure Resource Explorer – Learn how to use the Azure Resource Explorer to quickly explore REST APIs. The Azure Resource Explorer is not only an interesting way to explore your resources, but it also allows you to see the commands you can invoke by a PowerShell or the Azure CLI.


What to expect in Spark + AI summit Europe – The Spark + AI summit Europe is in London this week where Microsoft and many of their customers using Azure Databricks are present during the Summit.

Customers and partners

Microsoft and Azul Systems bring free Java LTS support to Azure – Java developers on Azure and Azure Stack can build and run production Java applications using Azul Systems Zulu Enterprise builds of OpenJDK without incurring additional support costs. If you’re currently running Java apps on-premise or with other JDKs, consider moving it to Zulu on Azure for free support and maintenance.

Healthcare Cloud Security Stack now available on Azure Marketplace – Healthcare Cloud Security Stack which is now available on Azure Marketplace, uses Qualys Vulnerability Management and Cloud Agents, Trend Micro Deep Security, and XentIT Executive Dashboard as a unified cloud threat management solution. Qualys cloud agents continuously collect vulnerability information and are mapped to Trend Micro Deep Security IPS.

Azure ISVs expand the possibilities with Azure Stack – This post highlights some of our ISV partners that address common customer requirements for Azure Stack.

A Cloud Guru's Azure This Week


Azure This Week | Ignite Special – 25 September 2018 – Lars Klint discusses the general availability of Azure Functions 2.0, enhancements to Azure Logic Apps and the public preview of Azure Blueprints.

Azure This Week | Ignite Special – 26 September 2018 – Lars Klint discusses Azure Digital Twins, Azure Sphere and enhancements to Azure IoT platform. He also speaks with Burke Holland and Brian Clark from Microsoft.



Azure This Week | Ignite Special – 27 September 2018 – Lars Klint talks about AI for Humanitarian Action, new Machine Learning capabilities and the new Speech Service which is in general availability. He also grabs interviews with the CEO of Loftysoft, Magnus Mårtensson and Chief Architect and Trainer, Scott Duffy.