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Last week in Azure: Data & analytics updates, Azure IP Advantage, and more

Highlights from last week in Azure for the week of November 6, 2017: Data & Analytics updates, accelerating enterprise blockchain, Azure IP Advantage, automatic OS upgrades in VM Scale Sets, and more!

It is inevitable that last week in Azure will soon be overshadowed by all the announcements and demos that will stream from the Microsoft Connect(); 2017 event in New York City, which starts on Wednesday. Until then, take a look at the highlights below:

1. Data and analytics updates

Following PASS Summit 2017 in Seattle, several Azure news items related to Data & Analytics came out. Josh Caplan, Senior Program Manager, posted about Introducing query replica scale-out for Azure Analysis Services, which enables client queries to be distributed among multiple query replicas in a query pool, reducing response times during high query workloads. You can also separate processing from the query pool, ensuring client queries are not adversely affected by processing operations.

Microsoft Cosmos DB in Azure Storage Explorer – public preview in blog post from Jenny Jiang, Principal Program Manager, Big Data Team. Now you can use Azure Storage Explorer to explore and manage Azure Cosmos DB entities.

Veljko Vasic, Program Manager, announced that automatic tuning will be a new default for Azure SQL Database. Existing customers will receive an email prior to enablement, which will roll out starting in January. You can learn more about automatic tuning in this recent episode of Azure Friday:

Improve Azure SQL Database Performance with Automatic Tuning – Veljko Vasic demos the built-in automatic tuning intelligence mechanism in Azure SQL Database to show Seth Juarez how it can automatically tune and improve query performance by dynamically adapting the database to your workload. Automatic tuning in Azure SQL Database might be one of the most important features that you can enable on Azure SQL Database to optimize the performance of your queries.

2. Accelerating enterprise blockchain

Last week, a pair of blog posts provided some great explanations on two different topics in Azure: Adopting Enterprise Blockchain and Open Source Indeminication. Pablo Junco Sr., Solutions Business Manager, Microsoft Services, authored a post about accelerating the adoption of enterprise blockchain, in which he outlines how organizations are exploring the use of blockchain technology to solve their business problems without using public blockchain networks.

3. Azure IP Advantage

In his post about why Microsoft offers uncapped indemnification for open source in Azure, Jim Ross, Assistant General Counsel, Intellectual Property Group, Patent Conflicts and Indemnities Team, outlines why Microsoft developed Microsoft Azure IP Advantage. Microsoft is responding to the concerns of Azure customers and are extending our traditional IP indemnification to protect customers using open source technologies that power many Azure products and services today. Check out this short video to learn more:

Microsoft Azure IP Advantage: Protecting Innovation in the Microsoft Cloud – Learn about the benefits of Azure IP Advantage, including the access to 10,000 Microsoft patents, as well as uncapped indemnification coverage that includes any open source technology incorporated into Azure services.

4. Automatic OS Upgrades in VM Scale Sets

Announcing automatic OS upgrades for Azure VM scale sets. Guy Bowerman, Principal Program Manager, Azure Compute, announced a new set of automation features to simplify OS image upgrades for scale sets, allowing you to adopt a “set-it-and-forget-it” approach to OS lifecycle maintenance.

5. Additional updates in Azure from last week:

These topics are also covered in this week's Cloud Tech 10 episode (below):

In other news:

Elsewhere this week, you can Join Microsoft at Supercomputing 17 in Denver, Colorado, where researchers and practitioners from around the world come together to advance the state of high-performance computing.

6. Azure Shows

Azure Batch Rendering Service – Dave Fellows joins Donovan Brown to chat about a new service called Azure Batch Rendering, which is built on the Azure Batch service to provide capabilities for rendering 3D graphics for film and other visual media projects. The service provides pay-per-use licensing of the commercial applications commonly used in this field.

Azur DDoS Protection Service – JR Mayberry joins Scott Hanselman to discuss protecting applications on Azure from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks with the Azure DDoS Protection service. Azure resources now have access to the same DDoS Protection technology that protects other Microsoft online services, such as Xbox Live and Office 365.

Java in Azure Functions – Xiaokai He joins Scott Hanselman to discuss how easy it is for you to use Java to create an Azure Function, and then test & debug it locally before pushing it to the cloud. You can also use VS Code to implement lightweight Java applications such as Azure Functions.

The Azure Podcast: Episode 203 – DevCon3 – Cale Teeter was in Cancun, Mexico for DevCon3 and he gives us all the Blockchain/Azure updates that were announced there.

Cloud Tech 10 – 13th November 2017 – Grafana, Linux FUSE Adapter, Azure Stack 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:

  • Monitor Azure metrics with Grafana
  • Azure App Service and Azure Functions are now available in Azure Stack
  • Mount Blob Storage containers in Linux with the FUSE adapter
  • Azure Analysis Services Scale Out
  • Virtual Machine Scale Set Automatic Operating System Upgrades
  • Azure Backup now supports Windows Server System State