31. July 2015 09:07
have been a ton of Azure updates in the last week or so. I thought it would be better to group them
all together for you. There’s something
in here for everyone.
Active Directory Connect generally available
Azure Active Directory Connect is a
simple, fast, and lightweight tool for connecting Active Directory and Azure
Active Directory in a few clicks. It helps you sync only the data you really
need from single- or multi-forest environments, plus it enables single sign-on
(SSO) to Office 365 and thousands of other SaaS applications via password sync
or federation with Active Directory Federation Services. Organizations already
using Azure Active Directory Sync or DirSync can take advantage of the benefits
of Azure Active Directory Connect with a migration or in-place upgrade from
Site Recovery: Protect VMware and Physical Servers generally available
Azure Site Recovery, you can help protect your
VMware VMs and physical servers using Azure as your disaster recovery site.
Site Recovery provides near-zero recovery point objective (RPO) with continuous
data-protection technology. Customizable Site Recovery plans can help ensure
that multi-tier applications are recovered to a consistent point in time,
minimizing lost transactions and application errors. When your primary data
center recovers, you can failback to your on-premises virtual infrastructure
with nearly seamless results.
Key Vault generally available
available across all regions (except in Australia), Azure Key Vault offers cloud developers an easy,
cost-effective way to help safeguard keys and other secrets using hardware
security modules (HSMs). With Key Vault, you centrally manage your keys and
secrets by taking them out of vulnerable locations like source code and plain
text files. You can then grant applications audited access to those keys and
secrets on your terms. Key Vault lets you manage the full lifecycle of your
keys and secrets, helping you achieve and maintain regulatory compliance.
Application Gateway generally available
Azure Application Gateway helps you build
highly scalable and highly available applications by providing
application-level (HTTP/HTTPS) load balancing and delivery control. It also
offers SSL offload capabilities and enables the design of custom experiences
based on cookie affinity.
Batch generally available
Batch helps make it easy to run large-scale parallel and high-performance computing
workloads in Azure. As part of this release, Batch scheduling capabilities will
be available as a free tier. Users pay only for the underlying virtual machine
(VM) usage, with no additional charge for using Batch. Developers can use Batch
to scale out parallel workloads, manage execution of tasks in a queue, and
enable applications to offload compute jobs in the cloud. With Batch, users can
run these applications on demand at scale without setting up and managing a
cluster, VMs, or a job scheduler. Batch manages VM deployment, auto-scaling,
and failure recovery. It can also be used as part of a workflow or to deliver
self-service applications as a service.
Encoding for Azure Media Services generally available
Premium Encoding for Azure
Media Services, customers can leverage automated decision-making logic that
adapts to a variety of inputs. Premium Encoding also supports contribution
output file formats such as MXF; additional input and output codecs, including
Avid DNxHD; higher output resolutions (up to 4K in AVC); as well as closed
captioning and much more. For more information about additional capabilities,
please read the Introducing
Premium Encoding in Azure Media Services blog post.
SQL Data Warehouse in limited public preview
Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fully
managed, elastic and petabyte-scale columnar data-warehouse service that’s
fully compatible and integrated with the Microsoft SQL Server ecosystem. Unique
to the industry, this is the first cloud data-warehouse service to enable
customers to scale compute capacity up or down in seconds. SQL Data Warehouse
can independently scale storage and compute power, so customers can pay only
for the query performance they need. Built on top of SQL Server, SQL Data
Warehouse offers access to a large data-warehouse ecosystem of tools that
support data loading, transformation, visualization, and analytical
scenarios—including Microsoft Power BI, Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine
Learning, and Azure Data Factory.
Analytics Suite available later this year
Analytics Suite delivers big data and advanced analytics capabilities to help enterprises
transform their data into intelligent action. It enables core analytics
scenarios such as real-time recommendations, customer churn forecasting, fraud
detection, predictive maintenance, and many more. While Cortana Analytics Suite
won’t be available until later this year, you can try many of its individual
services that are already available including Azure Machine Learning, Azure
HDInsight, and Azure Stream Analytics, among others. Find out more on the Azure Blog.
Spark for Azure HDInsight in public preview
Apache Spark for Azure HDInsight
provides a fast and easy way to run interactive data analysis on large
datasets. An open source project in the Apache ecosystem, Spark can run
large-scale data analytics applications in memory. That means it can deliver
queries up to 100 times faster than traditional big data solutions, along with
a common execution model for various tasks like extract-transform-load (ETL)
processes, batch queries, interactive queries, real-time streaming, machine
learning, and graph processing on data stored in Azure Storage. The Azure cloud
helps make Spark deployment easy and cost effective, with no hardware to buy
and no software to configure. Plus, Spark is integrated with popular
third-party business intelligence (BI) tools like Microsoft Power BI, as well
as open source notebooks.
Data Catalog in public preview
Azure Data Catalog is a fully managed service in
Azure and an enterprise-wide metadata catalog for self-service datasource
discovery. Data Catalog describes, indexes, stores, and helps you access any
registered datasource, helping to make datasource discovery simple. It’s
designed to close the gap between those who seek information and those who
create it. To find out more, please visit the Azure Data Catalog documentation webpage
Pack support for Linux
Pack 2012 R2 Update 2 (high performance computing) is now available. With this update, HPC Pack now supports
Linux VMs running on Azure. Customers running high-performance computing
clusters on Linux can now use HPC Pack's management, deployment, and scheduling
capabilities. For more information about this update, please visit the Microsoft HPC Pack 2012 R2
and HPC Pack 2012 webpage.
Marketplace adds additional features and functionality
this month at the 2015 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Azure
Marketplace launched Developer Services, Container Apps from Docker Hub, and
enhanced deployment capabilities for multi-VM offers. Developer Services and
Container Apps are two new categories in Marketplace that provide additional
tools and functionality beyond the Azure platform to streamline application
development and help developers be more productive on Azure. We’ve also added
enhanced deployment capabilities for clustered VMs in Marketplace. Now it’s
easier than ever for customers to deploy high availability offerings with just
a few clicks. To learn more, please read this blog post.
22. July 2015 12:07
Azure . Office 365
On this show, the Office
Mechanics team provides an update on Power BI.
There are new capabilities around connecting to cloud and on premises
resources as well. There’s a great
discussion about the availability of partner content packs that extend Power BI’s
functionality by connecting it to partner solutions like Salesforce, Google
Analytics, Zendesk, GitHub and more.
There’s many more content packs on the roadmap, including one to connect
to Office 365 and see tenant usage information.
The demos include
dashboards, natural language query, connecting to the Salesforce content pack,
using Power BI on mobile devices, the new push API’s and more.
can also find more information at https://powerbi.microsoft.com/.
Gartner recently published the 2015 Magic Quadrant for Secure Email Gateways, positioning
Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant. The Magic Quadrant represents Gartner’s
evaluation of our completeness of vision and ability to execute in the market.
We believe this positioning is a reflection of the value we’re delivering to
our customers and the strength of our product vision. Microsoft has a number of
services that are evaluated in this report including: Exchange Online
Protection (EOP), Exchange Online Advanced Threat Protection (ATP), Data Loss
Prevention (DLP) and Office 365 Message Encryption, which are part of the
Office 365 suite and include other security and compliance services as well.
Read the entire post on
the Office Blog.
for Business is the new name for Lync Server. Aside from the name change, there
are a ton of new capabilities coming. Some of the more exciting ones are
PSTN calling from the cloud and the Skype Broadcast service which will let you
host Skype meetings for thousands of participants. You can sign up for
the public previews of these features so you can start testing them out.
See the https://www.skypepreview.com/ page
is the original
blog post from July 1 about the upcoming changes to Skype for Business,
which also includes a video from Office Mechanics showing things off.
13. July 2015 15:07
Last week we introduced several new
features and enhancements to Azure.
The updates cover:
- The new ability to protect VMware
workloads with Azure Site Recovery
- AWS to Azure migration
- Support for Linux Remote Direct
Memory Access (RDMA) technology to improve Linux VM performance
- The release of Azure Batch, which
provides the ability to execute large-scale, high-performance computing
(HPC) scenarios in Azure
- The release of HPC Pack 2012R2
Update 2 to enable support for Linux in HPC clusters
Visit this Azure Blog post for more details and
links to the solutions.
10. July 2015 07:07
Microsoft is pleased to announce the rollout of new activity
logging and reporting capabilities for Office 365, including the Office 365
activity report, comprehensive logging capability, PowerShell command or cmdlet
and a preview of the Office 365 Management Activity API.
This new, comprehensive logging capability is exposed in the
Compliance Center as well as with PowerShell and API’s. It’s being rolled out this month, so keep
your eyes on your tenant.
Read more about it and find guidance in this
Office Blog entry.
9. July 2015 19:07
Recovery for VMware and physical servers is now generally available, and
we’ve made it easier to try Azure Site Recovery to enable Availability on
Demand, and to extend and help protect your datacenter. With Site Recovery,
you can quickly help protect applications running on your physical and virtual
infrastructure, migrate applications into Azure, create copies of your
applications in Azure for dev/test, or run analytics or reporting on replicated
applications with a copy of production data.
Site Recovery helps you avoid the expense and complexity of
building and managing your own secondary datacenter, and leverage the power of
Azure with a just a few clicks. Now, you can use the powerful replication
capabilities of Site Recovery for 31 days at no charge for every new
application or VM that you replicate.
oday, we are pleased to announce that the Office 365 archiving and
eDiscovery toolset is being extended to include public folders.
Customers can now place public folder content on hold to preserve it for
legal or regulatory requirements. They can perform eDiscovery functions
on public folder data, including search, preview and export. Entire
public folders or specific content (based on keywords) can be preserved
immutably. They can delete aged items out of public folders. And all
administrative activities on public folders are fully audited.
Throughout all these operations, users can continue to interact with
public folder data without any change in their experience.
To perform an eDiscovery search on public folders, you simply specify “public folders” as the source. Read more here...
Specifying public folders as a source for an eDiscovery search.
2. July 2015 11:07
Azure . Security
updates to Azure Active Directory lately.
It’s hard to keep up, but here are a few:
Privileged Identity Management – Public
Privileged Identity Management allows you to manage, control and monitor your
privileged identities and their access to resources in Azure AD and in other
Microsoft online services such as Office 365 or Microsoft Intune. You can read
about PIM from the blog Azure
AD Privileged Identity Management and view a two minute video on Channel
9 for more information.
New Azure Report: Leaked Credentials
As part of running consumer and enterprise
identity systems, Microsoft discovers account credentials posted publically and
we are making this information available to the customer so they can protect
their enterprise when their users' account credentials are at risk. On June 15,
2015 Microsoft released Users with Leaked Credentials report to public preview
for Azure AD Premium subscription customers. The report surfaces any matches
between leaked credentials list and their tenant. See the blog Azure
Active Directory Premium reporting now detects leaked credentials for more
Azure AD Join for Windows 10
is integrating with Azure AD. Users logon to Azure AD Join Windows 10 computers
using their Azure AD credentials and enjoy single-sign-on access to company
resources in the cloud. For a walk through experience of setting up your Azure
AD joined Windows 10 PC/laptop/tablet view the blog Azure
Active Directory and Windows 10: Bringing the cloud to enterprise desktops!
2. July 2015 11:07
Ignite, the Microsoft
Operations Management Suite, is a new hybrid management solution that
extends the value of System Center and helps you manage your corporate
workloads no matter where they run - Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware,
or OpenStack. We also introduced new back-up and migration functionality in
Azure Backup and Azure Site Recovery. Now, we are enhancing our hybrid
management portfolio further with a new OMS add-on for System Center, support
for physical and VMware virtual machines in Azure Site Recovery, new
capabilities in Azure Backup, and enhanced support for System Center 2012 R2
Data Protection Manager.
Server & Cloud Team Blog post for more information on how to get this
and what it does.