Eastern Cloud Blog

This blog is aimed at our East Region State & Local Government customers. Opinions are our own - be gentle with us.

Helping customers achieve more at the best prices

The below table shows the price reductions using our US East 2 region as an example. The Dv2 price reductions will take effect early February and we will share full details on this page.

Virtual Machine Type Price Reduction
(Windows Server Instances)
Price Reduction
(Linux Instances)
D1-D5 v2 10% 14%
D11-14 v2 13% 17%


It is worthwhile to note that the Azure Dv2 instances - unlike AWS EC2 instances - have load balancing and auto-scaling built-in at no additional charge. This means you get even more value from Azure. In addition to delivering great prices, we provide further discounting and more flexible purchasing programs to support your journey to the cloud.

  • For customers with Enterprise Agreements, you not only get price reductions like these, but also your price points are even lower – in many cases well below available AWS pricing – re-enforcing our commitment to be the number one enterprise cloud.
  • Unlike AWS, Azure virtual machine usage is billed on per-minute rate so you only pay for the compute that you use. With AWS you pay for an hour even if you only use a few minutes.
  • For developers, Microsoft provides up to $150 free Azure credits per month along with discounts for Dev/Test workloads through the Microsoft Developer Network program. Any developer will be able to get $25 free Azure credits per month for one year with the Dev Essentials program coming soon.
  • With the Azure Compute Pre-Purchase plan, you can receive up to 63% cost savings when you pre-purchase your virtual machines for one year.
  • If you’re moving a significant number of workloads to the cloud and are looking for great pricing with lots of flexibility, check out the Azure Compute option. With this program, you can run any compute instance in Azure and realize discounts up to 60% in exchange for add-ons to your Windows Server annuity licenses.

Read more here...

Microsoft Services CyberSecurity Workshop

Security and Identity Strategies

In our fast-changing world where your enterprise’s services and data have to be accessible from nearly everywhere on any device while facing increasing security threats, the IT paradigm has changed. Comprehensive identity and security strategies across users, devices, and data are foundational to adapting and transforming your business through this change.
Microsoft Services can help guide you through this critical transformation—from helping you understand your current security posture to developing security and identity strategies that support your business goals, and then implementing comprehensive solutions across security, identity and cybersecurity

Register here for an event near you!

Microsoft Mechanics: Leading the way in the fight against dangerous email threats

Check out this Microsoft Mechanics blog entry and video which reviews upcoming enhancements to our Exchange Online Protection (EOP) service.  We process 200 billion emails each month and block 10 million spam messages every minute. 

We're adding the following features:

  • Built-in protection against malicious attack vectors, with spoof and common attachment-type detection.
  • Visible protection to end-users via Safety Tips to prevent users from interacting with detected malicious emails.
  • Rich learning mechanisms for users, such as Phish Reporting and Advanced Threat Protection.

Watch the video to learn more about how we are helping protect our customers from this threat vector.

Skype call scheduling and more updates for Outlook for iOS and Android and much more

Skype and Outlook—the best way to schedule and join a call

It can be challenging keeping up with friends, family and colleagues. Finding a time that works for everyone and remembering to show up is difficult enough. And then sometimes technology gets in the way: “How do I find you? How do I invite you? Do you have this app installed?”

Outlook and Skype have solved this problem. When creating a new event on your calendar, Outlook now includes the ability to add a Skype Call. When you tap the Skype Call toggle, Outlook includes a Skype link in the description of the event. When your scheduled meeting time arrives, recipients simply click the link in their calendar to launch Skype and join the conversation.

Skype and Outlook top features 1

as well ass

  • Contact Push
  • Save files to your Android device
  • Set Automatic Replies
  • iOS calendar widget
  • iOS print
  • iOS–3-D Touch

Read more here...

Announcing enhanced migration and disaster recovery for VMware using ASR

he enhanced VMware to Azure release builds on top of ASR’s workload-aware disaster recovery and protection solutions for heterogeneous and hybrid IT environments:
  • With no running IaaS components/appliance, you pay for Azure compute resources only when a failover or migration to Azure is initiated. Application data is replicated to customer’s Azure Storage account to ensure security and isolation, and virtual machines are provisioned in Azure only after a failover or migration is initiated.
  • With MSI-based unified setup of on-premises components, you can configure replication to Azure in a few simple steps without incurring the cost and complexity that traditional replication solutions entail. Our scale-out mode ensures that you can protect multiple high-churn workloads without losing the assurance of ASR’s on-going replication and protection.
  • With non-disruptive recovery testing, you can easily test the failover of your VMware virtual machines to Azure within minutes, and validate your workload’s performance in Azure, without impacting on-going replication or the production workload.
  • With ASR-integrated failback, start replicating your Azure virtual machines back to your on-premises ESXi environment, and failback to the original or an alternate location when your on-premises site is once again available for use.

The table below lists the significant feature enhancements being released as part of the enhanced VMware to Azure release:

enhanced VMware to Azure

Read more here...

New end-user experience: Mobile Application Management for iOS

We are excited to announce an updated user experience for Mobile Application Management (MAM) on iOS devices that users will soon start to see rolling out across their apps. Currently, each time a user launches an iOS app that is managed by an Intune MAM policy, they see a screen notifying them that the app is “Managed by your company.” We have heard feedback that this screen was confusing for end users, and that displaying this screen at every app launch was slowing down users as they were trying to get into their apps. Based on this feedback, we are replacing this existing message with the following alert.

Read more here.


Webinar: Start asking the right questions about cloud security

January 12, 2016 - 10:00-11:00AM PST (GMT -8)

Scalability, agility, and cost savings are certainly part of any cloud strategy, but how certain are you of the security benefits? You’re not alone if you still have concerns. Cyber attacks, privacy violations, and government surveillance are all part of the growing volume and sophistication of modern security threats and concerns. This is why it’s important to question the integrity of your current cloud solution to ensure you have the best security strategy in place.

 Join Tim Rains, Chief Security Advisor for Microsoft’s Worldwide Cybersecurity & Data Protection group, for a discussion and live Q&A about the questions you should be asking your current cloud service provider to guarantee you have a sound strategy in place. Learn how to critically assess your current cloud infrastructure and learn more about Microsoft’s efforts to deliver a cloud you can trust that addresses your needs across:

  • Security
  • Privacy and control
  • Compliance
  • Transparency

Register here


Microsoft Mechanics: How to enable consumer logins and access management for your B2C apps

If you struggle with identity management and the user sign-in experience for your consumer applications and websites Azure AD B2C is a new service to help you to reliably and securely maintain user accounts for your B2C apps. Watch the show as lead engineer Alex Simons walks through the tech behind the scenes that makes it all possible and how you can quickly: Connect your existing Web and mobile apps; allow your users to sign-in with social network accounts; configure the service and scale your app to reach millions of consumers globally.

Watch this 10-minute video to learn more about leveraging this highly-available, global, cloud-based identity store to provide a great experience for your customers and constituents.

Introducing a simplified configuration experience for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines

Configuring SQL Server Virtual Machines with the new experience

To try out the new configuration experience for SQL Server Virtual Machines, go to the Azure Portal. In the Azure Marketplace, you will find any version of SQL Server you want. Select the new Resource Manager deployment model and click Create. In the Create Virtual Machine blade you will find the new SQL Server Configuration section will all the SQL Server specific features.

Introducing a simplified configuration experience for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines

Configuration of SQL Server connectivity

Introducing a simplified configuration experience for SQL Server in Azure Virtual MachinesIn the past, configuring SQL Server connectivity was not trivial. For example, to connect from on-premises using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) you had to Remote Desktop to the VM, open the SQL Server port in the VM firewall, open SSMS and enable SQL Server Authentication, and create a Public Azure endpoint for the VM.

Now, you can simply choose SQL connectivity over the Internet and enable SQL Server authentication from the Portal. In addition, you can choose SQL connectivity within an Azure Virtual Network, or still allow it only within the VM.

Read more here...