Last week in Azure: Azure HDInsight, Azure Cosmos DB, and more

Welcome to 2018! This edition of Last Week in Azure covers the final two weeks of 2017. Just before everyone disappeared for the holiday break here in Redmond, the news focused on Azure HDInsight.

Azure HDInsight

We lowered prices and raised capabilities for Azure HDInsight. Some capabilities of HDInsight, such as Apache Kafka and Azure Log Analytics integration, reached general availability, and the Enterprise Security Package released in Preview. You can also learn about how Xbox uses HDInsight to spelunk through a mountain of gaming data, and then check out how Fast SQL query processing in HDInsight performs at scale against industry standard TPCDS benchmarks.

You can get all of the details in the following Azure HDInsight posts:


New connectors available in Azure Data Factory V2 – A list of over 25 new data connectors to enable copying data from additional data stores to Azure Data Factory, including Concur, PayPal, and Square.

Azure #CosmosDB: Entry point for unlimited containers is now 60% cheaper and other improvements – Some changes rolled out in December include: the entry point for unlimited collections/containers is now 60% cheaper, provisioning massive amounts of throughput is now completely frictionless, and Azure Cosmos DB is now available as a part of Microsoft Azure in France.

Join on-demand recasts of Azure Cosmos DB and Azure SQL Database webinars! – Check out two webinars now available for on-demand viewing. The first webinar looks at Azure Cosmos DB, a globally distributed, multi-model database service that enables scaled throughput and storage across many geographical regions. The second webinar shares how you can make the most of Azure SQL Database's machine learning features to deliver intelligent apps to your customers.


VMWare virtualization on Azure – Learn how we are enabling VMWare virtualization in preview by working with multiple VMware Cloud Provider Program partners and running on existing VMware-certified hardware.

Benefits of migrating IaaS to Azure Resource Manager – Learn about the capabilities & features of running your IaaS resources on Azure Resource Manager. If you're running your IaaS resources using the predecessor classic stack in Azure, check out the no-downtime migration service that's available to move your IaaS resources to Azure Resource Manager.

Azure Backup now supports BEK encrypted Azure virtual machines – Get a simplified experience and enhanced security to create any kind of encrypted virtual machine and then back it up using Azure Backup. Back-up virtual machines encrypted using BEK-only as well as BEK and KEK for both managed and unmanaged disks.

Other Headlines

Bring your own vocabulary to Microsoft Video Indexer – Adaptation for speech recognition is necessary to teach the automatic speech recognition (ASR) system new words and how you use them. The adaptation technology in Video Indexer takes nothing but adaptation text and modifies the language model in the ASR system to make more intelligent guesses for a given domain. This is useful to teach your system acronyms, new words, and new uses of known words.

GDPR How-to: Get organized and implement the right processes – Microsoft France recently published a detailed implementation guide that's available in both English and French. The guide provides a methodology for creating and executing your own GDPR compliance program.

Announcing the preview release of subscription level budgets via ARM APIs – Budgets at the subscription level is only the first step in a number of releases planned to improve the cost management experience. While we work on an in-portal experience, learn how you can use a preview of the Budgets API to set up a budget for a subscription, and also set up multiple notification thresholds.

Reference Architecture and automation for Financial Services web applications – Download the new Financial Services Regulated Workloads Blueprint from the Azure Security and Compliance Blueprint Program for an automated solution that will help guide you in storing and managing sensitive financial information such as payment data in Azure.

How Azure Security Center detects vulnerabilities using administrative tools – In December, Azure Security Center released a new analytic to detect suspicious account creation operations that might be used as backdoor accounts. This analytic includes several criteria to distinguish between benign administrative account creation and suspicious activities for triggering an alert.

New Alerts (preview) in Azure Monitor – Improve your monitoring experience with Azure Monitoring Services, which includes the ability to set up alerts for monitoring the metrics and log data for the entire stack across your infrastructure, application, and platform.

Announcing the public preview for Adaptive Application Controls – Adaptive Application Controls leverages machine learning to analyze the behavior of your Azure virtual machines, create a baseline of applications, group the virtual machines, and recommend and automatically apply the appropriate whitelisting rules. See how you can view, modify, and receive alerts for these rules in Azure Security Center.

4 tips for keeping your resolution to learn Azure – If you're a developer, set yourself up for success with my 4 tips on how to learn Azure in the new year.

Service updates

Azure shows

Apache Kafka on HDInsight – Raghav Mohan joins Scott Hanselman to talk about Apache Kafka on HDInsight, which added the open-source distributed streaming platform last year to complete a scalable, big data streaming scenario on Azure. The service has come a long way since – processing millions of events/sec, petabytes of data/day to power scenarios like Toyota's connected car, Office 365's clickstream analytics, and fraud detection for large banks. Deploy managed, cost-effective Kafka clusters on Azure HDInsight with a 99.9% SLA with just 4 clicks or pre-created ARM templates.

Use the Azure portal to answer your billing questions – Tommy Nguyen joins Scott Hanselman to discuss Billing in the Azure portal. If you're wondering: "Where do I find a copy of my invoice?" or "How does an Azure service affect my overall costs?" – these questions and more will be answered in this episode, which highlights features in the Azure portal to get cost and billing clarity.

The Azure Podcast: Episode 209 – DevOps with Kubernetes – As part of our Partner Spotlight series, we have Dan Garfield from and Jessica Deen, a Cloud Developer Advocate at Microsoft talking about DevOps in a Kubernetes world. Good timing too considering we recently did a show on Kubernetes!.

Source: Azure Blog Feed

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