Azure.Source – Volume 78

Preview | News & updates | Technical content | Azure shows | Events | Customers, partners, and industries

Now in preview

Hybrid storage performance comes to Azure

When it comes to adding a performance tier between compute and file storage, Avere Systems has led the way with its high-performance caching appliance known as the Avere FXT Edge Filer. Last week at NAB, attendees will got a first look at the new Azure FXT Edge Filer, now with even more performance, memory, SSD, and support for Azure Blob. Since Microsoft’s acquisition of Avere last March, we’ve been working to provide an exciting combination of performance and efficiency to support hybrid storage architectures with the Avere appliance technology. We are currently previewing the FXT 6600 model at customer sites, with a second FXT 6400 model becoming available with general availability.

Photograph of an Azure FXT Edge Filer

News and updates

Want to evaluate your cloud analytics provider? Here are the three questions to ask.

In February, an independent study by GigaOm compared Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Amazon Redshift, and Google BigQuery using the highly recognized TPC-H benchmark. They found that Azure SQL Data Warehouse is up to 14 times faster and costs 94 percent less than other cloud providers. And today, we are pleased to announce that in GigaOm’s second benchmark report, this time with the equally important TPC-DS benchmark, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is again the industry leader. Not Amazon Redshift. Not Google BigQuery. These results prove that Azure is the best place for all your analytics.

Introducing the App Service Migration Assistant for ASP.NET applications

In June 2018, we released the App Service Migration Assessment Tool. The Assessment Tool was designed to help customers quickly and easily assess whether a site could be moved to Azure App Service by scanning an externally accessible (HTTP) endpoint. Today we’re pleased to announce the release of an updated version, the App Service Migration Assistant! The new version helps customers and partners move sites identified by the assessment tool by quickly and easily migrating ASP.Net sites to App Service. Read this blog to learn more about the tool and begin your migration.

Screenshot of App Service Migration Tool landing page

Expanding Azure IoT certification service to support Azure IoT Edge devices

In December 2018, Microsoft launched the Azure IoT certification service, a web-based test automation workflow to streamline the certification process through self-serve tools. Now we are taking steps to expand the service to  also support Azure IoT Edge Device certification. An Azure IoT Edge device is a device comprised of three key components: IoT Edge modules, IoT Edge runtime, and a cloud-based interface. Learn more about these three components in this blog explaining IoT Edge.

Azure Updates

Learn about important Azure product updates, roadmap, and announcements. Subscribe to notifications to stay informed.

Technical content

Smarter, faster, safer: Azure SQL Data Warehouse is simply unmatched

We want to call attention to the exciting news that Azure SQL Data Warehouse has again outperformed other cloud providers in the most recent GigaOm benchmark report. This is the result of relentless innovation and laser-focused execution on providing new features our customers need, all while reducing prices so customers get industry-leading performance at the best possible value. In this blog, we take a closer look at the technical capabilities of these new features and, most importantly, how you can start using them today.

Azure Security Center exposes crypto miner campaign

Azure Security Center discovered a new cryptocurrency mining operation on Azure customer resources. The operation took advantage of an old version of known open-source CMS, with a known RCE vulnerability as the entry point, and then after using the CRON utility for persistency, it mines “Monero” cryptocurrency using a new compiled binary of the “XMRig” open-source crypto mining tool. Check out our blog for details.

Screenshot of binary editor showing malcious binary packed with UPX packer

You gotta keep privileges separated

When writing scripts for automation or building out a service, don't run under your own credentials. This creates a single point of failure on you for the service. It's also good practice to separate out concerns between environments. This way even if someone accidentally runs a test command against production, it won't have disastrous results. One recommended approach is to use service principals. An Azure service principal is an identity for use with applications, services, and tools to access Azure resources. Using service principals allows us to assign specific permissions that are limited in scope to precisely what is required so we can minimize the impact if it's compromised! This blog explains how.

How do teams work together on an automated machine learning project?

When it comes to executing a machine learning project in an organization, data scientists, project managers, and business leads need to work together to deploy the best models to meet specific business objectives. A central objective of this step is to identify the key business variables that the analysis needs to predict. We refer to these variables as the model targets, and we use the metrics associated with them to determine the success of the project. In this use case, we look at how a data scientist, project manager, and business lead at a retail grocer can leverage automated machine learning and Azure Machine Learning service to reduce product overstock.

How to Use Azure Pipeline Task and Job Conditions

An Azure Pipeline Job is a grouping of tasks that run sequentially on the same target. In many cases, you will want to only execute a task or a job if a specific condition has been met. Azure Pipeline conditions allow us to define conditions under which a task or job will execute. In this blog, we will detail a common situation in which pipeline conditions are helpful, the configuration of this condition, and what documentation links offer more information.

Moving your database to Azure

In this session we show you how we migrated an on-premises MongoDB database to Azure Cosmos DB and SQL Server database to an Azure SQL Server Managed Instance. You’ll learn about data preparation decisions, performing the migration, and ensuring your application has zero downtime while switching over to the cloud hosted database providers.

Azure Stack IaaS – part seven of a series

Most apps get delivered by a team. When your team delivers the app through virtual machine (VMs), it is important to coordinate efforts. Born in the cloud to serve teams from all over the world, Azure and Azure Stack have some handy capabilities to help you coordinate VM operations across your team. In this blog, we look at features such as single sign-in, role-based access, and collaborating with people outside your organization.

How to accelerate DevOps with Machine Learning lifecycle management

DevOps is the union of people, processes, and products to enable the continuous delivery of value to end users. DevOps for machine learning is about bringing the lifecycle management of DevOps to Machine Learning. Utilizing Machine Learning, DevOps can easily manage, monitor, and version models while simplifying workflows and the collaboration process. Effectively managing the Machine Learning lifecycle is critical for DevOps’ success. And the first piece to machine learning lifecycle management is building your machine learning pipeline or pipelines. We explain how.

Illustration of a machine learing pipeline

How do teams work together on an automated machine learning project?

When it comes to executing a machine learning project in an organization, data scientists, project managers, and business leads need to work together to deploy the best models to meet specific business objectives. A central objective of this step is to identify the key business variables that the analysis needs to predict. We refer to these variables as the model targets, and we use the metrics associated with them to determine the success of the project.

How to stay informed about Azure service issues

Azure Service Health helps you stay informed and take action when Azure service issues like outages and planned maintenance affect you. It provides you with a personalized dashboard that can help you understand issues that may be impacting resources in your Azure subscriptions. For any event, you can get guidance and support, share details with your colleagues, and receive issue updates. We’ve posted a new video series to help you learn how to use Azure Service Health and ensure you stay on top of service issues.

How to stay on top of Azure best practices

Optimizing your cloud workloads can seem like a complex and daunting task. We created Azure Advisor, a personalized guide to Azure best practices, to make it easier to get the most out of Azure.

How Skype modernized its backend infrastructure using Azure Cosmos DB

Founded in 2003, Skype has grown to become one of the world’s premier communication services, making it simple to share experiences with others wherever they are. Since its acquisition by Microsoft in 2010, Skype has grown to more than four billion total users, more than 300 million monthly active users, and more than 40 million concurrent users. In a three-part series, we discuss how Skype used Azure Cosmos DB to solve real-world challenges.

Azure shows

Episode 274 – Reliability Engineering | The Azure Podcast

David Blank-Edelman, a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, gives us some great insight into what customers should be thinking about when it comes to the reliability of their cloud applications.

Using the new Basic Process in Azure DevOps | DevOps Lab

In this episode, Abel chats with Dan Hellem to walk through the details of the new Basic process in Azure DevOps and learn how it works.

Redis Edge on Azure IoT Edge | Internet of Things Show

RedisEdge from Redis Labs is a purpose-built database for the demanding conditions at the IoT edge. It has the ability to ingest millions of writes per second with <1ms latency, has a 5MB footprint, and is available on ARM32, ARM64, and x64 architectures.

Azure Monitor action groups | Azure Friday

Azure Monitor action groups enable you to define a list of actions to execute when an alert is triggered. In this episode, we demonstrate how to configure a Service Health alert to use an action group.

How to test Azure Functions | Azure Tips & Tricks

In this edition of Azure Tips and Tricks, learn how to test Azure Functions with unit and integration test methods.

Thumbnail from How to test AzureFunctions

Management Groups, Policy, and Blueprints in Azure Governance | Microsoft Mechanics – Azure

The latest on governing Azure subscriptions for Cloud Architects or Ops Managers. Satya Vel, from the Azure Governance Team, demonstrates Microsoft's approach to Azure Governance overall, which now includes more granular control of policy across different apps and departments in your organization with management groups. You'll also see the new Azure Blueprint templates that simplify setting up your environment to meet specific compliance requirements such as ISO, as well as easier tracking of policy changes and their impact. We'll show you how you can now apply governance capabilities across your Azure Kubernetes workloads.

Thumbnail from ManagementGroups, Policy, and Blueprints in Azure Governance

Party with Palermo at the Microsoft MVP Summit | Azure DevOps Podcast

This week Jeffrey Palermo has a special episode for you all! It is recorded live, from the night before the Microsoft MVP Summit, at Jeffrey’s annual “Party with Palermo!” get-together for MVPs.

Episode 6 – AI Forensics and Pharaoh Hounds | AzureABILITY Podcast

AI/Machine Learning pioneer Andre Magni visits the pod to talk computer intelligence; from Microsoft's AI mission (to amplify human ingenuity with intelligent technology) to data-curation gotchas and modelling pitfalls to identifying dead bodies using AI.


Countdown for Microsoft Build: Things to Do Part 1

Get ready to see the awesome sights of Seattle while you're at Microsoft Build this May, including the Museum of Pop Culture and Wings over Washington.

Microsoft at SAP Sapphire NOW 2019: A trusted path to cloud innovation

In a few weeks, more than 22,000 people from around the globe will converge in Orlando, Florida May 7-9  for the SAP Sapphire NOW and ASUG Annual Conference. Each year, the event brings together thought leaders across industries to find innovative ways to solve common challenges, unlock new opportunities, and take advantage of emerging technologies that are changing the business landscape as we know it. This year, Microsoft has elevated its presence with engaging in-booth experiences and informative sessions that will educate, intrigue, and inspire attendees as they take the next step in their digital transformation journey.

Customers, partners, and industries

Bitnami Apache Airflow Multi-Tier now available in Azure Marketplace

A few months ago, we released a blog post that provided guidance on how to deploy Apache Airflow on Azure. The template in the blog provided a good quick start solution for anyone looking to quickly run and deploy Apache Airflow on Azure in sequential executor mode for testing and proof of concept study.

Leveraging AI and digital twins to transform manufacturing with Sight Machine

Azure has mastered ingesting and storing manufacturing data with services such as Azure IoT Hub and Azure Data Lake, and now our partner Sight Machine has solved for the other huge challenge: data variety. Sight Machine on Azure is a leading AI-enabled analytics platform that enables manufacturers to normalize and contextualize plant floor data in real-time. The creation of these digital twins allows them to find new insights, transform operations, and unlock new value.

Illustration showing Sight Machine’s Digital Manufacturing Platform

Azure AI does that?

Whether you’re just starting off in tech, building, managing, or deploying apps, gathering and analyzing data, or solving global issues —anyone can benefit from using cloud technology. In this post we’ve gathered five cool examples of innovative artificial intelligence (AI) to showcase how you can be a catalyst for real change.

Azure Front Door gets WAF support, a new Premium plan for Azure Functions & changes to Azure alerts | Azure This Week – A Cloud Guru

This time on Azure This Week, Lars covers Azure Front Door which gets Web Application Firewall support, Azure Functions get a new Premium plan for more serverless action, Azure alerts get an overhaul, and a new series – "Azure Fireside Chats" launches on A Cloud Guru.

Thumbnail from Azure FrontDoor gets WAF support, a new Premium plan for Azure Functions& changes to Azure alerts

Source: Azure Blog Feed

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