Microsoft Azure news - July 2016

Microsoft Azure news - July 2016

Read the latest new update for Microsoft Azure

Featured customer-submitted story: Indigo Cloud

Indigo Cloud has been using Azure since 2011 and they love it. They developed a debt-recovery platform (DebtView) in the cloud so they could provide enterprise-level functionality to small businesses at a price that makes sense. By using DebtView, smaller businesses can now compete with large, established players. Thanks to the scalability of the Azure platform, they are able to provide larger companies with the same service, for a fraction of the cost of on-premises systems. Indigo Cloud has seen companies that would traditionally outsource bad debt bring it back in-house for tremendous savings. Azure helped Indigo Cloud reach markets and customers that were previously unattainable.

Download these infographics and become an Azure master builder

Designed to help you build real-world Azure solutions faster, Azure architecture blueprints are collected in a repository of scenario-based diagrams available in 2D, 3D, and video. Whether you’re interested in e-commerce, line-of- business apps, multiplayer games, or cloud storage, browse the blueprints for getting stuff done with Azure.

GE and Microsoft form partnership to bring Predix to Azure

Earlier this month, GE and Microsoft announced a partnership that will make GE’s Predix platform for the Industrial Internet available on the Azure cloud for industrial businesses. The move marks the first step in a broad strategic collaboration between the two companies, and will allow customers around the world to capture intelligence from their industrial assets and take advantage of our enterprise cloud applications. Learn more.

Microsoft Power BI Embedded generally available

Microsoft Power BI Embedded allows ISVs and developers to embed stunning, fully-interactive reports in customer-facing apps. Now the service is available with a service level agreement (SLA) in nine datacenters worldwide. You have new functionalities like row-level security for advanced filtering.

Cortana Intelligence Suite with Bing Predicts in public preview

Cortana Intelligence Suite with Bing Predicts helps you take advantage of our unique social and web data to gain consumer insights and interpret industry trends. Bing Predicts is a custom services program that leverages the power of proprietary and unique Microsoft data (Bing, Internet Explorer, Web, Windows, and more) so you can augment your Cortana Intelligence Suite solutions for more accurate answers to a wide variety of business questions.

Microsoft Cognitive Services - Bing APIs generally available

Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of APIs that enable developers to build intelligent apps by tapping into high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge, and search technologies developed through decades of Microsoft research. The following Bing APIs are now available: Bing Autosuggest API helps users complete queries faster by adding intelligent type-ahead capabilities to an app or website; Bing Spell Check API helps correct spelling errors, among other capabilities; and Bing Search APIs make apps, webpages, and other experiences smarter and more engaging.

Azure HDInsight exclusively available on the Azure portal

Starting August 1, 2016, Azure HDInsight on the Azure classic portal will be redirected to the Azure portal. When this takes place, customers will be redirected to the portal to create or manage their HDInsight clusters. This change won’t affect customers’ HDInsight clusters.

Microsoft Azure IoT Hub S3 edition generally available

Microsoft Azure IoT Hub S3 addresses enterprise scenarios where you have a large number of devices that generate large amounts of data and must transmit messages frequently. Each unit of the S3 edition lets you transmit up to 300 million messages per day. Azure IoT Hub S3 is the fourth edition in the Azure IoT Hub family; the others are Free, S1, and S2.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 available later this year

Available this autumn, Microsoft Dynamics 365 evolves Microsot’s current CRM and ERP cloud solutions into one cloud service with new purpose-built apps to help manage specific business functions, including: Financials, Field Service, Sales, Operations, Marketing, Project Service Automation, and Customer Service. Dynamics 365 apps are designed so they can be easily and independently deployed. That means you can start small and pay only for what you need. Yet they work together seamlessly so, as your business demands, you can grow into additional capabilities with ease. For more information, visit the Official Microsoft Blog.

Microsoft introduces AppSource for line-of- business SaaS apps

AppSource helps business users find and evaluate SaaS apps unique to their industry and line-of- business role, built by ISV partners on top of Dynamics, Office, and the Azure platform. Users can also discover content packs and add-ins for Microsoft business apps like Dynamics CRM, Power BI, and Office. For more information, visit the Official Microsoft Blog.

Featured video - The Walking Dead: No Man's Land game built on

Azure DocumentDB On October 7, 2015, AMC and Next Games released The Walking Dead: No Man's Land, the official mobile game based on AMC's record-breaking TV series, for iOS. Within a week, the game quickly skyrocketed to the #1 spot on Apple's Top Free App chart. To handle the massive scale and performance requirements for their highly anticipated game (over 1 million downloads and 31 million minutes played on opening weekend alone), the Next Games development team chose to implement their backend services on Azure. Watch video and learn more about Azure DocumentDB.

Help secure data in Azure SQL Database with Always Encrypted, now generally available

Always Encrypted in Azure SQL Database helps protect sensitive data, such as credit card numbers or national identification numbers, stored in Microsoft SQL Server databases and SQL Database. Always Encrypted allows clients to encrypt sensitive data inside client applications and not reveal the encryption keys to the database. As a result, Always Encrypted distinguishes between those who own the data (and can view it) and those who manage the data (but should have no access). For more information, please visit the Azure Blog.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse generally available in select regions

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is now generally available in most regions where Azure Premium Storage is also generally available, and introduces higher compute options—3000 DWU and 6000 DWU. SQL Data Warehouse is your go-to SQL-based view across data, offering a fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale cloud solution. SQL Data Warehouse decouples compute and storage for the freedom to scale and right-size your environment.

SQL Server Stretch Database generally available

With SQL Server Stretch Database, you can dynamically stretch warm and cold transactional data from Microsoft SQL Server 2016 to Azure. Unlike typical cold data storage, the data is always at hand. Stretch Database lets you retain data longer and more affordably than typical enterprise storage. Depending on how often the data will be accessed, you can choose the appropriate level of service, and then scale up or down as needed. Using Stretch Database doesn’t require any application changes. Customers can also use Stretch Database with new Always Encrypted technology, which helps protect your data at rest and in motion—extending data in a more secured manner for greater peace of mind.

Microsoft R Server for Linux virtual machines generally available

Microsoft R Server is the most broadly deployable enterprise-class analytics platform for R available today. With a variety of big-data capabilities, including statistics, predictive modeling, and machine learning, R Server supports the full range of analytics based on open-source R: exploration, analysis, visualisation, and modelling. By using and extending open-source R, R Server is fully compatible with R scripts, functions, and CRAN packages and can analyse data at enterprise scale. Microsoft has also addressed in-memory limitations of open-source R by adding parallel and chunked data processing in R Server, so users can run analytics on data much bigger than what fits in main memory.

Microsoft R Client in preview

Microsoft R Client is a free tool that lets data scientists explore production data to create models and algorithms using powerful ScaleR APIs. When you install R Client, you get access to enhanced R packages and connectivity tools provided in Microsoft R Server. On its own, R Client is throttled to three cores: one thread for reading and two for processing RevoScaleR HPA functions. R Client is in-memory bound, even with XDF files. While R Client can be used on its own, you can benefit from hybrid memory, disk scalability, performance, and speed when you push the compute context to an R Server production instance. R Client is optimised to work with all R Server versions. For more information on how to install R Client, visit the Install Microsoft R Client on Windows webpage and this Getting Started guide.

ExpressRoute generally available in additional locations

The Azure ExpressRoute footprint is expanding to Paris, Newport/Wales, and Quebec City. For a full overview of available ExpressRoute locations, visit the ExpressRoute partners and peering locations documentation webpage.

Azure Data Factory – Monitoring and managing big-data pipelines

Azure Friday’s Scott Hanselman learns about improvements to the tools in Azure Data Factory and how it’s now even easier to monitor and manage big-data pipelines. Watch it now.

Securing your data in Azure SQL Database

For details on the security and data management features in Azure SQL Database, watch this Microsoft Virtual Academy course. Our instructors show you the foundation of data security in the cloud provided by Azure, and explore the techniques and features used to manage data access in SQL Database and to log and monitor database activity. Learn how SQL Database protects data at rest and in transit and how you can build secure applications.

Microsoft IT improves security with Azure Multi-Factor Authentication

To improve security and better support the productivity of our mobile workforce, Microsoft IT enabled Azure Multi-Factor Authentication as an additional verification method for securely signing in. Now, users can sign in from any device with a single user identity via a simple phone call or mobile app notification. As a result, we've improved userexperience, reduced helpdesk calls, and improved the performance of the service. Learn more.

What's new in Windows Server 2016

If you’re thinking of moving to Windows Server 2016, watch this helpful course from Microsoft Virtual Academy. Get details on the new features and functionality in this version of Windows Server, along with those modified from previous versions. Microsoft’s expert instructor team offers demonstrations and high-level overviews, including Windows Server 2016 Hyper-V, software-defined networking, storage, and security features.

Cloud Cover: Azure Functions

In this episode, learn about how Azure Functions provides a way to host code that can respond to a variety of triggers. Azure Functions currently provides first-class support for C# and Node with additional functionality on the way (PowerShell, F#, Python, and more).

Real Madrid C.F. and Microsoft unveil new app

Real Madrid C.F. is one of the most successful and widely supported sports organisations in the world. But with only 3 percent of Real Madrid's fans actually living in Madrid, it has become increasingly important for the club to find ways to directly connect with supporters worldwide. Watch the video to learn more.

Cloud Cover: Netflix Spinnaker on Azure

In this episode, learn how you can leverage Spinnaker, Netflix's open-source, multiple-cloud, global continuous delivery platform. Spinnaker is designed to be pluggable—allowing different tasks, models, and targets to be incorporated into the deployment pipeline. It supports various deployment targets such as Amazon Web Services, Google Compute Engine, Kubernetes, and Cloud Foundry. Now with Microsoft's contribution, Spinnaker also deploys to Azure.

To keep up to speed with the latest on Azure and other useful cloud materials, check out our resources pages here: or get in touch directly via chat, phone, email or the form below.

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