Azure News 2017 – Week 9

New Windows Server 2016 RDS template in Azure, More Azure regions, Kubernetes now Generally Available on ACS, Azure Network Watcher and we speak with Orin Thomas who is one of five (5) Microsoft Regional Directors in Australia.

Azure news as heard on the Need to Know podcast:

On the last episode we Last week we mentioned some Ignite Australia stats, but below is a more complete list kindly provided by Microsoft:

  1. How many square meters does Ignite Australia take up? 14368m2
  2. How many cups of coffee did we all drink this year? 8,800 cups
  3. How much data was downloaded as of 12pm Friday? 4.7TB
  4. How many hours of breakout session content were recorded? 228.75hrs
  5. How many meals did we devour here this week? 21,550
  6. How many meters of network patch leads are needed for this event? 3109m
  7. What was the average length of the hack sessions? 20mins
  8. How many sessions were submitted to the call for content? 641
  9. How many breakout sessions were there in total? 181
  10. How many powerboards were used? 409
  11. How many minutes of content were there in total? 13725 mins
  12. How many devices were there in the Ignite Learning Zone? 270
  13. How many pallets were needed for the Ignite backpacks? 40
  14. How many banquet chairs did we use? 4172
  15. How many HoloLens experience demos were held in total? 272

Speaking of Ignite, at Ignite 2016, Microsoft highlighted all the improvements they have made in the core Remote Desktop Services (RDS) platform in Windows Server 2016 to leverage the power of Azure. Since then, they have been working hard to help customers jumpstart a RDS deployment. You can now find Windows Server 2016 Remote Desktop Services in the Azure Marketplace!

With the Azure Marketplace, it’s pretty easy to find things. As an example, you can quickly find the RDS Azure Marketplace solutions template by searching “RDS“.

With the RDS Solutions Template in the Azure Marketplace, you can quickly and easily deploy a full RDS environment including:

  • 1 domain controller VM
  • 2 RDS infrastructure VMs
  • RDSH virtual machines
  • public IP address; and other required networking components.

More Info.

Backup Managed Disk VMs using Azure Backup

About a week ago we announced the general availability of Managed Disks. Managed Disks are part of Azure Resource Manager (ARM) and can be deployed via JSON templates to create thousands of Managed Disks without worrying about limitations of storage accounts or specifying disk details.

You can now backup VMs that have Managed disks. With Azure Backup service, you get the ability to backup Managed Disk based VMs directly from the VM management blade and the user experience is the same and consistent with a backup of storage account based VMs.

More Info.

Microsoft sees huge opportunity for Azure in China

China is a huge opportunity for Azure as there is heavy demand for cloud both from private and government organisations.

Now remember in a recent podcast we mentioned that Satya Nadella he estimated that Microsoft’s revenue from the cloud including Azure & Office 365 was expected to reach $20 billion by June 30, 2018? A report from Gartner says the public cloud services in APAC is expected to grow 17.7% in 2017 to $10 billion and by 2020, total public cloud services spending is expected to rise to $15.8 billion.

Microsoft will try to grab this opportunity through their China Azure service delivered by 21Vianet.

More Info.

More Azure Regions

Just when you thought there were enough Azure datacenters already around the globe, Microsoft have announced the general availability of two new Azure regions in Korea. Microsoft also announced tha t Office 365 will be generally available in Quarter 2 of 2017 out of Korea. These two new Azure regions in Korea are part of 13 regions in Asia and 38 Azure regions announced across the globe.

More Info.

Kubernetes now Generally Available on Azure Container Service

Kubernetes is an orchestration platform to help with managing and taking control of containers. Even though Kubernetes is now generally available (GA), Microsoft only announced the preview of Kubernetes in November 2016.

There is now a preview of Windows Server Containers with Kubernetes which Microsoft have added Kubernetes support for Windows Server Containers and there’s strong interest for enterprise customers in adopting it and putting it into production with Windows Server Containers. Now you can preview both Docker Swarm (launched in preview last year) as well as Kubernetes though ACS, providing choice as well as consistency with two of the top three Linux container orchestration platforms.

Microsoft are updating their DC/OS support to version 1.8.8. What is DC/OS? It is a distributed operating system based on the Apache Mesos distributed systems kernel. It enables the management of multiple machines as if they were a single computer

DC/OS is a production-proven platform that elastically powers both containers and big data services. ACS delivers the open source DC/OS while Microsoft’s partnership with Mesosphere ensures anyone requiring additional enterprise features are catered for. Some of the features of this new release include:

  • a new orchestration framework, called Metronome, to run scheduled jobs.
  • a number of other UI improvements
  • the addition of GPU and CNI support in the Universal container runtime.

DC/OS is trusted by many Fortune 1000 companies. Microsoft have worked with Mesosphere to produce an e-book called “Deploying Microservices and Containers with ACS and DC/OS.”

More Info.

Microsoft Flow team have announced support for two new services

  • Azure Automation – Azure Automation provides tools to manage your cloud and on-premises infrastructure seamlessly
  • Basecamp 2 – Basecamp 2 helps with project management

Microsoft Flow Admin Center now allows admins to manage all flows created in their environment. They can view all flows, delete or disable a flow, and view the connections used in the flow. To manage the flows, they need to login using their corporate credentials.

More Info.

Azure Network Watcher

This is a Network Performance Monitoring and Diagnostics Service for Azure. Now you can diagnose connectivity issues, get access to packet data from a virtual machine, log flow data for Network Security Groups and visualise the information with a tooling platform like Power BI!

With Azure Network Watcher, you can now access stacks of logging and diagnostic capabilities that give you insights to understand network performance and health.

Topology – You can now view the network topology of your deployments with just a few clicks, you can now visualise a complete network topology for applications.

IP flow verify – you can check whether network flow is allowed or denied to or from a virtual machine. “IP flow verify” can now validate if a flow (combination of source IP, destination IP, source port, destination port and protocol) is allowed or denied. You will also see the specific Network Security Group and security rule in question.

Next hop – if there are problems with user defined routes, next hop provides the ability to get the next hop type and IP address based on a specified virtual machine, you can investigate any route being black-holed and conditions caused by incorrect configuration.

Packet capture – for both Windows and Linux virtual machines, this enables you to trigger packet capture on virtual machines. Applying advanced rule matching options, you can capture packets that have a specific source IP, destination IP, source port or destination port, or a byte offset from the start of a packet.

NSG flow logs – validate Network Security Group configurations by enabling allowed or denied logging of NSG flow data for each Network Security Group setting. This includes timestamp, source IP, destination IP, source port, destination port and protocol, the Network Security Group and the security rule.

Virtual Network Gateway Connectivity Troubleshooting – troubleshoot vNet gateway connectivity issues. Comprehensive built-in tests are executed to isolate over fifteen different fault conditions. This contains information such as connection status, bytes sent/received, errors and logs.

More Info.

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