Azure News 2017 – Week 11, pt2

Another new family of Azure VMs, DocumentDB API for MongoDB now GA, using Azure’s flexible compute directly from your R session and New capabilities of HDInsight and DocumentDB are all Azure news items in the past week and are all heard on the Need to Know podcast.

New Storage Optimised Virtual Machines, L Series

We are excited to introduce a new series of virtual machine sizes. The L Series for Storage optimizes workloads that require low latency, such as NoSQL databases (e.g. Cassandra, MongoDB, Cloudera and Redis). This new series of VMs offers from up to 32 CPU cores, using the Intel® Xeon® processor E5 v3 family, similar to the CPU performance of the G-Series that is currently available.

L Series offers 4 new VM sizes from 4 cores, 32 GiB of memory, and 678 GB of fast local SSD, scaling up to 32 cores with 256 GiB of memory, and over 5.6 TB of local SSD.

More Info.

DocumentDB API for MongoDB now generally available

The new DocumentDB API for MongoDB is generally available. The API for MongoDB allows developers to experience the power of the DocumentDB database engine with the comfort of a managed service and the familiarity of the MongoDB SDKs and tools. With the announcement of its general availability, Microsoft are introducing a suite of new features for improvements in availability, scalability, and usability of the service.

DocumentDB API for MongoDB

More Info.

Take advantage of Azure’s flexible compute directly from your R session

Users of the R language often require more compute capacity than their local machines can handle. However, scaling up their work to take advantage of cloud capacity can be complex, troublesome, and can often distract R users from focusing on their algorithms.

Microsoft have announced doAzureParallel – a lightweight R package built on top of Azure Batch, that allows you to easily use Azure’s flexible compute resources right from your R session. doAzureParallel compliments Microsoft R Server by providing the infrastructure for running massive compute parallel simulations.


At its core, the doAzureParallel package is a parallel backend, for the widely popular foreach package that lets you execute multiple processes across a cluster of Azure virtual machines. In just a few lines of code, the package helps you create and manage a cluster in Azure and register it as a parallel backend to be used with the foreach package.

To use doAzureParallel, you need to have a Batch account and a Storage account set up in Azure.

More Info.

New capabilities of HDInsight and DocumentDB

Azure HDInsight is the fully managed OSS analytics platform for running all open-source analytics workloads at scale, with enterprise grade security and SLA

Azure DocumentDB is the planet-scale fully-managed NoSQL database service. Since its general availability in 2015, DocumentDB is one of the fastest growing services on Azure.

There is a new Spark connector for DocumentDB. It enables real-time data science and exploration over globally distributed data in DocumentDB. Connecting Apache Spark to Azure DocumentDB accelerates customer’s ability to solve fast-moving data sciences problems where data can be quickly persisted and retrieved using DocumentDB. The Spark to DocumentDB connector efficiently exploits the native DocumentDB managed indexes and enables up-dateable columns when performing analytics and advanced analytics to data sciences against fast-changing globally-distributed data, ranging from IoT, data science and analytics scenarios. The Spark to DocumentDB connector uses the Azure DocumentDB Java SDK.

Spark connector for DocumentDB

Announcing SQL Server CTP 1.4

Microsoft is excited to announce a new preview for the next version of SQL Server Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1.4 is now available on both Windows and Linux. This preview offers the ability to schedule jobs using SQL Server Agent in SQL Server v.Next on Linux.

More Info.

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