Azure News 2017 – Week 42

We talk about the new Azure Files Sync along with all the latest Microsoft Cloud news with Office 365 and Azure on the latest Need to Know podcast episode 167.

Azure SQL managed instance

Instance-level functionality or isolation requirements where customers who have made deep investments in instance-level SQL Server capabilities (e.g. SQL CLR integration, SQL Server Agent, cross database querying, etc.) expect similar capabilities in Azure SQL Database.

Now there’s a private preview of a new deployment option for Azure SQL Database called Managed InstanceManaged Instance offers near 100% SQL Server compatibility with the benefits of PaaS (platform as a service)! This includes features like SQL CLR, SQL Server Agent and cross-database querying.

Microsoft are have also announced a new Database Migration Service to make the migration to Managed Instance automated, risk free and with down time measured in minutes.  The Database Migration Service streamlines moving SQL Server and non-Microsoft database systems such as Oracle to Azure SQL Database.

Not only will you be able to make use of an Azure SQL service endpoint, having Azure SQL directly on your vNet, with controlled service updates, you can run a test environment where it will receive continuous service updates, then after validation you will be able to apply the updates in a scheduled manner to a production Managed Instance environment.

More Info.

Azure Files share snapshots public preview

As you know Azure Files uses SMB 3.0 with encryption and is a perfect place to dump heaps of data. Now Azure Files have snapshotting available to periodically store read-only versions of files and also allows you to copy an older version of your content from anywhere for further modification and use.

When a share snapshot is created, the contents of the file share and the share snapshot are exactly the same. However, only the incremental changes are written to the snapshot. This makes snapshot creation faster, space-efficient, and cost-effective.


Bing Search API v7 and Bing Custom Search are now generally available

The general availability of Bing Custom Search API and Bing Search API v7.

Bing Custom Search lets you create a highly-customized and targeted web search experience to deliver more relevant results from your targeted web space, through a commercial grade service.

Bing Search APIs v7 allows you to bring the immense knowledge of the planet to your applications. Results come back fast with improved performance for queries on the Bing Web Search API.

More Info.

Azure Log Analytics workspace upgrades are in progress

Microsoft are rolling out new enhancements and changes for Log Analytics with a new and improved query language.

Why the new language?

  • The new language is easier to understand and similar to SQL
  • The new language has more extensive piping capabilities than the legacy language.
  • The new language supports more advanced runtime calculated fields
  • The new language provides more advanced joins
  • The new language has more advanced date/time functions
  • The new language has advanced algorithms to evaluate patterns in datasets and compare different sets of data.
  • The Advanced Analytics portal offers analysis features not available in the Log Analytics portal including multiline editing of queries, additional visualizations, and advanced diagnostics.
  • The new language and the Advanced Analytics Portal are already used for analytics in Application Insights.
  • Queries in the new language can be exported to Power BI Desktop

Changes after upgrade

Deprecation of Log Search API and PowerShell Cmdlet (December 31, 2017). Any use of Log Search API and Get-AzureRmOperationalInsightsSearchResults PowerShell Cmdlet should be migrated to Azure Log Analytics REST API and Invoke-LogAnalyticsQuery PowerShell Cmdlet using the new query language.

The Automatic workspace global upgrade will start on the week of October 30, 2017.

More Info.

Cloud Service Map for AWS and Azure

There is now a new cloud service map to help you quickly compare the cloud capabilities of Azure and AWS services in all categories. Whether you are planning a multi-cloud solution with Azure and AWS, or simply migrating to Azure, you will be able to use this service map to quickly orient yourself with the all the services and what they look like across both providers.

Categories covered include: Marketplace, Compute, Storage, Networking & Content DeliveryDatabaseAnalytics and big data, Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT)Management & monitoring, Mobile servicesSecurity, identity, and access, Developer tools, Enterprise integration.

More Info.

New Azure Government capabilities for classified mission-critical workloads

Azure Government is the mission-critical cloud, providing more than 7,000 Federal, State, and local customers the exclusivity, highest compliance and security, hybrid flexibility, and commercial-grade innovation they need. A new service just announced called Azure Government Secret will allow other agencies with strict protocols for the handling of classified information to use Azure services. At last year’s Government Cloud Forum, Azure Government was the first government-only cloud to be awarded Information Impact Level 5 DoD Provisional Authorization by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Now Microsoft have announced expansion plans to make Azure Government Secret available to support government agencies and partners who have Secret classified data. Azure Government Secret will deliver multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and cloud capabilities to U.S. Federal Civilian, Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and U.S. Government partners working within Secret enclaves. Customers with Secret requirements can expect to gain access to new technologies at scale, including services such as cognitive capabilities, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.

There’s a lot of government-backed hacking going on around the world at the moment, some of the lesser-known Cabinet-level government agencies have secret data that they’d like to keep in the country, and their budgets don’t really allow them to hire the best infrastructure and security talent, which is where a cloud provider like Microsoft comes in.

More Info.

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