Azure News 2017 – Week 47

This week on the Need to Know podcast, ND series of VMs for Deep Learning & NCv2 series for HPC compute coming into GA in December, brand new NCv3-series VMs that use NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs. System state backup directly to Azure using Azure Backup and much more.

Azure App Service and Functions on Azure Stack

We are pleased to share that Azure App Service and Functions are now generally available on Azure Stack. This release brings the power of Azure App Service and Azure Functions on-premises, and offers product support for customers running in multinode environments. Learn more in this blog post.

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Windows Server system state backup to Azure

The general availability (GA) of Windows Server system state backup to Azure means you can protect Windows File Servers, Active Directory, and Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) web servers hosted on Windows Server 2016 all the way back to Windows Server 2008 R2. Backing up your Windows Server system state to Azure gives you a very simple, secure, and cost-effective way to protect Windows Servers. It also enables the recovery of dynamic OS and application configurations from Azure in the event of an IT disaster.

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New NVIDIA GPUs coming to Azure accelerate HPC and AI workloads

Machine Learning, AI, and HPC are changing the way every industry thinks, including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, oil and gas, and financial services.

With that, Azure offers the most comprehensive set of GPUs in the public cloud, already offering VM sizes with NVIDIA’s K80s, M60s, P40s and P100s. Now, there’s more good news:

  • Azure are launching a new VM size on Azure, the NCv3. This new size will offer the new NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPU.
  • The NCv2, offering NVIDIA P100s, and the ND-series, offering NVIDIA P40s, are exiting preview and will be GA for your production workloads starting on December 1st.

The NCv3-series virtual machines will use NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs, which are the latest GPUs from NVIDIA. The GPU sizes also offer PCIe configuration with direct support for Azure premium storage. The NCv3 series will be available in East US in weeks.

Azure is the only cloud with dedicated InfiniBand interconnects to enable incredibly fast multi-VM computations.

Just a couple months ago, Microsoft released the preview of the ND-series, focusing on deep learning, AI training and inference. The ND is powered by up to four NVIDIA Tesla P40 GPUs and provide a large GPU memory size (24GB), enabling customers to deploy much larger neural net models. Also recently released was the NCv2-series, targeting traditional HPC workloads. With up to four NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs and Azure’s unique InfiniBand networking for low-latency interconnect, the NCv2 offers great HPC performance at a great price for scale-out workloads.

The NCv2 and ND will be GA and ready for production workloads on December 1 in multiple regions in the US, Europe and Asia.

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Azure Functions Proxies

Azure Functions Proxies, soon to be in preview, will be a new capability that’ll make it easier to develop APIs by using Azure Functions.

Functions Proxies will let you define a single API surface for multiple function apps. You can specify endpoints on your function app that are implemented by another resource. You can use these proxies to break a large API into multiple function apps (as in a microservice architecture), while still presenting a single API surface for clients.

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Azure Advisor: New dashboard, downloadable reports, and configuration

Azure Advisor is a personalised cloud service for Azure best practices that helps you optimise Azure resources for high availability, security, performance, and cost.

Advisor brings an all-new dashboard to help you more easily review the overall status of your recommendations across multiple subscriptions, downloadable reports, and customisation options to tune Advisor to your needs. You can tag resource groups that you want include in recommendations (for example, you can exclude non-production workloads), and adjust the CPU utilisation threshold for identifying low-usage virtual machines for each subscription.

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Preview the new Azure Storage SDK for Go & Storage SDKs roadmap

What’s new?

  • Layered SDK architecture: Low-level and high-level APIs
  • There is one SDK package per service (REST API) version for greater flexibility. You can choose to use an older REST API version and avoid breaking your application. In addition, you can load multiple packages side by side.
  • Built on code generated by AutoRest
  • Split packages for Blob, Files and Queue services for reduced footprint
  • A new extensible middleware pipeline to mutate HTTP requests and responses
  • Progress notification for upload and download operations

More Info.

The Cheapest Public Cloud

With Azure Reserved Instances, Azure is the most cost-effective cloud for Windows Server workloads.

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If you have Software Assurance, you can combine Azure RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefits and save up to 82% compared to pay-as-you-go prices, and up to 67%* compared to AWS RIs for Windows VMs.

After you buy a Reserved VM Instance, the reservation discount is automatically applied to virtual machines matching the attributes and quantity of the reservation.

With Hybrid Benefit, each 2-processor license or each set of 16-core licenses are entitled to two instances of up to 8 cores, or one instance of up to 16 cores. The Azure Hybrid Benefit for Standard Edition licenses can only be used once either on-premises or in Azure. Datacenter Edition benefits allow for simultaneous usage both on-premises and in Azure.

Difference between Azure & AWS RIs, with Azure you can cancel at anytime. With AWS, if you want to cancel, you have to put your reserved instance on the AWS market with what ever time is remaining and hope someone will buy it from you.

In addition, with Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, customers with Software Assurance will be able to save even more.

With Azure RIs and Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure is the most cost-effective public cloud to run your Windows Server workloads!

Azure News

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