Need to Know Podcast – Episode 171

New Azure VMs ND, DCv2 and the M series are all GA’d, another free eBook for developers, new WhiteBoard app and the Azure Application Architecture Guide on episode 171 of the Need to Know podcast.

ND and NCv2 virtual machines now available

ND and NCv2 virtual machines (VMs), as announced at Build 2017, are now available.

The ND-series, powered by NVIDIA Tesla P40 GPUs based on the new Pascal Architecture will provide more than twice the performance over the previous generation for FP32 (single precision floating point operations), for AI workloads utilising CNTK, TensorFlow, Caffe, and other frameworks. The ND-series also offer a much larger GPU memory size (24-gigabytes), enabling you to fit much larger neural net models. Also, like the NC-series, the ND-series will offer RDMA and InfiniBand connectivity.

The next generation of the NC-series, the NCv2, is powered by NVIDIA Tesla P100 GPUs. These new GPUs will provide more than twice the computational performance of the current NC-series. They will also offer InfiniBand networking configurations for workloads that require fast interconnect and also accelerate scale out capability and improved single instance performance.

More Info.

M-Series virtual machines now available

The highest performing Azure virtual machines (VMs) to date, the M-Series, are now available, these are optimised for large in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA. These new M-series VMs are designed with very high RAM and vCPU capabilities, supporting up to 128 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) and between 1 and 3.8 tebibytes (TiB) RAM (Note—3.8 TiB RAM support for the 128 vCPU configuration will be coming soon). These VM instances will also support Premium Storage.

The new M-series will use accelerated networking that will enable up to 30 gigbits per second (Gbps) VM-to-VM data transfer. The M-series VMs will be initially available in the East US 2, West US 2, and West Europe regions.

For Azure VM availability, check out this site for Azure Products available by region.

And to check out Azure Compute Units the concept of the Azure Compute Unit (ACU) to provide a way of comparing compute (CPU) performance across Azure SKUs.

More Info.

Free eBook – The Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Azure now available

On the last podcast we told you about a free eBook called the Azure Virtual Datacenter, this week there’s another new free eBook is available titled, The Developer’s Guide to Microsoft Azure second edition. The book was written to help you on your journey to the cloud, whether you’re just considering making the move, or you’ve already decided and are underway. This eBook was written by developers for developers. It is specifically meant to give you the fundamental knowledge of what Azure is all about, what it offers you and your organization, and how to take advantage of it all.

More Info.

Azure Application Architecture Guide

Azure was released nearly eight years ago. Back then, Azure had only a few services. Now it’s grown tremendously and keeps expanding. Cloud computing itself also has evolved to embrace customer demands. For example, most consumer-facing apps require a much faster velocity of updates than before, to differentiate them from competitors. That’s part of the reason why new architecture styles such as microservices are gaining traction today. Container-based and serverless workloads are becoming de facto. We see all of these new services and industry trends as a great opportunity, but at the same time, they can be a source of confusion and customers may have a lot of questions. E.g.

  • Which architecture should I choose? Microservices? N-Tier? How do we decide?
  • There are many storage choices, which one is the best for me?
  • When should I use a serverless architecture? What’s the benefit? Are there any limitations?
  • How can I improve scalability as well as resiliency
  • What’s a DevOps culture? How can I introduce it to my organisation?

To help answer these questions, the AzureCAT patterns & practices team published the Azure Application Architecture Guide.

More Info.

New Whiteboard App

This app lets Windows 10 users ink on images, create mockups or use notes on a virtual whiteboard. Anyone can use the app, but the collaborative multi-party support will require someone in the group to have an active Office 365 subscription. The new Whiteboard app includes collaborative inking, geometry recognition, table conversion, and automatic table shading. It’s really designed to let people share ink across multiple devices, and any work will be automatically saved to separate boards.

More Info.

Azure News

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