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“I’m excited to share some of the latest things we’re working on at Microsoft to help developers achieve more when building the applications of tomorrow, today.”
-Scott Guthrie – Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft

On the 4th of December, at the Microsoft Connect(); 2018 Conference, the tech giant announced a series of updates in its Azure domain. With an aim to make it easy for operators and developers to adopt and use Kubernetes, Microsoft has announced the public preview of Azure Kubernetes Service virtual nodes and Azure Container Instances GPU support. They have also announced Azure Pipelines extension for Visual Studio Code, GitHub Releases, and much more!

#1 Azure Kubernetes Service virtual nodes, Azure Container Instances GPU support enters public preview

The Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) is powered by the open source Virtual Kubelet technology. This release will enable customers to fully experience serverless Kubernetes.
Customers will be able to extend the consistent, powerful Kubernetes API (provided by AKS) with the scalable, container-based compute capacity of ACI.

With AKS virtual nodes, customers can precisely allocate the number of additional containers needed, rather than waiting for additional VM-based nodes to spin up. The ACI is billed by the second, based on the resources that a customer specifies, thus enabling them to match their costs to their workloads. This, in turn, will help the AP provided by Kubernetes to reap the benefits of serverless platforms without having to worry about managing any additional compute resources

Adding GPU support to ACI will enable a new class of compute-intensive applications through AKS virtual nodes. The blog says that initially, ACI will support the K80, P100, and V100 GPUs from Nvidia and users can specify the type and number of GPUs that they would like for their container.

#2 Azure Pipelines extension for Visual Studio Code

The  Azure Pipelines extension for Visual Studio Code will enable developers use VS syntax highlighting and IntelliSense that will be aware of the Azure Pipelines YAML format. Traditionally, in Visual Studio Code, syntax highlighting required developers to remember exactly which keys are legal, causing them to flip back and forth to the documentation while keeping track of the location of the keys. Using this new functionality of Azure, they will now be alerted in red “ink” if they write “tasks:” instead of “task:”. They just need to press Ctrl-Space (or Cmd-Space on macOS) to see what’s accepted at that point in the file.

#3 GitHub releases

Developers can now seamlessly manage GitHub Releases using Azure Pipelines. This allows them to create new releases, modify drafts, or discard older drafts. The new GitHub Releases task supports actions like attaching binary files, publishing draft releases, and marking a release as pre-release and much more.

#4 Azure IoT Edge support in the Azure DevOps project

Azure DevOps Projects enables developers to set up a fully functional DevOps pipeline straight from the Azure portal which will be customized to the programming language and application platform they want to use, along with the Azure functionality they want to leverage and deploy to. The community showed a growing interest in using Azure DevOps to build and deploy IoT based solutions. The Azure portal for Azure IoT Edge in the Azure DevOps project workflow will make it easy for customers to achieve this goal.

They can easily deploy IoT Edge modules written in Node.js, Python, Java, .NET Core, or C, helping users to develop, build, and deploy their IoT Edge application. This support will provide customers with:

  • A Git code repository with a sample IoT Edge application written in Node.js, Python, Java, .NET Core, or C
  • A build and a release pipeline setup for deployment to Azure
  • Easy provisioning of all Azure resources required for Azure IoT Edge

#5 ServiceNow integration with Azure Pipelines

Azure has joined forces with ServiceNow, an organization that is focussed on automating routines activities, tasks, and processes at work. They help enterprises gain efficiencies and increase the productivity of their workforce.

Developers can now automate the deployment process using Azure Pipelines, and use ServiceNow Change Management for risk assessment, scheduling, approvals, and oversight while updating production.

You can head over to Microsoft’s official Blog to know more about these announcements.

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