3 min read

If you missed the Azure announcements made at Microsoft Ignite 2018, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the biggest changes and improvements the Microsoft Azure team have made to their cloud offering.

Infrastructure Improvements

Azure’s new capabilities to deliver the best infrastructure for every workload include:

1. GPU enable and High-Performance VM

To deliver the best infrastructure for every workload, Azure has announced the Preview of GPU-enabled and High-Performance Computing Virtual Machines.

The two new N-series Virtual Machines have NVIDIA GPU capabilities. The first one is the NVv2 VMs and the second virtual machine is the NDv2 VMs. The two new H-series VMs are optimized for performance and cost and are aimed at HPC workloads like fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, energy exploration, weather forecasting, risk analysis, and more. The first VM is the HB VMs and the second VM is the HC VMs.


2. Networking

Azure has announced the general availability of Azure Firewall and Virtual WAN. They have also announced the preview of Azure Front Door Service, ExpressRoute Global Reach, and ExpressRoute Direct.

Azure Firewall has a built-in high availability and cloud scalability. The Virtual WAN will provide a simple, unified, global connectivity, and security platform to deploy large-scale branch connectivity.

3. Improved Disk storage

Microsoft has expanded the portfolio of Azure Disk offerings to deploy any app in Azure, including those that are the most IO intensive. The new previews include the Ultra SSDs, Standard SSDs, Larger managed disk sizes – to help deal with data-intensive workloads. This will also ensure better availability, reliability, and latency as compared to standard SSDs

4. Hybrid

Microsoft has announced new hybrid capabilities to manage data, create even more consistency, and secure hybrid environment. They have introduced the Azure Data Box edge, Windows Server 2019 and Azure stack. With AI enable edge computing capabilities, and OS that supports hybrid management and flexibility for deploying applications, Azure is causing waves in the developer community

Built-in security & management

For improved Security, Azure has announced new services for preview, like Confidential Computing DC VM series, Secure score, improved threat protection, and network map (preview). These will expand Azure security controls and services to protect network, applications, data, and identities. These services are enhanced by the unique intelligence that comes from the trillions of signals we collect in running first party services like Office 365 and Xbox.

For better Management, Azure has announced the preview of Azure Blueprints. These blueprints make it easy to deploy and update Azure environments in a repeatable manner using composable artifacts such as policies, role-based access controls, and resource templates. Azure cost management in the Azure portal (preview) will help to access cost management from PowerBI or directly from your own custom applications.

Migration

To make the migration to the cloud less challenging, Azure has announced the support for Hyper-V assessments in Azure MigrateAzure SQL Database Managed Instance, which enables users to migrate SQL Servers to a fully managed Azure service. To help improve your migration experience, we are announcing that if you migrate Windows Server or SQL Server 2008/R2 to Azure, you will get three years of free extended security updates on those systems. This could save you some money when Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/ R2 end of support (EOS).

Automated ML capability in Azure Machine Learning

The problem of finding the best machine learning pipeline for a given dataset scales faster than the time available for data science projects.  Azure’s Automated machine learning enables developers to access an automated service that identifies the best machine learning pipelines for their labelled data. Data scientists are empowered with a powerful productivity tool that also takes uncertainty into account, incorporating a probabilistic model to determine the best pipeline to try next.

To follow more of the Azure buzz, head to  Microsoft’s official Blog

 

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