Cloud + Enterprise Release Announcements for October 28, 2014

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud + Enterprise team.

In today’s mobile first, cloud first world, Microsoft provides the technologies and tools to enable enterprises to embrace a cloud culture. Our differentiated innovations, comprehensive mobile solutions and developer tools help all of our customers realize the true potential of the cloud first era.

You expect cloud-speed innovation from us, and we’re delivering across the breadth of our Cloud + Enterprise product portfolio. Below is a consolidated list of our latest releases to help you stay current, with links to additional details if you’d like more information.  In this update:

  • TechEd Europe 2014
  • Microsoft CPS Brings an Azure-Consistent Cloud in a Box
  • New Visual Studio Online Now Available in EU Datacenters
  • Microsoft Antimalware Now Generally Available for Azure Cloud Services and Virtual Machines
  • Azure SQL Database Introduces Business Continuity Features with New Visualizations to the New Azure Preview Portal
  •  Hortonworks and Cloudera images in Public Preview in the Azure Store
  • Azure Websites WebJobs GA                 
  • Azure Websites Migration Assistant GA
  • Introducing Azure Batch for Cloud-Scale Job Scheduling and Compute Management
  • Announcing the New Azure Marketplace
  • Azure Automation and Runbook Gallery Generally Available Today
  • Microsoft Azure Australia Geo Generally Available to Customers in Australia and New Zealand
  • Cloud OS Network Momentum
  • Growth and Expansion of Microsoft Azure Certified  

TechEd Europe 2014

TechEd Europe, Microsoft's premier event for IT Professionals and Enterprise developers, begins this week, October 28th-31st, at the Fira Gran Via, Barcelona. Our focus at TechEd is to demonstrate how Microsoft is delivering the industry's most complete cloud- for every business, every geography, and every industry, enabling our customers to be productive anywhere. At today's event Microsoft will announce updates across cloud platform, productivity, developer, and data. Read the TechEd Europe Press Release and the TechNet blog posts on Enterprise Mobility, Intune, and the Customized Cloud; or watch the TechEd Keynote on Channel9.

Microsoft CPS Brings an Azure-Consistent Cloud in a Box

Microsoft brings its experience running some of the largest datacenters and cloud services into a factory-integrated and fully validated converged system. On October 20, Microsoft launched Microsoft Cloud Platform system (CPS), powered by Dell. CPS is a factory integrated converged system, based on Microsoft’s proven software stack of Window Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2 and Windows Azure Pack, running on Dell’s server, storage and networking hardware.

With its software-defined architecture, factory integration and simplified order process, CPS accelerates the journey to cloud. CPS provides a self-service, multi-tenant cloud environment for Platform-as-a-Service, Windows and Linux virtual machines, and includes optimized deployment packs for Microsoft applications like SQL Server, SharePoint, and Exchange. CPS will be available in select geographies on November 3, 2014. To learn more, go to the CPS webpage.

Visual Studio Online Now Available in EU Datacenters

New Visual Studio Online accounts can now be provisioned in Azure datacenters located in the US or in Europe. This enables customers who find data sovereignty important to have their data stored in the location that best suits them. To learn more, go to the Visual Studio Online service updates page.

Microsoft Antimalware Now Generally Available for Azure Cloud Services and Virtual Machines

Microsoft Antimalware for Cloud Services and Virtual Machines is now generally available to help identify and remove viruses, spyware and other malicious software. It provides real time protection from the latest threats, on-demand scheduled scanning, and collection of antimalware events via Azure Diagnostics at no additional charge. Customers can select the Microsoft Antimalware security extension when creating a virtual machine and configure the service programmatically for virtual machines and cloud services using APIs/PowerShell. Antimalware events are logged to the customer configured Azure Storage account via Azure Diagnostics and can be piped to HDInsight or a SIEM for further analysis.

More information is available in the Microsoft Antimalware Whitepaper.

Azure SQL Database Introduces Business Continuity Features with New Visualizations to the New Azure Preview Portal

Now available to try in the new preview portal, customers can manage existing SQL Database business continuity features with greater ease and a highly visual graphic interface. Features include Active and Standard Geo-Replication, and Point-in-Time-Restore. Additionally, Active Geo-Replication in the new Azure Portal offers map-based configuration options with “click-to-add” secondaries for breakthrough disaster recovery administration. Additionally, customers can more easily manage database alerts and events within the new Azure portal.

Try the added SQL Database investments in the new Azure portal today!


Hortonworks and Cloudera images in public preview in the Azure Marketplace

On October 28th, Microsoft will release Hortonworks and Cloudera images in public preview in the Azure Marketplace. You now have the ability to run your “Big Data” Hadoop workloads as a preconfigured Azure virtual machine using your choice of Cloudera Enterprise or Hortonworks HDP running on Linux. Both Cloudera and Hortonworks can be found as options in the Azure Marketplace, allowing customers to spin up a full distribution of their preferred Hadoop offering. Being in the Azure Marketplace means that the images are Microsoft Azure Certified and have been tested to ensure capability with the Microsoft Cloud Platform. This offer is the result of Microsoft’s ongoing partnership with Hortonworks and a newly announced partnership with Cloudera. It is also complementary to our current Hadoop-as-a-service offering, Azure HDInsight, which gives a managed PaaS experience to customers.

Azure Websites WebJobs GA                 

We are delighted to announce the general availability of Microsoft Azure Websites WebJobs.  The WebJobs feature of Microsoft Azure Websites provides an easy way for you to run programs such as services or background tasks in a website. You can upload almost any form of executable or a script as a WebJobs to your site. A WebJob can be triggered on a predefined schedule or on demand, or a WebJob can run continuously. A site can have multiple number of WebJobs with mixed WebJobs schedules.

In addition to Microsoft Azure Websites WebJobs general availability, we are also announcing the general availability of the Azure WebJobs SDK. The WebJobs SDK provides a framework that lets you write a minimum amount of code to get common tasks done.  The WebJobs SDK has a binding and trigger system which works with Microsoft Azure Storage Blobs, Queues and Tables as well as Service Bus. The binding system makes it easy to write code that reads or writes Microsoft Azure Storage objects. The trigger system calls a function in your code whenever any new data is received in a queue or blob.

To learn more about WebJobs and the WebJobs SDK to go The WebJobs page on azure.com.

Azure Websites Migration Assistant GA

We are delighted to introduce the GA for the Azure Websites Migration Assistant. This tool streamlines migration of web applications and sites from IIS running on Windows Server directly to Azure. The tool is compatible with any Windows Server 2003 R2 and above and supports IIS 6 and above.

The Azure Websites Migration Assistant is a simple Click-Once .NET application. Once installed on your server it will scan IIS and map all existing web applications and sites, identifying runtime configurations, and any dependencies such as SQL Server. Upon analyzing the results, the Azure Websites Migration Assistant will provide recommendations and guidance on how to migrate to Azure Websites. The tool can even perform the actual migration for you, deploying any compatible web application or site you choose from your local Windows Server to Azure Websites, including SQL Server databases. In addition the Azure Websites Migration Assistant gives the option to protect access to newly migrated web applications to Azure Websites sites via Azure Active Directory.

With Windows Server 2003R2 approaching End-of-Life on July 14th 2015, the Azure Websites Migration Assistant is a great way to get a head start on your web workload migration needs. With the Azure Websites Migration Assistant, make this migration your last by moving On-Premises web applications and sites to a fully managed cloud environment.

To learn more about Azure Websites Migration Assistant tool go to https://www.movemetothecloud.net/.

Introducing Azure Batch for Cloud-Scale Job Scheduling and Compute Management

Now in public preview, Azure Batch makes it easy to run large-scale parallel and HPC work in the cloud. This new platform service allows you to cloud-enable your applications and run jobs without setting up and managing a cluster or job scheduler. The Azure Batch SDK includes the application framework from GreenButton, which Microsoft acquired earlier in the year. Use the SDK to integrate client applications with Azure Batch through a variety of languages, stage data to Azure, and build job-execution pipelines. You can also use Azure Batch as part of workflows and to deliver solutions as a service.

 

For more information, please visit the Azure Batch webpage.

Announcing the New Azure Marketplace

On October 20th, 2014 Scott Guthrie announced the new Azure Marketplace, an online store that connects start-ups and independent software vendors (ISVs) with enterprises and Azure customers around the world. Expanding on the existing portfolio of solutions, the Azure Marketplace now offers virtual machine images and extensions from industry leaders such as Cloudera, DataStax, Veeam, Symantec, McAfee, Trend Micro, Kaspersky Lab, NGINX, and CoreOS.  Within one simple, unified platform, customers can easily search, purchase, and deploy a wide range of solutions on Azure – virtual machines, applications, data and application services – with just a few clicks. 

Pricing models for the Azure Marketplace include free, bring your own license (BYOL), and pay-as-you-go options (note: Azure infrastructure charges may apply to free and BYOL solutions).  To learn more visit http://azure.microsoft.com/marketplace . Current Azure customers can access the marketplace in the existing and preview management portals.

Azure Automation and Runbook Gallery Generally Available Today

Customers now have access to the generally available release of Azure Automation.  Azure Automation enables the creation, deployment, monitoring, and maintenance of resources in an Azure environment using a highly scalable and reliable workflow execution engine. The service can be used to orchestrate time-consuming and frequently repeated tasks across Azure and third-party systems decreasing operational expense for cloud operations.

As part of this release, we are also announcing the availability for the Automation Runbook Gallery.  The Runbook Gallery is a new feature that puts existing Automation sample, utility, and scenario runbooks right at your fingertips, helping to get you up and running quickly with automation tasks.  The Runbook Gallery enables you to browse and import runbooks to your Automation account without ever having to leave the Azure Management Portal.  The best part of the Runbook Gallery is that the community can contribute content and have it automatically show up in the gallery too.

Learn more about Azure Automation today.

Microsoft Azure Australia Geo Generally Available to Customers in Australia and New Zealand

At TechEd Sydney we announced the general availability of the Microsoft Azure Australia Geo, including the Australia East Region in New South Wales and the Australia Southeast Region in Victoria. Azure customers in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) can now host their services in these regions, and will experience greatly improved performance in the form of lower latency and the ability to keep their data in-country with the benefits of Geo Redundant Storage. Those who participated in the Australia Geo managed private preview have already seen a whole new range of possibilities with Azure. We’re very excited that soon customers and partners throughout ANZ will be able to explore new ways to transform their business models, deliver amazing digital experiences and services, and put innovation at the center of everything they do.

Learn more about the new region in The Official Microsoft Blog.

Cloud OS Network Momentum

Microsoft has extended its Cloud OS Network to 100+ service providers delivering cloud services from over 600 local datacenters combined with Azure enabled scenarios. Uniquely combining expertise in Microsoft technology, customer requirements, and geographic specialization, Cloud OS network members deliver the Microsoft Cloud Platform customized to your specific needs.

Growth and Expansion of Microsoft Azure Certified                 

Microsoft Azure Certified has added over 50 new virtual machine solutions from more than 40 new partners, including enterprise grade offerings such as Veeam Cloud Connect and IBM DB2, big data solutions such as Cloudera Enterprise and DataStax Enterprise, and cloud-scale infrastructure offerings such as NGINX Plus and CoreOS. Effective immediately, customers can purchase and deploy these virtual machines directly from the Azure Marketplace with confidence that these solutions have been vetted for technical compatibility and are supported on Azure by our partners.

In addition to the new virtual machine offerings, Microsoft Azure Certified has expanded to cover managed APIs from partners through the new Microsoft Azure Certified for Application Services program, launching with new offerings from partners such as New Relic integrated directly into the Azure Marketplace within the Azure management portal.

To learn more about the full list of Azure Certified offerings visit the Azure Marketplace. If you are interested in partnering with Azure to create an Azure Certified offering visit the Azure Certified program page.