Cloud + Enterprise Release Announcements for November 6, 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:

  • Azure Machine Learning Free Tier
  • Preview for greater SQL Server compatibility coming soon to Azure SQL Database
  • Azure Data Factory for Orchestration and Management of Data Transformation and Processing in Public Preview
  • Azure Stream Analytics for Real Time Processing in Public Preview
  • General Availability of Hyper-Scale Event Ingestion with Azure Event Hubs
  • Azure Site Recovery with SAN Replication

Azure Machine Learning Free Tier

Curious about our new Machine Learning service in the cloud? New users without an Azure subscription can now try Azure Machine Learning free of charge without a time limit, subscription or credit card. Simply log onto azure.com/ml, press Get Started Now and use your Microsoft account ID to sign in. users without a Microsoft account ID can use their Gmail or Yahoo! account to quickly create one. Learn more about pricing and offers here.

 

Preview for greater SQL Server compatibility coming soon to Azure SQL Database

Later this year, we will preview a new version of Azure SQL Database that represents another major milestone for this database-as-a-service. With this preview, we will add SQL Server capabilities that will make it easier to extend and migrate applications to the cloud, including support for XML, common language runtime (CLR) and monitoring and troubleshooting using extended events.  In addition, the preview will include our in-memory columnstore which will deliver greater performance for data marts and analytic workloads and continue our journey of bringing in-memory technologies to the cloud. These new preview capabilities will be offered as part of the new service tiers, which deliver an industry-leading SLA at 99.99% availability, larger database sizes, built-in data protection capabilities and predictable performance. Combine this with the Elastic Scale technologies that allow you to scale out to thousands of databases for processing 10s of terabytes of OLTP data, and the SQL Database service becomes a clear choice for any cloud-based mission critical application.

 

Azure Data Factory for Orchestration and Management of Data Transformation and Processing in Public Preview

On October 29th, Microsoft announced Azure Data Factory is in public preview. Organizations increasingly need to gather insights from a diverse set of on-premises and cloud data sources and streams, using a combination of traditional and transformative analytics and services. Data Factory gives organizations an agile way to manage the production of trusted information from these complex processes by offering an easy way to create, orchestrate, and manage data processing pipelines over a range of transformation services and diverse data sources. Organizations can easily connect to data in their on-premises SQL Server implementations and in Azure Storage. They can choose from custom C# transformations or Hive and Pig scripts running on an HDInsight Hadoop implementation to transform their source data into easily consumable trusted data assets to drive business insights. Data Factory offers an IT professional a holistic monitoring and management experience over these processes, including a view of their data production and data lineage down to the source systems. The outcome of Data Factory is the transformation of raw data assets into trusted information that can be shared broadly with BI and analytics tools. Learn more here.

 

Azure Stream Analytics for Real-Time Processing in Public Preview

On October 29th, Microsoft announced Azure Stream Analytics is in public preview. Stream Analytics is an event processing engine that helps uncover insights from devices, sensors, cloud infrastructure, and existing data properties in real-time. With out-of-the-box integration to Event Hubs, the combined solution can both ingest millions of events as well as do analytics to better understand patterns, power a dashboard, detect anomalies, and kick off an action while data is being streamed in real-time. Powered by the Azure cloud, Stream Analytics is highly scalable and has no hardware or other up-front cost, installation or set-up to do. Developers simply describe their desired analytic function in a SQL-based query syntax and the system will transparently deal with distribution for scale, performance, and resiliency. Learn more here.

 

General Availability of Hyper-Scale Event Ingestion with Azure Event Hubs

Event Hubs are a real-time highly scalable and fully managed data stream ingestion service.  As the onramp for stream processing in the cloud, Event Hubs enable publish subscribe data distribution in a flexible PaaS model that can scale with your needs and provide a durable buffer between event publishers and event consumers. Learn more about Event Hubs.

 

Azure Site Recovery Integrates with SAN Replication

Azure Site Recovery (ASR) will soon be introducing a preview of new capabilities to integrate with SAN replication.  This will enable customers to orchestrate disaster recovery between their on-premises private clouds while integrating with synchronous or asynchronous storage array-based replication.  Storage partners such as EMC, NetApp, HP, and Hitachi are introducing updated SMI-S Providers for their respective product lines, enabling standards-based integration of their hardware with ASR and System Center’s Virtual Machine Manager Component. Other storage partners have shared plans to update their SMI-S providers soon. You can read more here.