Cloud Platform Release Announcements for April 16, 2015

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform 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 Platform 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:

  • Premium Storage Generally Available
  • Microsoft Azure DocumentDB Generally Available
  • Microsoft Azure Marketplace is now available to EA Indirect customers
  • 4/8 Windows Server “Xenon and Argon” Containers and Windows Nano Server Announcement
  • Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics Generally Available
  • Microsoft Azure Media Player is now Generally Available

Premium Storage Generally Available

Microsoft Azure Premium Storage is a solid-state drive (SSD) ­– based storage offering designed to support I/O-intensive workloads. With Premium Storage, you can add up to 32 TB of persistent storage per virtual machine (VM), with more than 50,000 IOPS per VM with extremely low latencies for read operations. 

Premium Storage is currently available for use in the West US, East US 2, West Europe, Southeast Asia, and Japan West regions. With general availability, Premium Storage will now carry a service-level agreement (SLA) for 99.9 percent availability. General availability pricing will be in effect on June 1, 2015.

More information can be found on the Azure blog.

Microsoft Azure DocumentDB Generally Available

Azure DocumentDB became generally available on April 8, 2015. DocumentDB is a fully managed, highly scalable NoSQL document database service. It offers rich query and transactional processing over a schema-free JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data model for rapid development and high performance applications. Offered in units that scale to meet your application’s performance and storage needs, DocumentDB allows you to more quickly build, grow, and scale cloud applications.

DocumentDB is available in three standard performance levels: S1, S2, and S3. Collections of data within a DocumentDB database can be assigned to different performance levels, so you can purchase only the performance you need. For more information, please visit the performance levels documentation webpage.

Several enhancements have been made in preparation for general availability, including Apache Hadoop integration, hourly billing, support for larger documents, SQL parameterization, a Java SDK, additional regions, and larger account sizes.

For more information about DocumentDB, view the DocumentDB feature webpage.

Microsoft Azure Marketplace is now available to EA Indirect customers

Since launching the Azure Marketplace at TechED Europe 2014, we’ve continued to make progress toward a single online store that provides customers with choice, flexibility, and access to integrated applications and services ready to deploy on Microsoft Azure. 

Today, we are excited to announce a significant step forward by making the Marketplace available to a broader customer audience.  In addition to Enterprise Agreement (EA) Direct and web direct, customers with EA Indirect enrollments in 86 countries can now purchase, configure, and deploy more than 3,000 offerings from Microsoft and industry leading software providers through the Azure Marketplace.  

Get started today using applications and services available in the Azure Marketplace and see how they can extend the functionality of Azure services to help you get more done on Azure. For more information, visit the Azure Marketplace and Azure Marketplace EA Indirect Blog Post.

4/8 Windows Server “Xenon and Argon” Containers and Windows Nano Server Announcement

On April 8, we announced new container technologies as well as Nano Server, a purpose-built operating system designed to run born-in-the-cloud applications and containers. As customers adopt modern applications and next-generation cloud technologies, they need an OS that delivers speed, agility and lower resource consumption.

Nano Server is a deeply refactored version of Windows Server with a small footprint and remotely managed installation, optimized for the cloud and a DevOps workflow.  It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security. Learn more about the new container technologies and Nano Server on the Windows Server blog.

Microsoft Azure Stream Analytics Generally Available

Azure Stream Analytics is a real-time stream processing engine in the cloud that helps uncover insights from devices, sensors, infrastructure, and applications. Developers describe their desired event stream processing and transformations in an SQL-like query language, and the system abstracts the complexities of the parallelization, distributed computing, and error handling. Temporal semantics are built in.

New capabilities include multiple outputs per streaming job, output to Azure Table Storage, and built-in support for statistical functions in the SQL-based query language. These enhancements help you achieve a lower cost real-time streaming processing solution in the cloud. For more information about these new features, please visit the Stream Analytics documentation webpage. General availability pricing will be in effect on June 1, 2015.

Read more on the Azure blog.

Microsoft Azure Media Player is now Generally Available

Azure Media Player is an automated player solution that allows content owners to reach the most popular devices with the best player and streaming format. Azure Media Player provides a simple and customizable developer experience for content owners and partners to reach media viewers across a wide range of browsers and devices. It utilizes industry standards such as HTML5, Media Source Extensions (MSE) and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) to provide an enriched adaptive streaming experience across browsers and has a seamless fall back to browser plugins like Flash & Silverlight. To learn more about Azure Media Player, click here.