Cloud Platform Release Announcements for May 28, 2015

Cloud Platform Release Announcements for May 28, 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:

  • SQL Server 2016 CTP2
  • Azure StorSimple 8000 Series Update 1
  • Azure Media Services Live Encoding Standard Public Preview
  • Hyperlapse Trial
  • Updates for Microsoft Intune
  • MSFT Power BI Content Packs Generally Available
  • Re-release of SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 Generally Available
  • System Center 2012 R2 ConfigMgr SP1 and System Center 2012 ConfigMgr SP2 Generally Available


SQL Server 2016 CTP2

Previously at the Ignite conference, Microsoft announced the planned release of SQL Server 2016. Today, May 27, 2015 Microsoft announced the availability of the first public preview of Microsoft SQL Server 2016, Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2. This public preview gives an early look into many of the capabilities in the release and allows early adopters to get engaged by testing the preview in their environments or via a virtual machine in Microsoft Azure. 

Key capabilities in SQL Server 2016 CTP2 include:

  • Always Encrypted – helps protect data at rest and in motion
  • Stretch Database – dynamically stretch your warm and cold transactional data to Microsoft Azure
  • Real-time Operational Analytics – our in-memory technologies are enhanced to provide real-time analytics on top of breakthrough transactional performance

Learn more about SQL Server 2016 at the SQL Server 2016 Preview Page.  Customers are invited to evaluate CTP2, which is available in Azure and on the Microsoft Download Center.


Azure StorSimple 8000 Series Update 1

As Microsoft innovation continues to accelerate, we’re eager to put our new technology in the hands of our users as quickly as possible. Today, we announced the availability of the SQL Server 2016 Public Preview. With this release we are making it easier for our customers to maximize their data dividends with new security features, advanced operational analytics, and hyper-scale.

The proliferation of data is a reality, and customers around the world are benefitting from our storage solutions by reducing costs and simplifying their IT environments. You can find out more about the latest innovation from our StorSimple team, the StorSimple 8000 Update 1, in this post.

Azure Media Services Live Encoding is also available in Public Preview today. The scalability and agility of the cloud empowers users to build end to end live video workflows. In a world that wants real time coverage, this new cloud service is going to be a game changer for anyone that’s struggled to maintain the infrastructure required. Read more about building end to end workflows in the cloud.

In addition to data, storage and media services technology we also released SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1, Microsoft Power BI Content Packs, System Center 2012 & R2 Configuration Manager Service Packs and the Microsoft Intune May Service Update.

We look forward to hearing from you as you try out the previews and share your feedback.


Azure Media Services Live Encoding Standard Public Preview

Features include:

  • Live encoding of a single bitrate live feed into an adaptive bitrate stream
  • Ability to ingest a live feed over RTP protocol (MPEG transport streams), RTMP, and Smooth Streaming
  • Ability to control insertion of slates and to signal ad insertions to the client
  • Thumbnail previews of the live feed

 For more information, please read An introduction to Live Encoding with Azure Media Services.


Hyperlapse Trial

Hyperlapse is a result of over 20 years of image processing research at Microsoft Research, combining video stabilization and time lapsing to create quick, consumable, beautiful videos from your long-form content.

Want to share helmet-cam footage of a snowboarding run?  Use Microsoft Hyperlapse to smooth out the bumps with video stabilization and speed up your content into a consumable clip, without losing any of the action!  Microsoft Hyperlapse gives your content the polished feel of a professionally-recorded run with specialized stabilization hardware/cameras. 

On 5/12, Microsoft released Hyperlapse Mobile and Hyperlapse Pro, which are groundbreaking applications focused on offering Hyperlapse as a service to developers and media companies. In conjunction with this, we have released Hyperlapse for Azure Media Services, which is the integration of Hyperlapse technology into a media processor in the cloud.  We invite you all to take advantage of the synergy between this incredible technology and the ultra-scale and international presence of the Azure cloud by trying out Hyperlapse in the cloud today! 

With Azure Media Services’ encoding reserved unit concept, you can schedule scalable batch processing of your Hyperlapse tasks, parallelizing as many jobs as you need by virtually scaling up your hardware!

Learn more about Microsoft Hyperlapse here and sign up for a free public preview of Hyperlapse for Azure Media Services here.


Updates for Microsoft Intune

Last week, we released a service update for Microsoft Intune that introduced several new features, including the ability to extend application protection to existing line-of-business apps with the Intune App Wrapping Tool for Android and an improved end user experience in the Intune Company Portal app for iOS that provides step-by-step guidance on how to access corporate email. You can view the full list of features that were released by visiting the Intune blog.


New Microsoft Power BI Content Packs generally available

Power BI continues to make it easier for users to connect to their data, providing pre-built solutions for popular services as part of the Power BI experience. This month we add content packs for Twilio, Intuit Quickbooks Online, SQL Azure Direct Connect, and SQL Azure Database Auditing, with more solutions in development from partners such as comScore Digital Analytix. A subscriber to a supported service such as Twilio or Quickbooks Online can now quickly connect to their account from Power BI and see their data through live dashboards and interactive reports that have been pre-built for them. Getting started with data visualization and analysis has never been easier, for additional information visit the Power BI blog.


Re-release of SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 generally available

Today, we are pleased to announce the availability of SQL Server 2014 Service Pack 1 (SP1). The Service Pack is available for download on the Microsoft Download Center. This upgrade is available to all customers with existing SQL Server 2014 deployments.

For more highlights of the release, please read the Knowledge Base Article for Microsoft SQL Server 2014 SP1.  To obtain SQL Server 2014 SP1 with its improved supportability, please visit the links below.


System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2 generally available

As announced at the Microsoft Ignite conference, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2 reached general availability on May 14. These service packs deliver full compatibility with existing features for Windows 10 deployment, upgrade, and management. Also included in these service packs are new hybrid features for customers using System Center Configuration Manager integrated with Microsoft Intune to manage devices. Read the blog post on the ConfigMgr blog for more information.