Cloud Platform Release Announcements for May 11, 2016

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:

  • Azure SQL Database Elastic Database | GA
  • Cognitive Services | PP – Speaker Recognition API
  • Azure CDN Standard from Akamai | GA
  • Azure Event Hubs Dedicated scale tier | New Dedicated Scale tier available to purchase
  • Azure Site Recovery supported in new Azure Portal (Ibiza) | GA
  • Launching Azure Scheduler Premium P20 SKU | GA
  • Canada Geo-Expansion | GA
  • Microsoft Cloud accelerates in Canada, expands globally
  • Azure IoT Gateway SDK | Disclosure
  • Azure IoT Hub | New IoT Hub Feature Device Management
  • Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics v1.6 update | GA

Azure SQL Database Elastic Database | GA

Azure SQL Database elastic pools generally available

Pricing | SQL Database webpage

Azure SQL Database elastic pools are ideally suited for SaaS and line-of-business applications that need the performance, availability, and security isolation benefits of provisioning one database for each tenant or application. Each elastic database in the pool gets the resources it needs when it needs them, eliminating the complexity of managing individual database performance. Elastic pools provide the best price performance for a group of databases while delivering performance elasticity for each database. Elastic pool features include:

  • Auto-scaling customers control: Pools automatically scale performance and storage capacity for elastic databases on the fly. Customers can control the performance assigned to a pool, add or remove elastic databases on demand, and define performance of elastic databases without affecting the overall cost of the pool. When should an elastic database pool be used? Learn more in our documentation.
  • Intelligent management of a customer’s environment: Built-in sizing recommendations proactively identify databases that would benefit from pools and allow “what-if” analysis for quick optimization to meet your customers’ performance goals. Rich performance monitoring and troubleshooting dashboards help customers visualize historical pool utilization. For more information, please visit the Monitor and manage an elastic database pool with the Azure portal documentation.
  • Performance and price that meet customer needs: Basic, Standard, and Premium pools offer a broad spectrum of performance, storage, and pricing options. Pools can contain up to 400 elastic databases. Elastic databases can auto scale up to 1,000 elastic database transaction units (eDTUs).

Please note that in a few regions, elastic pools will remain in public preview for a limited time. For a list of these regions, please visit the SQL Database Pricing page.

For more information on elastic pools, please visit the What is an Azure elastic database pool? documentation, the Azure blog, and the Elastic databases helps SaaS developers tame explosive growth video.

Cognitive Services | PP – Speaker Recognition API

Microsoft Cognitive Services – Speaker Recognition API in public preview

Pricing | Speaker Recognition API

Microsoft Cognitive Services APIs enable developers to tap into high-quality vision, speech, language, and knowledge technologies, developed with decades of Microsoft research to build intelligent apps. Enable natural and contextual interaction with tools that augment users’ experiences via the power of machine-based intelligence.

We’re excited to announce that Speaker Recognition API is now in public preview, and its features include:

  • Speaker verification, using voice for authentication. The API can be used to power applications with an intelligent verification tool; for example, if the speaker claims a certain identity, you can use their voice to verify this claim.
  • Speaker identification, to recognize who is speaking. The API can be used to determine the identity of an unknown speaker. Input audio of the unknown speaker is compared to a group of selected speakers and if a match is found, the speaker’s identity is returned.

Speaker Recognition API is available as a standalone service, and public preview pricing went into effect on May 2, 2016.

Azure CDN Standard from Akamai | GA

Microsoft announces general availability of Azure CDN from Akamai

Today we are excited to announce the general availability of Azure CDN from Akamai. Akamai boasts more than 200,000 servers in 129 countries, providing Azure customers an expanded global footprint and reach, particularly in Latin America and Asia. Ninety percent of the world’s Internet users are within a single “network hop” of an Akamai CDN server, providing a significant opportunity to accelerate applications built on Azure. With the integration of Akamai’s industry-leading CDN capabilities directly into the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, customers can instantly provision and go live within minutes. With this announcement, Azure CDN is now a true multi-CDN offering with services from leading global CDN providers Akamai and Verizon (formerly Edgecast CDN), enabling customers to choose the best CDN for their needs while streamlining support and service with Azure.

Learn more here.

Azure Event Hubs Dedicated scale tier | New Dedicated Scale tier available to purchase

Azure Event Hubs Dedicated Capacity

The Event Hubs team is introducing a new offering for dedicated single-tenant deployments targeted to our most demanding customers: Event Hubs Dedicated Capacity. This is the same single tenant platform that powers hyper-scale services like the Halo 5 and Office client application telemetry pipelines. At full scale Azure Event Hubs can ingress over one million events per second and more than 1 GB per second of telemetry with fully durable storage and sub-second latency. This offering is available as a dedicated purchase for a fixed monthly price, sold as Capacity Units. Please contact your Microsoft sales representative or Microsoft Support to find more details about Event Hubs Dedicated Capacity.

Azure Site Recovery supported in new Azure Portal (Ibiza) | GA

Announcing the release of Azure Site Recovery in new Azure experience

Azure Site Recovery, a component of Microsoft Operations Management Suite, is now generally available in the new Azure experience. Those familiar with Site Recovery will be happy with the new look and feel as well as some of the enhancements made. New enhancements include:

  • Azure Resource Manager (ARM) support for all scenarios
  • First-class support for Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) subscriptions
  • Enhanced VMware to Azure
    • Support for Azure Resource Manager based and Classic deployments
    • New Exclude Disk functionality when replicating VMware virtual machines to Azure
    • Support for Premium Storage for high churn workloads
  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager to Azure
    • Support for Azure Resource Manager based and Classic deployments
    • Support for protecting multiple virtual machines at the same time
  • Hyper-V Site to Azure
    • Support for Azure Resource Manager based and Classic deployments
    • Support for protecting multiple virtual machines at the same time
  • System Center VMM to System Center VMM using Hyper-V Replica
    • Support for protecting multiple virtual machines at the same time
  • Streamlined getting started experience for all site recovery scenarios
  • New policy construct to enable flexible association and management
  • Support for LRS storage as a target
  • Functionality of Backup and ASR in a single vault construct

To learn more about this update and all the new features, check out the recent Azure blog posts on Storage, Backup and Recovery, and try Operations Management Suite today, and get 31 days of free workload protection with Site Recovery.

Launching Azure Scheduler Premium P20 SKU | GA

Azure Scheduler – Introducing P20 Premium SKU

Azure Scheduler is adding P20 Premium SKU that is designed for larger jobs (10M+). Customers who need to run 10s of millions of jobs can now take advantage of this SKU. Please note that pricing for existing scheduler SKUs remain unchanged. To learn more about P20 Premium SKU pricing please visit our pricing page.

Microsoft Cloud accelerates in Canada, expands globally | GA

Microsoft Cloud continues to gain global momentum

Over the past two weeks, we’ve achieved a number of significant milestones in expanding the Microsoft Cloud to meet growing customer demand worldwide. On May 4, we announced general availability of Dynamics CRM Online from new datacenter regions in India. Yesterday we announced general availability of Azure from our new datacenter regions in Canada, and the availability of data residency for Office 365 business customers in Canada. Today, we announced future plans to deliver the Microsoft Cloud from new local datacenters within South Korea.

Each of these new Microsoft Cloud regions will feature the same industry-leading levels of security, privacy and control, compliance, and transparency that define the Microsoft Trusted Cloud globally. We’re proud to deliver these services to our customers, providing a platform for technology innovation and economic growth.

Read more on the Azure blog.

Azure IoT Gateway SDK | Disclosure

New Azure IoT Gateway SDK is now available in beta

The Azure IoT Gateway SDK provides even more control over the network edge with a powerful framework to build, configure, and deploy edge logic that enables you to do more with Azure IoT.

Whether it’s connecting legacy devices, reducing bandwidth costs, enforcing security and privacy policies, or any other data processing you choose—the IoT Gateway SDK takes care of routine tasks, so you can focus on solving the problems that really matter.

Learn more on the Azure blog and check out AzureIoTHub.com.

Azure IoT Hub | New IoT Hub Feature_Device Management

Device management features for Azure IoT Hub are now broadly available in public preview

Our highly requested Azure IoT Hub device management provides a standards-based approach for administrators to maintain fine-grained control over the enrollment, configuration, update and monitoring of millions of devices.

Device management is enabled natively through Azure IoT Hub, and as a feature of that service, does not incur additional charges.

For more information, read the recent post on the Azure blog and visit AzureIoTHub.com.

Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics v1.6 update | GA

Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics next version is now available

Released in August 2015, Microsoft Advanced Threat Analytics (ATA) is an innovative, leading User and Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) solution. Our success shows in our numbers: ATA is already helping our customers protect 5 million users and 10 million devices.

Attackers innovate, so do we. Our product teams enhanced this innovative solution by adding:

  • New malicious attack detections
  • New deployment option helping with branch site deployments
  • New and improved detection engine that significantly improves our performance and scale
  • Support for automatic updates and upgrades using Microsoft Updates
  • Improvements in third-party integration

To learn more about this release please read the release post from Idan Plotnik. Try it yourself: download the evaluation bits.