Cloud Platform Release Announcements for November 9, 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 Container Service Upgrade | Public
  • Azure SQL DB scales on the fly | In-Memory OLTP (Premium) GA
  • Cognitive Services | Content Moderator
  • Cognitive Services | Face API Person Group
  • Azure Service Bus | Public preview – Hybrid connections

Azure Container Service Upgrade | Public

Try Azure Container Service, the cloud’s most open option for containers.

We are announcing a series of updates to Azure Container Service (ACS) that continue to demonstrate ACS is the most streamlined, open and flexible way to run your container applications in the cloud. The updates include:

  • Kubernetes support in Azure Container Service (in preview)
  • DC/OS Upgrade to 1.8.4
  • Open Source Azure Container Service Engine
  • Azure Container Registry (in preview)
  • Continuous integration and deployment to Azure Container Service (in preview)

For more information, please see our announcement on the Azure Container Service blog post.

Azure SQL DB scales on the fly | In-Memory OLTP (Premium) GA

In-Memory OLTP for Azure SQL Database generally available

You can use In-Memory OLTP, a feature of Azure SQL Database, to achieve incredible performance gains (up to 30 times) for transaction processing and data ingestion in your Premium databases, with no or minimal changes to the application. Memory-optimized tables, memory-optimized table types, and natively compiled T-SQL modules are now available in all Premium databases, including databases in Premium elastic pools.

Consider using In-Memory OLTP for the following scenarios:

For more information, please read the In-Memory OLTP Azure blog post.

To complement the transaction-processing benefits of In-Memory OLTP, SQL Database also supports columnstore indexes to improve the performance of reporting and analytics workloads.

To get started with In-Memory OLTP and Columnstore indexes, please visit the Get Started with In-Memory in SQL Database documentation webpage.

Cognitive Services | Content Moderator

Microsoft Cognitive Services: Content Moderator now in public preview

Website | Pricing

Microsoft Cognitive Services are a collection of APIs which enable developers to tap into high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge and search technologies, developed with decades of Microsoft research to build intelligent apps.

We’re excited to announce that Microsoft Content Moderator is now available starting November 3, as a public preview service in the Azure portal.

Powered by intelligent machine learning, Microsoft Content Moderator automatically filters out offensive content in text, image, and video across platforms, and includes human review tools for more nuanced cases:

  • With Image moderation, easily evaluate images for offensive and unwanted content. It also includes optical character recognition (OCR) and face detection to improve the chances of detecting unwanted or exploitive content.
  • With Text moderation, detect profanity in more than 100 languages and match text against your custom lists. The service also checks for malware and phishing URLS, and personally identifiable information (PII).

Content Moderator is also offering Video moderation – to proactively detect offensive and unwanted content in videos – through Azure Media Services.

Content Moderator public preview pricing went into effect on November 3, 2016.

Cognitive Services | Face API Person Group

Website | Pricing

Microsoft Cognitive Services are a collection of APIs which enable developers to tap into high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge and search technologies, developed with decades of Microsoft research to build intelligent apps.

We’re excited to announce an update to the Face API to allow developers to store up to 100,000 Persons by purchasing additional Person Faces. The quota for stored Person Groups is now 1,000, with up to 1,000 Persons per Person Group.

Please refer to the pricing page for more information.

Azure Service Bus | Public preview, Hybrid connections

Hybrid connections feature of Azure Service Bus is now in public preview

Azure Service Bus Hybrid Connections feature allows you to securely access existing assets, wherever they are, without a complex firewall, network or VPN configuration. These services provide enhanced authentication and connectivity through the cloud with the added benefits of visibility and monitoring. With the new hybrid connections agent, you can keep your data where it is, while enabling access from the cloud or on-premises. Learn more about the new hybrid connections agent here and please refer to the pricing details on this page.