Cloud Platform Release Announcements for March 22, 2017

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 Virtual Machines | L Series GA
  • Operations Management Suite | Q3 OMS Announcements
  • Azure Traffic Manager | Geo Routing GA
  • Multiple IPs Per NIC | GA
  • Microsoft Hands-On Labs | Public Preview
  • Azure HDInsight updated with HDP 2.6 | Public Preview
  • DocumentDB | MongoDB API – GA
  • Power BI custom visuals gallery in the Office Store | Public Preview
  • Power BI Desktop | GA
  • Power BI service | GA
  • SQL Server v.Next (Windows, Linux, and Docker) | CTP 1.4 – Preview
  • Azure App Service | New Troubleshooting UX Public Preview
  • Azure CDN | Core Analytics Public Preview
  • Azure Media Services | EOS
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 | Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.2 (Potassium 2)
  • PingAccess For Azure AD | Public Preview

Azure Virtual Machines | L Series GA

New Storage Optimized VMs, L Series Available
We have listened to feedback from our customers and partners for VMs sizes on Azure that are optimized for larger low latent storage computing power, better price performance for workloads that are storage intensive and require 8 GiB of memory per vCPU. L Series has been designed with this in mind. These sizes are best suited for workloads such as NoSQL databases, like Cloudera, Casandra, MongoDB and Redis. L Series provides the same performance as the current G series VM sizes on Azure with a lower per hour price on an Azure Compute Unit (ACU). These sizes are available with both Standard and Premium storage so you can take advantage of the Premium Storage capabilities if your workloads need them. These sizes are available from small 4 core sizes to 32 core sizes with 8GiB of RAM.

Operations Management Suite | Q3 OMS Announcements

Bridge the gap between app and infra with application and operational insights now together in Operations Management Suite
As IT groups work to eliminate bottlenecks and increase speed, simplifying the connections between teams can make all the difference. Application developers and central IT are both concerned with the health and performance of critical applications and the platforms on which they run. To bridge between application performance monitoring and traditional monitoring of servers and workloads, you can now get Azure Application Insights in the Operations Management Suite. Read the full blog post to learn more.

For greater efficiency in handling incidents across teams, the Azure Insight & Analytics service in Operations Management Suite includes the recently announced Network Performance Monitor and Service Map solutions that bring together system logs and service management features into interactive dashboards. For greater insight into security incidents, we also recently announced enhanced behavioral analytics and detection capabilities. To see how these services work together, watch the on-demand webinar released this month: 5 days to make your IT Ops more efficient.

Azure Traffic Manager | Geo Routing GA

Azure Traffic Manager announces the general availability of Geographic Routing – a new routing method customers can use with their Traffic Manager profiles. With this launch, customers can direct traffic to specific endpoints based on the geographic location from where the requests originate. This allows them to provide a customized experience to their users based on the geography where they are located. Additionally, customers can use this routing type to comply with local data sovereignty mandates by ensuring that users from those regions are routed only to endpoints in the same region. A region can be defined at the following levels: World (All), Regional Grouping (e.g. Asia), Country/Region (e.g. Spain), and for Australia, Canada, UK and USA, at a State/Province level (e.g. USA-California). Customers can create a profile of geographic routing type, with associated endpoints using Azure Portal, or Azure REST API (support for PowerShell and CLI will follow).

There is no additional charge for this feature. To get started, please visit the Geographic Routing page.

Multiple IPs Per NIC | GA

Announcing General Availability – Multiple IP Addresses on Network Interface Cards (NIC)
Through Multiple IP Addresses on Network Interface Cards (NIC) more than one (up to 250) private and public IP addresses can be allocated to each NIC. All the private IP addresses support platform native features like Network Security Groups (NSGs) and User Defined Routes (UDRs). In addition, through this feature, load balancing across both, primary and secondary NICs, is possible. A VM can host multiple applications or services with unique public IP addresses. Network virtual appliances (NVAs) can decouple the application data traffic and management traffic by placing multiple public IP addresses on separate NICs. This separation allows NVAs to enforce different security policies based on the NICs and also provide bandwidth isolation among different traffic types. Micro-services on VMs, through this feature, are able to use distinct IP addresses and benefit from native functions like NSGs and UDRs, without depending on an overlay network.

Microsoft Hands-On Labs | Public Preview

Today, we are announcing the launch of Microsoft Hands-on Labs, the one place to go and get hands-on experience with the latest cloud technologies from Microsoft for free. Fit hands-on learning in your busy schedule with our free self-paced labs, and acquire the cloud skills you want, at your own pace. You may also attend our free, instructor-led virtual classes and learn from the experts with live, hands-on training.

Azure HDInsight updated with HDP 2.6 | Public Preview

Now in Public Preview: Azure HDInsight updated with HDP 2.6
We are happy to announce that the newest version of Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) 2.6 will be continuously available to HDInsight even before its on-premises release, showing the commitment Microsoft and Hortonworks have made to being cloud first. To learn more about this new version, please visit the Azure blog.

DocumentDB | MongoDB API – GA

Azure DocumentDB: APIs for MongoDB now available
DocumentDB: APIs for MongoDB is now generally available, inheriting the same 99.99 percent SLA as Azure DocumentDB. Users can now achieve limitless scale with support for managed sharded collections. Users can also replicate data globally across any number of Azure data centers in a couple clicks with global databases. To learn more, visit the Documentdb APIs for MongoDB webpage, or watch DocumentDB: Database-as-a-Service for MongoDB Developers.

Power BI custom visuals gallery in the Office Store | Public Preview

We are pleased to announce that the Office Store is introducing a new product “Power BI”, which will include Power BI custom visuals to download and use in Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. This exciting new Office Store offering brings a lot of value to both customers and developers.
For customers, you’ll be able to easily discover and quickly download BI visualization that meet your BI needs, as well as rate and review visuals, all from a single, searchable location — Office Store portal.
The integration into the Office Store will introduce lots of new value such as:

  • An easy navigation experience using categories and search
  • Detailed page for each visual with high quality screenshots and videos
  • Reviews and ratings, for feedback channel to the developer and community based quality mark

AnFor developers, you’ll get greater exposure and the ability to obtain user feedback (reviews and ratings), and also usage tracking through the developer portal.
The integration with the Office Store means a leap forward for developers, specifically:

  • The traffic in the store will draw much more attention to custom visuals
  • Integration with Office developer center, where developers can submit and manage their custom visuals, and track the popularity metrics of the visuals in the store
  • Direct feedback channel from the users, through the reviews system for each visual

Get started today!

Power BI Desktop | GA

New and most frequently requested Power BI Desktop features are now available to business analysts.

  • Report theming (preview): import themes to quickly color your entire report to match an existing theme or corporate branding.
  • New matrix visual (preview): a new matrix visual with many common PivotTable type behaviors including drilling into hierarchies, expanding/collapsing hierarchies, stepped layout, and cross highlighting other visuals from cell, column, or row selections.
  • Numeric range slicer (preview): a new numeric range slicer control is available that allows reports to be filtered based on setting a filter range for a number value via a slider.
  • Improved data visuals and report interactions: The font color can now be set for the text box control, percent of total can be displayed on donut and pie chart labels, and users can now multi-select values multiple series in a chart to cross highlight other visuals in a report.
  • Clustering general availability: The ability to automatically detect clusters within data has moved from preview to generally available.
  • New data connectivity: New or improved data connectivity options for the following sources have been added or moved from preview to generally available: Azure Analysis Services, Azure Data Lake Store (now generally available), Amazon Redshift connectivity in the Power BI service, option to specific package collection for the DB2 connector, the ability to specific a sample file to use when combining binary files.

Download the latest Power BI Desktop to experience the new features immediately. For more information on these new features and others, visit the Power BI blog.

Power BI service | GA

More new and most frequently requested Power BI features are now available to end users and business analysts in the month of March.

  • FedRAMP High Authorization: As a part of Azure Government, Power BI Pro is authorized at FedRAMP High, complying with a standardized approach for assessing, monitoring, and authorizing cloud computing products and services under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), and to accelerate the adoption of secure cloud solutions by federal agencies.
  • Navigation improvements (preview): new quick access area in the left navigation pane that gives users single click access to all dashboards, reports, workbooks and datasets in the current workspace.
  • Set dashboard tile refresh frequency for direct query sources:  more control over when dashboard tiles are updated for direct query and live connect sources.
  • Granular tenant settings: Power BI tenant settings can now be managed at a granular level so administrators can enable or disable different Power BI features for only a subset of users in their tenant.
  • Amazon Redshift connectivity:  Redshift-based reports can now be published to the Power BI service enabling consumption of reports & dashboards based on Redshift data.

Sign in to to experience the new features immediately. For more information on these new features and others, visit the Power BI blog.

SQL Server v.Next (Windows, Linux, and Docker) | CTP 1.4 – Preview

Now available: SQL Server Community Technology Preview 1.4
SQL Server vNext Community Technology Preview (CTP) 1.4 is now available on Windows, Linux and Docker. Several feature enhancements were added to the latest preview, including the ability to run scheduled jobs using SQL Server Agent on Linux. Customers can preview CTP 1.4 in an Azure VM for development and testing today.

Azure App Service | New Troubleshooting UX Public Preview

Azure App Service improved troubleshooting experience now available
Azure App Service has a new experience to help you diagnose and resolve issues in your applications and in the App Service platform.  This new UI is available now and can be accessed by clicking on Diagnose and solve problems in the general tab of any Web, Mobile, or API app.

This feature helps you distinguish the source of the issue (for instance in your app or in the App Service platform), provides a 24-hour view of the health of your app and platform, and includes a new “Fix-it!” capability, which offers custom troubleshooting suggestions regarding any identified issues.
For more information, see the Azure App Service team blog.

Azure CDN | Core Analytics Public Preview

Azure CDN adds reporting capability that enables you to analyze several metrics including bandwidth consumption, data transferred and cache hit ratio. This release provides templates for integration with Operation Management Suite. Customers can also access these metrics via REST APIs. In addition, customers can save these analytics as logs to their storage accounts for further analysis. These new features are available for both Azure CDN from Verizon and Akamai.

Azure Media Services | EOS

Depreciation of Azure Media Services REST API version 2011-10-01
The old Management REST API for Media Services version “2011-10-01” is now deprecated” and will reach end of support on May 22, 2017. A new and improved Media Services management endpoint is now available and should be migrated to immediately. For details see the new Media Services ARM REST API version “2015-10-01”.  All new ARM templates should reference the latest management API for provisioning Media Services accounts.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 | Social Engagement 2017 Update 1.2 (Potassium 2)

On Monday, March 13, we announced the general availability of Microsoft Social Engagement Update 1.2.  Update 1.2 introduces a new recommendation type to Social Selling Assistant and adds more information to social engagement history. This update enables sales teams to stay up-to-date on customers, competitors, and topics of interest, and empowers team members who interact with customers using the Microsoft Social Engagement platform by offering additional context in social interaction histories.

Microsoft Social Engagement, part of Dynamics 365, helps you harness the power of social to achieve real business results. To learn more about the capabilities released in this update, read the knowledge base article and review the training guide for Social Selling Assistant.

PingAccess For Azure AD | Public Preview

In September 2016 we announced that Microsoft and Ping Identity worked together to provide a version of PingAccess for Azure Active Directory. This solution will extend the ability of Azure AD Application Proxy to provide single sign-on and secure remote access to a broader spectrum of on-premises web applications.  The service will be available for public preview on March 24th. For more details please read the documentation article