Cloud Platform Release Announcements for April 5, 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 App Gateway WAF (Web Application Firewall) | GA
  • Azure Monitor | GA
  • Azure Advisor | GA
  • Azure Resource Health | GA
  • Open Sourcing Container Network Interface (CNI) | GA
  • Azure HDInsight | New Regions avail: West US/Central India – GA
  • Power BI service | Power BI – ArcGIS Maps in Power BI Pro for US Gov
  • .NET Framework 4.7 | RTM
  • Azure App Service | API Management in Azure Classic Portal EOS
  • Azure Service Bus | Hybrid Connections GA
  • Azure Service Fabric | 5.5 Runtime Release GA
  • Visual Studio 2017 | Update (version 15.1)
  • DirSync and Azure AD Sync are deprecated | EOS
  • System Center Configuration Manager | GA
  • Intune Partner Integration (TeamViewer, Saaswedo, Skycure) | Skycure GA

Azure App Gateway WAF (Web Application Firewall) | GA

Application Gateway is announcing General Availability of WAF capability as part of a new WAF SKU. Web Application Firewall protects web applications from common web based exploits like SQL Injection, cross site scripting attacks or session hijacks. Application Gateway WAF comes preconfigured with Core Rule Set to provide protection from threats as identified by Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) common web vulnerabilities. Application Gateway WAF is simple to configure and provides continuous monitoring and logging for web applications against exploits. Customers can run Application Gateway WAF in both protection and detection only mode. Additionally, customers can customize WAF by selectively enabling or disabling Rules/RuleGroups, thus reducing false positives. Application Gateway WAF is available in all public Azure regions.

Pricing will be active as of April 8, 2017.

For more information about pricing, please visit the Application Gateway Pricing webpage.

Azure Monitor | GA

Gain visibility into the health, performance and utilization of your Azure resources with Azure Monitor
Pricing | Azure Monitor webpage
When managing and operating your resources in the cloud, it is important to get visibility into their state, performance and usage. Azure Monitor, now generally available, provides built-in monitoring and diagnostics of your Azure resources, enabling operational visibility across your cloud assets. With near real-time monitoring, detailed logging, improved alerting and notifications such as SMS, email and webhook, you can quickly detect and fix IT issues impacting your business. Start using Azure Monitor today and experience the power of native monitoring and diagnostics.

To learn more, read the full blog post and visit the Azure Monitor webpage.

Azure Advisor | GA

Azure Advisor generally available as of March 31, 2017
Advisor webpage | Get your recommendations in Azure portal
Azure Advisor available in Azure portal, is a personalized recommendation guide that helps you follow best practices to optimize your Azure resources. It analyzes your resource configuration and usage at no additional cost, and recommends solutions that can help you improve high availability, security, performance, and cost effectiveness of your Azure resources. Azure Advisor recommendations can be accessed at no additional cost.

Azure Advisor has been in preview since November 2016.

Azure Resource Health | GA

Resource Health generally available as of March 31, 2017
Documentation | Resource health in Azure portal
Azure resource health helps you diagnose and get support when an Azure issue impacts your resources. It informs you about the current and past health of your resources and helps you mitigate issues. Resource health provides technical support when you need help with Azure service issues.

Whereas Azure Status informs you about service issues that affect a broad set of Azure customers, resource health provides you with a personalized dashboard of the health of your resources. Resource health shows you all the times your resources were unavailable in the past due to Azure service issues. This makes it easier for you to understand if an SLA was violated.

Resource heath has been in preview since October 2015.

Open Sourcing Container Network Interface (CNI) | GA

Azure VNet for Containers public preview
Azure Networking announces the public preview of Azure VNet for containers, an open source CNI plugin that imparts Azure’s rich Azure SDN stack to Docker containers running in Azure. This provides an ‘IP address per container’ and enables direct connectivity between containers in different hosts and with virtual machines in the same VNet. This is available as a networking option in Azure Container Service for Kubernetes.

Azure HDInsight | New Regions avail: West US/Central India – GA

Azure HDInsight available in additional regions
Azure HDInsight is now available in West US 2. Azure HDInsight for Linux is also now available in Central India. HDInsight is a fully managed cloud Hadoop offering that provides open-source analytic clusters for Spark, Hive, MapReduce, HBase, Storm, Kafka, and R Server backed by a 99.9 percent service-level agreement (SLA).

To learn more about this service, please visit the HDInsight webpage.

Power BI service | Power BI – ArcGIS Maps in Power BI Pro for US Gov

We are pleased to announce that ArcGIS Maps for Power BI (Preview) will be available in Power BI Pro for US Government.

The combination of ArcGIS Maps and Power BI takes mapping beyond the presentation of points on a map to a whole new level. ArcGIS Maps for Power BI offer enhanced mapping capability, demographic data, and more compelling map visualizations. Users can choose from base maps, location types, themes, symbol styles, and reference layers to create gorgeous informative map visualizations. The combination of authoritative data layers on a map with spatial analysis conveys a deeper understanding of the data in your visualization.

Note: ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is provided by Esri. Your use of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is subject by Esri’s terms and privacy policy. The Power BI Pro for US Government tenant administrator needs to enable ArcGIS Maps for Power BI before users can use the feature. Once enabled, Power BI users wanting to use the ArcGIS Maps for Power BI visuals need to accept the consent dialog.

For more information, see this overview and tutorial.

Also see Power BI Pro for US Government overview, and enroll your US government customers in the Power BI Pro for US Government today!

.NET Framework 4.7 | RTM

.NET Framework 4.7 Released
The .NET Framework 4.7 is released as part of Windows 10 Creators Update which will begin global rollout on April 11th. This release includes a variety of enhancements and bug fixes including ASP.NET cache enhancements, additional cryptography APIs and security enhancements. Additionally, we are making .NET Framework better on Windows 10 clients by adding APIs in Windows 10 Creators Update to support High DPI in Winforms applications and improving touch support for WPF. For more information please see the release notes and the .NET Team blog.

Azure App Service | API Management in Azure Classic Portal EOS

Azure API Management deprecated in classic portal
Effective April 5, 2017 API Management will be available only in the Azure portal. Access from the classic portal will no longer be supported.

  • The Publisher portal remains accessible from the Azure portal
  • Functionality from the Publisher portal will be migrated into the Azure portal, and when complete the Publisher portal will also be deprecated.
  • We encourage you to try API Management in the Azure portal and provide us feedback.

For more information see the Azure API Management Service Updates.

Azure Service Bus | Hybrid Connections GA

Hybrid Connections feature of Azure Relay now generally available
The Hybrid Connections feature of Azure Relay is now generally available. Azure Relay allows you to securely expose services inside a corporate network to the cloud, without opening a firewall connection or changing your corporate network. Hybrid Connections allows you to do this using open standard web sockets. You can keep your data where it is, while enabling access from the cloud or anywhere.

  • Use HTTPS and WebSockets to securely connect resources
  • Leverage the robust management and monitoring features of Azure Relay
  • No need for changes in your VPN, Firewall or Proxy

Pricing information is found on the Service Bus page. More information can be found on the Azure Relay documentation page.

Azure Service Fabric | 5.5 Runtime Release GA

Announcing Azure Service Fabric 5.5 and SDK 2.5
Customers around the world are delivering their mission critical business applications as always-on, scalable, and distributed services built using Azure Service Fabric. Recently, we rolled out Azure Service Fabric 5.5 to Azure clusters in 26 regions across the world and announced the release of version 2.5 of the Azure Service Fabric SDK and the corresponding 5.5 release of the Azure Service Fabric runtime and standalone Windows Server installer. This release has a number of great new features and optimizations.

Find out more in this blog post.

Visual Studio 2017 | Update (version 15.1)

Visual Studio is a fully featured, extensible IDE that enables any developers to create any types of applications, for any platform, in nearly every language. Today we released an update to Visual Studio 2017 (version 15.1). This release improved performance and reliability, added support for the newest version of Windows 10 SDK, expanded our support for Xamarin for Visual Studio and improved our new Redgate Data Tools for more productive, agile, and performant development for your applications.

The Universal Windows Platform Tools have been updated to add support for the upcoming Creators Update SDK. Along with the inclusion of the new Windows 10 Creators Update SDK, we have made several improvements, such as an updated .NET Native compiler, Package Reference support for UWP projects targeting the Creators Update, XAML IntelliSense warning for types and properties that are not available on all Windows versions, support for creation of streaming install packages, as well as creation of optional packages and related sets.

To get started building Windows apps with the Creators Update SDK, you can take a look at the instructions at this blog post.

DirSync and Azure AD Sync are deprecated | EOS

As announced one year ago, “DirSync” and “Azure AD Sync” will no longer be supported after April 13, 2017. Azure Active Directory Connect is the only tool that you need for all hybrid identity scenarios. If you are currently using DirSync and Azure AD Sync have received a series of reminders and instructions to upgrade to Azure Active Directory Connect. For more information on the transition to Azure AD Connect please read here.

System Center Configuration Manager | GA

Now Available: Update 1702 for System Center Configuration Manager
1702 update includes many new features and enhancements in Windows 10 management and also new functionality for customers using Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune. Here are just few of the enhancements that are available in this update:

  • Support for Windows 10 Creators Update – This version of Configuration Manager now supports the release of upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update. You can upgrade Windows 10 ADK to the latest version for full OS imaging support.
  • Express files support for Windows 10 Cumulative Update – Configuration Manager now supports Windows 10 Cumulative Update using Express files. For details see Manage Express installation files for Windows 10 updates.
  • Deploy Office 365 apps to clients – Beginning in version 1702, from Office 365 Client Management dashboard, you can start the Office 365 Installer that lets you configure Office 365 installation settings, download files from Office Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), and deploy the files as an application in Configuration Manager. For details, see Manage Office 365 ProPlus updates.
  • Customize high-risk deployment warning – You can now customize the Software Center warning when running a high-risk deployment, such as a task sequence to install a new operating system.
  • Close executable files at the deadline when they would block application installation – If executable files are listed on the Install Behavior tab for a deployment type and the application is deployed to a collection as required, then a more intrusive notification experience is provided to inform the user, and the specified executable files will be closed automatically at the deadline. This is currently the feature with the second highest number of votes on UserVoice.
  • Conditional access for PCs managed by System Center Configuration Manager – Now production ready in update 1702, with conditional access for PCs managed by Configuration Manager, you can restrict access to various applications (including but not limited to Exchange Online and SharePoint online) to PCs that are compliant with the compliance policies you set.

This release also includes new features for customers using Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune. Some of the new feature include:

  • Android for Work support – You can now enroll devices, approve and deploy apps, and configure policies for devices with Android for Work.
  • Lookout threat details – You can view threat details as reported by Lookout on a device.
  • Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP) enhancements – You can now request a policy sync on an enrolled mobile device from the Configuration Manager console.
  • Additional iOS configuration settings – We added support for 42 iOS device settings for configuration items.

Read the announcement on our blog here. For more details and to view the full list of new features in this update check out our What’s new in version 1702 of System Center Configuration Manager documentation.

Intune Partner Integration (TeamViewer, Saaswedo, Skycure) | Skycure GA

The integration between Skycure and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security gives organizations more confidence that devices are risk-free and secure before users access corporate resources.
Mobile devices can be susceptible to sophisticated threats under the guise of seemingly harmless scenarios that end users execute on their devices. For example, connecting to a coffee shop Wi-Fi access point could open the user’s device to a man-in-the-middle attack. Installing a seemingly harmless app could expose the user to malware that can exploit platform vulnerabilities or access the camera without their knowledge. Skycure’s real-time mobile threat protection leverages a public app for guaranteed user privacy and simple maintenance, plus global crowd-sourced intelligence to ensure protection from zero day threats. The solution is designed to proactively protect against all mobile threat vectors—malware, network-based risks, and OS and app vulnerability risks—to help you identify and remediate these risks before they become a problem.

This integration makes it easy for you to apply Skycure’s threat detection as an additional input into Intune’s device compliance settings, giving Intune dynamic control over access to corporate resources and data based on Skycure’s real-time analysis. Once a threat is detected, Skycure immediately applies on-device protections and notifies Intune to enforce device status changes and conditional access controls to ensure that corporate data stays protected.

Visit our documentation site for more details on how to deploy and use Skycure with Intune.

You can read more about how Skycure defends against mobile threats.
Note that any necessary licenses for Skycure products must be purchased separately from Intune and/or EMS licenses.