Cloud Platform Release Announcements for November 15, 2017

This is a blog post for a new, ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform team.

We’re here to help you embrace the cloud. Realize your true potential with our unique innovations, comprehensive mobile solutions, and developer tools across the breadth of our product portfolio. To help you stay current, here are our latest releases.

  • Azure IoT Edge | Public Preview
  • Azure Cloud Shell | GA
  • Azure security and operations management | Visual Studio Team Services release management and Application Insights integration
  • Azure Cosmos DB | Apache® Cassandra API preview
  • Azure Cosmos DB | 99.999 percent read availability — GA
  • Azure Databricks | preview
  • Azure Cosmos DB | MongoDB APIs—aggregate pipeline preview and unique index capability
  • Azure Cosmos DB | Spark connector—GA
  • Azure Cosmos DB | Tables API—GA
  • Azure Time Series Insights | GA
  • SQL Operations Studio | Preview
  • Cognitive Services | Cognitive Services Updates at Connect()
  • Visual Studio App Center | GA
  • Visual Studio Team Services | Azure DevOps Projects  preview
  • New Visual Studio subscriptions benefits | GA
  • New Visual Studio Dev Essentials benefits | GA
  • Visual Studio Team Services | Mac hosted build pool preview
  • Visual Studio Live Share | Disclosure
  • Visual Studio Team Services | Release gates preview
  • Team Foundation Server 2018 | GA
  • Team Foundation Server Database Import Service (for Visual Studio Team Services) | GA
  • Visual Studio Team Services command-line tools |  Preview
  • Azure Container Service + Azure Container Registry | Container innovation disclosure
  • Azure Functions | Azure Functions on IoT Edge
  • Azure Functions | Azure Functions on Linux
  • Azure Functions | Azure Functions proxies—GA
  • Azure App Service | App Service new support center experience—GA
  • Azure Advisor—Your personalized best practices service got better
  • Azure Database Migration Service | Preview
  • Azure Active Directory Conditional Access | GA
  • Event Confirmation API in Muti-factor Authentication Server | Deprecation
  • Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances | GA
  • Direct SDK in Muti-factor Authentication Server | Deprecation
  • 2-way SMS | Deprecation

Azure IoT Edge | Public Preview

We are excited to announce the public preview of new Azure IoT Edge capabilities, including support for:

Azure IoT Edge is a service that enables cloud intelligence—including AI and machine learning—to run directly on IoT devices.  Cloud services, like those listed above, are packaged in the cloud and deployed to the edge via container. Azure IoT Edge works cross platforms, including Windows and many versions of Linux, and can be installed on IoT devices with small footprints (smaller than a Raspberry Pi).

Azure IoT Edge helps you simplify your IoT solution by:

  • Enabling AI and advanced analytics at the edge so that you don’t have to spend valuable time building edge infrastructure
  • Reduce development complexity so you don’t have to learn different languages for hardware, cloud and edge programming—we support C, Java, .NET, Node.js, and Python
  • Lower IoT solution costs by processing data at the edge and sending only what’s important to the cloud
  • Operate reliably so you don’t have to worry if your data is synced if there’s a cloud connectivity outage

Azure Cloud Shell | GA

On Wednesday, November 15, we announced the general availability of Bash in Azure Cloud Shell. Cloud Shell is your Microsoft-managed admin machine in Azure, for Azure, enabling you to get authenticated shell access to Azure from virtually anywhere. In addition, PowerShell in Cloud Shell is currently in public preview.

Bash in Cloud Shell comes equipped with commonly used CLI tools, including Linux shell interpreters, Azure tools, text editors, source control, build tools, container tools, database tools, and more. Cloud Shell also includes language support for several popular programming languages, such as Node.js, .NET, and Python. Cloud Shell uses a file share in Azure Files to persist your files across sessions, and automatically re-attaches it for subsequent sessions.

To learn more, read the full blog post and visit the Cloud Shell webpage.

Azure security and operations management | Visual Studio Team Services release management and Application Insights integration

Add continuous monitoring to web application and service releases created through Visual Studio Team Services Visual Studio Team Services release management with a new integration with Azure Application Insights. Now in preview, this ability is enabled through either a new template in the standard release creation process or through creating a web app through the CI/CD process. This allows you to monitor web applications and services you’re deploying without having to leave Visual Studio Team Services release management, or to manually create the Application Insights resource and associate it in the Azure portal. Learn more.

Azure Cosmos DB | Apache® Cassandra API preview

We are excited to announce preview of the Apache® Cassandra API on Azure Cosmos DB.  The Cassandra API in Azure Cosmos DB allows developers who are familiar with Cassandra and using its SDKs and tools to “lift-and-shift” existing applications and/or build new applications using Cassandra API against a globally distributed, multi model database service designed to scale throughput and storage across any number of geographical regions with a comprehensive SLAs. Sign up today to get access to the Apache® Cassandra API.

Azure Cosmos DB | 99.999 percent read availability — GA

Azure Cosmos DB SLA: 99.999% read availability at global scale

We have been making continuous improvements to our stack and are proud to announce even stronger SLAs for Azure Cosmos DB. Databases spanning multiple regions will now have 99.999 percent read availability. Learn more by visiting the SLA for Azure cosmos DB webpage.

Azure Databricks | preview

On November 15, 2017, we announced the limited preview of Azure Databricks, a fast, easy, and collaborative Apache® Spark™ -based analytics platform optimized for Azure. Designed in collaboration with the founders Apache® Spark™, Azure Databricks combines the best of Databricks and Azure to help customers accelerate innovation with one-click set up, streamlined workflows, and an interactive workspace that enables collaboration among data scientists, data engineers, and business analysts. Customers automatically benefit from native integration with other Azure services such as PowerBI, SQL DW, and CosmosDB, as well as from Azure security including Active Directory integration, compliance, and enterprise-grade SLAs. To learn more, read the blog post and visit Azure Databricks.

Azure Cosmos DB | MongoDB APIs—aggregate pipeline preview and unique index capability

Aggregation Pipeline preview and Unique Indexes for Azure Cosmos DB MongoDB API

Now in public preview, Aggregation pipeline support allows Azure Cosmos DB developers using MongoDB API to perform data manipulation in multi-stage pipelines even within a single query, enabling streamlining development of more sophisticated applications. Aggregation pipeline can be turned on in Azure Portal. Unique Index capability is now generally available and allows to introduce the uniqueness constraint on any document fields that are already auto-indexed in Azure Cosmos DB. Azure Cosmos DB now implements MongoDB 3.4 wire protocol, allowing the use of tools and applications relying on it.

Azure Cosmos DB | Spark connector—GA

Spark connector for Azure Cosmos DB now generally available

Spark connector for Azure Cosmos DB enables real-time data science, machine learning, advanced analytics, and exploration over globally distributed data in Azure Cosmos DB by connecting it to Apache Spark. The connector efficiently exploits the native Azure Cosmos DB managed indexes, and enables updateable columns when performing analytics. It also utilizes push-down predicate filtering against fast-changing, globally-distributed data addressing a diverse set of IoT, data science, and analytics scenarios. Spark structured stream support using Cosmos DB change feed, query performance improvements, and support for the latest Spark version are also included.

Azure Cosmos DB | Tables API—GA

Azure Cosmos DB Table API generally available

Azure Cosmos DB Table API is now generally available in all Azure regions. With Azure Cosmos DB Table API support, applications written for Azure Table storage can now use the premium capabilities of Azure Cosmos DB including turnkey global distribution, low latency reads/writes, automatic secondary indexing, dedicated throughput, and much more. Azure Cosmos DB Table API support is accessible through the Azure portal.

Azure Time Series Insights | GA

Azure Time Series Insights now generally available

Azure Time Series Insights is a managed analytics and visualization service that democratizes the Internet of Things (IoT) by making it simple to explore and analyze your IoT time series data. It lets you quickly validate your IoT solution and avoid downtime to mission-critical devices by helping you discover hidden trends, spot anomalies, and conduct root-cause analyses in near real-time. It also offers up to 400 days of real-time analytics and storage of time series data, helping organizations to spot and understand longer-term trends in their IoT data.

SQL Operations Studio | Preview

Microsoft SQL Operations Studio now in public preview

Now available in public preview, Microsoft SQL Operations Studio offers a modern, keyboard-focused T-SQL code experience with built-in features such as multiple tab windows, a rich T-SQL editor, IntelliSense, keyword completion, code snippets and code navigation, and source control integration. You can execute ad-hoc SQL queries, view and save results as text, JSON or Excel, edit data, organize your favorite database connections, and browse database objects in a familiar object browsing experience. This feature is available for download at no cost to you and runs on Windows, Linux and macOS.

Cognitive Services | Cognitive Services Updates at Connect()

Microsoft Cognitive Services are a collection of APIs and services that allow developers to use the broadest set of AI services in the industry, such as vision and speech recognition, emotion and sentiment detection, and language understanding and add them to their applications with no need to be an expert in data science.
Today, we are excited to announce several service updates:

  • Text Analytics API regions and languages – a cloud-based service that provides advanced natural language processing over raw text. It includes API functions such as sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction and language detection. Text analytics API is now available in new regions: Australia East, Brazil, South Central US, East US, North Europe, East Asia, West US 2. We are also releasing new languages for key phrases: Swedish, Italian, Finnish, Portuguese, Polish and Dutch.
  • Our current plan is to make Azure Bot Service and Language Understanding Intelligent Service (LUIS) in General Availability by the end of the calendar year.
    • Custom Vision Service model export – we are excited to announce the availability of mobile model export for Custom Vision Service. This new feature will allow you to embed your classifier directly in your application and run it locally on your device. The models you export will be optimized for the constraints of a mobile device, so you can easily classify on your device in real time. In addition to hosting your classifiers at a REST endpoint, you can now export models to run offline, starting with export to the CoreML format for iOS 11. We’ll be able to export to Android as well in a few weeks. Adding real time image classification to your mobile applications has never been easier.
    • Translator API – A year ago, Microsoft Translator launched its neural network powered languages called neural machine translation (NMT). Neural networks capture the context of full sentences with high quality translation and more human-sounding output. Since then, the team has been working hard to expand the use of neural machine translation to improve translations in the Microsoft Translator Text and Speech APIs, as well as in all of Microsoft Translator’s supported products.

Today, the Microsoft Translator team is announcing several developments in the Neural Machine Translation technology, making advanced AI translations more accessible:

    • 10 new languages are now available for Neural Machine Translation, for a total of 21 supported languages, in both Translator Text API, Translator Speech API and in Microsoft Translator apps and services. The 10 new languages cover Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Hindi, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish.
    • All of the API traffic for Chinese and Hindi is now powered by Neural Machine Translation. This means that developers do not need to call the “generalnn” category in their apps to benefit from these new systems.
    • New “hybrid” translation is available for APIs and apps users alike, bringing benefits of neural translations to languages not yet available on NMT. When only one of the two languages you are translating to or from is Neural Machine Translation-powered, you will still see an increase in translation quality as Microsoft Translator will automatically use NMT for that section of the translation – this portion of the translation will improve, making the entire translation better.
    • Speech translation is now powered end to end with Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) technology. This has a direct impact on the quality of the machine translation, since the more accurate the speech recognition is, the more accurate the resulting translation will be.
    • Neural Machine Translation is now also available as an on premises service – More information about Microsoft Translator’s on premises offering.

More information about Cognitive Services Announcements here.

Visual Studio App Center | GA

We recently announced the general availability of Visual Studio App Center, Microsoft’s continuous integration, continuous quality, and continuous monitoring service for app developers. Visual Studio App Center lets developers automate and manage the lifecycle of their iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS apps (in preview). Ship apps more frequently, at higher quality, and with greater confidence. Add repos and, within minutes, automate builds, test on real devices in the cloud, distribute apps to beta testers, and monitor real-world usage with crash and analytics data.

Learn more at the Visual Studio App Center webpage and get started for free.

Visual Studio Team Services | Azure DevOps Projects preview

Azure DevOps Projects is now available in the Azure management portal. This new guided experience will enable customers to easily explore many Azure platform services and, in the process, configure a full CI/CD DevOps pipeline powered by Visual Studio Team Services.

In less than five minutes, this feature will ensure that DevOps is the foundation for new projects and one that works with many application frameworks, languages, and Azure hosted deployment endpoints.

In this first preview release we support ASP.NET, ASP.NET Core, Java, and Node.js, PHP, and Python runtimes targeting Azure Web apps. In future updates, the list will expand to include Virtual Machines, Service Fabric, Azure Functions, Containers, and more.

New Visual Studio subscriptions benefits | GA

Visual Studio subscriptions continue to bring new benefits and additional value to subscribers. The following benefits are now available:

  • LinkedIn Learning subscription is a monthly subscription for those who want to learn a new programming language, boost productivity, get better at data visualization, master photography, and more. Everything needed to achieve more is on LinkedIn Learning, including all of Lynda.com’s courses.

With a LinkedIn Learning membership, subscribers can:

  • Quickly find the right video course from its extensive library.
  • Learn from industry experts who are passionate about teaching.
  • Explore curated course recommendations.
  • Use project files and quizzes to validate learning.

Courses are structured so subscribers can learn from start to finish, or jump to a specific chapter and watch shorter, bite-sized segments. Each video also includes transcripts. It’s available worldwide so you can learn from anywhere.
Visual Studio Enterprise subscribers receive a complementary six-month subscription, and Visual Studio Professional, Visual Studio Test Professional, and MSDN Platforms subscribers receive a complementary three-month subscription to LinkedIn Learning.

  • Data Camp subscription allows developers to master data analysis from any browser, at their own pace, tailored to their needs and expertise. Whether learning R, Python, or Data Visualization, Data Camp provides an intuitive learning platform with interactive lessons and engaging videos, with no need to install software or hardware requirements. All Visual Studio subscribers receive a complimentary three-month subscription to Data Camp.
  • Pluralsight Training—All Visual Studio subscribers will now have full access to the entire training catalog from Pluralsight. Enterprise subscribers will have access for six months, and Professional, Test Pro, and MSDN Platforms subscribers will have access for three months.
  • Visual Studio App Center is the most comprehensive app development lifecycle solution for Objective-C, Swift, Java, Xamarin, and React Native developers. Automate and manage the lifecycle of your iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS apps. Ship apps more frequently, at higher-quality, and with greater confidence. Connect your repo and within minutes automate your builds, test on real devices in the cloud, distribute apps to beta testers, and monitor real-world usage with crash and analytics data. All in one place and accessible from the Visual Studio Subscriptions portal.
  • Azure Community is a forum-based support accelerator that connects subscribers with other developers and Azure engineering. While the individual forums are not exclusive to Visual Studio subscriptions, the Azure Community support benefit pulls together 21 Azure specialties ranging from Azure API Management to Azure SQL Databases. By bringing the forums together under one experience, Visual Studio subscribers will discover new ways of engaging with Microsoft.  Staffed by community members and the Azure engineering team, subscribers will also benefit from knowing that their questions will be answered by Azure experts. All Visual Studio subscribers have access to this forum.
  • Azure Advisory Chat—Azure Advisory Chat is now part of the Visual Studio subscription. Azure Advisory chat is a helpful resource for developers as they build apps on Azure using the Visual Studio tools and services. Chat is a real-time way to get guidance on Azure questions of all kinds. Our expert support engineers are available 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday, to help developers get answers to their questions. Support engineers will work with subscribers to set up new tenants, provide basic support for identity and networking, discuss approaches to application migrations, and much more. Visual Studio Enterprise and Visual Studio Professional subscribers now have access to this benefit.

All these benefits can be accessed and activated from the Visual Studio Subscriptions portal.

New Visual Studio Dev Essentials benefits | GA

Visual Studio Dev Essentials continues to bring new benefits and additional value to its members. The following benefits are now available:

  • LinkedIn Learning subscription is a monthly subscription for those who want to learn a new programming language, boost productivity, get better at data visualization, master photography, and more. Everything needed to achieve more is on LinkedIn Learning, including all of Lynda.com’s courses.

With a LinkedIn Learning membership, subscribers can:

  • Quickly find the right video course from its extensive library.
  • Learn from industry experts who are passionate about teaching.
  • Explore curated course recommendations.
  • Use project files and quizzes to validate learning.

Courses are structured so that subscribers can learn from start to finish, or jump to a specific chapter and watch shorter, bite-sized segments. Each video also includes transcripts. It’s available worldwide so you can learn from anywhere.

Visual Studio Dev Essentials members now receive a complimentary three-month subscription to LinkedIn Learning.

  • Data Camp subscription allows developers to master data analysis from any browser, at their own pace, tailored to their needs and expertise. Whether learning R, Python, or Data Visualization, Data Camp provides an intuitive learning platform with interactive lessons and engaging videos, with no need to install software or hardware requirements. All Visual Studio Dev Essentials members receive a complimentary three-month subscription to Data Camp.
  • Visual Studio App Center is the most comprehensive app development lifecycle solution for Objective-C, Swift, Java, Xamarin, and React Native developers. Automate and manage the lifecycle of your iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS apps. Ship apps more frequently, at higher quality, and with greater confidence. Connect your repo and within minutes automate your builds, test on real devices in the cloud, distribute apps to beta testers, and monitor real-world usage with crash and analytics data. All in one place and accessible from the Visual Studio Subscriptions portal.
  • Azure Community is a forum-based support accelerator that connects subscribers with other developers and Azure engineering. While the individual forums are not exclusive to Visual Studio subscriptions, the Azure Community support tile pulls together twenty-one Azure specialties ranging from Azure API Management to Azure SQL Databases. By bringing the forums together under one experience, Visual Studio subscribers will discover new ways of engaging with Microsoft. Staffed by community members and the Azure engineering team, subscribers will also benefit from knowing that their questions will be answered by Azure experts. All Visual Studio Dev Essentials members have access to this forum.

All these benefits can be accessed and activated from the Visual Studio Subscriptions portal.

Visual Studio Team Services | Mac hosted build pool preview

Preview availability of free, cloud-hosted continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) on macOS is now available as part of Visual Studio Team Services. Visual Studio Team Services now supports building and releasing Apple iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS applications without requiring teams to provide and maintain their own Mac hardware. With this release, Visual Studio Team Services becomes the first CI/CD system in the cloud to offer Linux, macOS, and Windows in a unified solution.

Microsoft keeps hosted macOS installations updated with the latest build tools and SDKs including Xcode, Android, and Xamarin. The Apple App Store extension in the Visual Studio Marketplace simplifies releasing applications to beta testing and production environments. The Visual Studio Team Services Secure Files library keeps certificates and provisioning profiles protected during CI and CD. Furthermore, teams can take advantage of Visual Studio App Center to build, test, distribute, and monitor apps, as well as implement push notifications.

Visual Studio Live Share | Disclosure

Visual Studio Live Share

At Connect(); 2017, we announced the upcoming preview of Visual Studio Live Share. Designed for developer productivity, it lets developers seamlessly and securely share projects so that collaborators can edit and debug in their respective editor or IDE. Visual Studio Live Share lets them share their full project context (rather than just their screen) with a bi-directional, instant, and familiar way to jump into opportunistic improvised pair programming. Learn more.

Visual Studio Team Services | Release gates preview

Visual Studio Team Services has a new feature that enhances its release management capabilities by enabling customers to take advantage of automated release gates.

With this first release, customers can immediately start exploring the first two release management gates that are now available:

  • Through integration with Azure Monitoring, customers can use Application Insights to continuously monitor Azure web application deployments, and only promote releases to production if staging is considered healthy. In addition, Azure Monitoring alerts of any kind can be used to also limit when releases can move forward, ensuring production deployments are healthy and meet quality criteria.
  • By taking advantage of any work item query within Visual Studio Team Services, customers can use the query results to guide releases and enable scenarios such as “deploy only if there are no P0 bugs,” with many other combinations possible.

In future releases, we’ll expand support for additional monitoring providers including Google Analytics, ServiceNow, and others. We’ll also add additional gate types, and look forward to improving the experience based on customer feedback.

Team Foundation Server 2018 | GA

Team Foundation Server 2018 is now available for download.

With Team Foundation Server 2018, customers that choose to host their server on-premises get the benefits of features we’ve already shipped to our cloud hosted service, Visual Studio Team Services, along with additional bug fixes. Highlights of new features that are part of this release include—Git Forks, GVFS, improved pull request workflows, enhanced wiki experience, improved release definition editor, virtual machine (VM) deployment support, mobile work item form, and much more.

See full details.

Team Foundation Server Database Import Service (for Visual Studio Team Services) | GA

The Team Foundation Server Database Import Service is now generally available. The Import Service enables customers to migrate from their on-premises Team Foundation Server and into Visual Studio Team Services.

Customers no longer require approval from Microsoft to onboard and begin their migrations. Learn more information and get started.

Visual Studio Team Services command-line tools | Preview

The Team Foundation Server Database Import Service is now generally available. The Import Service enables customers to migrate from their on-premises Team Foundation Server and into Visual Studio Team Services.

Customers no longer require approval from Microsoft to onboard and begin their migrations. Learn more information and get started.

Azure Container Service + Azure Container Registry | Container innovation disclosure

Azure Container Service managed Kubernetes and Azure Container Registry Geo-Replication Preview

Microsoft continues to innovate in container services with managed Kubernetes in Azure Container Service and Geo Replication in Azure Container Registry Preview.

Azure Container Service manages your hosted Kubernetes environment with the following key benefits:

  • Easily manage containers without container expertise. Eliminate the complicated planning and deployment of fully orchestrated containerized applications with Kubernetes. Quickly provision clusters to get up and running, while simplifying your monitoring and cluster management through a built-in operations console.
  • Work how you want with open-source APIs. Avoid being locked into any one vendor or resource. Continue to work with the tools you already know, such as Helm, and move applications to any Kubernetes deployment. Integrate with your choice of container registry, including Azure Container Registry.
  • Scale and run applications with confidence. Quickly and efficiently scale to maximize your resource utilization without having to take your applications offline. Isolate your application from infrastructure failures and transparently scale the underlying infrastructure to meet growing demands—all while increasing the security, reliability, and availability of critical business workloads with Azure.
  • No extra charge for managed service. Unlike competing cloud-based managed Kubernetes offerings, with Azure Container Service, pay only for the resources you consume. There is no extra charge for using the managed features.

Additionally, geo-replication, now in preview, enables Azure Container Registry to function as a single registry, while being available for local operations in the replicated regions. As images are used across many Azure services, you can benefit from a single management plane while maintaining network-close, fast, and reliable image pulls.

Azure Container Registry is also announcing the general availability of basic, standard, and premium SKUs. By using managed SKUs, Azure Container Registry customers can easily move among basic, standard and premium tiers.  Azure Container Registry will manage caching of storage accounts to meet the throughput and API calls. By choosing premium, customers will have higher throughput as Azure Container Registry replicates images across multiple (encrypted at rest) storage accounts, all managed by Azure Container Registry.

To learn more, visit managed Kubernetes Preview, Geo Replication Preview, and Azure Container Registry managed SKUs.

Azure Functions | Azure Functions on IoT Edge

Along with recently announced Azure IoT Edge, we have also provided support to run Functions on the IoT Edge devices. This functionality allows developers to utilize the event-driven programming model provided by Functions even on the devices which may or may not be connected to the cloud. This functionality can be used in multiple scenarios such as performing custom processing on data coming from sensors, or filtering the incoming signals based on certain criteria. All of these scenarios, which today are possible in the cloud, can now be easily replicated on IoT Edge devices too. Read more details.

Azure Functions | Azure Functions on Linux

Support for running Azure Functions on the Linux platform is now available. This provides additional deployment options to developers who might prefer one OS target over the other. Developers targeting Linux will have two options for deploying their Functions—they can either bring their code and run it on preconfigured Linux containers, or they can bring their own containers with all dependencies contained and deploy them. In both cases, developers can use all the unique benefits of Azure Functions, such as triggers and bindings. See more details in this blog post.

Azure Functions | Azure Functions proxies—GA

Azure Functions proxies, a capability that makes it easier to author serverless APIs and implement microservices architectures using Azure Functions, is now generally available. Read more details.

Azure App Service | App Service new support center experience—GA

We’re announcing the general availability of App Service diagnostics. It provides an intelligent and interactive experience, analyzes problems with web apps, and quickly guides customers to the right information to help troubleshoot and resolve issues faster. Read more details in this blog post.

 

Azure Advisor—Your personalized best practices service got better

Azure Advisor is your personalized cloud service for Azure best practices that helps you optimize Azure resources for high availability, security, performance, and cost.

A number of capabilities were recently made available based on your feedback. These capabilities help you attain a more comprehensive view of the recommendations across all of your subscriptions, and the ability to better customize Azure Advisor to the needs of your specific organization.

Advisor brings an all-new dashboard to tune Advisor to your needs. This will help you more easily review the overall status of your recommendations across multiple subscriptions, downloadable reports, and customization options. You can tag resource groups that you want to include in recommendations (so you can, for example, exclude non-production workloads), and adjust the CPU utilization threshold to identify low usage virtual machines for each subscription.

Review your Azure Advisor recommendations at no cost.

Azure Database Migration Service | Preview

Accelerate your journey to the cloud

Reduce the complexity of your cloud migration by using a single comprehensive service instead of multiple tools. Now in preview, Azure Database Migration Service is designed as a seamless, end-to-end solution for moving on-premises SQL Server, Oracle, and other relational databases to the cloud. The service supports migrations of homogeneous and heterogeneous source-target pairs, and the guided migration process is easy to understand and implement. To learn more, please visit the Azure Database Migration Service page.

Azure Active Directory Conditional Access | GA

Device based Conditional Access is one of the hottest features of Azure Active Directory and is growing at a rapid pace. On Wednesday, November 15, we announced the general availability of a set of capabilities related to Azure Active Directory Conditional Access for device and app based conditional access:

  1. MacOS as a platform for device-based Conditional Access
  2. Azure AD application-based Conditional Access for iOS and Android in the Azure portal
  3. The Devices blade within Azure Active Directory for managing device identities in the Azure portal

As detailed in Alex Simon’s blog post announcing the General availability of these features, these capabilities should help you get the flexibility you need to protect data for both personal and corporate devices across platforms and secure users and their access to Office365 and Azure AD connected apps.

To learn more, read the full blog post and get started with Conditional Access today.

Event Confirmation API in Multi-factor Authentication Server | Deprecation

Event Confirmation is a feature supported on Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server.  The feature enables administrators of Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server to set up custom voice messages that will be sent to a user by phone when a specific action is conducted by the user. The user can then respond to that message to verify that the action was taken by the user.  This Event Confirmation feature will no longer be supported by Azure MFA after Nov 14, 2018. The ability to configure Event Confirmation and the ability to add new templates for current customers will be retired immediately, i.e, Nov 15, 2017. Customers who are actively using Event Confirmation can use it until Nov 14, 2018.
If you are not using MFA Server or if you have not configured any users to use Event Confirmation, you can ignore this email.

For any questions, please contact support@microsoft.com

Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances | GA

Reserve virtual machines at extremely low prices on Azure with Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances. With this service, receive savings up to 82 percent lower than pay-as-you-go prices with Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, and up to 72 percent savings for all virtual machines. Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances are flexible and easy to exchange or cancel as business needs evolve, and are simple to purchase in a few easy steps. Reserved Virtual Machine Instances are expected to become available for purchase before the end of 2017. Learn more here.

Direct SDK in Muti-factor Authentication Server | Deprecation

The Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Software Development Kit (SDK) lets you build two-step verification directly into the sign-in or transaction processes of applications in your Azure AD tenant. The Multi-Factor Authentication SDK is available for C#, Visual Basic (.NET), Java, Perl, PHP and Ruby. This SDK will no longer by supported by Azure MFA after November 14, 2018. Please plan to migrate your applications to leverage Azure Active Directory

If you are using Microsoft Identity Manager for Privileged Access Management and/or Self-Service Password Reset, please click here (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-identity-manager/pam/use-azure-mfa-for-activation) and (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-identity-manager/working-with-self-service-password-reset) for further guidance. If you are using on-premises Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Web Services SDK with Azure MFA Server, you can ignore this email.

For any questions, please reach out to support@microsoft.com

2-way SMS | Deprecation

Azure Multi-Factor Authentication delivers strong authentication via a range of easy verification options—phone call, text message, or mobile app notification and one-time passwords—letting users choose the method they prefer. When a user signs in to an app protected by Azure Multi-Factor Authentication Server, an additional verification is sent to the user. If the user is configured to use the two-way text message method, a text message is sent to a user’s mobile phone with a six-digit code. The user replies to the text message with the code and optional PIN to complete the authentication. However, beginning in November 2018, the two-way text message method will no longer be supported by Multi-Factor Authentication. We recommend that you switch to mobile app notifications prior to the two-way text message method retirement on November 14, 2018 (one-way text message will continue to be supported).

For any questions, please contact support@microsoft.com.