Cloud Platform Release Announcements for January 24, 2018

ITSM Connector for Azure is now generally available

The IT Service Management (ITSM) Connector for Azure is now generally available. ITSM Connector allows you to integrate Azure with one of the following IT Service Management products—Cherwell, Provance, System Center Service Manager, or ServiceNow. With your log data (performance counters, configuration changes, updates, and more) and help desk data (incidents, events, alerts, change requests, and more) in one place, you can quickly troubleshoot issues and provide faster resolutions. Using this solution, you can:

  • Create an incident (or an event or alert) in your service desk solution based on alerts from Azure and on-premises resources.
  • Read incidents from your service desk solution and correlate with relevant log data in an Azure Log Analytics workspace.
  • Read the change request items from your service desk and correlate the change request data with a Change Tracking solution.
  • View curated dashboards for deeper insights on events, alerts incidents, and impacted systems.
  • Troubleshoot faster by correlating with other management solutions in the Log Analytics workspace.

Please visit the IT Service Manager Connector documentation page and read the blogpost to learn more and get access to additional resources.

Azure Support | Disclosure

Microsoft Azure is continuously expanding the range of options to help you accelerate your cloud journey. From the built-in Azure Advisor service that provides free, proactive, and personalized recommendations for Azure best practices, to direct connection with Microsoft cloud engineers through Azure Support.

Microsoft Azure offers multiple levels of support, and based on your feedback, we are making changes to enhance the Azure standard support plan for organizations running production workloads. We’re dropping the price to a fixed cost of $100 USD per month (from $300 USD) in addition to providing shorter initial response times down to one hour (from two hours) for your critical cases. Purchase or upgrade to Azure Standard support today. See more details and eligibility requirements.

New Alerts (preview) in Azure Monitor

With Azure Monitoring Services, you can set up alerts to monitor the metrics and log data for the entire stack across your infrastructure, application, and platform. Given how integral it is to the monitoring experience, we are excited to announce the preview of a new re-imagined user interface to create and manage alerts for any resource from a single location in the Azure Monitor blade in the Azure portal. Learn more about the new alerts experience.

Azure Data Factory | Visual tools for Azure Data Factory Preview

In response to your feedback, we are happy to announce the release of visual tools for Azure Data Factory that allow you to get pipelines up and running quickly without having to write a single line of code. Use a simple and intuitive code-free interface to drag and drop activities on a pipeline canvas, perform test runs, debug iteratively, and deploy and monitor your pipeline runs. With this release, we’re also providing guided tours on how to use the enabled visual authoring and monitoring features, along with an ability to give us valuable feedback.

Learn more about new visual tools for Data Factory.

Azure Cosmos DB | France region—GA

Azure Cosmos DB now available in France
Azure Cosmos DB is now a part of the preview of Microsoft Azure in France, which is currently open to all customers and partners worldwide, giving them the opportunity to deploy services and test workloads against Azure Cosmos DB in the latest Azure regions. Azure Cosmos DB in the new region will offer the same enterprise-grade reliability and performance with the industry-leading comprehensive SLAs to support the mission-critical applications and workloads of businesses and organizations in France. Sign up for Azure France preview.

Azure Cosmos DB | Lower limit partitioned collection—GA

Azure Cosmos DB—Lower initial price point available for unlimited collections
Last February, we lowered the entry point for unlimited containers, making the cost dramatically more efficient. We have continued making improvements in our service and in December announced that unlimited containers had an entry point that is more cost effective than before. Instead of provisioning 2,500 RU/sec as a minimum, you can now provision an unlimited collection at 1,000 RU/sec and scale in increments of 100 RU/sec. Unlimited containers (collections) enable you to dynamically scale your provisioning from as low as 1,000 RU/sec to millions of RU/sec with no limit on storage consumption.

Azure Cosmos DB | Visual Studio functionality—GA

Azure Cosmos DB—Azure Functions integration in Visual Studio now generally available
Visual Studio has a native integration to consume Azure Cosmos DB change feed functionality using Azure Functions. It’s now much easier to develop and debug an Azure function locally which is consuming Cosmos DB change feed on Azure. See an end-to-end working example and learn more by watching the Azure Cosmos DB Functions and Visual Studio Integration video.

Azure Search | Security updates—GA

Azure Search—New enterprise security features
As organizations use search as a mechanism for users to easily explore content, security becomes increasingly important. Azure Search is expanding its enterprise security capabilities with two new features. The encryption feature automatically encrypts your data prior to persisting to storage and decrypts prior to retrieval. The security trimming feature enables administrators to configure Azure Search with a greater level of security and use technologies such as Azure Active Directory to define groups and roles, which are then matched to user privileges to determine what content users can search and view.

Power BI Desktop | GA

New features and updates are now available in Power BI Desktop. Enhancements to reporting capabilities include show and hide pages, control data label background color for Cartesian and maps visuals, and much more. Additional custom visuals are now available via PowerApps, TreeViz, Funnel with Source by MAQ Software, Box and Whisker chart by MAQ Software, and more. We also made improvements to analytics and data connectivity. For example, Power BI now supports Azure Active Directory authentication for the Azure SQL Database and Data Warehouse connectors.

Download the latest Power BI Desktop release in our website or the Windows Store to experience the new features immediately. For more information on these new features and others, read the January 2018 update announcement on the Power BI Blog.

Power BI service | GA

More new and most frequently requested Power BI features are now available to users and business analysts. First, we’ve added support for larger datasets. Power BI Premium now supports uploading Power BI Desktop (.PBIX) files that are up to 10 GB in size—a 10 times increase compared to before. Power BI datasets are highly compressed, representing data volumes many times their size. This means that in practice, Premium in conjunction with large datasets translates to self-service, real-time exploration against data with potentially hundreds of millions of rows. Learn more about Power BI Premium support for larger datasets.

The Reddit solution template suite combines AI with interactive visual analytics to reveal how different brands are performing across the Reddit platform, from companies and CEOs down to individual products. Behind the scenes, it uses Azure services and technologies from Microsoft AI and Research to support rich exploration by sentiment levels, key words, and author communities. Learn more about Reddit Solution Template.

Experience the new features immediately. For more information on these new features and others, visit the Power BI blog.

Intune Partner Integration | Jamf Integration—GA

At the Jamf Nation User Conference (JNUC) in October, 2017, we talked about how our partnership with Jamf would provide an automated, compliance-based solution for secure access to corporate data from Mac devices. This solution would use Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) conditional access and Jamf Pro Mac management capabilities to ensure that company data could only be accessed by trusted users, from trusted devices, using trusted apps.

Microsoft and Jamf are proud to now make this integration generally available to our shared customers. Jamf customers can upgrade to Jamf Pro 10.1 to get started today. The EMS cloud services have already been updated with this functionality and are available globally. Read more about the integration.