Cloud Platform Release Announcements for July 16, 2018

Windows Server and SQL Server | Windows Server 2008 end of service

We recently announced free extended security updates will be available in Azure virtual machines for SQL Server, Windows Server 2008, and 2008 R2 for an additional three years after the end of support deadline. End of support is coming soon and this means impacted organizations will lose access to regular security updates and could face significant security risks. Migrate these 2008/2008 R2 workloads to Azure immediately with no application code changes and continue to get security updates to keep workloads protected while working on your modernization plans. Purchase extended security updates for other environments as well, to keep workloads protected while you work on your upgrade and migration projects.

To learn more, read the full blog post and visit the 2008 end of support page.

Azure Data Box Disk | Preview

Announcing Azure Data Box Disk Preview

Azure Data Box Disk provides a simple, secure, SSD disk-based offering for offline data transfer to Azure. Customers that have data transfer requirements but lack the onsite technical expertise required for more robust data transfer offerings can use the Data Box Disk service to transport as much as 40 TB of data into Azure by simply connecting the disks to a computer via USB or SATA and using drag-and-drop or robocopy commands for data transfer.

Data Box Disk Preview is available in the EU and US. The preview is currently free.
Customers and Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) partners are invited to sign up for the Data Box Preview on the same portal as Data Box Preview.

Partners—please sign up on our partner portal.

Azure IoT Central | Disclosure

At Inspire, we're announcing several new features to the preview of Azure IoT Central. These new features provide an easy avenue for partners across the IoT ecosystem to benefit from IoT. They include support for Azure CSP, new workflows powered by Microsoft Flow connector, continuous data export, and integration with Power BI. These features made available make it easy for partners to resell, manage, and extend customer solutions.

To learn more about the Azure IoT portfolio including the latest news, visit the Azure IoT page.

Azure security and operations management | Security Center in your subscription experience

Securing your resources is important, which is why we’ve made it even simpler for you to do. Azure Security Center is now integrated into the subscription experience. It's easy to enable Security Center and quickly assess the security state of your resources, get actionable recommendations, and mitigate risks.

Learn more about this capability.

Azure security and operations management | Azure Security Center available in Azure Gov

To help you address your security challenges, Azure Security Center for Azure Government is now available in preview. Security Center delivers unified security management for hybrid cloud workloads, with continuous monitoring as well as security assessments and recommendations. Coupled with advanced threat protection to identify and mitigate risk and reduce exposure, this enables government cloud security teams to better protect their data, networks, and IT infrastructure from cyberattacks.

Azure File Sync | GA

Azure File Sync is now generally available.

Azure File Sync replicates files from your on-premises Windows Server to an Azure file share. With Azure File Sync, you don’t have to choose between the benefits of cloud and the benefits of your on-premises file server—you can have both. Azure File Sync enables you to centralize your file services in Azure while maintaining local access to your data.

For more information on Azure File Sync, please see our announcement on the Azure blog.

Azure Firewall | Preview

Azure Firewall is a fully stateful firewall as a service with built-in high availability and unrestricted cloud scalability. Centrally create, enforce, and log application and network connectivity policies across subscriptions and virtual networks. Azure Firewall uses a static public IP address for your virtual network resources allowing outside firewalls to identify traffic originating from your virtual network. The service is fully integrated with Azure Monitor for logging and analytics.

Learn more about Azure Firewall.

Read the Azure Firewall Preview documentation.

Virtual WAN | In preview

Azure Virtual WAN is a networking service providing optimized and automated branch-to-branch connectivity through Azure. Virtual WAN allows you to connect your branches to each other and to Azure, centralizing your network and security needs with virtual appliances such as firewalls and Azure network and security services.

Visit the documentation for guidance on how to join the managed preview.

Azure Marketplace | Azure Marketplace Features preview

Azure Marketplace is the place for customers of all sizes to discover certified solutions. We recently announced Azure Marketplace has released two additional capabilities: private offers, and geo-expansion to Canada for consulting offers in Azure Marketplace.

Enterprise customers increasingly want to use online marketplaces to discover, try, and buy cloud services. Now with private offers, publishers can privately share solutions with specific customers in a variety of ways.

  • Private pricing lets publishers extend discounts and off-list pricing from publicly available offerings.
  • Private terms and conditions allow publishers to tailor them to a specific customer.
  • Private virtual machine images, managed applications, SaaS subscriptions, and solutions templates let publishers configure offers for an individual customer's needs. This also enables publishers to provide preview access to new product features before launching broadly to all customers.

Azure Marketplace is expanding consulting services from US to Canada. Now generally available in Canada, this new listing option expands Azure Marketplace beyond partners and applications so that customers can find a wide range of consulting services, such as assessments, onsite workshops, proofs of concept, and implementation, each backed by a partner with deep Azure expertise.

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

Azure SQL Data Warehouse | Instant data movement

SQL Data Warehouse sets industry standards for query performance

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fast, flexible, and secure analytics platform in the cloud. Azure SQL Data Warehouse customers will now enjoy at least two times faster query performance from their workloads, making this the fastest data warehouse in the cloud. These performance gains are made real by the instant data movement feature that allows for extremely efficient movement between data warehouse compute nodes.

Find out more.

Azure SQL Database | Managed instance business critical—In preview

Azure SQL Database managed instance business critical tier in preview

The business-critical performance tier is now available to Azure SQL Database Managed Instance. Designed for mission-critical business apps with high I/O requirements, business critical supports high availability with the highest level of storage and compute redundancy.
Save more during this preview with Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server, which provides up to 55 percent off the license-included full price when applied.

Learn more.

Azure SQL Database | New purchasing model—GA

New purchasing model for Azure SQL Database

The vCore-based purchasing model for Azure SQL Database elastic pools and single databases is now generally available. The purchasing model is in addition to the existing DTU-based model. Designed to give you flexibility, control, transparency, and an easier way to compare to on-premises workloads, it allows you to scale compute, storage, and IO independently based upon your workload needs. Options within the vCore-based model are also eligible for up to 55 percent savings with the Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server.

Learn more.

Azure SQL Database | Long-term backup retention—GA

The long-term backup retention feature is now available in all Azure regions. It provides greater flexibility in setting your retention policies and managing individual backups. Backups also now use read-access geo-redundant storage (RA-GRS), which provides an even higher degree of protection for your data.

Learn more.

Azure SQL Database | Auto-failover—GA

Azure SQL Database supports auto-failover

Auto-failover groups are now generally available for Azure SQL Database, supporting transparent geographic failover of multiple databases with automatic activation.

Learn more.

Azure Maps | Azure Maps premium—New imagery and IP lookup service

We recently announced the general availability of Azure Maps (formerly Azure Location-Based Services), a portfolio of geospatial APIs that enables developers to integrate searching, mapping, routing, traffic, and time zone services to their web, mobile, and enterprise applications.
Several new features are being added to our standard portfolio:

  • IP lookup—This service will allow developers to look up the country corresponding to an IP address. This will allow businesses to customize content based on user location and learn about customer geographic distribution.
  • Satellite, hybrid, and gray-scale vector maps—Satellite and aerial photography are now available as layers in the map control. Satellite imagery provides strictly satellite images of the Earth, whereas hybrid imagery provides satellite images with overlain layers for roads and labels. A new map style that is dark gray for users who wish to have a darker scale representation of a map is now available.
  • Batch services—This offering is designed to support the needs of large-scale enterprise, mission-critical applications with batch services for search, routing, and geocoding
  • Advanced geospatial functionality—We're launching new features to support advanced scenarios such as matrix routing, route range (isochrones), and return polygon for an area.

Learn more about Azure Maps and read our Infopedia page.

If you have questions, please contact us .

Azure SQL Data Warehouse | UK West—GA

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fast, flexible, and secure analytics platform in the cloud. We're announcing the general availability of the compute optimized Gen2 tier in the UK West region. With this general availability, customers can now provision the latest tier of SQL Data Warehouse across 23 regions with a financially backed SLA of 99.9 percent availability.

Azure Service Fabric | Service Fabric Mesh now in preview

We're excited to announce the preview of Service Fabric Mesh, a fully managed option from Azure Service Fabric that simplifies deployment and operations by removing the burden of managing virtual machines (VMs), storage, or networking.

We're also releasing the Service Fabric 6.3 runtime that includes Service Fabric Mesh applications (preview) support, along with other features and improvements including support for Service Fabric Reliable Services in Windows containers, and VM isolation for Linux containers.

Learn more on the Azure blog.

Azure Dev Spaces | Preview

With Azure Dev Spaces, a feature of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) now available in preview, the lengthy process of working in complex microservices applications can be drastically simplified.

Using Azure Dev Spaces, all you need is your IDE and the Azure CLI. Azure Dev Spaces provides a rapid, iterative Kubernetes development experience for teams. With minimal machine setup, you can iteratively run and debug containers directly in AKS–even in complex environments. Teams can share an AKS cluster to collaboratively work together, with each developer able to test end-to-end with other components without replicating or mocking up dependencies. You can also use Dev Spaces to develop on the OS of your choice—Windows, Mac, or Linux—using familiar tools like Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, or just the command line.

Learn more.

Azure DevOps Projects | GA

Azure DevOps Projects enables customers to start running their application on any Azure service in just three steps—simply select an application language, a runtime, and an Azure service. In addition to deploying a sample application, DevOps Projects also sets up a full CI/CD pipeline powered by Visual Studio Team Services.

DevOps Projects now has support for a variety of languages,including .NET, Java, PHP, Node, Python, Go, and Ruby. Using DevOps Projects, deploy to AppService, VM, Service Fabric, and AKS.
This product is now a generally available feature in the Azure portal.

Learn more.