Cloud Platform Release Announcements for October 31, 2018

Azure Event Grid | Availability in Azure Government regions

Event Grid is now available in preview in Azure Government regions. Use this service on the same region you’re deploying the rest of your solution(s).

Learn more by visiting the Microsoft Azure Blog.

Azure Event Grid | Advanced filtering is in preview

Data payload attributes filtering is now available on Event Grid, so you can do events filtering before processing them. It also takes away the load of filtering from your application logic, so your apps process only the ones they need to. Typed filtering is also available, letting you treat event properties as typed fields instead of just doing string value comparisons.

Learn more by visiting the Microsoft Azure Blog.

Azure Event Grid | Event Domains is in preview

Become your own event publisher with this feature that allows you to manage the outbound event flow of your application. Use the same tooling and architecture that Azure services (such as Azure Storage) use to publish their events. Event Domains handle the authorization and authentication around subscribing to events within your Event Domain on a per tenant basis and can manage massive numbers of parallel tenants while continuing to provide reliable routing and delivery. This is a feature unique to Azure and enables new scenarios for customers and partners to offer their own events for their end customers.

Learn more by visiting the Microsoft Azure Blog.

Azure App Service | App Service Deployment Center is now available

Azure App Service Deployment Center is now available. The Deployment Center is a centralized overview for all the deployment methods supported by your app and a guided experience for configuring continuous integration/continuous deployment.

Deployment credential management is now contextualized to your deployment provider and method of choice, making it easier to set and reset credentials from the deployment center without having to visit another UI or abandon the flow.

This release encompasses Kudu scenarios across Windows and Linux apps, App Service Plan hosted Function on Windows or Linux, as well as Function on Dynamic ASP on Windows. Note that Azure DevOps (formerly Visual Studio Team Services) build provider scenarios continue to be available in preview.

See more information in the "Continuous deployment Azure App Service" documentation.

Azure App Service | Virtual Network integration capability is in preview

Azure App Service now supports Virtual Network integration capability in preview. The upgraded integration capability will enable apps to access resources across ExpressRoute or other connectivity technologies. It also enables apps to access resources secured with service endpoints in a similar manner as with SQL, Storage, and CosmosDB. This capability will only work with Windows Web Apps and in a limited number of regions.

See more information in the "New App Service Vnet Integration feature" blog.

Azure Container Instances | Virtual Network support is in preview

Use Azure Container Instances in a more secure way. With Virtual Network support, Azure Container Instances now supports deploying containers to new or existing Azure Virtual Networks. Azure Container Instances containers can have secure communication with other resources, such as Azure Kubernetes Service clusters, residing in the same virtual network.

Deploy with a single command today using Azure Command Line Interface 2.0.

az container create \ --name appcontainer \ --resource-group myResourceGroup \ --image microsoft/aci-helloworld \ --vnet-name aci-vnet \ --vnet-address-prefix \ --subnet aci-subnet \ --subnet-address-prefix

See more information in the "Deploy container instances into an Azure virtual network" documentation.

Azure security and operations management | Approve and audit access to virtual machines (VMs) with Customer Lockbox

Customer Lockbox for Azure helps control and audit a Microsoft support engineer’s access to compute workloads on Azure that may contain customer data. Microsoft support doesn’t have standing access to service operations. In some rare scenarios, to resolve a support issue, just-in-time access with limited and time bound authorization can be provided to Microsoft support engineers. In these cases, Customer Lockbox helps ensure that Microsoft support engineers don’t access customers’ content in the Azure portal without a customer’s explicit approval. It also helps improve the existing support ticket workflow by expediting the customer’s approval process. This capability enables customers to have more granular control, better visibility, and enhanced audit capabilities over the support process.

Archive Storage | Now available in three new regions

Archive Storage is now available in 25 regions globally, including three additional Azure regions—US Gov VA, US Gov TX, and US Gov AZ.

Azure Archive Storage provides cloud storage for rarely accessed data with flexible latency requirements starting at an industry leading price point (0.2 cents per GB/month). This is another tier of Blob Storage in addition to hot and cool. All archive operations are 100 percent consistent with hot and cool so you can seamlessly move your data among all three tiers programmatically or by using lifecycle management policies (in preview). The archive tier is supported by many leading storage industry partners.

For more information on Archive Storage features and capabilities, please visit our product page. See information on Archive Storage pricing.

Azure HDInsight | HDInsight IO Cache is now in preview

HDInsight IO Cache is now available in preview on the latest Azure HDInsight Apache Spark clusters. Once enabled, it improves the performance of Spark jobs in a completely transparent manner without any changes to the jobs required and can provide up to nine times improvement in query run time. This provides an excellent cost-to-performance ratio of cloud-based Spark deployments. HDInsight IO Cache is a new transparent data caching feature, based on RubiX, which uses recent advances in SSD technology to make explicit memory management unnecessary and allows for optimal resource utilization to enhance performance.

Learn more at the announcement blog.

Azure SQL Database | Managed instance business critical tier

The business critical performance tier will be available for Azure SQL Database Managed Instance on December 1, 2018. 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 up to 80 percent off the license-included full price when you apply Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server and reserved capacity pricing.

Power BI Desktop | Support for composite model and aggregation previews is now available

Power BI Desktop includes a variety of small and large improvements across the entire product. You’ll now receive Power BI support for both composite model and aggregation previews, enabling you to use these features end-to-end for your normal reports. Updates also include two significant data prep features: fuzzy matching capabilities when merging queries and data profiling to help identify quality issues.

For more information, see the Power BI blog.

Power BI service | Aggregations in preview

The latest update to the Power BI service includes the preview of petabyte-scale aggregations built on composite models.

Enjoy these key benefits:

  • Query performance over big data—As users interact with visuals on Power BI reports, DAX queries are submitted to the Power BI dataset. Boost query speeds by caching data at the aggregated level, using a fraction of the resources required at the detail level. Access big data in a way that would otherwise be impossible.
  • Data refresh optimization—Reduce cache sizes and refresh times by caching data at the aggregated level to speed up data availability for users.
  • Balanced architectures—Allow the Power BI in-memory cache to effectively handle aggregated queries. Limit queries sent to the data source in DirectQuery mode to stay within concurrency limits. Queries that get through tend to be filtered, transactional-level queries, which data warehouses and big-data systems normally handle well.

For more information, see the Power BI blog.

Avere vFXT for Azure | Now available

Avere vFXT for Azure is a Microsoft first-party service that’s now available in the Azure Marketplace. Avere vFXT supports high-performance cloud computing for file-based workloads. It’s a file cache that optimizes storage performance by using object and traditional NAS to minimize costs associated with storing large datasets close to Azure Virtual Machines.

Avere vFXT joins a strong suite of solutions designed for high-performance computing in Azure. Use it to help your organization become more innovative and efficient. Read about the product’s key functionality in the release blog.

Learn more on the product page and then download Avere vFXT for Azure from the Azure Marketplace.

Azure Cloud Shell | PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell is now available

PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell is now available with new performance improvements and features:

  • The PowerShell startup experience is now on par with Bash.
  • PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell offers a consistent tooling experience, since Cloud Shell runs on a Linux Container that uses PowerShell Core.
  • PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell is portable and equipped with tools such as Azure PowerShell, git, and common text editors. At the same time, user settings can persist across sessions for increased productivity.
  • Four new Azure virtual machine remoting cmdlets enable interactive connectivity to an individual machine or many machines for automated tasks that use PowerShell remoting.

Gain quick PowerShell access from a variety of locations, such as the Azure Portal,, Microsoft Docs, Visual Studio Code, and the Azure Mobile App.