Azure News Week 37, 2015


It was exciting week for Microsoft Azure.

Please find below my pick of the news related to Microsoft Azure.

I. Machine Learning

Machine Learning in its core form – Azure ML offers great opportunity for developer to extend application logic. However, it is even easier to integrate with Oxford API developed by Azure ML team.

1.1. More information on the “Twins or Not” viral web site powered by Azure ML can be found here

1.2. General overview on more Oxford API-s such as Text Analysis and Recommendation can be found here

II. Azure SQL

Azure SQL Web and Business tier will be deprecated so it is time to migrate to another tier.

2.1. Here you can see how to get hint from Microsoft Azure what is the best tier for you based on your last month usage

III. Media Services

However, the news of the week are all cool new features added to Azure Media Services. This is one of the most interesting platforms offered by Azure having in my opinion one of the most mature end-to-end offerings starting from Storage, CDN, Encoding, Right Management and going to the Azure Media player that intelligently provide you the right content for your device and screen size. I am very happy to see that the Media Services are getting even better!

3.1. Media Services now supports Google Widevine packaging for delivering multi DRM stream

3.2. Media Services now supports Apple ProRes videos

3.3. Media Services now support Sub-Clipping and Live Archive Extraction with Media Encoder Standard

3.4. Even more features and services were announced at IBC 2015

IV. Back for Azure IaaS VM-s

Azure IaaS VM-s have great new feature generally available – Azure Backup. With this feature comes consistent backup of Windows OS and file system consistency for Linux OS family without the need to shut down!

Snapshots of VM are transferred to a secure Azure Backup vault and can be restored with a single click.

Backups taken on VM can be kept for long-term following GFS based retention policies.

4.1. More information can be found here

V. Mobile Apps

Mobile Apps are great service offered by Azure. Today we have exciting news for Node.js developers:

5.1. Now Mobile Apps support Node.js 

VI. Web App and App Service Updates

I am following very closely Web App and App Services since I use them on daily basis.

The latest changes include

6.1. Better categorization of Tools and Settings sections

6.2. Continuous Deployments information can be found in Setting menu under Publishing category

6.3. Now we can add easily Push Notifications and Offline Sync to any of our Web Apps! Amazing!!!

6.4. Kudu (Deployment, Monitoring, Continuous Integration, Site Extension, Web Job companion app for every Azure Web Apps) is now part of the portal experience

6.5. Setting up advanced Network connections and getting relevant information is much easier with the latest updates

6.6. App Service Plan Browse experince give you the number of apps deployed to each service plan

6.7. Deleting App Service Environment is now easier and will remove all resource hosted in it. There is a resource list for confirmation before the delete

6.8. File System Storage information for App Service Environment is enabled

As you can see the team is doing great job to make user experience better!

For more details on the latest improvements please check this link.

VII. Private Cloud

Microsoft Azure team is providing great guidance how to organize our private cloud.

7.1. Check the guidance here

VIII. SharePoint

Azure Team prepared new SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview VM image.

Now it is very easy for you to try SharePoint 2016 in Azure.

8.1. For step by step guide how to do that please check this page.

IX. Microsoft Azure Government Trial Program

Microsoft Azure Government is service provided to U.S. government entities and solution providers that offers Azure services with world class security.

Now Microsoft Azure starts trial program where varies agency can try the offering for 90 days with consumption up to $500.

9.1. For more details please check this page.

Have a great new week!

Thank you!


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