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Noteworthy Azure Announcements from Microsoft Ignite

Posted by Vinnie Doyle

Thu, Oct 04, 2018


Last week, 5 members of the Daymark Cloud Consulting team traveled down to Orlando, Florida to attend the annual Microsoft Ignite technical conference. As always, the first day of the conference was filled with several major announcements. This blog will focus on the Azure related enhancements that were announced and Daymark’s thoughts on how they could help our clients in the future.

Azure Scale & Footprint: Microsoft now has 54 datacenter regions around the world, which is more than AWS and Google combined. Microsoft continues to have a bigger global datacenter footprint than both AWS and Google combined, and made significant investments to continue to expand to help customers keep their data close in proximity. This has a definitive impact on performance for customers around the world.

Key Azure Enhancements:

Ultra SSD Managed Disks which offer up to 160,000 IOPs, can be created from 4GB-65TB sized disks, and have less than 1 ms read/write latency. These disks were created for very high-performance workloads, for example large databases in Azure such as Oracle or SAP.

100 GB/s ExpressRoute connections, which will allow customers to get the highest performance out of their cloud network.

Azure WAN and Azure Firewall are now Globally Available. Azure WAN allows you to create site-to-site VPN tunnels from your on-prem environments to Azure without needing a VPN device.. Azure Firewall provides a simple inbound/outbound firewall, which could help you avoid needing a third-party firewall in Azure, depending on your security needs.

Azure Data Box, a data migration service that migrates on-prem data directly to Azure through a NAS device, now has two new options – Data Box Heavy and Data Box Edge. Data Box Heavy has a capacity of 1 PB, allowing you to transport up to that much data directly to a Microsoft datacenter. Data Box Edge has a cache capacity of 12 TB and you can run code locally and perform preprocessing of the data before it is shipped to the Microsoft datacenter.

Azure Windows VDI, which is a Microsoft provided service for your VDI environment in Azure. It works with Windows and Apple devices, integrates with Office apps and line-of-business apps, and utilizes GPU acceleration to give you the best VDI performance possible.

Azure Blueprints are templates that enable you to configure Azure security controls such as, Role Based Access Control (RBAC), Azure policies and resources before you deploy an Azure subscription. These Blueprints allow you to recreate your subscriptions with all of your security controls built-in beforehand.

Through Visual Studio, all you have to do is right-click on your code and it will build you a file that adds container or Azure PaaS support. From there, you can perform a live debug, and when you hit the breakpoint, the app will take you back to your code and show you where the errors are. You can also add other Azure services directly into Visual Studio, such as Azure Functions, Event Hub, etc.

Azure Data Explorer is a new data analytics tool which Microsoft uses internally that allows you to query 1 billion records in less than 1 second, scale from GB to PB of data, and analyze data in real time for data produced by services such as Internet of Things and telemetry.

As you can probably tell, it was a busy few days. We came back from the conference excited to further discuss many of these Azure enhancements with our clients. If there are some that you want to learn more about, please contact us. If you’re just considering making a move to Azure, now is a great time. We offer an intensive Azure Everywhere Workshop. It’s a two-day workshop at your location with Daymark Cloud Consultants helping you jumpstart your migration to Azure with recommendations of workloads best suited for Azure and a customized Proof of Concept. It’s a fast and foolproof way to develop your customized migration plan. Please contact me to learn more.