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Azure Flash News Episode #86 - 02/24/2020

Azure Flash News: Watch Episode


Announcing the preview of Azure Shared Disks for clustered applications

Today, we are announcing the limited preview of Azure Shared Disks, the industry’s first shared cloud block storage. Azure Shared Disks enables the next wave of block storage workloads migrating to the cloud including the most demanding enterprise applications, currently running on-premises on Storage Area Networks (SANs). These include clustered databases, parallel file systems, persistent containers, and machine learning applications. This unique capability enables customers to run latency-sensitive workloads, without compromising on well-known deployment patterns for fast failover and high availability. This includes applications built for Windows or Linux-based clustered filesystems like Global File System 2 (GFS2).

With Azure Shared Disks, customers now have the flexibility to migrate clustered environments running on Windows Server, including Windows Server 2008 (which has reached End-of-Support), to Azure. This capability is designed to support SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances (FCI), Scale-out File Servers (SoFS), Remote Desktop Servers (RDS), and SAP ASCS/SCS running on Windows Server.

Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform: trends and investment areas

The past year has been eventful for a lot of reasons. At Microsoft, we’ve expanded our partnerships, including Volkswagen, LG Electronics, Faurecia, TomTom, and more, and taken the wraps off new thinking such as at CES, where we recently demonstrated our approach to in-vehicle compute and software architecture.

Looking ahead, areas that were once nominally related now come into sharper focus as the supporting technologies are deployed and the various industry verticals mature. The welcoming of a new year is a good time to pause and take in what is happening in our industry and in related ones with an aim to developing a view on where it’s all heading.

Advancing safe deployment practices

"What is the primary cause of service reliability issues that we see in Azure, other than small but common hardware failures? Change. One of the value propositions of the cloud is that it’s continually improving, delivering new capabilities and features, as well as security and reliability enhancements. But since the platform is continuously evolving, change is inevitable. This requires a very different approach to ensuring quality and stability than the box product or traditional IT approaches — which is to test for long periods of time, and once something is deployed, to avoid changes. This post is the fifth in the series I kicked off in my July blog post that shares insights into what we're doing to ensure that Azure's reliability supports your most mission critical workloads. Today we'll describe our safe deployment practices, which is how we manage change automation so that all code and configuration updates go through well-defined stages to catch regressions and bugs before they reach customers, or if they do make it past the early stages, impact the smallest number possible. Cristina del Amo Casado from our Compute engineering team authored this posts, as she has been driving our safe deployment initiatives.” - Mark Russinovich, CTO, Azure

Backup Explorer now available in preview

Today, we are pleased to share the preview of Backup Explorer. Backup Explorer is a built-in Azure Monitor Workbook enabling you to have a single pane of glass for performing real-time monitoring across your entire backup estate on Azure. It comes completely out-of-the-box, with no additional costs, via native integration with Azure Resource Graph and Azure Workbooks.

Preview of Active Directory authentication support on Azure Files

We are excited to announce the preview of Azure Files Active Directory (AD) authentication. You can now mount your Azure Files using AD credentials with the exact same access control experience as on-premises. You may leverage an Active Directory domain service (AD DS) either hosted on-premises or on Azure for authenticating user access to Azure Files for both premium and standard tiers. Managing file permissions is also simple. As long as your Active Directory identities are synced to Azure AD, you can continue to manage the share level permission through standard role-based access control (RBAC). For directory and file level permission, you simply configure Windows ACLs (NTFS DACLs) using Windows File Explorer just like any regular file share. Most of you may have already synced on-premises Active Directory to Azure AD as part of Office 365 or Azure adoption and are ready to take advantage of this new capability today.

Azure Key Vault—Private endpoints now available in preview

Establish a private connection between Azure Key Vault and other Azure services by using Azure Private Link, now available in preview for all public regions.

Azure Private Link enables you to access Azure services (for example, Azure Key Vault, Azure Storage, and Azure Cosmos DB) and Azure hosted customer/partner services over a private endpoint in your virtual network.


Produced by Emily Mackmiller

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