Microsoft partners with the telecommunications industry to roll out 5G and more

The increasing demand for always-on connectivity, immersive experiences, secure collaboration, and remote human relationships is pushing networks to their limits, while the market is driving down price. The network infrastructure must ensure operators are able to optimize costs and gain efficiencies, while enabling the development of personalized and differentiated services. To address the requirements of rolling out 5G, operators will face strong challenges, including high capital expenditure (CapEx) investments, an increased need for scale, automation, and secure management of the massive volume of data it will generate.

Today starts a new chapter in our close collaboration with the telecommunications industry to unlock the power of 5G and bring cloud and edge closer than ever. We're building a carrier-grade cloud and bringing more Microsoft technology to the operator’s edge. This, in combination with our developer ecosystem, will help operators to future proof their networks, drive down costs, and create new services and business models.

In Microsoft, operators get a trusted partner who will empower them to unlock the potential of 5G. Enabling them to offer a range of new services such as ultra-reliable low-latency connectivity, mixed reality communications services, network slicing, and highly scalable IoT applications to transform entire industries and communities.

By harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure, on their edge, or in the cloud, operators can transition to a more flexible and scalable model, drive down infrastructure cost, use AI and machine learning (ML) to automate operations and create service differentiation. Furthermore, a hybrid and hyper-scale infrastructure will provide operators with the agility they need to rapidly innovate and experiment with new 5G services on a programmable network.

More specifically, we will further support operators as they evolve their infrastructure and operations using technologies such as software-defined networking, network function virtualization, and service-based architectures. We are bringing to market a carrier-grade platform for edge and cloud to support the operator’s goals to future proof their infrastructure with disaggregated, and containerized network architectures. Recognizing that not everything will move to the public cloud, we will meet operators where they are—whether at the enterprise edge, the network edge, or in the cloud.

Our approach is built on the acquisitions of industry leaders in cloud-native network functions—Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch and on the development of Azure Edge Zones. By bringing together hundreds of engineers with deep experience in the telecommunications space, we are ensuring that our product development process is catering to the most relevant networking needs of the operators. We will leverage the strengths of Microsoft to extend and enhance the current capabilities of industry-leading products such as Affirmed’s 5G core and Metaswitch’s UC portfolio. These capabilities, combined with Microsoft’s broad developer ecosystem and deep business to business partnership programs, provide Microsoft with a unique ability to support the operators as they seek to monetize the capabilities of their networks.

Your customer, your service, powered by our technology

As we build out our partnerships with different operators, it is clear to us that there will be different approaches to technology adoption based on business needs. Some operators may choose to adopt the Azure platform and select a varied mix of virtualized or containerized network function providers. We also have operators that have requested complete end-to-end services as components for their offers. As a part of these discussions, many operators have identified points of control that are important to them, for example:

Control over where a slice, network API, or function is presented to the customer.
Definition of where and how traffic enters and exits their network.
Visibility and control over where key functions are executed for a given customer scenario.
Configuration and performance parameters of core network functions.

As we build out Azure for Operators, we recognize the importance of ensuring operators have the control and visibility they require to manage their unique industry requirements. To that end, here is how our assets come together to provide operators with the platform they need.

Interconnect

It starts with the ability to interconnect deeply with the operator’s network around the globe. We have one of the largest networks that connect with operators at more than 170 points of presence and over 20,000 peering connections around the globe, putting direct connectivity within 25 miles of 85 percent of the world’s GDP. More than 200 operators have already chosen to integrate with the Azure network through our ExpressRoute service, enabling enterprises and partners to link their corporate networks privately and securely to Azure services. We also provide additional routes to connect to the service through options as varied as satellite connectivity and TV White Space spectrum.

Edge platform

This reach helps us to supply operators with cloud computing options that meet the customer wherever those capabilities are needed: at the enterprise edge, the network edge, the network core, or in the cloud. The various form factors, optimized to support the location in which they are deployed, are supported by the Azure platform—providing virtual machine and container services with a common management framework, DevOps support, and security control.

Network functions

We believe in an open platform that leverages the strengths of our partners. Our solutions are a combination of virtualized and containerized services as composable functions, developed by us and by our Network Equipment Provider partners, to support operators’ services such as the Radio Access Network, Mobile Packet Core, Voice and Interconnect services, and other network functions.

Technology from Affirmed and Metaswitch Networks will provide services for Mobile Packet Core, Voice, and Interconnect services.

Cloud solutions and Azure IoT for operators

By exposing these services through the Azure platform, we can combine them with other Azure capabilities such as Azure Cognitive Services (used by more than 1 million developers processing more than 10 billion transaction per day), Azure Machine Learning, and Azure IoT, to bring the power of AI and automation to the delivery of network services. These capabilities, in concert with our partnerships with OSS and BSS providers, enables us to help operators streamline and simplify operations, create new services to monetize the network, and gain greater insights into customer behavior.

In IoT our primary focus is simplifying our solutions to accelerate what we can do together from the edge to the cloud. We’ve done so by creating a platform that provides simple and secure provisioning of applications and devices to Azure cloud solutions through Azure IoT Central, which is the fastest and easiest way to build IoT solutions at scale. IoT Central enables customers to provision an IoT app in seconds, customize it in hours, and go to production the same day. IoT Plug and Play dramatically simplifies all aspects of IoT device support and provides devices that “just work” with any solution and is the perfect complement to achieve speed and simplicity through IoT Central. Azure IoT Central also gives the Mobile Operator the opportunity to monetize more of the IoT solution and puts them in a position to be a re-seller of the IoT Central application platform through their own solutions. Learn more about using Azure IoT for operators here.

Cellular connectivity is increasingly important for IoT solutions and represents a vast and generational shift for mobile operators as the share of devices in market shifts towards the enterprise. We will continue our deep partnership with operators to enable fast and efficient app development and deployment, which is critical to success at the edge. This will help support scenarios such as asset tracking across industries, manufacturing and distribution of smart products, and responsive supply chains. It will also help support scenarios where things are geographically dispersed, such as smart city automation, utility monitoring, and precision agriculture.

Where we go next

Our early engagement with partners such as Telstra and Etisalat helped us shape this path. We joined the 5G Open Innovation Lab as the founding public cloud partner to accelerate enterprise startups and launch new innovations to foster new 5G use cases with even greater access to leading-edge networks. The Lab will create long-term, sustainable developer and commercial ecosystems that will accelerate the delivery of exciting new capabilities at the edge, including pervasive IoT intelligence and immersive mixed reality. And this is just the beginning. I invite you to learn more about our solutions and watch the series of videos we have curated for you.
Quelle: Azure

Accelerating genomics workflows and data analysis on Azure

Genomics is foundational to the development of targeted therapeutics and precision medicine. Advances in DNA sequencing technologies has driven a revolution in genomics-based research and is helping facilitate better understanding of human biology and disease conditions. This expanded knowledge is leading to the proliferation of personalized medicine strategies to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases. The trend will continue to accelerate in the coming decade as use of genomics information becomes central to clinical decision support and healthcare delivery.

Sequencing genomes at the population level will be required to decipher the genomic fingerprint of a disease, predict interpersonal variability in progression and treatment response, and develop models for clinical decision support. The resulting explosion in genomics data and the computational power required for analysis (tens of exabytes and trillions of core hours in the next five years1) will require agility, easier management, data security, and access to scalable storage and compute capacity.

The demand for cloud-based solutions is evident. It is increasingly being recognized that community driven standards and open-source tools will be necessary in enabling data accessibility, tool interoperability, and reliability of results and models. Microsoft not only supports open-standards and open-source projects but has been actively contributing to these community driven efforts by making it easier to use these tools and software on Azure.

To that end, Microsoft Genomics has released several open source projects on GitHub, including Cromwell on Azure, Genomics Notebooks and Bioconductor support for Azure. We have also made available a growing list of genomics public datasets on the Azure Open Dataset platform.

Scale and automate genomic workflows on Azure with Cromwell

Cromwell is an open-source workflow management system geared toward scientific workflows, originally developed by the Broad Institute. With Cromwell on Azure, users can accelerate their genomic research with the hyperscale compute capabilities of Azure. Cromwell orchestrates the dynamic provisioning of computing resources via Azure Batch and integrates with customers’ Azure Blob storage account for easy data access.

Propelling novel next generation sequencing (NGS) based detection and characterization assay for COVID-19 with Biotia

Biotia is an emerging startup focused on building a platform leveraging next-generation DNA sequencing (NGS) and artificial intelligence (AI) for precision disease detection and diagnosis. They were looking for a cloud-based workflow solution to manage their NGS pipelines and Cromwell on Azure was able to meet their key requirements.

"At Biotia, we have achieved substantial parallelization, thorough version control, and novel COVID-19 detection results by using Cromwell on Azure to back our compute-intensive genomics workflows. We are pleased to include Cromwell on Azure in our bioinformatics software stack." —Joe Barrows, Director of Software Engineering at Biotia

Enable collaborative and repeatable data analysis using Genomics Notebooks powered by Jupyter Notebooks on Azure

Jupyter Notebooks provides users an environment for analyzing data using R or Python and enabling reusability of methods and reproducibility of results. Biomedical researchers and data scientists are increasingly using notebooks for their genomics data analysis needs and for building machine learning models based on multi-modal datasets (genomic, phenotypic, clinical, EMR, demographic, etc.).

Microsoft’s Genomics Notebooks open-source project provides a growing collection of pre-configured notebooks that users can easily launch and use in their Azure workspace. These pre-configured notebooks cover scenarios from genomics variant detection, filtration, annotation, to transformation of the genomic, phenotypic and clinical data into multi-modal data frames needed for data querying and building machine learning models.

Leveraging genomic data to assess the impact of environmental change with the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans

The Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is responsible for preserving Canada’s aquatic natural resources. DFO researchers at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia have been using genomics to understand the impact of climate change and human activity on the migration patterns, genetic diversity and population demography of fish such as Atlantic Salmon and Atlantic Cod, which can have major socio-economic implications for the communities that rely on these resources.

The research teams are starting to sequence fish genomes in the hundreds and were looking for Azure based solutions for scaling and streamlining their growing genomics and data analysis needs. The team successfully deployed, and scale tested Cromwell on Azure and is now looking to adopt it as a common genomics workflow platform across their various institutions.

“Leveraging Cromwell on Azure for running our genomics pipelines give us the ability to scale our analysis to thousands of genomes for any species of fish with automation. We can essentially eliminate three months’ time of manual work to generate all the variant calls we need and move directly into connecting that data with other data sources we have. The data science tools will help us easily build and train complex multi-modal data models to gain deeper insights into the impact resulting from interactions between genetic factors, climate information, and human impacts on these species, and predict how they might respond to environmental challenges in the future.” —Dr. Tony Kess, Researcher at the Bradbury Population Genomics Lab, a part of the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Easily access the vast collection of community-built bioinformatics tools with Bioconductor on Azure

Bioconductor is an open source, open development project that focuses on providing a repository of extensible statistical and graphical software packages, developed in R, for the analysis of high-throughput genomic and biomedical data. Microsoft is collaborating with the Bioconductor core team in bringing Azure support for this wide-ranging OSS software repository.

Bioinformaticians and data scientists can now easily use their preferred Bioconductor software packages on Azure by deploying the preconfigured Bioconductor Docker image hosted in the Microsoft Container Registry on Docker Hub. Additionally, users can also use Azure Virtual Machine (VM) templates to deploy Genomics Data Science VM preconfigured with popular tools for data exploration, analysis, machine learning, and deep learning model development.

Power data analysis and machine learning models with genomics datasets available through the Azure Open Data platform

The Genomics Data Lake on the Azure Open Dataset platform provides a growing compendium of curated and publicly available genomics datasets. These datasets have been generated by key international collaborative efforts with a focus on providing resources for the biomedical research community. Users across healthcare, pharma and life sciences can now use the Genomics Data Lake on Azure to access these datasets for free and easily integrate the data into their genomics analysis workflows.

Accelerate whole exome and genome processing using Microsoft Genomics turnkey service on Azure

Microsoft Genomics is a highly scalable Azure service to perform secondary analysis of the human genome using the Burrows-Wheeler Aligner (BWA) and the Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) open-source software. The service is ISO-certified, enables customers’ compliance with HIPAA, and is covered under the Microsoft Business Associate Agreement (BAA). Microsoft continues to optimize the performance of the service by leveraging the innovations in Azure’s high-performance compute infrastructure enabling customers to generate durable genetic variant data from whole genome sequence data (WGS) within hours. Compliance, performance, data durability and provenance make the service ideal for integration into genomics-based clinical decision support workflows.

Accelerating scientific discoveries to advance cures for childhood cancers through access to real-time clinical genome sequencing at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Whole-genome sequencing offers the most comprehensive assessment of differences between patients’ normal and cancer genomes. Realtime access to the genomic information is not only important for clinical decision support, but it can also accelerate research and novel discoveries and cures. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has partnered with Microsoft and DNAnexus to build St. Jude Cloud—the world’s largest public repository of pediatric genomics data.

This first-of-its-kind initiative provides researchers from around the world access to high-quality whole-genome, whole-exome and transcriptome data from appropriately consented St. Jude patients who have undergone clinical genomic profiling. St. Jude Cloud uses Azure and the Microsoft Genomics service to quickly upload, analyze, and harmonize the genomics data, which is subsequently made available through the St. Jude Cloud data browser to researchers worldwide.

“Access to high-quality clinical genomic data, generated leveraging the Microsoft Genomics service and streamed to St. Jude Cloud, will help further research in precision medicine for childhood cancer and other diseases.”—Dr. Jinghui Zhang, Chair of Department of Computational Biology at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Learn more and get started

Microsoft Genomics and the open-source projects are fully supported by a team of Microsoft developers and scientists committed to driving the innovation needed to advance genomics and precision medicine. Learn more about Microsoft Genomics solutions and help contribute to the open-source projects by visiting our GitHub repositories.

Microsoft Genomics service on Azure.
Cromwell on Azure.
Genomics Notebooks.
Bioconductor Docker Image for Azure.
Genomics Data Science VM.

1 Big Data: Astronomical or Genomical?

Azure. Invent with purpose.
Quelle: Azure

Designing your cloud strategy to maximize value on Azure

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be challenging to adjust your business strategies to maintain productive operations and processes. You need new ways to increase efficiencies, optimize costs, and adopt new technologies at a faster rate. Your digital transformation is more critical than ever in these trying times.

Microsoft stands with you, our customers, moving quickly to adapt to the ongoing pace of global change. We believe technology will enable your success and allow you to adapt to and meet these challenges. Our goal is to provide a clear path for you to achieve benefits from the cloud, meeting your distinct business, security, and cost management requirements. We continue to invest in customer-proven, comprehensive guidance and learning resources, enabling you to successfully adopt Microsoft Azure and create ongoing cloud value across your organization.

At Microsoft Ignite, we are focused on three areas to help you:

Successfully achieve more value from the cloud.
Adapt your cloud journey to meet your needs.
Build expertise to confidently use Azure.

Successfully achieve more value from the cloud

Microsoft’s technical guidance is based on industry best practices and the successful cloud adoption experiences of our customers and you can use this proven guidance to enable your entire organization to achieve cloud value. Onboard stakeholders, prove your organization’s cloud value, and reach your business goals with resources to guide your cloud journey—develop and deploy well-architected workloads and execute the operations of your company’s cloud adoption strategy.

Plan your cloud journey with a clear path forward using the cross-team, organization-wide “people, process, and technology” approach of the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure. This technical guidance and industry best practices offers business process-centric templates, assessments, and customer-tested documentation across your cloud adoption journey.
Configure and optimize your Azure environment for scale, security, governance, networking, and identity to enable application migrations and greenfield development with Azure landing zones. Modular Azure landing zones are based on common cloud design areas—enabling you to establish guardrails and policies for your environment’s compliant security and governance.
Deploy and optimize your workloads and implement best practices across your entire cloud estate. The newly released Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework provides technical guidance specifically at the workload level across five pillars; cost optimization, security, reliability, performance efficiency and operational excellence. You can use Azure Advisor to evaluate resources deployed on Azure, offering you personalized, actionable guidance to continually optimize your Azure resources. And starting at Microsoft Ignite, Azure Advisor is previewing Advisor score where you will be able to understand and improve your current optimization posture according to Azure best practices with a prioritized list of the most impactful recommendations for your deployments, and report on your optimization progress over time.
Manage costs and unlock your cloud value while making use of cloud tools like Azure Cost Management + Billing that analyzes, manages, and optimizes your cloud spend. We recently announced that you can now manage and analyze both your Azure and AWS spend from a single location with the Azure Cost Management + Billing connector for AWS. You can also enjoy favorable licensing terms and save with Azure Hybrid Benefit, Azure Spot Virtual Machines and Azure Dev/Test pricing or pay in advance to receive deep discounts with Azure Reservations. Also new in preview, Azure Hybrid Benefit features are now being extended to Red Hat and SUSE Linux customers, for easier cloud migration, more integrated Azure user experience, and greater Linux subscription portability.
Adopt agile software development methods and securely ship code, faster. With remote work being the norm in many countries, you must change how you support developers with processes to increase productivity. Developers write code, keep systems running, and deliver continuous value to customers. Your teams can collaborate openly, implementing Azure DevOps across your organization, using GitHub, with the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure, and the Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework. Azure services are a key part of Microsoft’s support for building resilience in your development teams and our commitment to keeping you up to date extends through our entire DevOps product line which includes the imminent availability Azure DevOps Server 2020.

Adapt your cloud journey to meet your needs.

Every organization has unique business challenges during the journey to cloud adoption. You may lack the necessary expertise needed to accelerate digital transformation, or you might encounter difficulties along the way. Microsoft Partners and programs provide access to a variety of resources and Azure technical expertise to meet your unique business, industry, and security requirements. Together, we will enable you to adopt the cloud at your pace—tailored to your needs.

Accelerate with Azure advanced specialized partners and Azure expert managed service providers who offer expert technical assistance, advice, and support to enable success on Azure. You can find partners with expertise in all phases of the cloud adoption lifecycle, that follow the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure to accelerate your cloud journey.
Get technical assistance with the Azure Migration Program for proactive guidance and expert help at each stage of the journey to successfully migrate infrastructure, databases, and application workloads with confidence. You can access free migration tools, step-by-step technical guidance, training, and help in finding a migration partner.
Move efficiently with FastTrack for Azure (for qualifying projects) for rapid, effective design and deployment of cloud solutions, with tailored guidance from Azure engineers, proven best practices, and architectural guidance.
Rely on Microsoft Consulting Services to help you adopt technology solutions across digital strategy, data insight, sales, and more. You can count on Microsoft expertise to guide your digital transformation. We will be with you—every step of the way.
Work with Microsoft account teams and Azure technical specialists to guide and support your cloud journey—from strategy, planning, solution design and readiness, to execution.

Build Azure expertise to confidently use Azure

Workforce skilling and technical knowledge building are critical factors for a successful cloud adoption effort, according to the World Economic Forum.1

Studies demonstrate that “more than half (54 percent) of all employees will require significant reskilling by 2022.

 

According to Gartner, “even before there was a coronavirus pandemic, boards ranked digital/technology disruption as their top business priority for 2020—followed by obtaining the talent needed to execute tech transformation.”2 In the current COVID-19 crisis, your digital transformation is no longer an initiative, but a business imperative—along with aligning skilling to drive your modernization effort: 

 

COVID-19 has escalated digital initiatives into digital imperatives, creating urgent pressure on HR leaders to work with their CEO, CFO and CIO to rethink skills needs as business models change at light speed.

 

With increased remote work and learning unfolding across the globe during the COVID-19 crisis, we continue to invest in Microsoft’s learning platforms, meeting your demand for digital literacies now, and the pace of future digital technology needs.

At Microsoft, we are moving in-person training to virtual instructor-led training, delivering a variety of free digital learning experiences. We want to enable everyone to have the right skills and expertise to successfully use Azure, with confidence.

Continuously build your skills on Microsoft Learn with free, on-demand, self-paced learning paths, to skill up at any level, and certify your skills. Get hands-on experience in a sandbox environment and watch original live and pre-recorded technical content from Microsoft and the Learn TV community. Begin your cloud journey with the Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure learning path and learn how to build great solutions with the Azure Well-Architected Framework learning path.
Attend free Azure Virtual Training Days to learn from Microsoft experts in an instructor-led one-day virtual event, with presentations, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on workshops and explore the full Microsoft event catalogue.
Engage with Microsoft learning partners for training solutions to suit your learning needs—blended learning, in-person, and online learning to prepare for certification. At Microsoft Ignite, we are announcing in preview an easier way to schedule instructor-led training with our trusted Learning Partners. On Microsoft Learn, search for courses by location and time, filter for virtual deliveries, and complete the scheduling process with an integrated checkout process directly on the partner website.
Validate your skills with Microsoft Certifications and demonstrate your achievements with industry-recognized Microsoft certifications.

Working with our partners, we are ensuring, together, that you and people across the globe can reach their learning goals, and become certified in Microsoft technologies, while staying safe at home. Learn more about our updated guidelines for Microsoft Training and Certification.

You can find more information and comprehensive technical resources to support all these initiatives to enable you with a clear path forward to successfully achieve more cloud value with Azure.

 

1 World Economic Forum: The Future of Jobs Report, 2018

2 Lack of Skills Threatens Digital Transformation, Lack of Skills Threatens Digital Transformation, July 2020

Azure. Invent with purpose.
Quelle: Azure

Unleash the full potential of your developer teams and increase Developer Velocity

In today’s environment, software development excellence is becoming even more critical for business success. Over the past few months, we’ve seen organizations realize that their future success depends on taking advantage of technology to rethink business models, innovate, and improve processes to better serve employees and customers. The reality is many companies across different industries are becoming software companies. According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company: Developer Velocity: How software excellence fuels business performance, there are currently over 20 million software engineers worldwide, and over 50 percent of these developers are working at organizations outside of the tech industry.

The most successful organizations understand that transforming into software companies cannot be achieved solely through the introduction of new technologies; rather, it requires a deep focus on supporting the people who will catalyze change and create the new value they seek.

In this same study, McKinsey concluded that business leaders need to empower the people behind software development – the developers – to unlock their productivity and innovation, in what the industry has started referring to as Developer Velocity.

What is Developer Velocity?

Developer Velocity means driving business performance through software development by empowering developers, creating the right environment for them to innovate, and removing points of friction.

Developer Velocity isn’t just about increasing speed of software delivery but it’s also about unleashing developer ingenuity – turning developer teams’ ideas into software that supports the needs of your customers and the goals of your business.

Unleashing the potential and talent of developer teams, the day-to-day developer experience, and keeping software talent happy and motivated drive software success.

We often hear from software leaders that the set of potential levers to improve performance are so large and diverse – that it is often unclear how to prioritize or where to start.

To lead to a precise understanding of what it takes for a company to increase Developer Velocity, in this same study, McKinsey conducted a comprehensive review of software development practices included technology, working practices, and organizational enablement and converged on a single holistic metric – “Developer Velocity Index” or the DVI score.  The Developer Velocity Index (DVI) score takes into account 46 different drivers across 13 capability areas (exhibit).

Some of the key striking findings from this study point out that companies with a higher Developer Velocity Index (DVI) score outperform revenue growth up to five times that of their competitors and they score 55 percent higher on innovation. Those organizations also surpass their peers on other key business performance indicators such as customer satisfaction, brand perception, and talent.

The study also concluded that from all the different drivers across the different dimensions, the top four drivers of Developer Velocity include best-in-class tools, product management capabilities, culture, and talent management.  Lastly, beyond the foundations, public cloud adoption is a key driver of business performance for non-software companies, open source adoption is the biggest differentiator for top performers, and companies adopting low-code platforms score 33 percent higher on innovation.

Developers have always been true catalysts of digital transformation, innovation, and business performance. This data just validates how crucial it is for companies to invest in their development teams. To learn more about Developer Velocity study and get detailed findings and insights for retail, manufacturing and finance industries, watch this 5-episode webinar series: Improve Business Performance Through Developer Velocity.

How do I calculate the Developer Velocity Index Score (DVI) for my organization?

Last May we launched our Developer Velocity Assessment Tool. You can use this tool to discover where your organization is on the Developer Velocity maturity scale and benchmark your Developer Velocity Index (DVI) relative to your peers. Then, get actionable guidance for how to drive better business outcomes for your organization.

This online assessment takes 15-30 mins to complete and was built to help you and your organization identify gaps across three key domains: technology, working practices and organizational enablement. The assessment provides personalized reports showing a detailed outline for how your organization can improve over time to meet the growing needs of your developers and software strategy.

This week we shipped additional features into our assessment tool to allow our customers to get an even clearer view of their Developer Velocity Index (DVI) score. These additions include new charts, reports and a detailed breakdown of their DVI scores by category, sub-category, and individual metric level.

We are very excited to see how organizations take advantage of this assessment to help identify specific drivers that can help drive better business outcomes. Get started with the Developer Velocity Assessment tool to calculate the DVI score for your organization and learn how you can boost your business performance.

Scale your DevOps practices to increase Developer Velocity

Although many organizations are adopting DevOps, implementing effective practices at enterprise-scale can be difficult.  At Microsoft Ignite, we are also excited the announce the new Enterprise DevOps Report 2020–2021, a Microsoft and Sogeti research study of more than 250 cloud and DevOps implementations. This report provides a comprehensive review on how to scale your DevOps practices to improve business metrics, customer satisfaction, and increase Developer Velocity – creating the right environment for developers to innovate. You can also use the study’s recommendations as a blueprint for your successful adoption of enterprise DevOps.

In this report, you’ll learn about:

• Six key areas of enterprise IT, including governance, that face significant challenges as part of an enterprise DevOps transformation.

• Common ideologies and patterns followed by top performing adopters to address the challenges of enterprise DevOps.

• Strategies implemented by successful enterprises to build continuous governance, security, quality, and compliance into their engineering processes.

• DevOps best practices to enable your organization to support distributed teams and remote work.

 

Empower your developer teams and boost your business performance

Developer Velocity helps you unleash the full potential of your developer teams, drive innovation, and boost business performance. Today more than ever investing in software excellence and building a culture that empowers developer teams will continue to be critical for every organization’s success.

Over the past few months we’ve seen many developers around the world building amazing customer applications and internal back to work solutions while working remotely. While things get back to normal, Microsoft is pleased to play a small part in supporting developers around the world and making remote development possible. To help developers build productively, collaborate securely, and scale innovation – no matter where they are – Microsoft offers the world’s most comprehensive developer toolkit with Visual Studio, GitHub, Microsoft Azure and Power Apps. It’s this set of capabilities that enables Developer Velocity within every organization.  You can learn more about our latest innovation on Visual Studio, GitHub, Azure, and Power Apps shared at Microsoft Ignite. Also don’t miss our Microsoft Ignite keynotes where you can learn more about Developer Velocity and Microsoft’s most comprehensive developer toolkit and platform:

• Satya Nadella: Building digital resilience

• Julia White: Invent with Purpose on Azure

• Scott Hanselman: App Development in Azure

Azure. Invent with purpose.

Quelle: Azure

Run your core applications on Azure

This week at Microsoft Ignite, we discussed how a growing number of customers and independent software vendors (ISVs) are running their mission- and business-critical applications on Microsoft Azure.

Across our customers, the common thread that ties mission and business-critical systems together is that they support core business processes. Examples include enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM), and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, but also analytics, e-commerce systems, systems of record like financial management, procurement, and payment, and more. Now more than ever, systems that support digitized customer experiences are also critical to business success.

Organizations like JetBlue rely on Azure for traditional business-critical applications like their e-commerce site, and for predictive models to improve the overall customer experience.
Companies like Allscripts deliver critical healthcare-related applications using open source software on Azure.
Manulife chose Azure to migrate and modernize its business-critical applications to improve agility, scalability, risk management, and cost-efficiency while accelerating the support of new business models.
Walgreens Boots Alliance runs SAP HANA on Azure, relying on virtual machines (VMs) with 12 TB of memory and 28 TB of storage to run their more than 100 TB scale-out SAP landscape.

Running your business on Azure can help you be future-ready and increase business resiliency, especially during uncertain times. For example, when cases of COVID-19 began to rise in the United States in February 2020, Adaptive Biotechnologies turned their immune medicine platform to map the immune response to COVID-19 to make this information publicly available to researchers around the world developing diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.

Within weeks, Adaptive processed 500 million sequences, using 29 compute-years to identify immune signatures of infection. As a result, Adaptive demonstrated that the T cells signal could be an optimal marker to assess exposure to the COVID-19 virus at certain time points during and post-infection, enabling the company to start pursuing an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for the world’s first T cell-based diagnostic for any disease.

“Azure’s cloud computing resources and machine learning capabilities are powering our Immune Medicine Platform, enabling us to rapidly map our immune cell receptors to diseases like COVID-19 and Lyme Disease, and fueling the next generation of diagnostics.” – Mark Adams, Chief Technical Officer, Adaptive Biotechnologies

Challenges and opportunities

Earlier in 2020, we had the pleasure of being joined by Dave Bartoletti, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester, Ramki Ramaswamy, Vice President IT, Technology and Integrations at JetBlue, and Prakash Iyer, Senior Vice President, Software Architecture & Strategy at Trimble Inc. in a cloud migration webinar series. We discussed the top challenges that IT organizations face when managing current mission-critical infrastructures. Security issues, high costs, and the difficulties IT professionals face when they need to update their environments are top of mind.

 
Conversely, when we looked at the top benefits that companies have realized by migrating their mission-critical workloads to the cloud, it’s clear that the move to the cloud has been helpful in addressing many of these challenges. The top benefits they cited were:

Improved security and compliance.
Improved performance and latency of mission-critical systems.
Improved agility (including for modernizing existing systems, developing new capabilities)
Reduced overall IT costs.
Faster infrastructure implementation time.

That’s why we continue to deliver more across all these dimensions, and earlier at Microsoft Ignite, we announced the preview of several new infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities to better meet our stakeholders’ needs.

New core IaaS capabilities to increase availability, security, scalability, and performance of your business-critical applications on Azure

We recently announced several new capabilities to meet the requirements of your business-critical workloads.

Azure Dedicated Hosts: More control, flexibility, and choice

Azure customers are now able to schedule platform maintenance operations on Dedicated Hosts and isolated virtual machines (VMs), and they can control when guest OS image updates on Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets can be rolled out. Azure Dedicated Hosts now support Virtual Machine Scale Sets, and our customers can also simplify the deployment of Azure Virtual Machines in Dedicated Hosts by letting the platform select the host group to which the VM will be deployed. All these new capabilities are now in preview. Finally, in the very near future, our customers will be able to use our Fsv2 series of VMs to run compute-intensive workloads on Azure Dedicated Hosts featuring Intel Cascade Lake processors for greater performance.

Higher performance general-purpose and memory-optimized virtual machines

Microsoft has also made recently available new Azure Virtual Machines, featuring Intel Cascade Lake processors, for general purpose and memory-intensive workloads. As a result, Azure now offers a new category of VMs that lowers the price of entry since it does not include a local temporary disk. These VM series provide up to 20 percent greater CPU performance compared to the prior generation.

New Disk Storage and networking capabilities enhance security, performance, and availability

New Azure Disk Storage updates, now generally available, include Azure Private Link integration, which enables secure import and export of data over a private virtual network for enhanced security, and support for 512E on Azure Ultra Disks to enable migration of legacy workloads, like older versions of Oracle® DB, to the cloud. Read the Azure Community post for additional details.

Finally, our customers can now use Azure Load Balancer with their globally distributed workloads, using cross-region load balancing (in preview) to improve their applications’ performance and availability.

New Linux tools and cost-effective licensing models help manage Linux infrastructure and workloads on Azure

Azure Hybrid Benefit now includes Linux, and together with Azure Image Builder provides new tools and cost-effective licensing models for you to migrate, operate and manage your Linux infrastructure and workloads on Azure.

Azure Hybrid Benefit now enables simpler and more cost-effective Linux subscription portability. This new capability is available in preview and gives customers the ability to convert existing pay-as-you-go instances running Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on Azure to bring-your-own-subscription (BYOS) billing, using existing Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server subscriptions. Customers can capitalize on existing investments in Red Hat and SUSE by bringing existing subscriptions to Azure, preserve any special pricing discounts, and avoid double-billing for any on-premises subscription that has transitioned to the cloud.

Azure Image Builder, generally available by Q4, 2020, is a free image building service that streamlines the creation, update, patching, management, and operation of Linux and Windows images. Azure Image Builder will deploy resources into your subscription when used; you pay only for the VMs and associated storage and networking resources consumed when running your image building pipeline.

Next steps and additional resources

As companies increase their tech intensity, the range of business-critical applications continues to expand. Our ecosystem-based approach gives us the opportunity to build a broad range of solutions with and for our customers and partners alike. We are energized by the possibilities ahead of us and what we can accomplish together.

To learn more about our offerings, visit our business-critical applications site to access reference architectures, ISV solutions, and product capabilities. You can also experience the latest capabilities on Azure by watching our training videos.

Learn more about scheduled maintenance for host updates.
Learn more about scheduled maintenance with scale sets.
Read the Azure Community post regarding the most recent Disk Storage updates.
Read the maintenance control feature documentation.
Request access to the Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets on Dedicated Hosts preview.
Review your options with Azure Hybrid Benefit – Linux subscription portability (preview).

Azure. Invent with purpose.

Quelle: Azure

Mixed Reality Momentum: HoloLens 2 expands globally and new Azure service launches

Mixed reality blends our physical and digital worlds to extend computing beyond the screen and fundamentally change how we work, learn, and play. Mixed Reality has evolved from promising technology to a thriving ecosystem of solutions that are having significant and quantifiable impact today. It plays a significant role in how we manufacture goods, how we learn and retain information, and how we care for ourselves and others. 

Our mixed reality services, which leverage the scalability, reliability, and security of Azure, coupled with our industry leading HoloLens 2 headset, serve as the backbone of our comprehensive mixed reality platform—growing and expanding in several ways at Microsoft Iginte: 

HoloLens 2 is now shipping to new markets

Today, we are announcing that HoloLens 2 is now available in Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Spain, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. HoloLens 2 will be available in South Korea later this fall. 

Proven return on investment (ROI) with Microsoft Azure and HoloLens 2

Thousands of leading companies in industries such as manufacturing, construction, healthcare, retail, and education are using HoloLens 2 and our Azure mixed reality services to save significant touch labor, reduce errors, improve learning and retention, and boost employee and customer satisfaction:

Lockheed Martin/NASA, United States

Leveraging a solution from mixed reality partner Scope AR, Lockheed Martin is is using HoloLens 2 to build the Orion spacecraft, which will take astronauts back to the moon. The benefits that they have realized using mixed reality are significant:

Mixed reality solutions with the HoloLens 2 has dramatically reduced touch touch labor—what used to require an eight hour shift can now be completed in just 45 minutes.
With the HoloLens, Lockheed Martin has reported zero errors in two plus years with the Orion spacecraft.
The Orion spacecraft has over 57,000 fasteners; Lockheed Martin is saving $38 per fastener installation.

Watch the following video to see how Lockheed Martin is using HoloLens 2 to send astronauts to the moon and beyond:

 

Medivis, United States

Medivis, a Microsoft mixed reality partner is using their SurgicalAR solution for 3D holographic visualizations (versus CT scans) to enable surgeons to perform routine procedures in an inherently superior way. To date, Medivis has:

Successfully completed more than 200 surgeries with the HoloLens.
Decreased radiation exposure to patients. On average, patients of SurgicalAR averaged 1 CT scan compared to 10 CT scans with traditional 2D surgical solutions.
Demonstrated the potential to place catheters with 1mm accuracy (versus the 2.2 cm accuracy that is often typical today).

Watch how Medivis is using HoloLens 2 for holographic guided surgery. 

Case Western Reserve University, United States

Case Western Reserve University is running a remote learning program using their HoloAnatomy solution and HoloLens 2 to help students more effectively learn and retain knowledge:  

Students who used HoloAnatomy and HoloLens 2 experienced a 50 percent improvement in grades versus students who used a textbook.
Students who used HoloAnatomy and HoloLens 2 retained 120 percent more knowledge over 12 months of learning versus students who did not have access to HoloAnatomy and HoloLens 2.

Watch how Case Western Reserve is teaching remote anatomy classes and improving learning outcomes.   

Azure Mixed Reality Services expands to add Azure Objects Anchors

Our Azure mixed reality services are a core pillar of our mixed reality platform. These mixed reality services overcome many of the technical challenges in building mixed reality applications and simplify cross platform mixed reality development. Today, we are announcing a preview of our latest mixed reality service, Azure Object Anchors:

In many of today’s mixed reality scenarios, there is a need to place physical markers such as QR codes to identify an object and manually align 3D and holographic content to that object. Azure Object Anchors enables mixed reality developers to build applications that automatically align 3D content to real-word objects—saving significant touch labor, reducing alignment errors, and improving user experience.

Toyota Motor Corporation is an early preview customer using Azure Object Anchors to build a task guidance application for their technicians: 

“Azure Object Anchors enables our technicians to service vehicles more quickly and accurately thanks to markerless and dynamic 3D model alignment. It has removed our need for QR codes and eliminated the risk of error from manual model alignment, thus making our maintenance procedures more efficient.”—Koichi Kayano, Program Manager Technical Service Division at Toyota

To learn more about Azure Object Anchors, see our technical blog post or sign up if you are interested in participating in the private preview.  

Microsoft Azure Kinect is going commercial, scales 3D time-of-flight technology through partners

Azure Kinect DK is our cutting-edge spatial computing developer kit that contains sophisticated computer vision and speech models, advanced AI sensors, and a range of powerful SDKs that can be connected to Azure cognitive services. Today, we are announcing the collaborations with two leading companies—Analog Devices and SICK AG—who will build devices enabled with the 3D Time of Flight depth technology that is currently only available via Azure Kinect:

Analog Devices will incorporate Microsoft’s Time of Flight technology in the design, manufacture and sale of depth sensor silicon alongside a commercial depth camera module aimed at consumer electronics, automotive cabins and industrial logistic use-cases. For more information, visit Analog’s website.
SICK AG, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of intelligent sensors and sensor solutions for industrial applications, will incorporate Microsoft’s Time of Flight technology to bring state-of-the-art technologies to SICK’s 3D Time of Flight Visionary-T camera product line, and make it even smarter. For more information, contact your local SICK subsidiary.

We are excited about the momentum we are seeing in mixed reality and the strong ROI that our customers are achieving with HoloLens 2 and our Azure mixed reality services. Today’s announcements will help to scale the breadth and impact of our mixed reality platform, which continues to increase the productivity of the firstline work force and transform how we live, work and play.
Quelle: Azure

How Azure IoT enables business resilience

Businesses around the world have been harnessing the Internet of Things (IoT) to reduce operational expenses, power breakthrough customer experiences, and create new revenue streams. Now, faced with the unprecedented challenges of our times, businesses are also harnessing IoT to create safer workplaces as employees return to work, reduce expenses to weather downturns, reduce environmental impact and help with sustainability goals, and remain competitive as IoT becomes a standard way of operating a business.

Microsoft is a recognized leader in IoT. Our mission is to simplify IoT and make it available to every organization on the planet, regardless of size or technical capability. And we haven’t stopped there; we simplified IoT with no code and low code offerings like Azure IoT Central that customers and partners can use without any cloud solutions development skills.

At Microsoft, we deeply understand the value of embracing tech intensity, of using data and AI to address challenges and identify opportunities. Azure IoT plays a leading role in this transformation with an edge and cloud methodology that instills confidence in organizations’ ability to act on the insights presented to them.

Azure IoT is uniquely positioned as a fully open, flexible platform that spans industry applications and simplifies the development process. This week at Microsoft Ignite, we shared the latest from Azure IoT and how partners and customers are using these innovations in amazing ways.

RXR Realty builds on Azure IoT to increase safety

When faced with the question of what is needed to enable a safer, sustainable return to the workplace, New York-based RXR Realty looked at how they could quickly pivot the work they were doing around smart buildings to support a holistic end-to-end approach that spans an employee’s entire day—from waking up, to entering the office building and having a productive day, to going home. The result was the RxWell program, a connected environment solution built on Azure IoT, which was developed and deployed in under six months through partnership with Microsoft, McKinsey, and Infosys.

RXR Realty knew that for every one office worker that returns to the office, it drives five service jobs, such as food service and childcare providers, therefore helping stimulate the local economy. Azure technology allowed them to quickly build an edge-to-cloud solution that merges physical and digital assets, giving office workers the tools and peace of mind to navigate the workplace in safety. This technology helps manage employee rotations and enable touch-free building and elevator access.

Additionally, real-time analytics deliver insights into occupant density, air quality, humidity, and population health, enabling businesses and their workers to make informed decisions and navigate office buildings safely and confidently. Read the RXR Realty customer story and watch the Microsoft Mechanics—How We Built It video featuring RXR Realty to get a demo-rich, technical breakdown of the RxWell solution.

GE Aviation digitally models and observes aircrafts with Azure Digital Twins

As connected solutions continue to grow, companies are looking for ways to create richer models of entire connected business environments. Companies are currently able to use Azure Digital Twins to design and build sophisticated digital replicas of assets, environments, and business systems that can be used across connected environments including, smart buildings, utilities, factories, farms, railways, and entire cities.

Many of our customers and partners are already benefiting from Azure Digital Twins. Using Azure Digital Twins, GE Aviation can model digital representations of individual aircrafts and their components to track asset performance, monitor component usage, and view maintenance history. In a world where it’s not always possible to send someone on site, these insights allow GE Aviation to observe the plane inside and out and mitigate issues before they occur—helping get essential supplies and goods to our doors.

"Azure Digital Twins allows us to fuse vital data—whether it’s from our Asset Records system, our EMS system or another—into the asset-centric point of view needed for the new Asset Lifecycle product we’re creating to show an asset’s state at any point in time. Azure Digital Twins also provides an out-of-the-box ability to track changes for properties or relationships between components over time for advanced analytics. This proves valuable for supporting airlines in making critical maintenance decisions, such as whether or not to keep parts on the wing longer, while also helping reduce their maintenance burden, costs, and the amount of downtime or out-of-service-time for an aircraft.”—Nate Hicks, Sr. Product Manager at GE Aviation’s Digital Group

Azure Digital Twins, currently in preview with general availability coming soon, will bring many new capabilities plus the scale, reliability, and broader market availability necessary for customers to build production-ready solutions. Partners can use its flexible integration capabilities to bring together any service and data points from edge devices, as well as any business system—even from outside Azure. Its use of an open modeling language, Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL), allows companies to create custom models of any connected environment while maintaining compatibility with other parts of the Azure ecosystem.

ENGIE helps decarbonize energy production with Azure Time Series Insights

The emergence of connected environments also means the continued generation of large volumes of data as assets are connected and brought together. To truly see the benefits, companies require comprehensive analytics across large-scale IoT data sets. ENGIE Digital, a European provider of renewable energy, integrated Azure Time Series insights with Azure IoT Edge to deliver a robust data and AI-driven analytics platform across hundreds of renewable energy sites. This enabled them to support historical data analysis and keep pace with large volumes of data while generating contextualized insights, Azure Time Series Insights ensures they always have the latest data at hand.

Azure Time Series Insights Gen2 is a powerful, fully managed IoT analytics platform created to help contextualize and turn IoT data into actionable insights. Features made generally available in July included multi-layered, scalable storage options for both highly interactive analytics over a short time span and advanced analysis of decades worth of historical data. Rich semantic modeling also enables the analysis of billions of events across millions of IoT sensors to identify trends and anomalies, conduct root-cause analysis, and deliver insights for operational excellence.

AT&T builds cellular-enabled guardian module with Azure Sphere

Security continues to be a key investment area for Microsoft as it is imperative that every IoT device is secured by design.  Accordingly, we are very pleased to share the news from Microsoft Ignite that AT&T and Microsoft are teaming up to enable enterprises to seamlessly connect machines and equipment to the cloud with highly secure global network connectivity. The new, cellular-enabled guardian module shows how Microsoft is empowering customers to achieve more, and in turn, to deliver innovation and opportunity to their customers. Check out the full announcement blog post to see opportunities created.

In addition to all the great customer and partner announcements, we announced the following product innovations:

Azure IoT Hub on-premises in Azure Stack Hub

While customers and partners love the power and productivity Azure IoT Hub brings in the cloud, they also asked for support on-premises. We are bringing Azure IoT Hub on-premises in Azure Stack Hub. This is another industry first from Azure IoT and enables customers to take advantage of Azure IoT Hub in occasionally connected or fully disconnected environments, such as manufacturing shop floors, remote industrial sites, and more. We are putting the finishing touches on preview, which will be available in October.

Azure Defender for IoT with CyberX capabilities

IoT security is fundamental and needs to be addressed throughout the ecosystem as organizations’ assets, data, brand, and overall reputation are on the line. Building on this security momentum and research that shows 97 percent of companies highlight security as a concern when adopting IoT, we are expanding upon our existing industry-leading IoT security offerings.

First, we rebranded Azure Security Center for IoT to Azure Defender for IoT. Already generally available, this offering integrates seamlessly with Azure IoT Hub to proactively monitor IoT and IoT Edge devices and cloud solutions and provide security recommendations and alerts.

Next, we are bringing the availability of Azure Defender for IoT CyberX capabilities, which incorporates agentless technology from our recent acquisition of CyberX and offers new capabilities for securing unmanaged brownfield devices used in operational technology environments. The combination of on-device, agent-based monitoring with the new agentless CyberX capabilities makes Azure Defender for IoT one of the most fully featured and sophisticated security offerings in the industry.

And finally, we continue to partner with industry to refine the IoT Security Maturity Model (SMM) in the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC). This establishes a consistent approach for matching security investments with need, addressing areas including governance, processes, technologies, and operations—for which Microsoft co-authored and edited the Practitioner’s Guide.

New Azure IoT Central capabilities

Azure IoT Central is our IoT application platform that builds on top of the Azure IoT platform. It’s an easy, cost-effective way to build, manage, and operate IoT solutions. Go from idea, to proof of concept (PoC), to enterprise scale in weeks with one of the most advanced IoT application platform in the industry.

At Microsoft Ignite, we announced a set of important new Azure IoT Central capabilities including:

New Azure IoT Central application template for video analytics—Use this new application template to quickly and easily develop and scale AI-powered video analytics solutions through Intel AI Modules. Leverage existing IP cameras with Azure Media Services and Azure Storage to store and stream relevant portions of the live video feed and live video analytics.
Continuous data export—Send filtered and enriched data from your devices in near real-time to cloud destinations unlocking business insights with IoT data. The new data export capability allows you to re-use destinations, send only specific streams of data, and enrich your data with data from your Azure IoT Central application.
Use Jobs to interact with devices—The Jobs experience in Azure IoT Central has been redesigned with a new wizard that allows you to create, run, and save jobs. The UI includes rich charts and interactions for monitoring the progress and completion of jobs across a fleet of devices. Next month, we’ll be releasing additional capabilities that include job schedules and batches.
Command-line interface (CLI) improvements—The Azure IoT Central CLI extension has a new set of commands including az iot central user, az iot central api-token, and az iot central device compute-device-key for generating device SAS keys used during provisioning.
Raw data views—Use the new raw data view to inspect telemetry in real-time as it flows from your devices.
File upload—Azure IoT Central now supports uploading media and other files directly from connected devices.

New Azure IoT Edge capabilities

Azure IoT Edge is a leading edge compute offering in the industry, offering unparalleled production readiness and security. At Microsoft Ignite, we announced a set of breakthrough new capabilities including:

Nested Azure IoT Edge preview support enables customers to deploy Azure IoT Edge nodes across networks organized in hierarchical layers, such as ISA-95 network topologies, adhering to strict networking requirements to ensure a secure environment from real-time production all the way to the cloud.
Azure IoT Edge security with enclaves are now generally available, enabling deployment and execution of Trusted Applications in devices suitably equipped with trusted execution environments.
Edge Compute Node protection profile for IoT device security certification combines industry standard definitions and practices to enable how IoT stakeholders create and consume device security claims.
Industry-leading monitoring with the latest release of Azure IoT Edge enables rich monitoring of Azure IoT Edge fleets and applications at scale by emitting a rich set of metrics from IoT Edge system modules. Our new monitoring support easily integrates with existing monitoring solutions and even enables local monitoring for offline use cases.

Unified Azure Certified Device program and final certification for IoT Plug and Play

A unified Azure Certified Device program expands on previous Microsoft certification offerings that validate IoT devices meet specific capability needs and work great on Azure. This program helps device builders increase visibility of their products while making it easy for solution builders and customers to find the right device for their IoT solutions via the Azure Certified Device Catalog.

Certifications currently available include: Azure Certified Device, IoT Plug and Play, and Edge Managed. The Final IoT Plug and Play certification, announced in August, helps reduce time to market for device builders. Additionally, Azure IoT platform services and SDKs for IoT Plug and Play will be generally available by the end of this month.

View our developer documentation for more information, and join the companies already beginning to prepare and certify their devices for IoT Plug and Play.  Also, read the full technical blog to learn more about these certifications and others in development.

Accelerate technical skills with Azure IoT Developer Specialty certification and new learning content

Part of empowering tech intensity in our customers and partners is providing the tools and resources for individuals to successfully use advanced digital technologies, such as machine learning and IoT, so they can see projects through to realization. The Azure IoT Developer Specialty certification is a great first step to support developers in gaining technical knowledge, advancing their career, and becoming recognized as experts on their journey to building innovative new solutions.

Developers looking to start their IoT learning and certification journey can find free online courses at Microsoft Learn. They can also prepare for certification with the new Internet of Things Event Learning Path on GitHub. This series of five video-based modules explores topics including IoT device connectivity, IoT data communication strategies, use of AI at the edge, data processing considerations for IoT data, and IoT solutioning based on the Azure IoT reference architecture.

We encourage you to explore these new releases and innovations in depth, and learn more about how Azure IoT can help with  business resilience and staying agile for the future of connected ecosystems. We also recommend checking out these

Microsoft Ignite sessions:

Azure IoT services, roadmap, and vision: from connected assets to connected environments.
Azure IoT: Building end-to-end IoT solutions secured from edge to cloud.

Additional IoT learning resources:

IoT at Microsoft Ignite: Learn Collection.
Microsoft IoT Deep Dives.
Azure IoT Developer Specialty Certification.
How to prepare for Azure IoT Developer Specialty certification blog.
IoT Learning Path blog post.
Round-up of IoT developer resources and insights.
Security Maturity Model (SMM) training.

Azure. Invent with purpose.

Quelle: Azure

Unlock cost savings and maximize value with new Azure infrastructure innovation

Organizations including ASOS, Keiser University, and Manulife trust and build services on Azure to run their business-critical workloads and support their customers across the world. It’s customers such as these that fuel our desire to innovate. While this desire is ever-present, given the impact of the pandemic in recent months, organizations now more than ever are looking to adopt Microsoft Azure more rapidly to enable remote work, optimize costs, increase efficiency, and innovate.

Today we’re announcing several new Azure infrastructure capabilities that unlock cost savings, increase efficiency, and extend innovation anywhere—directly addressing the challenges we have heard from customers like yourself.

Enable remote work and business continuity

Azure has more than 60 regions worldwide, enabling customers to connect their employees, customers, and partners. Organizations can easily connect their data centers and branch offices to the Azure network, taking advantage of one of the fastest, most reliable, and secure networks in the world. Recently, we’ve seen an increased adoption of Azure networking services, such as Azure VPN Gateway and Azure Firewall, which are helping customers quickly connect to their resources securely. Customers are also taking advantage of Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup, offering unlimited scale, to recover their business services in the case of an outage, and to safeguard the recovery of their data in the event of accidental deletion, corruption, or ransomware.

There has also seen a surge in remote work powered by Windows Virtual Desktop. Windows Virtual Desktop delivers a secure and always up to date experience on Azure and provides the only multi-session Windows 10 desktop in the cloud. Customers can quickly and cost-effectively, deploy virtual desktops within minutes right from the Azure portal.

In less than two weeks, Keiser University completely transitioned from a traditional brick-and-mortar school to 100 percent online, by enabling remote work with Windows Virtual Desktop. As Keiser shifted its infrastructure to the cloud, their IT department was also able to achieve tighter security policies, accelerate performance, and lower costs.

Today, we’re highlighting some of the new features we’re making to enhance remote work and business continuity:

Preview of the Cisco SD-WAN native support within the Azure Virtual WAN hubs. This will enable customers to take advantage of SD-WAN (Software-Defined Wide Area Network) to improve performance while retaining existing investments and skills.
Preview of the global load balancer feature for Azure Load Balancer. Customers can now use this feature for latency-based traffic distribution across regional deployments or use it to improve application uptime with regional redundancy.
Coming soon in preview, new capabilities for Windows Virtual Desktop. Support of Microsoft Endpoint Manager for Windows 10 multi-session will enable a familiar method for securing and managing virtual desktops, the same ways as physical devices. Azure Monitor integration will provide customers with a workbook that captures all the relevant monitoring telemetry and rich visualizations to identify and troubleshooting issues quickly. The MSIX app attach portal integration with Windows Virtual Desktop will enable the ability to add application layers from the Azure portal—with just a few clicks.
Preview of Backup Center to enable customers with the capability to monitor, operate, govern, and optimize data protection at scale, with a consistent management in the Azure portal. Backup Center is also an action center from where you can trigger backup related activities, such as configuring backup, restore, creation of policies or vaults—all from a single place.
Preview of backup support for Azure PostgreSQL through Azure Backup to enable long-term retention for Azure PostgreSQL.
Preview of cross-region-restore capabilities for SQL and SAP HANA backups through Azure Backup to enable customers to restore backup data from a secondary region at any given time.

Migrate to Azure to save money and achieve cloud scale and performance

Customers are increasingly choosing Azure as the trusted destination for their most demanding Windows Server, SQL Server, and Linux applications and taking advantage of great offers that help customers save money. Our comprehensive infrastructure delivers choice and flexibility and an increase in scalability with great performance as your Azure footprint grows, making Azure the cloud to run business-critical applications. Manulife chose Azure as one of its cloud platforms, migrating and modernizing its business-critical applications to improve agility, scalability, risk management, and cost-efficiency and to accelerate the support of new business models.

This week, we’re also announcing new capabilities that make Azure a great cloud to run Windows Server and Linux workloads including:

Preview of Azure Automanage for Windows Server to help customers significantly reduce day-to-day management tasks with automated operations across the entire lifecycle of Windows Server virtual machines (VMs) on Azure. IT admins can now manage their VMs with point-and-click simplicity, individually or at scale.
Preview of the Windows Admin Center in Azure to enable customers to perform deep Windows Server OS management on their Azure Virtual Machines right from Azure.
Preview of Azure Hybrid Benefit with improved flexibility and enhanced user experience for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server customers migrating to Azure. Customers can convert their pay-as-you-go instances to bring their own subscription without any downtime and maintain business continuity.
General availability of Flatcar Container Linux, compatible with CoreOS (which reached its end-of-life on May 26, 2020). Flatcar is an immutable Linux distribution making Flatcar Container Linux a viable and straightforward migration choice for container workloads running on Azure.
Preview of the Azure Image Builder to streamline cloud native image building and customization process without the need of external IP addresses, providing customers better protection against vulnerabilities. This will be generally available by the end of this year.

In addition to the investments we’re making to support your Windows and Linux workloads, customers can migrate their business-critical applications to Azure with confidence by taking advantage of an expanded compute and storage portfolio, which offers improved performance and flexibility and support for your highly scalable apps:

General availability of Azure VMware Solution. Seamlessly extend or completely migrate existing on-premises VMware applications to Azure without the cost, effort, or risk of re-architecting the application. With Azure VMware Solution, customers experience the speed and agility of the cloud, while using existing VMware skills and tools, making Azure your one-stop shop to achieve cost savings and accelerate cloud adoption.
Preview of the ability to schedule Dedicated Host and isolated VM maintenance operations, giving customers more control over platform updates. Customers can also automate guest OS image updates on Virtual Machine Scale Sets, reducing manual upkeep.
Preview of two new Azure Dedicated Hosts features to simplify VM deployment at scale. When deploying Azure Virtual Machines in Dedicated Hosts, customers can enable the platform to select the host group to which the VM will be deployed. Customers can also use Virtual Machine Scale Sets in conjunction with Dedicated Hosts to enable use of scale sets across multiple dedicated hosts within a dedicated hosts group.
Preview of automatic VM guest patching to automate rollout of security patches and simplify application management, including enhanced monitoring capabilities.
Preview of the price history and associated eviction rates of Azure Spot Virtual Machines in the Azure portal to provide increased Azure costs transparency and predictability.
General availability of new Azure Virtual Machines. The Intel 2nd generation Intel Xeon Platinum processors offer up to 20 percent greater CPU performance and better overall price-per-core performance compared to the prior generation. The new AMD EPYC™-based Dav4 and Eav4 Azure Virtual Machine series provides increased scalability (up to 96vCPUs) in 18 regions.
Preview of the NC T4 series VM and the ND A100 Series to enable AI computing. These VMs offer powerful and massively scalable AI VMs. With these new VM sizes and capabilities, customer can benefit from a greater range in underlying processor technologies.
General availability of Azure Private Link integration with disks to enhance the security of disk storage. This provides secure imports and exports of data over a private virtual network.
General availability of support for 512E format on Ultra Disks to enable migration of on-premises legacy applications to Azure with Ultra Disks, giving customers the ability to benefit from best-in-class performance of Ultra Disks.
Preview of disk performance tiers to offer the flexibility to increase disk performance independent of size, reducing costs.

In addition to new Azure services and updates, we’re investing in tools and programs to help our customers move to Azure. Azure Migrate, a central hub of tools to migrate your apps to Azure—can now perform a comprehensive discovery and assessment of their server estate, including agentless software inventory and dependency mapping. Once that is complete, customers can migrate workloads at scale, with added support now for Azure Availability Zone and Unified Extensible Firmware Interface migrations.

We’re also announcing new additions to the Azure Migration Program and FastTrack for Azure. Both the Azure Migration Program and FastTrack for Azure now support Windows Virtual Desktop to help customers accelerate their virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments while enabling a secure, remote desktop experience from anywhere. In addition, the Azure Migration Program supports ASP.NET web app migration scenarios to help customers scale their websites and reduce operational burden with innovative, fully managed services like Azure App Service and Azure SQL.

Bring innovation anywhere to your hybrid and multi-cloud environments

More customers are adopting a hybrid cloud approach to operate across distributed IT environments, benefit from on-premises investments, and take advantage of edge computing. These hybrid cloud capabilities must evolve to enable innovation anywhere, while providing seamless management and ensuring uncompromised security. With new capabilities now generally available, Azure Arc offers a consistent approach to managing Windows Servers, Linux Servers, and Kubernetes clusters on any infrastructure across on-premises, multi-cloud, and edge. Customers can also use the latest in the Azure Stack portfolio to modernize their data centers, remote offices, and edge locations. Learn more about updates to our Azure hybrid capabilities.

Secure apps and networks from increased cyberattacks

As the need to support remote work grows, customers must ensure security across their entire organization to reduce potential threats regardless of where IT resources sit. Microsoft invests $1 billion annually and has over 3,500 global security experts to monitor and secure the environment of Azure resources. We provide built-in security controls across layers to protect your apps and data as it moves around both inside and outside of your organization and simplify security management with a unified multi-cloud view into your security estate. We also keep your organization up to date on the security state of your workloads with AI-enabled intelligent insights and recommendations on how to further strength your assets or respond to threats.

Yesterday, we announced significant innovation in our Azure security suite with a preview of behavioral intelligence and third-party threat intelligence sources to Azure Sentinel, the first cloud native SIEM in the market. We also announced the preview of Azure Defender, a new service within Azure Security Center, providing customers with more protection against threats entering the environment. Learn more about our new Azure security innovations.

These are just a few infrastructure innovations highlighted at Microsoft Ignite this week. Whether you’re attending the event live or accessing the recorded content, make sure to check out all of our Azure Infrastructure sessions and learn more about optimizing costs and maximizing value in our upcoming webinar miniseries. You can also take advantage of self-paced technical learning paths at Microsoft Learn.

We look forward to seeing you integrate these latest capabilities in your cloud adoption journey.

Azure. Invent with purpose.
Quelle: Azure

Gain IT efficiency for Windows Server with new Azure innovation

Companies such as Church and Dwight and Altair are migrating their Windows Server apps to Microsoft Azure to transform how they run their business, optimize costs, and increase IT efficiency and security. Today, we are excited to share new capabilities that continue to make Azure the best place to run Windows Server apps.

Increase IT efficiency with Azure Automanage

We often hear from customers that maintaining and operating servers on-premises is complex. Windows Server admins are responsible for day-to-day administration tasks such as backup, disaster recovery, and security updates. With growing security threats every day, ensuring that apps and data remain secured compounds this administrative burden.

This week, we’re introducing the preview of Azure Automanage, a new Azure service that helps customers significantly reduce day-to-day management tasks with automated operations across the entire lifecycle of Windows Server virtual machines (VMs). IT admins can now manage the entire VM lifecycle with point-and-click simplicity, individually or at scale.

Azure Automanage works with any new or existing Windows Server VM on Azure. It automatically implements VM management best practices as defined in the Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure. Azure Automanage eliminates the need for service discovery, enrollment, and configuration of VMs. For example, Azure Automanage enables customers to implement security best practices by offering an easy way to apply an operating system baseline to VMs per Microsoft’s baseline configuration. Services such as Azure Security Center are automatically onboarded per the configuration profile chosen by the customer. If the VM’s configuration drifts from the applied best practices, Azure Automanage detects and automatically brings the VM back to the desired configuration. Learn more about Azure Automanage and join the preview.

Manage Azure Virtual Machines with Windows Admin Center in the Azure portal

Windows Admin Center delivers a modern, integrated, and simplified browser-based interface to configure and troubleshoot servers. Customers can also connect their on-premises Windows Server to Azure and use Azure services for backup, disaster recovery, centralized security management, and threat protection. Customers use Windows Admin Center to manage millions of Windows Server nodes today, and we’re continuously making it better based on their feedback.

This week, we are introducing the preview of Windows Admin Center available natively in the Azure portal. It is a built-in capability that enables customers to take advantage of the familiar Windows Admin Center experience to manage Windows Server VMs right within Azure. Customers can now do detailed management, configuration, troubleshooting, and maintenance from a unified user experience. For example, customers can launch an in-browser Remote Desktop (RDP) session for Azure Virtual Machines in a few clicks or manage expired certificates, right from the Azure portal. This new capability will be available for Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019 versions. Learn more about Windows Admin Center in Azure portal.

Bring Azure services on-premises with Azure Arc and Azure Kubernetes Service

We understand that customers cannot move all their Windows Server apps to the cloud due to compliance requirements. With Azure Arc enabled servers now generally available, admins can use the Azure portal to manage and govern Windows Server anywhere.

We also want to offer options for customers who want to containerize Windows Server apps on-premises. This week, we are introducing the preview of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) on Azure Stack HCI. This new service simplifies the Kubernetes cluster deployment on Azure Stack HCI. It offers a consistent and familiar Azure experience with built-in security. Customers can use Azure management and governance services such as Azure Monitor to manage on-premises Kubernetes clusters. With AKS on Azure Stack HCI, customers can consistently and easily deploy their modern apps anywhere—cloud, on-premises and edge. Learn more about Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI and register to join the preview.

We are excited to share new Azure innovation that will help you gain IT efficiency for Windows Server. Whether you are attending Microsoft Ignite live or accessing the on-demand content, make sure to check out Windows Server sessions to see these capabilities in action. You can also register for Windows Server Summit where we will dive deep into these capabilities and more.

Azure. Invent with purpose.
Quelle: Azure

Achieve agility with Azure Data in a changing world

We live in demanding times, and change is happening faster than ever before. Data has always provided important insights into changing contexts, but to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape, adding layers of intelligence where AI advances decision making and applies predictive analytics at the edge to unlock new possibilities is pivotal.

At Microsoft Ignite, we shared a number of announcements to help organizations rebuild in a changing world. Following the announcement of Azure Arc in November 2019, we are announcing the preview launch of Azure Arc enabled data services. With this preview, customers can now bring Azure data services to any infrastructure across data centers, edge, or any cloud using Kubernetes on their hardware of choice. Data services now in preview include SQL Managed Instance and PostgreSQL Hyperscale. Data sources are often spread across diverse infrastructures which lead to challenges with data sovereignty, latency, and regulatory compliance. Customers can now benefit from Azure innovations such as always current evergreen SQL, elastic scale, and a unified management experience—while being able to run on any infrastructure.

We also announced the general availability of Azure SQL Edge, which brings the most secure SQL engine to IoT gateways and edge devices. Azure SQL Edge supports predictive intelligence with AI right where the action happens, with built-in data streaming and storage, packed into a small-footprint container—less than 500 megabytes—running in ARM and x64-based devices in connected, disconnected, or semi-connected environments. All with the same industry-leading security, the same familiar developer experience, and the same tooling that customers already know and trust in SQL Server and Azure SQL.

Fugro, a leading global geo-data specialist, helps clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors gain vital insights using Azure IoT Edge and Azure SQL Edge to boost efficiency and speed innovation. Reports that once took two weeks to compile now take eight minutes.

“We use this geo-data to ensure that anything we build or operate on this rapidly changing planet is done in a safe and sustainable way.” – Pim Peereboom, Global Project Manager of Integrated Marine Management at Fugro

Azure SQL announcements at Microsoft Ignite

Microsoft continues to invest in our Azure SQL family of SQL cloud databases including SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Azure SQL Databases. We announced several new capabilities in SQL Managed Instance that make for more seamless migration and app modernization in Azure—including upcoming support for distributed transactions between multiple SQL Managed Instances and a preview of Azure Machine Learning Services for R and Python analytics. With general availability of global VNet peering, it’s now easy to connect virtual networks in different regions in an easy and performant way for enhanced business continuity and disaster recovery options. Sign up to learn more at our Azure SQL virtual event, Transform Your Applications with Azure SQL. 

We also made announcements that continue to deliver on our commitment to provide the best developer experience of any cloud. Azure Cosmos DB serverless, now in preview, offers consumption-based pricing with no minimums making it a cost-effective way to get started with the service or run small applications with light traffic.

Flexible Server, a new deployment option now in preview for Azure Database for PostgreSQL and Azure Database for MySQL, offers developers enhanced choice with greater performance and manageability by building on a new architecture with native Linux integration. Developers can also benefit from a guided experience that simplifies end-to-end deployment and reduces costs with stop and start capabilities.

Azure Synapse, Azure Cosmos DB, and Azure Cache for Redis

Azure Cache for Redis now has two new product tiers in preview: Enterprise and Enterprise Flash. These tiers, developed in partnership with Redis Labs, integrate features from their Redis Enterprise offering for the first time on a major cloud platform making caches larger, more reliable, and provide new deployment options to unlock new use cases such as data analytics.

We are excited to see the ability to deliver near real-time analytics over operational data become a reality with Azure Synapse Link for Azure Cosmos DB. With a single click, you can now analyze large volumes of operational data in Azure Cosmos DB in near real-time with no extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) pipelines, and no performance impact on transactional workloads.

As we look beyond the horizon, the opportunity to reinvent your business and achieve agility with your data is substantial. Your data has so much potential. We look forward to seeing what you can do with it.

Azure. Invent with purpose.
Quelle: Azure