Episode 207 - Functions & Serverless

by Russell Young December 9, 2017

In this special All-UK episode, Russell Young has an in-depth discussion with Christos Matskas, a Senior Azure PFE in the UK, about the growing popularity of serverless computing in Azure using services like Functions and Event Grid.

Social Media: https://cmatskas.com  https://twitter.com/christosmatskas
Resources on Azure bits:
- Architecture best practices: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-best-practices
- Function Proxies: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-proxies
- Functions Runtime: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/functions-runtime-overview
- Durable Functions: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-functions/durable-functions-overview
- Functions & Containers: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/appserviceteam/2017/11/15/functions-on-linux-preview/

DDDScotland: http://dddscotland.org

 

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode207.mp3

Indexed audio: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/5bd125a054/

Other updates:

 

Enabling Storage Service Encryption at rest for all new data coming to Azure Backup from on-premises and in cloud

 

In DevTest Labs, you can post announcements to notify users about recent changes or additions to your lab, and custom images with licensing terms are now enabled

 

Azure Migrate service launched in preview https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/launching-preview-of-azure-migrate/

 

Provides guidance, insights and mechanisms to help you migrate to Azure (IaaS)

 

  • Readiness of an azure VM
  • Right sizing of VMs
  • Cost
  • PLUS - Enables ASR and Database Migration Service (SQL).
  • Free of charge, supported for production environments.

 

Azure Advisor - new dashboard and some new functionality (best practices advisor) gives recommendations on high availability, security, performance and cost across your subscription

 

Elastic DB tools for Java (support for cross shard query, aimed at multi-tenant SaaS apps), routing of data to correct shards based on keys and shard map management.

 

Location Based Services public preview - geospatial services for mapping, iot, logistics, asset tracking type solutions.  Services include mapping, routing, search, time zones and traffic (partnering with TomTom).  RESTful service APIs plus a javascript mapping control - cost all managed to your subscription

 

Able to run Azure CLI within VS Code now directly

 

Azure functions runtime preview 2 - functions as a service on-prem if you want, and on Windows Nano containers.

 

B and M series now GA - lowest cost by giving flexible vCPU - good for small web servers, small db's, dev/test environments that have spikey workloads/util.  Build up credits when cpu usage is low, to be spent when you spike.  M Series are the largest VMs, up to 128 vCPUs, 4TB RAM, hyper-threading.   Great for SAP HANA and SQL Hekaton

 

Iot Hub device provisioning now GA

Sunset of classic portal, Jan 8th 2018

 

 

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Episode 206 - Kubernetes

by Sujit D'Mello November 30, 2017

The guys talk about the rise of Kubernetes and discuss the architecture and how it can be run in Azure.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode206.mp3

Indexed audio: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/6cc89f6458/

Resources:

https://kubernetes.io

https://github.com/kubernetes/minikube

 

Other resources:

Azure Developer eBook by Barry Luijbregts and Michael Crump

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/campaigns/developer-guide/

 

Beginning November 30, 2017, you will need to use the Azure portal to manage your Visual Studio Team Services accounts, instead of using the Azure classic portal.

 

P15 size for Azure Managed Disks generally available
Azure Managed Disks is the recommended disk storage offering for use with Azure Virtual Machines for persistent storage of data. Managed Disks provides secured disk storage as well as simplified management and industry-leading durability and availability. P15 disks are 256 GB Premium Managed Disks that provide:
 
✓ 1,100 input/output operations per second (IOPS) per disk.
✓ Throughput of 125 MB per second.
The P15 disk size is now available in all Azure regions. Learn more about Managed Disks on the overview and pricing webpages.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/pricing/details/managed-disks/

Azure Analysis Services integration with Azure Diagnostic Logs
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-analysis-services-integration-with-azure-diagnostic-logs/

Last week in Azure: Migrating VMWare environments to Azure, and more
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/last-week-in-azure-week-of-2017-11-20/

Announcing Azure Location Based Services public preview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-azure-location-based-services-public-preview/

Automatic tuning introduces Automatic plan correction and T-SQL management
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/automatic-tuning-introduces-automatic-plan-correction-and-t-sql-management/

 

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Episode 205 - SQL Vulnerability Assessement

by Evan Basalik November 22, 2017

Extremely informative discussion with Ronit Reger, a Senior PM in the SQL Team, about this new service they put out for SQL Azure to make is easier for customers to find out if their database is vulnerable to attacks. A must-have for anyone using SQL in Azure.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode205.mp3  

Vulnerability Assessment on Azure SQL Database - Getting Started

Blog announcing the release of Vulnerability Assessment

Channel 9 video demonstrating the use of Vulnerability Assessment

Indexed audio: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/8f24adeb2c/

Other updates:

Announcing General Availability of Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs)
Takeshi Numoto CVP, Cloud + Enterprise
Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs) are generally available for customers worldwide, effective today. Azure RIs enable you to reserve Virtual Machines on a one- or three-year term, and provide up to 72% cost savings versus pay-as-you-go prices.
Azure RIs give you price predictability and help improve your budgeting and forecasting. Azure RIs also provide unprecedented flexibility should your business needs change. We’ve made it easy to exchange your RIs and make changes such as region or VM family, and unlike other cloud providers, you can cancel Azure RIs at any time and get a refund.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-general-availability-of-azure-reserved-vm-instances-ris

Transforming your VMware environment with Microsoft Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/transforming-your-vmware-environment-with-microsoft-azure/

Azure Advisor - your personalized best practices service got better
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-advisor-got-better/

Last week in Azure: News from Connect(); 2017, Azure Virtual Data Center, and more
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/last-week-in-azure-week-of-2017-11-13/

Azure SQL Databases Disaster Recovery 101
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-sql-databases-disaster-recovery-101/

Time to migrate off Access Control Service
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/time-to-migrate-off-access-control-service/

 

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Episode 204 - Back to Cloud Services

by Sujit D'Mello November 16, 2017

A great throwback discussion to one of the earliest (and most robust) of Azure Services, the Classic Cloud Service, with Adam Modlin, a Senior App Dev Consultant at Microsoft.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode204.mp3

Indexed audio: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/9918c9efc2/ 

Other updates:

Both Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Cloud Services will be available only in the Azure portal. Access from the classic portal will no longer be supported. If you were using the classic portal for OS images, please use PowerShell instead.
For details on how to get started in the Azure portal, refer to the Virtual Machines and Azure Cloud Services documentation.
New features for Virtual Machines in the Azure portal include:
 • Ability to add classic disks to a VM
 • Ability to add classic images to a VM  
New features for Azure Cloud Services in the Azure portal include:
 • Deployment-related operation logs
 • Ability to update one or more roles at a time

 

Fv2-Series VMs:
✓ Are powered by the latest Intel Xeon Scalable processors, code-named Skylake.
✓ Are ideal for compute intensive workloads such as scientific modeling, advanced analytics, engineering simulations, and machine learning inference.
✓ Are available in seven sizes, the largest of which has 72 vCPUs and 144 GB of random-access memory (RAM).
✓ Will support Azure Premium Storage disks by default and Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based Azure accelerated networking capabilities for ultra-low VM-to-VM latencies.
✓ Have newly added Skylake processor capabilities that will provide up to twice the performance boost to vector processing workloads on both single and double precision floating point operations.
Fv2-Series VMs are now generally available in the West US 2, East US, Southeast Asia, and West Europe regions.

G-Series VMs provide a high-performance foundation for database workloads that require high compute performance and large amounts of RAM to support in-memory database operations. G-Series VMs are now generally available in the UK South region. GA pricing will begin on January 1, 2018. Usage prior to January 1, 2018, will be billed at preview rates.

Learn more about Azure Virtual Machines on the overview and pricing webpages.


Azure Container Registry lets you store and manage images for all types of container deployments including DC/OS, Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, and Azure services such as App Service, Batch, Service Fabric, and others. Using Container Registry, you can:
✓ Keep container images near deployments to reduce latency and cost.
✓ Simplify your registry access management using Azure Active Directory.

Managed tiers generally available
Container Registry is now generally available in Basic, Standard, and Premium tiers. By using managed tiers, you can easily move between Basic, Standard, and Premium, and Container Registry will manage caching of storage accounts to meet the throughput and API calls. By choosing Premium, you’ll have higher throughput because Container Registry replicates and manages images across multiple (encrypted at rest) storage accounts.

Geo-replication available in preview
eo-replication enables Container Registry to function as a single registry, while being available for local operations in the replicated regions. As images are used across many Azure services, you can benefit from a single management plane while maintaining network-close, fast, and reliable image pulls. Geo-replicated registries provide the following benefits
✓ Network-close registry access from regional deployments
✓ No additional egress fees, as images are pulled from a local, replicated registry in the same region as your container host


Azure Batch is a platform service for running large-scale parallel and high-performance computing (HPC) apps efficiently in the cloud. Batch schedules compute-intensive work to run on a managed collection of virtual machines (VMs) and can automatically scale compute resources to meet the needs of your jobs. Batch lets you:
✓ Scale to tens, hundreds, or thousands of VMs
✓ Cloud-enable batch and HPC apps
✓ Stage data and execute compute pipelines
Low-priority VMs are allocated from surplus capacity and therefore availability varies. If Batch apps can tolerate interruption and job execution time is flexible, low-priority VMs can reduce the cost of running workloads or let more work be performed at a greater scale for the same cost.

 

Azure API Management lets organizations publish APIs more securely, reliably, and at scale. You can use API Management to drive API consumption among internal teams, partners, and developers while benefiting from business and log analytics available in the admin portal. This service helps provide the tools your organization needs for end-to-end API management, including provisioning user roles and creating usage plans and quotas. In response to customer feedback, we’re making three important updates to API Management begnning December 1, 2017:
✓ A new hourly billing rate, instead of the daily billing rate, makes API Management more accessible and cost-effective to operate. All current customers will be automatically moved to hourly pricing effective December 1, 2017.
✓ In addition to the Developer, Standard, and Premium pricing tiers, a new Basic pricing tier will be available.
✓ Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) will now be included with the Standard pricing tier.


Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a fully managed, elastic scale service that truly accelerates your journey to a high performance, secure, and compliant cloud data warehouse.

The new compute-optimized performance tier for SQL Data Warehouse is designed for customers that need high performance and massive scale to meet the needs of compute-intensive analytical workloads. You can now provision five times the computing power and store an unlimited amount of columnar data, empowering you to run your largest and most complex analytics workloads.

 

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Episode 203 - DevCon3

by Cale Teeter November 11, 2017

Our very own Cale Teeter was in Cancun, Mexico for DevCon3 and he gives us all the Blockchain/Azure updates that were announced there.

DevCon3
https://davidburela.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/devcon-3-report-day-1-core-systems/
https://davidburela.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/devcon-3-report-day-2-core-systems/
https://davidburela.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/devcon-3-report-day-3-dapp-development/
https://davidburela.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/devcon-3-report-day-4-p2p-tech/

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode203.mp3

 

Other updates:


Azure Government Secret
Taking the next step forward in meeting the mission-critical and data needs of our U.S. Government customers, we are announcing expansion plans to make Azure Government Secret available to support government agencies and partners who have Secret classified data. Azure Government Secret will deliver multi-tenant cloud infrastructure and cloud capabilities to U.S. Federal Civilian, Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and U.S. Government partners working within Secret enclave
 
Blockchain for Azure Government
We have launched Blockchain for Azure Government, which will support a wide array of our Azure blockchain and distributed ledger marketplace solutions. These solutions automate the deployment and configuration of blockchain infrastructure across multiple organizations, allowing our customers to focus on government transformation and application development.
 
Unified security management with Azure Security Center
To help our customers address their security challenges, we’re bringing Azure Security Center to Azure Government. Security Center offers unified security management and advanced threat protection for hybrid cloud workloads, enabling government agencies to take on evolving security threats. Learn more about Security Center.
 
Expanding High Performance Computing in Azure Government
In today’s data-driven government, High Performance Computing (HPC) is increasingly being mainstreamed to apply to a broader range of problems. To address this demand, we’re extending our existing public sector HPC offerings, including the NC-series and Azure Batch, to include the H-series virtual machines. Azure H-series virtual machines, with InfiniBand and Linux RDMA technology, are designed to deliver cutting-edge performance for complex engineering and scientific workloads such as weather prediction and climate modeling, trajectory modeling, and other memory-intensive projects. By the end of the year, customers will be able to take advantage of this expanded offering in Azure Government
 
New Virtual Desktop Infrastructure options in the cloud
To reduce on-premises infrastructure, many government customers are considering moving their Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) to the cloud. Today, we’re announcing new options with Azure Government, giving customers more flexibility in handling VDI requirements. With Citrix VDI on Azure Government, customers can now extend existing Citrix environments and deploy Windows 10 desktops into Azure Government from Citrix Cloud. Learn more about new VDI options.

Managed Applications are now Generally Available in the Azure Marketplace
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/managed-applications-are-now-generally-available-in-the-azure-marketplace/

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/topics/last-week-in-azure/

 

 

 

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Episode 202 - Cloud Shell

by Evan Basalik November 2, 2017

In-depth discussion with Azure Compute PM, Justin Luk, on the new Cloud Shell feature in the Azure Portal that serves up Bash and PowerShell command prompts right in the browser!

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode202.mp3

 

Resources:

 

Product page – http://aka.ms/azshell

Docs – http://aka.ms/cloudshell

Feedback – http://aka.ms/cloudshell/feedback

Try It in Docs – http://aka.ms/tryitdoc

 

Other resources and updates:

By November 30, 2017, you should plan to rely fully on the new administration experience for portal-based administration of Azure Active Directory.
We recently announced that the Azure AD experience in the classic Azure portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com) will be retired on November 30, 2017. You are receiving this email because you or another user in your organization recently used that experience.

Elastic Query between SQL Data Warehouse and SQL Database
Monday, October 30, 2017
Azure SQL Data Warehouse now supports Elastic Query between SQL Data Warehouse and Azure SQL Database. 
This improvement enables users to connect to SQL Data Warehouse through SQL Database with the remote query execution capabilities of Elastic Query. Users can now offload their hot/more recent data into SQL Database to support high concurrency and reporting while maintaining the power of SQL Data Warehouse MPP.
 
To learn more about Elastic Query concepts, check out the Elastic Query concepts documentation. To get started connecting SQL Database with SQL Data Warehouse, complete the Elastic Query tutorial.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/elastic-query-with-sql-datawarehouse-and-sql-database-now-available/?cdn=disable>


Public preview expansion: VNet Service Endpoints and Storage Firewalls and Virtual Networks
Friday, October 27, 2017
The public previews for Virtual Network Service Endpoints and Firewalls and Virtual Networks for Azure Storage have been expanded to include all regions in the Azure public cloud.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/public-preview-expansion-vnet-service-endpoints-and-storage-firewalls-and-virtual-networks/?cdn=disable>

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Episode 201 - Quantum Computing

by Russell Young October 25, 2017

Fascinating discussion with Dr. Krysta Svore, a Principal Researcher and Research Manager at Microsoft Research, where she leads the Quantum Architectures and Computation (QuArC) group. We also discuss near-term and long-term plans to get Quantum Computing into Azure.

Dr. Svore joined Microsoft Research in 2006 and started the QuArC group in 2010. Her research focuses on the development and implementation of quantum algorithms, including the design of a scalable, fault-tolerant software architecture for translating a high-level quantum program into a low-level, device-specific quantum implementation. She has also developed techniques for protecting quantum computers from noise, including methods of quantum error correction, establishment of noise thresholds, and the development of improved decoders. She spent her early years at Microsoft developing machine-learning methods for web applications, including ranking, classification, and summarization algorithms. Her work in machine learning has expanded to include quantum algorithms for improve machine learning methods.  Dr. Svore was recently appointed as a member of the Advanced Scientific Computing Advisory Committee of the Department of Energy and chaired the 2017 Quantum Information Processing Conference. Svore received an ACM Best of 2013 Notable Article award. In 2010, she was a member of the winning team of the Yahoo! Learning to Rank Challenge. Dr. Svore is honored as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), serves as a representative for the Academic Alliance of the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), and is an active member of the American Physical Society (APS). Dr. Svore has authored over 65 papers and has filed over 20 patents. She received her PhD in computer science with highest distinction from Columbia University and her BA from Princeton University in Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science and French.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode201.mp3

Indexed Video: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/712ee6315c/ 

To learn more about Microsoft’s quantum computing approach and to gain access to our quantum community, software preview release and more, visit www.microsoft.com/quantum and sign up to join our newsletter!  Our software preview release will be available by end of year.

 

Other updates

Azure AKS - https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/introducing-azure-container-service-aks-managed-kubernetes-and-azure-container-registry-geo-replication/

Plus one click setup for Container Registry geo-replication

Cray Supercomputers are coming to Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/cray-supercomputers-are-coming-to-azure/

Truffle 4.0 beta 2 now available on Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/truffle-4-beta2/

Blk.io brings an ERC-20 token service using Quorum to Azure
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/blk-quorum-erc-20/

One click replication of VMs via site recovery
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/simplified-disaster-recovery-for-azure-iaas-vms/

 

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Episode 200 - SQL on Linux

by Evan Basalik October 19, 2017

Episode 200! We made it!

For this special landmark, Bob Ward, Principal Architect on the SQL Server Team, joins us again to talk about a topic we never thought we'd hear - the release of SQL Server on Linux - available in Azure and on-premises.

Media file: http://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode200.mp3

http://aka.ms/sqldev

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/bobsql

Indexed video: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/b52d5370d4/

 

Other resources:

New Log Analytics query language
The new Log Analytics query language is available, and you can upgrade your workspace to take advantage of it with the following benefits:

✔ More extensive piping capabilities than the legacy language
✔ Advanced runtime calculated fields
✔ Advanced joins, including the ability to join tables on multiple fields, use inner and outer joins, and join on extended fields
✔ Advanced date/time functions


Azure Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio Code (VSCode) October Updates
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-data-lake-tools-for-visual-studio-code-vscode-october-updates/

Microsoft Cosmos DB in Azure Storage Explorer – public preview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-cosmos-db-in-azure-storage-explorer-preview/

Announcing new Azure Government capabilities for classified mission-critical workloads
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/announcing-new-azure-government-capabilities-for-classified-mission-critical-workloads/

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Episode 199 - Blockchain Update

by Cale Teeter October 11, 2017

Cale Teeter gives us the latest scoop on all the things Microsoft is doing in the Blockchain space.

(Cale in Kiev talking about Blockchain)

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode199.mp3

Indexed video: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/102578ea8b/

Other updates:

 Announcing Azure Files share snapshots public preview
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/announcing-azure-files-share-snapshots-public-preview/

Get alerts faster with near real-time alerting for Azure platform metrics
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/get-alerts-faster-with-near-real-time-alerting-for-azure-platform-metrics/

Embed Stunning Visuals into your Apps with Power BI Embedded- Generally Available
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/blog/embed-stunning-visuals-into-your-apps-with-power-bi-embedded-generally-available/

Today we’re excited and honored to be recognized for three Developer Satisfaction awards from SlashData, a leading analyst firm in the developer community.
https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/microsoft-s-azure-sql-database-ranked-1-database-as-a-service-for-developer-satisfaction-by-slashdata/

Accelerated Networking is now in an expanded preview.
General availability (Windows) and preview (Linux): Accelerated Networking

Public preview: Azure subscription cost reporting and analysis for enterprise customers
Azure EA users can view and analyze their subscription costs across different pivots in the Azure portal
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/cost-reporting-for-enterprise-preview/

Announcing support for X.509 CA on Azure IoT Hub
Announcing support for X.509 Certificates Authorities (X.509 CA) on Azure IoT Hub. Simplifies creation of initial unique IoT device identities enabling IoT at scale. Ready for provisioning using DPS.

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Episode 198 - IoT Hub in Action

by Sujit D'Mello October 5, 2017

Michael Stark, a Senior Consultant from Microsoft, gives us a Developer view on a customer POC he recently did using IoT Hub. 

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode198.mp3

Indexed Video: https://www.videoindexer.ai/media/b1f4b13104/

Other updates:

Embed Stunning Visuals into your Apps with Power BI Embedded- Generally Available

Announcing new Azure VM images: SQL Server 2017 on Linux and Windows
02 October 2017
We are excited to announce that SQL Server 2017 images on Linux and Windows are now available in the Azure Marketplace! Deploying SQL Server in Azure VMs combines the industry-leading performance and security, built-in artificial intelligence, and business intelligence of SQL Server, now available on both Linux and Windows, with the flexibility, security, and hybrid connectivity of Azure.

Get started with Monitoring in Azure
27 September 2017
We’re happy to announce the public preview of a new overview landing page in Azure Monitor. This landing page is designed to help you understand the monitoring capabilities offered by Azure, and to…

Announcing Preview of Azure Storage Firewalls and Virtual Networks
27 September 2017
The Azure Storage team is excited to announce the preview of Firewalls and Virtual Networks for Azure Storage.  With this preview, the authorization capabilities of Azure Storage are expanded to allow administrators to also control which networks have access to their data.

Announcing Virtual Network integration for Azure Storage and Azure SQL
You can now secure Azure Storage and Azure SQL Database to only your virtual networks, by using virtual network service endpoints. Endpoints provide a direct connection from your virtual network to the Azure services, extending your virtual network's private address space and identity to the services. Traffic from your virtual network to the services will always remain on the Microsoft Azure network backbone.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/public-preview-virtual-network-service-endpoints-for-azure-storage-and-azure-sql/>


AZURE LOAD BALANCER
Azure Load Balancer introduces a HA Ports, a capability that enables you to load balance internal virtual network traffic on all ports for all supported protocols. The single rule configuration for all ports reduces the configuration complexity and removes the rule limits for Load Balancer.
This capability is especially useful for scenarios that involve network virtual appliance (NVA) high availability. You can configure an HA Port rule on an Azure internal load balancer, and deploy the NVAs in n-Active mode for reliability and scale. You can also use HA Ports to enable load balancing on a range of ports by adding some NSG configuration on top.
HA Ports is available in public preview in:
• US East 2
• US Central
• US West Central
• Europe West
• Europe North
• Asia Southeast
To get information on configuration and scenarios, see the Azure Load Balancer documentation.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/public-preview-ha-ports/>


Public preview: application security groups, service tags, augmented security rules
Monday, September 25, 2017
The following features for network security groups (NSGs) are in public preview:
• Application security groups
You can use application security groups to configure network security as natural extension of an application’s structure, by arbitrarily grouping VMs and defining network security policies based on those groups. You can reuse your security policy and scale without manual maintenance of explicit IP addresses. The platform handles the complexity of explicit IP addresses and multiple rule sets, so you can focus on your business logic. For more information, see the documentation. 
• Service tags for NSGs
Service tags simplify security for Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Virtual Networks by enabling you to easily restrict network access to just the Azure services that you use. You can use service tags in your NSG rules to allow or deny traffic to a specific Azure service globally or per Azure region. Azure provides the maintenance of IP addresses underlying each tag. This preview includes Storage, Sql, and AzureTrafficManager tags. For more information, see the documentation.
• Augmented security rules for NSGs
Augmented rules for NSGs simplify the security definition for Virtual Networks, so you can define larger, more complex network security policies with fewer rules. Multiple ports, multiple explicit IP addresses, service tags, and application security groups can all be combined into a single, easily understood security rule. For more information, see the documentation. 

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/public-preview-features-for-nsgs/>

PowerShell in Azure Cloud Shell is available in public preview. It provides an alternative to the existing Bash experience (also in public preview) while retaining the benefits of Cloud Shell.

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