Jun
04
2018
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Microsoft Azure will soon offer machines with up to 12 TB of memory

Do you have an application that needs a lot of memory? Maybe as much as 12 terabytes of memory? Well, you’re in luck because Microsoft Azure will soon offer virtual machines with just that much RAM, based on Intel’s Xeon Scalable servers.

The company made this announcement in concert with the launch of a number of other virtual machine (VM) types that are specifically geared toward running high-memory workloads — and the standard use cases for this is running the SAP Hana in-memory database service.

So in addition to this massive new 12 TB VM, Microsoft is also launching a new 192 GB machine that extends the lower end of Hana-optimized machines on Azure, as well as a number other Hana options that scale across multiple VMs and can offer combined memory sizes of up to 18 TB.

Another new feature of Azure launching today is Standards SSDs. These will offer Azure users a new option for running entry-level production workloads that require consistent disk performance and throughput without the full price of what are now called “premium SSD.” The Standard SSDs won’t offer the same kind of performance, though, but Microsoft promises that developers will still get improved latency, reliability and scalability as compared to standard hard disks in its cloud.

Apr
02
2018
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Microsoft launches 2 new Azure regions in Australia

Microsoft continues its steady pace of opening up new data centers and launching new regions for its Azure cloud. Today, the company announced the launch of two new regions in Australia. To deliver these new regions, Azure Australia Central and Central 2, Microsoft entered a strategic partnership with Canberra Data Centers and unsurprisingly, the regions are located in the country’s capital territory around Canberra. These new central regions complement Microsoft’s existing data center presence in Australia, which previously focused on the business centers of Sydney and Melbourne.

Given the location in Canberra, it’s also no surprise that Microsoft is putting an emphasis on its readiness for handling government workloads on its platform. Throughout its announcement, the company also emphasizes that all of its Australia data centers are also the right choice for its customers in New Zealand.

Julia White, Microsoft corporate VP for Azure, told me last month that the company’s strategy around its data center expansion has always been about offering a lot of small regions to allow it to be close to its customers (and, in return, to allow its customers to be close to their own customers, too). “The big distinction is the number of regions we have. “White said. “Microsoft started its infrastructure approach focused on enterprise organizations and built lots of regions because of that. We didn’t pick this regional approach because it’s easy or because it’s simple, but because we believe this is what our customers really want.”

Azure currently consists of 50 available or announced regions. Over time, more of these will also feature numerous availability zones inside every region, though for now, this recently announced feature is only present in two regions.

Mar
01
2018
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Microsoft advances several of its hosted artificial intelligence algorithms

 Microsoft Cognitive Services is home to the company’s hosted artificial intelligence algorithms. Today, the company announced advances to several Cognitive Services tools including Microsoft Custom Vision Service, the Face API and Bing Entity Search . Joseph Sirosh, who leads the Microsoft’s cloud AI efforts, defined Microsoft Cognitive Services in a company blog post announcing… Read More

Jan
30
2018
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Microsoft’s Azure Event Grid hits general availability

 With Event Grid, Microsoft introduced a new Azure service last year that it hopes will become the glue that holds together modern event-driven and distributed applications. Starting today, Event Grid is generally available, with all the SLAs and other premises this entails. Read More

Jan
03
2018
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Microsoft acquires Avere Systems to further hybrid computing mission

 In a world shifting to the cloud, Microsoft has carved out a place trying to help companies caught between two worlds — on-prem legacy solutions and the public and private cloud. To help further that hybrid mission, the company announced it was acquiring Avere Systems today for an undisclosed amount. Microsoft describes Avere as “a leading provider of high-performance NFS and… Read More

Dec
13
2017
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Microsoft makes Azure Bot Service generally available for developers

 Microsoft introduced the Azure Bot Framework more than two years ago and companies have been building chatbots for a variety of scenarios ever since. Today, the company made generally available the Microsoft Azure Bot Service and Microsoft Cognitive Language Understanding service (known as LUIS). Read More

Nov
15
2017
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Microsoft makes Databricks a first-party service on Azure

 Databricks has made a name for itself as one of the most popular commercial services around the Apache Spark data analytics platform (which, not coincidentally, was started by the founders of Databricks). Now it’s coming to Microsoft’s Azure platform in the form of a preview of the imaginatively named “Azure Databricks.” Read More

Sep
25
2017
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Microsoft’s new Data Box lets you mail up to 100 TB to its Azure cloud

 Moving lots of data to the cloud can take a long time and cost quite a bit, even over fast connections. Like its competitors — and especially AWS — Microsoft has long allowed its Azure users to import data to its cloud by shipping hard drives to its data centers. It’s now going a step further with the preview launch of the 100 TB Azure Data Box, its answer to AWS’s 50… Read More

Sep
25
2017
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Microsoft looks to the cloud to expand its security offerings

 Ignite is Microsoft’s main annual conference for bringing together its enterprise users and IT community. It’s no surprise then that security is one of the main topics at the event, with almost 150 sessions dedicated to the topic. And just as unsurprisingly, Microsoft is also using the event to announce a number of new security features, largely around its Microsoft 365 offerings.… Read More

Sep
25
2017
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Azure gets more affordable with reserved instances and new cost management features

 In case you didn’t know, Microsoft is hosting its annual Ignite conference in Orlando, Florida this week and while a lot of the event focuses on the company’s productivity apps, it wouldn’t be a Microsoft event without lots of talk about the Azure cloud computing platform, too. Among the updates to Azure today are the launch of reserved instances and the integration of… Read More

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