Episode 327 - Confidential Computing

by Cale Teeter April 30, 2020

Principal Group PM of the Azure Confidential Computing team, Vikas Bhatia, share his passion about this innovative service in Azure. He lays out the reasons for this initiative, gives us the details on the implementation, use-cases and tips for developers to take advantage of the facility.

Vikas Bhatia

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode327.mp3

Transcript: https://www.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/573a654845/?location=eastus2

Resources:

http://aka.ms/azurecc

https://github.com/openenclave

https://confidentialcomputing.io/

Twitter: @vikascb

 

Other updates:

Update #2 on Microsoft cloud services continuity
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/update-2-on-microsoft-cloud-services-continuity/

Microsoft Receives 2020 SAP® Pinnacle Award: Public and Private Cloud Provider Partner of the Year
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-receives-2020-sap-pinnacle-award-public-and-private-cloud-provider-partner-of-the-year/

Next Generation SAP HANA Large Instances with Intel® Optane™ drive lower TCO
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/next-generation-sap-hana-large-instances-with-intel-optane-drive-lower-tco/

Solutions and guidance to help content producers and creators work remotely
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/solutions-and-guidance-to-help-content-producers-and-creators-work-remotely/

Using Azure Monitor source map support to debug JavaScript errors
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/using-azure-monitor-source-map-support-to-debug-javascript-errors/

 

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Episode 326 - Cosmos DB Free Tier

by Sujit D'Mello April 28, 2020

Azure Program Manager Deborah Chen talks to the team about the new Free Tier that is available for the ever-popular Cosmos DB service which makes it easier for developers to use the service.

Deborah Chen

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode326.mp3

Transcript: https://www.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/959806734e/?location=eastus2

Resources:

Azure Cosmos DB Free Tier resources
Blog post #1: https://devblogs.microsoft.com/cosmosdb/build-apps-for-free-with-azure-cosmos-db-free-tier/
Blog post #2:  https://devblogs.microsoft.com/cosmosdb/running-a-low-cost-scalable-app-with-azure-cosmos-db-free-tier/
Documentation: https://aka.ms/cosmos-free-tier

Other resources:

ACR built-in audit policies for Azure Policy is now in preview
Updated: March 13, 2020
​We are pleased to announce the public preview of Azure Container Registry support for creation of built-in audit policies for Azure Policy.  Once the built-in audit policy is available for the security control, the assessment results can be surfaced through Azure Policy’s Compliance feature.
The following 3 built in policies are planned:
• Network: Provide an audit policy that verifies if Private Link is being used
• Network: Provide an audit policy that checks if the firewall is enabled/ IP-based restrictions are applied
• Data transfer: Provide an audit policy to verify if customer-managed key is used

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/acr-builtin-audit-policies-for-azure-policy-is-now-in-preview/>

Private Endpoints provide secure connectivity to Azure Storage from a Azure virtual network (VNet). On-premises networks can also securely connect to a storage account using a private endpoint when that network is to a VNet using Express Route or VPN. Private Endpoints for Azure Storage are now generally available in all Azure public regions.

https://dilbert.com/strip/2020-03-15 - Mandatory Blockchain  << ❤ this

https://mijailovic.net/2020/03/28/azure-money-burning/

 

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Episode 325 - HPC Offerings

by Cynthia Kreng April 26, 2020

Evan Burness, a Principal Program Manager in the HPC team, gives us the inside scoop on various offerings in Azure for HPC workloads, details the various use-cases and provides valuable tips and tricks to select the right offering.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode325.mp3

Transcript: https://www.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/24158ec41a/?location=eastus2

Resources:

Main HPC site: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/topics/high-performance-computing

Here's the main marketing site: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/solutions/high-performance-computing/

Here's the main docs site for the H-series, specifically: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/virtual-machines/sizes-hpc

https://www.hpcwire.com/2020/02/27/microsoft-general-availability-of-azure-amd-hbv2-vms-for-hpc/

And here's our own Blog announcement: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-hbv2-virtual-machines-eclipse-80000-cores-for-mpi-hpc/

 

Other updates:

Enhanced features in Azure Archive Storage now generally available
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/enhanced-features-in-azure-archive-storage-now-generally-available/
Upgrade your skills while at home!
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/
Azure Support API is generally available
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-support-api-is-generally-available/

Automatic instance repairs for virtual machine scale sets now available

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/automatic-instance-repairs-for-azure-vmss-now-generally-available/

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Episode 324 - Dapr, Arc and Cloud Native Innovations

by Kendall Roden April 22, 2020

Cloud Native specialists Joey Schluchter and our very own Kendall Roden share the vision of Dapr and Arc.

Joey SchluchterKendall Roden

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode324.mp3

Transcript: https://www.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/a15b7a32b8/?location=eastus2

 

Other resources:

Azure Virtual Network now supports reverse DNS lookup (PTR DNS queries) for virtual machine IP addresses by default. Use this to quickly look up name of the VM from its IP address. Previously, using DNS queries to look up the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) for a virtual machine from its IP address would result in an NXDOMAIN response. Now, instead of getting an NXDOMAIN, you’ll receive valid FQDN of the virtual machine to which the IP address belongs.


https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-monitor/app/java-in-process-agent

Azure Security Center enhancements
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-security-center-enhancements/

NBA announces new multiyear partnership with Microsoft to redefine and personalize the fan experience
https://news.microsoft.com/2020/04/16/nba-announces-new-multiyear-partnership-with-microsoft-to-redefine-and-personalize-the-fan-experience/

Azure Maps updates offer new features and expanded availability

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-maps-updates-offer-new-features-and-expanded-availability/>


https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-maps-updates-offer-new-features-and-expanded-availability/

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Episode 323 - Azure Cognitive Search

by Evan Basalik April 20, 2020

The team welcomes Principal Software Engineer, Jennifer Marsman, who talks about the advances in Cognitive Services and delves into a real-world scenario where Cognitive Services can help with understanding and treating COVID-19.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode323.mp3

Transcript:

Resources:

https://covid19search.azurewebsites.net/

https://jfk-demo.azurewebsites.net/#/

Other updates:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/governance/blueprints/samples/hipaa-hitrust/


From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/announcing-reverse-dns-support-in-azure-virtual-networks/>


Updates to Azure Maps Web SDK includes powerful new features
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/updates-to-azure-maps-web-sdk-includes-powerful-new-features/

Microsoft Azure holds free 'virtual hackathon' for professionals in Asia to develop helpful technologies
https://www.msazurevirtualhack.com/

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Episode 322 - OpenHack Program

by Sujit D'Mello April 8, 2020

Program Manager Tierney Wixted talks to us about the highly successful OpenHack program run by Microsoft which runs free, challenge-based coaching experiences for various Azure technologies. She gives us some insights into the program, how it works, and what attendees can expect to get out of it.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode322.mp3

Transcript: https://eus2.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/80c36dae07/?location=EUS2

Resources: https://openhack.microsoft.com/

 

Other updates:

Azure Advisor data in Azure Resource Graph is now available
Updated: April 01, 2020
Azure Advisor data is now available in Azure Resource Graph. This release enables many at-scale scenarios for consuming the Advisor best practice recommendations. 
Query Advisor recommendations for all your subscriptions at once. Previously, it was possible to only review recommendations for up to 60 subscriptions at a single time due to Azure portal limitations. If you have more than 60 Azure subscriptions, you’ll now have an easier time optimizing your resources and staying on top of your best practices.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-advisor-data-in-azure-resource-graph-is-now-available/>

 

Azure Ultra Disks—Shared disk capability is now in preview
Updated: April 01, 2020
Attach an Azure managed disk to multiple virtual machines (VMs) simultaneously using the new shared disks feature of Azure Managed Disks. Deploy new or migrate existing clustered applications to Azure by attaching a managed disk to multiple VMs. Shared disks also support SCSI persistent reservation protocol.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-ultra-disks-shared-disk-capability-is-now-in-preview/>


New Azure Disk sizes and bursting support are now available
Updated: April 01, 2020
Azure Disks—block-level storage volumes managed by Azure and used with Azure Virtual Machines—now have new 4-GiB, 8-GiB, and 16-GiB sizes available on both premium and standard SSDs. The new disk sizes introduced on standard SSD disk provide the most cost-efficient SSD offering in the cloud, providing consistent disk performance at the lowest cost per GB. We’ve also increased the performance target for all standard SSD disks of 64-GiB or less (E6) to 500 IOPS and 60 MiB/second, matching that with standard HDDs. It’s an ideal replacement for HDD-based disk storage from either on-premises or cloud.
In addition, we now support bursting on Azure premium SSD disks in all Azure regions in the public cloud. With bursting, even the smallest premium SSD disks at 4-GiB can now achieve up to 3,500 IOPS and 170 MiB/second, and better accommodate spiky workloads. It can be best used for OS disks to accelerate virtual machine (VM) boot or data disks to accommodate spiky traffic. To learn more about disk bursting, read the premium SSD bursting article.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/new-azure-disk-sizes-and-bursting-support-are-now-available/>

 

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Episode 321 - GitHub

by Cynthia Kreng March 28, 2020

Sasha Rosenbaum, a Senior PM from the GitHub team, is back on the show to talk to us about DevOps in the cloud and provides advice on choosing the right tools for your teams.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode321.mp3

Transcript: https://eus2.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/77937baf29/?location=EUS2

 

Other updates:

ACR built-in audit policies for Azure Policy is now in preview

Updated: March 13, 2020

We are pleased to announce the public preview of Azure Container Registry support for creation of built-in audit policies for Azure Policy.  Once the built-in audit policy is available for the security control, the assessment results can be surfaced through Azure Policy’s Compliance feature.

The following 3 built in policies are planned:

  • Network: Provide an audit policy that verifies if Private Link is being used
  • Network: Provide an audit policy that checks if the firewall is enabled/ IP-based restrictions are applied
  • Data transfer: Provide an audit policy to verify if customer-managed key is used

 

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/acr-builtin-audit-policies-for-azure-policy-is-now-in-preview/

 

 

 

Private Endpoints provide secure connectivity to Azure Storage from a Azure virtual network (VNet). On-premises networks can also securely connect to a storage account using a private endpoint when that network is to a VNet using Express Route or VPN. Private Endpoints for Azure Storage are now generally available in all Azure public regions.

 

 

https://dilbert.com/strip/2020-03-15 - Mandatory Blockchain  << ❤ this

 

Azure Functions Premium plan regional virtual network integration

Updated: March 24, 2020

Regional virtual network integration is now generally available in the Azure Functions Premium plan. Run serverless function apps with no cold-start, virtual network connectivity, and larger instance sizes with the Premium plan. The general availability of regional virtual network integration also brings these features:

  • The ability to direct all traffic leaving an application into the virtual network.
  • Support for applying user-defined routes and network security groups to the integrated application.
  • Support for reaching private link-secured resources through a regional virtual network integration.
  • Support for non-RFC 1918 addresses in an integrated virtual network.

Regional virtual network integration is available in all public regions for function apps hosted on the Premi

 

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/functions-premium-vnet/

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Episode 320 - COVID-19

by Cale Teeter March 24, 2020

The team gets together to share personal thoughts and experiences on working at home for extended periods of time and how Azure and other cloud vendors are helping the cause during this difficult time.

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode320.mp3

Transcript: https://eus2.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/f0d8448fcd/

Resources:

https://www-theverge-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2020/3/21/21189227/cdc-microsoft-chatbot-coronavirus-symptom-checker
https://hackorona.in.dev/
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/our-commitment-to-customers-and-microsoft-cloud-services-continuity/

Other updates:

Configure Azure Monitor log alert rules for recommendations and alerts exported from Security Center by taking advantage of Security Center's continuous export capabilities to Log Analytics Workspace.

How Azure Machine Learning service powers suggested replies in Outlook
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/how-azure-machine-learning-service-powers-suggested-replies-in-outlook/

New Deploy to Azure extension for Visual Studio Code
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/new-deploy-to-azure-extension-for-visual-studio-code/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-research-covid-19-literature-dataset-eric-horvitz/
https://www.bing.com/covid
https://www.coepi.org/
http://privatekit.mit.edu/
https://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2020/03/20/delivering-information-and-eliminating-bottlenecks-with-cdcs-covid-19-assessment-bot/

Azure Security Center—Protection for Azure Kubernetes Service is now available

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-security-center-s-threat-protection-for-azure-kubernetes-service-is-now-generally-available/>

Protect your web applications from common exploits and vulnerabilities with Web Application Firewall for Azure Content Delivery Network from Microsoft. Web Application Firewall is already natively integrated with Azure Application Gateway and Azure Front Door services.
Apply the firewall policies to protect your Azure Content Delivery Network endpoints from malicious attacks. A Web Application Firewall security policy may consist of an ordered list of custom match rules, rate limit rules, or Azure-managed pre-configuration rules.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-web-application-firewall-waf-for-azure-content-delivery-network-cdn-from-microsoft-service-is-in-preview/>


How Azure Machine Learning service powers suggested replies in Outlook

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/how-azure-machine-learning-service-powers-suggested-replies-in-outlook/>

[Preview] Joining a Live Share session from the browser

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/visualstudio/liveshare/quickstart/browser-join


Cognitive Services introduces new Neural Text to Speech voices for different styles
Updated: March 18, 2020
We are announcing new style voices for Neural Text to Speech. Neural Text to Speech enables fluid, natural-sounding speech that matches the patterns and intonation of human voices. New speaking styles allow you to tailor your voice for different scenarios, such as expressing different emotions, like cheerfulness or empathy. We are excited to be rolling out new speaking styles for newscast, voice assistant, and customer service scenarios for our English and Chinese neural voices.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/cognitive-services-introduces-new-neural-text-to-speech-voices-for-different-styles/>


Azure Web Application Firewall service protects your web applications from malicious attacks. In addition to Azure Application Gateway and Azure Front Door service, Web Application Firewall is now natively integrated with Azure Content Delivery Network, protecting Content Delivery Network endpoints from common exploits such as SQL injection and cross site scripting (XSS) attacks.


Azure Shared Disks for clustered applications preview now available
Updated: March 18, 2020
Azure Shared Disks is a shared block storage offering, enabling customers to run latency-sensitive workloads without compromising on well-known deployment patterns for fast failover and high availability. Azure Shared Disks are best suited for clustered databases, parallel file systems, persistent containers, and machine learning applications.
Azure Shared Disks provide a consistent experience for applications running on Windows or Linux based clusters today. These include, Global File System 2 (GFS2), SQL Server Failover Cluster Instances (FCI), Scale-out File Servers (SoFS) which leverage SCSI Persistent Reservations (PR) to handle cluster node communication as well as write locking.
Visit the Azure Shared Disk blog
Learn More about Enable Shared Disk
Learn More about Azure Disk Storage

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-shared-disks-for-clustered-applications-preview-now-available/>


Azure Database for MySQL—Connection redirection support for PHP drivers
Updated: March 18, 2020
Redirection support for the mysqlnd PHP driver used to connect to Azure Database for MySQL is now available in preview. Take advantage of the mysqlnd_azure extension to improve the connection latency between applications and Azure Database for MySQL. This new redirection support allows the gateway to return the backend database server address to the client driver. Subsequent connections then use this address to connect directly to the Azure Database for MySQL server.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/azure-database-for-mysql-connection-redirection-support-for-php-drivers/>

 

 

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Episode 319 - Machine Learning Options

by Sujit D'Mello March 15, 2020

Evan and Sujit talk to Microsoft Cloud Solution Architect Jose Medina about the options we have to run Machine Learning workloads in Azure and provides some great tips on how to pick the right option and what development tools are available.

Jose Alfredo Medina

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode319.mp3

Transcription: https://eus2.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/f4a096fe20/?location=EUS2

 

 

 

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Episode 318 - This and That

by Cynthia Kreng March 8, 2020

Cynthia and Sujit discuss a couple of things they are working on including training for the AZ-900 Azure Fundamentals exam and using Azure Files for remote software development.

See the source image

 

Media file: https://azpodcast.blob.core.windows.net/episodes/Episode318.mp3

Transcript: https://eus2.videoindexer.ai/accounts/e0eee289-7730-4999-978b-eb7f63be8cb5/videos/0c405a46ce/

Resources: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/paths/azure-fundamentals/

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/storage/files/storage-how-to-use-files-linux

 

Other updates:


Because Azure Resource Manager now has all the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities of Azure Service Management and new advancements, we’ll retire classic IaaS VMs on March 1, 2023.
If you use IaaS resources from ASM, please complete your migration by March 1, 2023. We encourage you to make the switch sooner to take advantage of these feature enhancements in Azure Resource Manager:
• Enables deploying complex applications through templates.
• Includes scalable, parallel deployment for virtual machines into availability sets.
• Provides lifecycle management of compute, network and storage independently.
• Enables security by default with the enforcement of virtual machines in a virtual network.
How does this affect me?
Beginning today, customers who are not currently using classic IaaS VMs, will not be able to create new classic VMs.
Beginning March 1, 2023, customers who are using classic IaaS VMs will no longer be able to start any classic IaaS VMs using ASM. Any remaining VMs in a running or stopped-allocated state will be moved to a stopped-deallocated state.
The following Azure services and functionality will NOT be impacted by this retirement: Cloud Services, storage accounts NOT used by classic VMs, and virtual networks (VNets) NOT used by classic VMs.
What actions should I take?
To avoid service disruption, migrate your IaaS resources from classic IaaS VMs to Resource Manager by March 1, 2023. We recommend migrating sooner to start using the feature enhancements in Resource Manager.

From <https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/we-re-retiring-azure-classic-vms-on-march-1-2023/>


ExpressRoute Global Reach: Building your own cloud-based global backbone
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/expressroute-global-reach-building-your-own-cloud-based-global-backbone/

Azure Cost Management + Billing updates – February 2020
https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-cost-management-billing-updates-february-2020/

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