New from Microsoft – Part 1 (before World Partners Conference)

  |   Hybrid Cloud, Microsoft Azure, Our Blog   |   No comment

What an incredible few weeks for Microsoft Azure!  We just wrapped up an intense learning experience for Microsoft partners down in Orlando, FL.  However, the momentum began the previous week when Microsoft made several big announcements.

1. Azure Batch – As Azure supporters and experts, we’re especially excited about this new feature.   Batch makes it easier to do large scale parallel and high performance computing workloads. Batch applications is a very common and standard way for organizations to exchange, input, process, and analyze large amounts of data. Some of the common example use cases include:

  • Financial risk modeling
  • Image rendering and image processing
  • Media encoding and transcoding
  • Genetic sequence analysis
  • Software testing

One of the examples for using Azure Batch service is resizing collections of images in the cloud using an image editing program.

The first offering for Azure Batch is free, so it’s a good thing to take advantage of; users pay only for the initial virtual machine usage.

Use Batch to:

  • Scale out parallel workloads
  • Manage execution of tasks in a queue
  • Enable applications to offload compute jobs in the cloud
  • Run applications on demand and at scale, without setting up and managing a cluster, virtual machines, or a job scheduler
  • Manages virtual machine deployment, auto-scaling, and failure recovery
  • Use as part of a workflow and to deliver applications as a service

2. Apache Spark for Azure HDInsight – Continuing along the same lines of large scale capabilities, Apache Spark interactive data analysis with large data sets.  The Azure cloud supports Spark in an easy and cost effective way, with no hardware to buy and no software to configure.  Spark also comes integrated with popular third-party business intelligence (BI) tools like Microsoft Power BI, in addition to open-source notebooks. There is no additional charge for this feature, and they’ll notify you of any changes in advance.

Use Spark to:

  • Deliver queries up to 100 times faster than traditional big data solutions
  • Use a common execution model for various tasks like ETL processes, batch queries, interactive queries, real-time streaming, machine learning, and graph processing on data stored in Azure Storage.

3. Power BI – It’s coming out of Beta (July 24th)!  Arguably the most powerful business SaaS service, and easily accessible; even the most non-technical of business users can sign up in five seconds, and gain insights from their business data in less than five minutes with no assistance, from anyone.   It will be a more improved, streamlined access to cloud-based data.  Learn more about Power BI and how it was developed and other related updates.

4. Azure Site Recovery for VMWare and Physical Machines – Can we say enough good stuff about the hybrid cloud?  Now we can say more!

  • Support for recovery in Azure for VMWare and physical servers to bolster existing support for Hyper-V workloads; enables you to use a secondary site, Azure, as your disaster recovery site within one Microsoft solution
  • Extends and protects VMware workloads into Azure in an easy, automated process, working seamlessly with your existing infrastructure

Stay tuned for Part 2, with more great take-aways from the partner conference in Orlando.

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