AzureCon: Microsoft announced the innovations that will help transform businesses

AzureCon: Microsoft announced the innovations that will help transform businesses

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Microsoft announced new solutions at the AzureCon, spanning containers, security, infrastructure and the Internet of Things. These updates have all been presented in the virtual Azure conference held today, along with a number of other services that are scheduled to be released in the following months.

We are currently experiencing an important change in computing, and every organization is going to need a strategy to take full advantage of the technology improvements. After all that’s what this is all about – profitable business transformation adapted to the mobile and cloud world. Microsoft continues to showcase rapid innovation on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform – one of the 3 hyper-scale cloud providers in the world, while enabling choice and simplicity for customers of all sizes.

We live in a connected world, and the intelligent cloud is powering it all,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud + Enterprise Division. “As data and devices continue to proliferate, there is vast opportunity for businesses to tap into their data to make their applications more intelligent. Through our offerings across applications, data and IoT, and cloud infrastructure, we are enabling companies to innovate more easily and rapidly, using the tools and platforms they know and love.

Applications have become the center point of any business transformation, and one of the more popular ways to maximize the value of any application, is through containerization.

New Azure Container Service

There has been rapid growth in both interest in and usage of container-based solutions. Major IT vendors and cloud providers from around the globe have announced container-based solutions. It’s a well-known fact that Microsoft is involved in the Open Container Initiative. The new Azure Container Service will combine the openness of Apache Mesos and Docker with the hyper-scale of Azure for container orchestration and management. This means that clients that are using Azure, will now be able to easily deploy and configure Mesos to cluster and schedule Dockerized applications across multiple virtual hosts. The service will also support Windows Server containers in the future. The preview should be available by the end of the year.

With large-scale production users like Airbnb, Twitter and Apple, Apache Mesos is the most scalable and flexible container orchestration platform available on the market today,” said Florian Leibert, co-founder and CEO, Mesosphere. “At the same time, Microsoft continues its rapid growth and enterprise cloud leadership, with more than 80 percent of the Fortune 500 using Microsoft’s cloud to power their businesses. The partnership between Mesosphere and Microsoft will give customers unmatched choice and flexibility in managing their container investments, delivering a first-class implementation and enterprise support experience on Azure.

Azure IoT Suite is now available

Data insights can help transform any business. It’s quite clear that any form of measurement is actually accurate feedback that businesses can use. Innovation is virtually limitless once you have data and insights from connected devices and systems. Microsoft announced that its Azure IoT Suite is now available for customers to purchase, an ecosystem of partners whose offerings have been tested and certified so businesses can take their next IoT project from testing to production, more quickly. Current partners include BeagleBone, Freescale Intel Corporation, Raspberry Pi,, Seeed Technology Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc.

The expansion of Azure Data Lake was also announced at AzureCon. The expansion includes Azure Data Lake Analytics, Azure Data Lake Store, a new programming language U-SQL, and Azure HDInsight general availability on Linux.

Azure Security Center

Cloud security is one of the main concerns. With all the cyberattacks happening every day, it’s only natural that customers began looking for greater control, transparency and protection across their cloud infrastructure and assets. Azure Security Center is a new integrated experience that gives customers visibility and control of the security of their Azure resources without impeding agility, and helps customers stay ahead of threats even as they evolve.

The service integrates with security solutions from companies such as Barracuda, Checkpoint, Cisco Systems Inc., CloudFlare, F5 Networks, Imperva, Incapsula and Trend Micro Inc. Azure Security Center will be available for Azure customers by the end of the year.

A new family of Azure VMs

At the same event, Microsoft announced the N-series Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) powered by NVIDIA GPUs, that support NVIDIA’s Grid 2.0 technology. A preview should be available in a few months.

Other announcements

Microsoft Azure has announced the availability of its services in 3 new regions in India: Central India in Pune, South India in Chennai, and West India in Mumbai. Azure holds more regions than any other hyper scale cloud provider, more than Google and AWS combined.

A new pricing program designed for customers with steady state and predictable workloads will be available starting December 1st: the Azure Compute Pre-Purchase Plan. Customers who pre-purchase Azure compute for one year can realize cost savings of up to 63%.

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