Contents tagged with Community News

  • Azure: New DocumentDB NoSQL Service, New Search Service, New SQL AlwaysOn VM Template, and more

    Today we released a major set of updates to Microsoft Azure. Today’s updates include:

    • DocumentDB: Preview of a New NoSQL Document Service for Azure
    • Search: Preview of a New Search-as-a-Service offering for Azure
    • Virtual Machines: Portal support for SQL Server AlwaysOn + community-driven VMs
    • Web Sites: Support for Web Jobs and Web Site processes in the Preview Portal
    • Azure Insights: General Availability of Microsoft Azure Monitoring Services Management Library
    • API Management: Support for API Management REST APIs

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

    DocumentDB: Announcing a New NoSQL Document Service for Azure

    I’m excited to announce the preview of our new DocumentDB service - a NoSQL document database service designed for scalable and high performance modern applications.  DocumentDB is delivered as a fully managed service (meaning you don’t have to manage any infrastructure or VMs yourself) with an enterprise grade SLA.

    As a NoSQL store, DocumentDB is truly schema-free. It allows you to store and query any JSON document, regardless of schema. The service provides built-in automatic indexing support – which means you can write JSON documents to the store and immediately query them using a familiar document oriented SQL query grammar. You can optionally extend the query grammar to perform service side evaluation of user defined functions (UDFs) written in server-side JavaScript as well. 

    DocumentDB is designed to linearly scale to meet the needs of your application. The DocumentDB service is purchased in capacity units, each offering a reservation of high performance storage and dedicated performance throughput. Capacity units can be easily added or removed via the Azure portal or REST based management API based on your scale needs. This allows you to elastically scale databases in fine grained increments with predictable performance and no application downtime simply by increasing or decreasing capacity units.

    Over the last year, we have used DocumentDB internally within Microsoft for several high-profile services.  We now have DocumentDB databases that are each 100s of TBs in size, each processing millions of complex DocumentDB queries per day, with predictable performance of low single digit ms latency.  DocumentDB provides a great way to scale applications and solutions like this to an incredible size.

    DocumentDB also enables you to tune performance further by customizing the index policies and consistency levels you want for a particular application or scenario, making it an incredibly flexible and powerful data service for your applications.   For queries and read operations, DocumentDB offers four distinct consistency levels - Strong, Bounded Staleness, Session, and Eventual. These consistency levels allow you to make sound tradeoffs between consistency and performance. Each consistency level is backed by a predictable performance level ensuring you can achieve reliable results for your application.

    DocumentDB has made a significant bet on ubiquitous formats like JSON, HTTP and REST – which makes it easy to start taking advantage of from any Web or Mobile applications.  With today’s release we are also distributing .NET, Node.js, JavaScript and Python SDKs.  The service can also be accessed through RESTful HTTP interfaces and is simple to manage through the Azure preview portal.

    Provisioning a DocumentDB account

    To get started with DocumentDB you provision a new database account. To do this, use the new Azure Preview Portal (http://portal.azure.com), click the Azure gallery and select the Data, storage, cache + backup category, and locate the DocumentDB gallery item.

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    Once you select the DocumentDB item, choose the Create command to bring up the Create blade for it.

  • Azure: Virtual Machine, Machine Learning, IoT Event Ingestion, Mobile, SQL, Redis, SDK Improvements

    This past month we’ve released a number of great enhancements to Microsoft Azure.  These include:

    • Virtual Machines: Preview Portal Support as well as SharePoint Farm Creation
    • Machine Learning: Public preview of the new Azure Machine Learning service
    • Event Hub: Public preview of new Azure Event Ingestion Service
    • Mobile Services: General Availability of .NET support, SignalR support
    • Notification Hubs: Price Reductions and New Features
    • SQL Database: New Geo-Restore, Geo-Replication and Auditing support
    • Redis Cache: Larger Cache Sizes
    • Storage: Support for Zone Redundant Storage
    • SDK: Tons of great VS and SDK improvements

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

    Virtual Machines: Support in the new Azure Preview portal

    We previewed the new Azure Preview Portal at the //Build conference earlier this year.  It brings together all of your Azure resources in a single management portal, and makes it easy to build cloud applications on the Azure platform using our new Azure Resource Manager (which enables you to manage multiple Azure resources as a single application).  The initial preview of the portal supported Web Sites, SQL Databases, Storage, and Visual Studio Online resources.

    This past month we’ve extended the preview portal to also now support Virtual Machines.  You can create standalone VMs using the portal, or group multiple VMs (and PaaS services) together into a Resource Group and manage them as a single logical entity. You can use the preview portal to get deep insights into billing and monitoring of these resources, and customize the portal to view the data however you want.  If you are an existing Azure customer you can start using the new portal today: http://portal.azure.com.

    Below is a screen-shot of the new portal in action.  The service dashboard showing service/region health can be seen in the top-left of the portal, along with billing data about my subscriptions – both make it really easy for you to see the health and usage of your services in Azure.  In the screen-shot below I have a single VM running named “scottguvstest” – and clicking the tile for it displays a “blade” of additional details about it to the right – including integrated performance monitoring usage data:

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    The initial “blade” for a VM provides a summary view of common metrics about it.  You can click any of the titles to get even more detailed information as well. 

    For example, below I’ve clicked the CPU monitoring title in my VM, which brought up a Metric blade with even more details about CPU utilization over the last few days.  I’ve then clicked the “Add Alert” command within it to setup an automatic alert that will trigger (and send an email to me) any time the CPU of the VM goes above 95%:

  • Azure: VM Security Extensions, ExpressRoute GA, Reserved IPs, Internal Load Balancing, Multi Site-to-Site VPNs, Storage Import/Export GA, New SMB File Service, API Management, Hybrid Connection Service, Redis Cache, Remote Apps and more…

    This morning we released a massive amount of enhancements to Microsoft Azure.  Today’s new capabilities and announcements include:

    • Virtual Machines: Integrated Security Extensions including Built-in Anti-Virus Support and Support for Capturing VM images in the portal
    • Networking: ExpressRoute General Availability, Multiple Site-to-Site VPNs, VNET-to-VNET Secure Connectivity, Reserved IPs, Internal Load Balancing
    • Storage: General Availability of Import/Export service and preview of new SMB file sharing support
    • Remote App: Public preview of Remote App Service – run client apps in the cloud
    • API Management: Preview of the new Azure API Management Service
    • Hybrid Connections: Easily integrate Azure Web Sites and Mobile Services with on-premises data+apps (free tier included)
    • Cache: Preview of new Redis Cache Service
    • Store: Support for Enterprise Agreement customers and channel partners

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

  • Azure: 99.95% SQL Database SLA, 500 GB DB Size, Improved Performance Self-Service Restore, and Business Continuity

    Earlier this month at the Build conference, we announced a number of great new improvements coming to SQL Databases on Azure including: an improved 99.95% SLA, support for databases up to 500GB in size, self-service restore capability, and new Active Geo Replication support.  This 3 minute video shows a segment of my keynote where I walked through the new capabilities:

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    Last week we made these new capabilities available in preview form, and also introduced new SQL Database service tiers that make it easy to take advantage of them.

  • Azure Updates: Web Sites, VMs, Mobile Services, Notification Hubs, Storage, VNets, Scheduler, AutoScale and More

    It has been a really busy last 10 days for the Azure team. This blog post quickly recaps a few of the significant enhancements we’ve made.  These include:

    • Web Sites: SSL included, Traffic Manager, Java Support, Basic Tier
    • Virtual Machines: Support for Chef and Puppet extensions, Basic Pricing tier for Compute Instances
    • Virtual Network: General Availability of DynamicRouting VPN Gateways and Point-to-Site VPN
    • Mobile Services: Preview of Visual Studio support for .NET, Azure Active Directory integration and Offline support;
    • Notification Hubs: Support for Kindle Fire devices and Visual Studio Server Explorer integration
    • Autoscale: General Availability release
    • Storage: General Availability release of Read Access Geo Redundant Storage
    • Active Directory Premium: General Availability release
    • Scheduler service: General Availability release
    • Automation: Preview release of new Azure Automation service

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

  • Azure: ExpressRoute Dedicated Networking, Web Site Backup Restore, Mobile Services .NET support, Hadoop 2.2, and more

    This morning we released a massive amount of enhancements to Windows Azure.  Today’s new capabilities and announcements include:

    • ExpressRoute: Dedicated, private, high-throughput network connectivity with on-premises
    • Web Sites: Backup and Restore Support
    • Mobile Services: .NET support, Notification Hub Integration, PhoneGap support
    • HDInsight: Hadoop 2.2 support
    • Management: Co-admin limit increased from 10->200 users
    • Monitoring: Service Outage Notifications Integrated within Management Portal
    • Virtual Machines: VM Agent and Background Information Support
    • Active Directory: More SaaS apps, more reports, self-service group management
    • BizTalk Services: EDIFACT protocol support, Service Bus Integration, Backup and Restore

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

  • Windows Azure: New Scheduler Service, Read-Access Geo Redundant Storage, and Monitoring Updates

    This morning we released another nice set of enhancements to Windows Azure.  Today’s new capabilities include:

    • Scheduler: New Windows Azure Scheduler Service
    • Storage: New Read-Access Geo Redundant Storage Option
    • Monitoring: Enhancements to Monitoring and Diagnostics for Azure services

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

  • Presentations I’m doing in Dublin and London Dec 2nd->5th

    I’ll be in Ireland and the UK next week presenting at several events.  Below are details on the talks I’ll be doing if you want to come along and hear them:

    Dublin: Monday Dec 2nd

    I’m doing two separate free events in Dublin on Monday:

    • Windows Azure and the Cloud at Mon 1-3pm.  This event is free to attend, and I’ll be doing a two hour keynote/overview session on Windows Azure as part of it.  This will be a great talk to attend if you are new to Windows Azure and are interested in learning more about what you can do with it.  Later sessions at the event also cover VS 2013, building iOS/Android apps with C# using Xamarin, and F# with Data and the Cloud.  Lean more here and sign-up for free.
    • Building Real World Application using Windows Azure at Mon 6:00-9:00pm.  This event is also free to attend, and during it I’ll walkthrough building a real world application using Windows Azure and discuss patterns and best practice techniques for building real world apps along the way.  The content is intermediate/advanced level (my goal is to melt your brain by the end) but doesn’t assume prior knowledge of Windows Azure.  Learn more here and sign-up for free.

    There is no content overlap between the two talks – so feel free to attend both if you want to!

  • Windows Azure: General Availability Release of BizTalk Services, Traffic Manager, Azure AD App Access + Xamarin support for Mobile Services

    This morning we released another great set of enhancements to Windows Azure.  Today’s new capabilities include:

    • BizTalk Services: General Availability Release
    • Traffic Manager: General Availability Release
    • Active Directory: General Availability Release of Application Access Support
    • Mobile Services: Active Directory Support, Xamarin support for iOS and Android with C#, Optimistic concurrency
    • Notification Hubs: Price Reduction + Debug Send Support
    • Web Sites: Diagnostics Support for Automatic Logging to Blob Storage
    • Storage: Support for alerting based on storage metrics
    • Monitoring: Preview release of Windows Azure Monitoring Service Library

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them:

  • Windows Azure: Import/Export Hard Drives, VM ACLs, Web Sockets, Remote Debugging, Continuous Delivery, New Relic, Billing Alerts and More

    Two weeks ago we released a giant set of improvements to Windows Azure, as well as a significant update of the Windows Azure SDK.

    This morning we released another massive set of enhancements to Windows Azure.  Today’s new capabilities include:

    • Storage: Import/Export Hard Disk Drives to your Storage Accounts
    • HDInsight: General Availability of our Hadoop Service in the cloud
    • Virtual Machines: New VM Gallery, ACL support for VIPs
    • Web Sites: WebSocket and Remote Debugging Support
    • Notification Hubs: Segmented customer push notification support with tag expressions
    • TFS & GIT: Continuous Delivery Support for Web Sites + Cloud Services
    • Developer Analytics: New Relic support for Web Sites + Mobile Services
    • Service Bus: Support for partitioned queues and topics
    • Billing: New Billing Alert Service that sends emails notifications when your bill hits a threshold you define

    All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them.