Microsoft Announcing New Azure Features

Despite having being launched many years ago by now, Microsoft Azure is struggling to gain the huge popularity that Microsoft would like to get, being clouded (pun intended) not only by the giant AWS but also by Google. We already discussed why Google is probably the biggest challenger for King Amazon, and in general, the feeling is that Azure is mostly used by people who are already very familiar with Microsoft technologies, given the tight integration between Azure features and other Microsoft’s products and services.

Nevertheless, Azure is one of the top three cloud providers, and Microsoft is working hard to keep its position in the rank. So it comes with a small surprise that they just announced a huge amount of new Azure features, hoping to attract more interests around its cloud platform. Let’s see a quick overview of each of them.
Microsoft Azure logo

A long-awaited Azure feature comes true: better Docker support

Looks like Microsoft is not immune to the Docker buzz that is spreading in the Linux world. It’s an amazing technology that is allowing a lot of new possibilities, and Microsoft well understood how important it was to add support for it. So in the next few days support for Docker in Linux VMs will be available from the Azure Management portal. The real extent of this integration is still unknown, neither we know how good it will be, still, it is very good news that Microsoft is focusing effort on Docker and container technologies in general. We expect they will use the Azure extension model, as they already Simplified Setup and Use of Docker on Microsoft Azure announced ad DockerCon in June, which should work quite well, though.

The brand new Cloud Platform System

This is a really major announcement by Microsoft, which is driving fast in the direction of hybrid clouds. Cloud Platform System is an Azure-consistent “Cloud in a box”, that is a pre-integrated Azure based solution with hardware from Dell that you can install on premises in your datacenter. The solution stack is based on the Hyper-V hypervisor on top of Dell PowerEdge servers and other hardware for networking and storage, and the so-called Windows Azure Pack at the higher level, comprising API and administration portals. Although not particularly interesting for individual developers, this one might be a major solution for those companies who are already tied to Microsoft solutions and want to take advantage of the many benefits that hybrid clouds can provide in terms of safety of data and customizability. You can read all the details about CPS in the announcement that Microsoft released.

Windows Azure Pack

CoreOS and Cloudera in the Azure Marketplace

One area where Azure was really lagging behind other platforms (and behind AWS in particular) is the availability of an ecosystem of products and services around its flagship Azure. This hole has been filled by Azure Marketplace, a platform to connect partners in the Azure ecosystem with users. Similarly to the AWS marketplace, it allows to find, purchase, and deploy services and products directly into Azure with a very simple interface. Microsoft announced the addition of two more Linux-based distribution to Azure Marketplace, specifically CoreOS and Cloudera. The former being specifically targeted at the container world, it confirms that Microsoft took a major strategic shift towards Docker and other docker-like solutions.

New G-series VM size

As you might know if already, Azure instances come in different flavors and sizes according to the operating system or the specific database you are going to use on them. Also, as many other cloud providers do too, they can be optimized for computing, networking or general purpose. This new G-Series that Microsoft just added is focused on providing extra performances for demanding applications. It is based on SSD storage and even the smallest G-series instance provides 2 Cores, 26 GB RAM and 406 GB of SSD storage, quite a lot of horsepower. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t said a word about the price of those instances, that will be available by the end of the year, but by comparing the prices of the existing instances, we can expect hourly prices starting from 0.5-0.7$ for the smallest instances up to even a two-digit price for the biggest size, which is a massive 32 cores, 448GB RAM and 6.5TB SSD instance.
G-series VM size, Cores, RAM, Local SSD Storage

Premium Storage

Another nice feature that Microsoft announced is Azure Premium Storage. It’s SSD-based storage designed for I/O intensive workloads. It allows to provision a persistent disk by the size and characteristics that you need, even attaching several persistent disks to a VM in a stripe configuration. This solution should grant up to 32 TB of storage and 50,000 IOPS per VM. Unfortunately, no word about the price of these new Azure features yet.

Avatar

Written by

Andrea Colangelo

Software Engineer with a solid focus on QA and an extensive experience in ICT. Above all, Andrea has a very strong interest in Free and Open Source Software, and he is a Debian and Ubuntu Developer since years. Non-tech interests include: Rugby, Jazz music and Cooking.

Related Posts

Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— August 13, 2019

Content Roadmap: AZ-500, ITIL 4, MS-100, Google Cloud Associate Engineer, and More

Last month, Cloud Academy joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider, and it put us in an excellent position to solve a massive skills gap problem. As a result of this collaboration, you will see our training library grow with additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • content roadmap
  • Google Cloud Platform
Avatar
Andrew Larkin
— August 7, 2019

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to estimate all types of resources, not the least of which are CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which resources you choose for your delivery —  cloud-based or local — is up to you. But you’ll definitely want...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Orion Withrow
Orion Withrow
— July 24, 2019

How to Effectively Use Azure Management Groups, Subscriptions, and Resource Groups

When used individually, Azure Management Groups, Subscriptions, and Resource Groups are very powerful. But when used together, they can establish the entire organizational structure of Azure. In this article, I will explain Azure Resource Manager, Management Groups, Subscriptions an...

Read more
  • Azure
  • azure management groups
  • azure resource groups
  • azure subscriptions
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— July 22, 2019

Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: July 2019

July has been a very exciting month for us at Cloud Academy. On July 10, we officially joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider (read the announcement). Over the coming weeks, you will see additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+ certification courses and 1500+ ins...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Academy
  • Cybersecurity
  • DevOps
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Paola Di Pietro
— July 19, 2019

Top 10 Things Cybersecurity Professionals Need to Know

There has been an increase in data breaches over the recent years. With almost 143 million Americans who have had their data compromised in data breaches. These breaches include all sorts of sensitive data, including financial information, election controversies, social security, just t...

Read more
  • Azure
  • cyber security
  • Security
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— June 26, 2019

Running Apache Spark on Azure Databricks

In this article, we’ll cover how to set up an Azure Databricks cluster and how to run queries in an interactive notebook. However, this article only scratches the surface of what you can do with Azure Databricks. If you would like to learn more, including how to create graphs, run sched...

Read more
  • Azure
Avatar
Thomas Mitchell
— June 25, 2019

Understanding the Core Azure Architectural Components

Microsoft Azure relies on a few key architectural components to provide redundancy and high availability. Core Azure architectural components include Azure regions, Azure Availability Zones, resource groups, and the Azure Resource Manager. In this article, we’ll discuss the basics ab...

Read more
  • Azure
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— June 6, 2019

How to Become a Microsoft Certified Azure Administrator

Microsoft Azure is one of the hottest cloud services on the planet, and it’s growing at a phenomenal rate. This rapid growth has created a huge demand for people who know how to administer and manage Azure implementations. To make it easier for employers to verify the skills of Azure...

Read more
  • Azure
  • exam
Avatar
Guy Hummel
— May 20, 2019

Preparing for the Microsoft AZ-900 Exam

Microsoft has offered Azure certification exams for years, but until recently, they were all meant for technical IT professionals. Now non-technical professionals, such as salespeople and managers, can take the new AZ-900 exam to prove their understanding of Azure fundamentals. People w...

Read more
  • Azure
Avatar
Thomas Mitchell
— May 16, 2019

An Overview of Azure Storage (Part 2)

Archive Storage Archive Storage offers the lowest storage costs of all Azure storage. Its retrieval costs, however, are higher when compared to Hot and Cool storage. The archive tier of storage is designed for data that can tolerate several hours of latency when being retrieved. It’s a...

Read more
  • Azure
  • Storage
Avatar
Thomas Mitchell
— May 14, 2019

An Overview of Azure Storage (Part 1)

Welcome to part one of our series on Azure Storage. Stay tuned for the second part. An Overview of Azure Storage Microsoft Azure Storage is a cloud-based storage offering that provides multiple storage solutions for organizations. In addition to a massively scalable object store for ...

Read more
  • Azure
  • Storage
Avatar
Giacomo Marinangeli
— March 29, 2019

NEW: Custom Hands-On Labs for Azure and Google Cloud Platform

Harvard Business Review recently estimated that some 90% of corporate training never gets applied on the job. Given the $200B training industry, that is a staggering amount of waste. One reason for the disconnect? Lack of context. Cloud Academy’s platform was built to make it extraor...

Read more
  • Azure
  • Content Engine
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Hands-on Labs