AzUpdate: Expanding Availability Zones, Azure Cost Management, AMD-Backed VMs and more
Published Mar 19 2021 12:01 AM 3,354 Views

Another exciting week is in the books. News our team is covering this week includes Microsoft's commitment to expand Azure Availability Zones to more regions, Monitor your spending through forecasted cost alerts with Azure Cost Management and Billing, Make workloads on AMD-backed virtual machines confidential without recompiling code, Long-term backup retention (LTR) for Azure SQL Managed Instance in public preview, Machine Learning Services on Azure SQL Managed Instance now generally available and an enterprise-scale Microsoft Learn module of the week.



Microsoft's commitment to expand Azure Availability Zones to more regions

Microsoft continues to build Azure to support customer needs for low-latency, high-availability cloud services and with the ability to both store and process data within a country or geography. In 2021, Microsoft continued thier plans to expand datacenter regions to new markets like Indonesia and grow in existing markets in the United States and China. As the continued effort to bring local cloud services to more countries moves along, resiliency and high availability has become top of mind.

Microsoft has announced that by end of 2021, every country in which they operate a datacenter region will deliver Azure Availability Zones. More information surrounding new Availability Zone capabilities coming to your region can be found here: Microsoft's commitment to expand Azure Availability Zones


Forecasted cost alerts with Azure Cost Management and Billing now Generally Available

Manage cloud spending with confidence by using the newly generally available forecasted cost alerts. Azure Cost Management and Billing can prevent cost overruns with Azure budget alerts on forecasted costs.



Learn more here: Prevent exceeding Azure budget with forecasted cost alerts


Make workloads on AMD-backed virtual machines confidential without recompiling code

Microsoft announced the limited preview of AMD-backed Azure confidential computing virtual machines. Microsoft is further broadening the confidential computing options available to Azure customers through our technology partnership with AMD, specifically by being the first major cloud provider to offer confidential virtual machines on the new AMD EPYC™ 7003 series processors. This new approach complements existing Azure confidential computing solutions such as confidential containers for Azure Kubernetes Service and opens the possibility to create new confidential applications without requiring code modifications which in turn substantially simplifies the process of creating confidential applications.


Sign up for the preview here


Long-term backup retention for Azure SQL Managed Instance in public preview


Many applications have regulatory, compliance, or other business purposes that require you to retain database backups beyond the 35 days provided by Azure SQL Managed Instance automatic backups. When using the LTR feature, you can automatically retain specified SQL Managed Instance full backups in separate Azure Blob storage with configured redundancy for up to 10 years. You can then restore any backups as a new database. LTR may be configured on both single and pooled instances.


Machine Learning Services on Azure SQL Managed Instance now generally available

Microsoft's goal is to continue making investments in Machine Learning Services across all SQL Server products in such platforms as Windows, Linux, Virtual Machines, Edge, Synapse, and Managed Instance, with feature parity and consistent user experience. To start this endeavour, Microsoft has enabled machine learning capabilities to operate R or Python runtime with increased performance on a preconfigured SQL Managed Instance.
The Machine Learning Services with R or Python support in Azure SQL Managed Instance can now be used to:

  • Data preparation and general purpose data processing
  • Deploy models and scripts into production in stored procedures.
  • Train machine learning models in database. 

Community Events

  • Hello World - Special guests, content challenges, upcoming events, and daily updates
  • Patch and Switch - Patch and Switch are back to share thier "from the trenches" stories
  • Extend to the cloud with Azure VMware solution - Delivered in partnership with Intel and VMware— learn how to easily shift your VMware workloads to the cloud on your own terms and modernize your investments


MS Learn Module of the Week



Creating enterprise-scale architecture in Azure

Learn how Microsoft Cloud Adoption Framework for Azure enterprise-scale landing zones can help organizations accelerate cloud adoption from months to weeks. This learning path will explore how to create Azure landing zone architecture at enterprise-scale. Learn about landing zone critical design areas to build and operationalize your Azure environment.


Learn more here: Create an enterprise-scale architecture in Azure




Let us know in the comments below if there are any news items you would like to see covered in the next show. Be sure to catch the next AzUpdate episode and join us in the live chat.

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‎Mar 26 2021 05:38 AM
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