At the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), Microsoft announced their partnerships with Packer.io and OpenNebula to enable interoperability of applications and services with Windows Azure and Hyper-V. Similarly in July, Microsoft announced their work on Docker’s libswarm project and Kubernetes, two cluster-management solutions available for Docker containers, and several other open source cloud projects. Since their announcement, The Microsoft Open Technologies engineering team has been hard at work bringing Docker and Kubernetes support to Microsoft Azure. Recently, they are announcing that Kubernetes can be used to manage Docker containers on Microsoft Azure. In addition the Azure team has released the Azure Kubernetes Visualizer project which builds upon this work and makes it much easier to experiment with and learn Kubernetes on Azure. Docker is an open-source engine that automates the deployment of any application as a portable, self-sufficient container that will run almost anywhere. Kubernetes is an open source cluster ...

Read More →

The Enterprise Mobility Suite is the comprehensive cloud solution from Microsoft to address your consumerization of IT, BYOD, and SaaS challenges. The suite is the most cost effective way to acquire all of the included cloud services, Microsoft Azure Active Directory Premium, Windows Intune and Microsoft Azure Rights Management. Recently, Microsoft blogged about their views on VMWare’s focus of the at VMWorld with respect to end-user computing and enabling Enterprise Mobility. The focus on the blog post is clear, customers need to compare Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite & Office with what VMware announced today (the VMware Workspace Suite). Microsoft strongly believe that the value being delivered through the Enterprise Mobility Suite is far greater that what VMware can deliver. Some key facts that Microsoft cited to compare their solution with VMWare’s, Fact: Your Enterprise Mobility Strategy Must Include Strong Identity and Access Management Fact: Your Enterprise Mobility Strategy Must Manage Office on ...

Read More →

Microsoft recently announced that from September, they will make available the new service tiers for Azure SQL Database, their database-as-a-service that gives customers greater price performance and business continuity for cloud apps. They are reducing the service tier prices from previously-announced rates, introducing a new performance level and offering hourly billing. Find the details on new service tiers, Details are below. Premium and Standard price reductions:  Final pricing will reflect up to 50% savings from previously-published pricing.  Updated pricing will help more customers benefit from higher performance and greater business continuity. New S0 performance level:  Within the Standard service tier, we will offer a new S0 performance level.  This new lower cost entry point will enable more customers to benefit from the features in the Standard tier. Performance levels provide a defined level of throughput that can be easily dialed up or down, based on performance demands. Hourly billing:  Azure SQL Database ...

Read More →

Microsoft today announced previews of new Azure DocumentDB, a fully-managed transactional NoSQL document database-as-a-service and Azure Search, which enables developers to easily add search capabilities to mobile and cloud applications. They also announced the general availability of Azure HDInsight, our Hadoop-based solution for the cloud, now supports Apache HBase clusters. Azure DocumentDB is the main announcement here. It’s a NoSQL document database-as-a-service that provides the benefits of a NoSQL document database but also adds the query processing and transaction semantics common to relational database systems. Built for the cloud, Azure DocumentDB natively supports JSON documents enabling easy object mapping and iteration of data models for application development. Azure DocumentDB offers programming libraries for several popular languages and platforms, including.Net, Node.js, JavaScript, and Python. We will be contributing the client libraries to the open source community, so they can incorporate improvements into the versions published on Azure.com. Second new thing announced today is ...

Read More →

Microsoft Azure users around the globe are now facing service interruption to cloud services, virtual machines, backup service, websites, and more in multiple regions. Microsoft acknowledged the issue and they are working to restore the services. They also noted that Azure core components are working fine. Starting at 18 Aug 2014 17:49 UTC we are experiencing an interruption to Azure Services, may include Cloud Services, Virtual Machines, Websites, Automation, Service Bus, Backup, Site Recovery, HDInsight, Mobile Services and possible other Azure Services in multiple regions. We are currently evaluating options to restore service. The next update will be provided in 15 minutes. You can check this page for live status. ...

Read More →

Following Satya Nadella and Bill Gates, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer also accepted the ALS challenge by taking ice-bucket water over him. Ballmer has nominated Hal Wright, LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers, and TV football analyst Rick Neuheisel. The als challenge is a great idea Nominated by Spencer Hawes Nominating Doc Rivers, Rick Neuheisel, Hal Wright http://t.co/RFuaNWyZoy — steve b (@stevebmicrosoft) August 15, 2014 Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and many others accepted the challenge and few also promised to make donations for ALS. ...

Read More →

If you are following the cloud computing industry for the past few years, the title should not have surprised you. Microsoft Azure continues its momentum of gaining customers more than Amazon and Google. A survey of CIOs by the research firm Pacific Crest Securities has found enterprise customers are going to spend more money on Microsoft’s Azure and Office 365 than Google and Amazon Web Services. Also, Microsoft was the second most preferred supplier for public and private cloud services behind VMware. For the survey, Pacific Crest checked in with CIOs at 152 companies with 1,000 or more employees — most of them with over 5,000 employees. That at least partially explains the overall strength for Microsoft: Big as it is, Amazon’s AWS tends to be more popular with earlier-stage (and therefore smaller) companies. One thing that large enterprises tend to like, writes Pacific Crest’s Brendan Barnicle, is that Microsoft’s cloud tends ...

Read More →

As Microsoft announced last year, Microsoft started expanding encryption across their services in an effort to reinforce legal protections for their customers’ data last month. All Outlook.com emails are now encrypted like how Office 365 e-mail works already. Even they made encryption improvements for Microsoft Azure guest OS. Today, they are announcing further improvements for encryption on Azure. The encryption improvements, which apply to Microsoft Azure cipher solution for hosted guest virtual machines, provide customers with enhanced protection when connecting and transmitting data. For example, the enhancements to the default Transport Layer Security (TLS)/Secure Socket Layer (SSL) cipher suites helps ensure that connections are better encrypted during transmission.  In addition, enabling Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) helps ensure a different encryption key is used for every connection, making it more difficult for attackers to decrypt connections. As technology advances and attackers continue to adjust their tactics, it’s essential that cloud providers evolve their ...

Read More →

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group today highlighted the number of great enhancements they have added to Microsoft Azure this past month. 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. If you don’t already have a Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using all of the above features today. You can read more details about them at Scott Guthrie’s blog. ...

Read More →

Nancy Williams, a 53-year-old employee of Azure team has filed a lawsuit accusing Microsoft of gender, race and age discrimination. She has mentioned in her lawsuit that she was subjected to discrimination and differential treatment, as well as a hostile work environment based on her gender, race (Hispanic) and age. Her complaint is that her work environment is dominated by male engineers, a “substantial percentage of whom were foreign born and of East Indian heritage,” was not supportive of women employees. The lawsuit alleges Williams’ boss ignored her during meetings, excluded her from important internal communications related to Azure, was dismissive of her suggestions and blamed her for situations that were not her responsibility, while treating his male subordinates favorably. She also questioned her boss, and her boss’ supervisor — also of East Indian descent — over their awarding of a contract to an Indian company over other companies, the suit says. ...

Read More →

Last year, Microsoft announced commitment plans for Azure which offered up to 32% discounts. Now, Microsoft has pulled this offer for new subscribers. However, existing subscribers can continue to use this offer. Make a monthly commitment to Azure for 6 months or 12 months and receive a significant discount of 20-32%. The discount you earn is determined by the monthly monetary amount you commit. We offer two options: Pay Monthly: Minimum commitment $500/month billed monthly Pre-Pay: Pre-Pay for the entire term and get an additional discount If you have an unused commitment balance at the end of a billing month, it will be rolled over as a credit to future billing months until the end of your offer term. Microsoft is yet to comment on this new change in policy. Update: Microsoft provided the following statement regarding this policy change, “We have nothing to share at this time, but Microsoft ...

Read More →

Microsoft last week announced that they have acquired InMage, an emerging company in the cloud-based business continuity solutions. InImage appliance provides private and public cloud migration, unified backup and disaster recovery for today’s 24×7 enterprises. It’s self-contained and scalable architecture includes compute, network and storage resources that enable quick implementations. This significantly reduces the operational cost and time compared to competing products. With this acquisition, Microsoft is trying to make Azure the ideal destination for disaster recovery for virtually every enterprise server in the world. Brad Anderson, VP at Microsoft today detailed the acquisition like providing details like why they bought it, how they are going to use it, etc,. How they first noticed InMage, In the discussions my team and I have had with organizations all over the word, the most common request we’ve heard is a desire to add the ability to replicate and recover OS instances that ...

Read More →

Microsoft yesterday announced that Azure Active Directory SDKs for iOS and Android have reached General Availability and available for download. In addition to that, Microsoft has added support for OS X for Mountain Lion and above. All these SDKs are also open source, so you can participate in the development process as we build these libraries. A few months ago we released previews of these SDKs. They allowed you to easily add Work Accounts support to your existing Android and iOS apps. A Work Account is an identity you use to get work done no matter if at your business or on a college campus. Anywhere you need to get access to your work life you’ll use a Work Account. The Work Account can be tied to an Active Directory server running in your datacenter or live completely in the cloud like when you use Office365. A Work Account will be how your users know ...

Read More →

At the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), Microsoft announced their partnerships with Packer.io and OpenNebula to enable interoperability of applications and services with Windows Azure and Hyper-V. Similarly, last week Microsoft announced their work on Docker’s libswarm project and Kubernetes, two cluster-management solutions available for Docker containers, and several other open source cloud projects. As part of our partnership with Packer.io, we are introducing two Packer plug-ins for Microsoft Azure and Hyper-V, natively supporting Microsoft technologies for the first time. Packer is an open source tool for creating identical machine images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. Packer is a free and open source tool for creating golden images for multiple platforms from a single source configuration. As a result of a collaboration between Microsoft and OpenNebula (C12G Labs), we are introducing a new set of plug-ins to enable the use of OpenNebula for building hybrid cloud deployments ...

Read More →

Speaking at Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Satya Nadella revealed Microsoft’s plans to take on Amazon Web Services in the world of startups. We all know that Microsoft Azure is now competing well against AWS in both PAAS and IAAS. But, Microsoft Azure’s growth is mainly because of Enterprises who are already a Microsoft customer. Hundreds of startups still rely on Amazon for building their product, the problem here is that they don’t even consider Microsoft Azure due to perception issues. Satya exactly spoke about it at the conference. He spoke that Microsoft faces two challenges in reaching out to startups, one is a perception issue and the other is selection bias. He said that a startup even if they use Amazon Web Services, can also use Azure’s Active Directory, there’s also single-sign-on—another identity management service—for Microsoft’s Office 365, startups can use Microsoft’s cloud-based machine learning services to perform advanced predictive analytics while using another ...

Read More →

Today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference, Cisco announced that they have signed a multi-year sales and go-to-market deal with Microsoft. This deal is focused on modernizing data centers through the delivery and acceleration of integrated solutions. Microsoft and Cisco will collaborate through sales, marketing and engineering departments on integrating market leading technologies, including Cisco Unified Computing System” (UCS), Cisco Nexus switching and Microsoft Cloud OS solutions including Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Microsoft Azure. Go-to-Market: Cisco and Microsoft agree to a three-year go-to-market plan focused on transforming data centers through the delivery of integrated solutions for enterprise customers and service providers. In year one, the companies will focus on six countries — the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Australia — with expansion to additional countries in the following years. Cisco and Microsoft will align partner incentive programs to accelerate solutions selling via mutual channel partners. ...

Read More →