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MICROSOFT AZURE

 

MICROSOFT LAUNCHES CONTAINER SUPPORT FOR AZURE COGNITIVE SERVICES

The container support will ‘allow users of Azure Cognitive Services’ pre-made models to deploy AI via Docker containers for edge devices, in the cloud, or in on-premise servers’. If you’re finding that drawing AI predictions from the cloud is expensive, or if you work for a business with privacy or data requirements then you should be as excited as us about it!

Read the announcement here.

 

AZURE RELEASES NEW FEATURES TO SIMPLIFY SECURITY FOR SERVERLESS & WEB APPS

Despite the growing popularity of serverless and PaaS, app security is as important as ever. To reduce the burden of securing your apps Microsoft have announced new security features which reduce the amount of code needed to work with identities and secrets under management. These new features include:

  • Key Vault references for Application Settings
  • User-assigned managed identities
  • Managed identities for App Service on Linux / Web App for Containers
  • ClaimsPrincipal binding data for Azure Functions
  • Support for Access-Control-Allow-Credentials in CORS config

 

Key Vault

Sourcing Application Settings from Key Vault. Source: Microsoft

 

 

INTRODUCING AZURE DEVOPS SERVER 2019 RC1

In November Microsoft announced the first release candidate of Azure DevOps Server 2019, which delivers the codebase of Microsoft Azure DevOps while being optimised for customers who prefer to self-host. The new features it brings to Azure DevOps are:

  • Added support for Azure SQL
  • Release management improvements
  • Upgrading and licensing

 

Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1

Azure DevOps Server 2019 RC1 release management improvements. Source: Microsoft

 

NEW SQL DATA WAREHOUSE FEATURES ANNOUNCED

Following the success of SQL Data Warehouse Gen2 in April this year Microsoft have now announced new features to support our growing data volume and analytics workloads. The new features consist of:

  • Enhanced workload management
  • Row-level security
  • Improved operational experiences

Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Added capabilities of Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Source: Microsoft

 

MICROSOFT ANNOUNCES AZURE DEDICATED HSM AVAILABILITY

Designed to meet customers strict security and compliance requirements, the Microsoft Azure Dedicated Hardware Security Module (HSM) is provisioned on your virtual network and provides cryptographic key storage in Azure. The Dedicated HSM allows you to migrate HSM-protected applications, maintain security and compliance, and manage HSMs in the cloud.

Read more about the key benefits here.

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

Microsoft announces free MongoDB Atlas tier for learning and early development

Azure AD group-based license management now generally available

Azure struggles with multi-factor authentication

12 ways Azure beats AWS (see our AWS section for the counter argument!)

 

AMAZON WEB SERVICES

 

TRANSFER DATA TO AND FROM AWS UP TO 10X FASTER

AWS’ new data transfer service, AWS DataSync, makes it easy to automate moving data between on-premises storage and Amazon S3 or EFS. By automatically handling many of the tasks related to data transfers that can slow down migrations or burden your IT operations, DataSync promises to transfer your data up to 10x faster than open source tools. And the icing on the cake? You only pay for the data you copy. Interested? Get started here.

 

AWS DataSync

AWS DataSync: How it works. Source: AWS

 

INTRODUCING THE AWS AMPLIFY CONSOLE

Build, deploy and host cloud-powered modern web apps with the Amplify Console. The service accelerates your application release cycle, simplifies production and development workflows, automatically updates the associated DNS records and generates a free HTTPS certificate. Get started with AWS Amplify Console now.

 

AWS Amplify Console

AWS Amplify Console offers scalable hosting for static web apps with serverless backends. Source: AWS

 

PREDICTIVE SCALING FOR EC2 AVAILABLE NOW

AWS put smiles on everyone’s faces at re:Invent last month when they announced predictive scaling for EC2. Powered by machine learning, AWS can now predict your expected traffic and EC2 usage up to 48 hours in advance, allowing you to scale proactively – improving user experience and helping you to avoid over-provisioning, in turn reducing your EC2 costs.

 

EC2 predictive scaling

Predictive scaling forecasts and scheduled actions. Source: AWS

 

HIBERNATE YOUR EC2 INSTANCES

Last month AWS announced the ability to launch EC2 instances, set them up as desired, hibernate them (paying only for the EBS volumes and elastic IP addresses attached to them), and then bring them back to life when required. The hibernation process stores the in-memory state of the instance, along with its private and elastic IP addresses, allowing it to pick up exactly where it left off.

 

Hibernate EC2 instances

Hibernating your EC2 Instance. Source: AWS

 

NEW AWS LAMBDA FEATURES ANNOUNCED

During re:Invent AWS announced new Lambda features to make it more developer friendly and satisfy customer requirements. The new features include:

  • Support for new languages – e.g. Ruby and C++
  • Support for IDEs – e.g. PyCharm, IntelliJ and Visual Studio
  • Lambda Layers – to enable developers to bring in system components and compose multiple pieces together
  • Step Functions Service Integration – to allow developers to build much more complex serverless applications that perform an action and trigger other Amazon services

Have a read of the new features in more detail here.

 

AMAZON S3 GETS SOME EXTRA ATTENTION

Additional security layers, new storage class and a fully-managed Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) service? Looks like Amazon has paid some serious attention to their Simple Storage Service (S3)!

Increased protection: It’s no secret that Amazon’s S3 buckets are often misconfigured by users resulting in customer data being exposed but it looks like Amazon have taken notice and have added another layer of protection with the introduction of Amazon S3 Block Public Access. The new service gives users the ability to block existing public access and ensure access isn’t granted to newly created access. Find out how to get started here.

S3 Intelligent-Tiering: The new Amazon S3 storage class designed for customers who want to optimise storage costs automatically when data access patterns change, without performance impact or operational overhead. You can find the announcement here.

Fully-managed SFTP service: A secure file transfer service that stores your data in Amazon S3 and simplifies the migration of SFTP workflows to AWS. Get started with AWS Transfer for SFTP here.

 

AWS ANNOUNCES NEW OUTPOSTS SERVICE

In a bid to dive into the hybrid-cloud world, AWS have announced their new Outposts service which will be coming in the new year. The fully managed service targets customers looking to move to the cloud but who have workloads that for one reason or another need to stay on-premise. Scott Carey described the service perfectly when he summarised ‘customers will get AWS configured hardware and software delivered to their on-premise datacentre to run apps in a cloud-native manner without having to run it in AWS data centres’.

AWS Outposts

How AWS Outposts works. Source: AWS

 

 

INTRODUCING AWS TRANSIT GATEWAY

AWS’ new service promises to easily scale connectivity across thousands of Amazon VPCs, AWS accounts, and on-premise networks by creating one single connection from the central gateway into each Amazon VPC or on-premise datacentre.

AWS Transit Gateway

AWS Transit Gateway: how it works. Source: AWS

 

AWS Transit Gateway offers easier connectivity, better visibility and control, and on-demand bandwidth. Find out more here.

 

IN OTHER NEWS:

Amazon launches Managed Streaming for Kafka

Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports Oracle Java

Save up to 85% with Amazon EFS Infrequent Access Storage Class

Lift & shift your windows applications to AWS with Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

AWS opens up ‘Machine Learning University’ to developers

AWS announces storage service that costs ¼ of the price of its existing Glacier system

AWS rolls out new AMD-based R5, T3 and M5 Instances

11 ways AWS beats Azure (and Google Cloud) (see our Azure section for the counter argument!)

Izzi Fuller

Izzi Fuller

Digital Marketer

Izzi heads up the N4Stack Marketing function and loves getting stuck into writing - whether its a blog, collateral or website content.

She took a leap into the world of Data, DevOps and Cloud after previously working with SaaS in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare prior to that.

Get to know more about Izzi here.

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