The famous Internet of Things would be just so many useless streams of bits without a place to store them before analysis can be done. Therefore, the importance of the Cloud. Microsoft has jumped in big time with its Azure Cloud.
Early last month, Microsoft held AzureCon and announced new solutions spanning containers, security, infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT) that enable organizations of all sizes to transform their business in today’s mobile-first, cloud-first world.
“We live in a connected world, and the intelligent cloud is powering it all,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud + Enterprise Division. “As data and devices continue to proliferate, there is vast opportunity for businesses to tap into their data to make their applications more intelligent. Through our offerings across applications, data and IoT, and cloud infrastructure, we are enabling companies to innovate more easily and rapidly, using the tools and platforms they know and love.”
Innovation through choice and simplicity
Applications are at the heart of business growth and transformation, and containerization is an increasingly popular way to maximize application value. Furthering its commitment to container technology and extending customer choice, Microsoft announced a new Azure Container Service that will combine the openness of Apache Mesos and Docker with the hyper-scale of Azure for container orchestration and management. With the service, organizations using Azure will now be able to easily deploy and configure Mesos to cluster and schedule Dockerized applications across multiple virtual hosts. Unlike many other container services in market today, this offering is based on open source to enable customer choice across the ecosystem and will support Windows Server containers in the future. The service will be available for preview by the end of the year.
Internet of Things and big data
The intelligent cloud is powered by data. Microsoft announced that its Azure IoT Suite is now available for customers to purchase. The Azure IoT Suite integrates with a company’s existing processes, devices and systems to build and scale IoT projects across their business using preconfigured solutions. In addition, Microsoft announced the new Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT program, an ecosystem of partners whose offerings have been tested and certified so businesses can take their next IoT project from testing to production, more quickly. Current partners include BeagleBone, Freescale Intel Corporation, Raspberry Pi, Resin.io, Seeed Technology Inc., and Texas Instruments Inc.
Microsoft also announced the expansion of Azure Data Lake. This includes Azure Data Lake Analytics, Azure Data Lake Store, a new programming language U-SQL, and Azure HDInsight general availability on Linux.
Security is often cited as a top concern when moving to the cloud. Microsoft announced Azure Security Center, a new integrated experience that gives customers visibility and control of the security of their Azure resources without impeding agility, and helps customers stay ahead of threats even as they evolve.
This service integrates with security solutions from companies such as Barracuda, Checkpoint, Cisco Systems Inc., CloudFlare, F5 Networks, Imperva, Incapsula and Trend Micro Inc. In addition to enabling integrated security, monitoring and policy management, Azure Security Center also provides recommendations. By analyzing information gathered from customers’ deployments and comparing with global threat intelligence aggregated by Microsoft, the service introduces ability to detect threats while taking the guesswork out of cloud security. Azure Security Center will be broadly available for Azure customers by the end of the year.
Finally, continuing investments to deliver industry-leading compute capacity, Microsoft is announcing the N-series, a new family of Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) powered by NVIDIA GPUs. GPUs have long been used for compute and graphics-intensive workloads. Microsoft is the first hyper-scale provider to announce VMs featuring NVIDIA Grid 2.0 technology and the industry-leading Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform for professional graphics applications, deep learning, high-performance computing and more. A preview will be available in a few months.
Microsoft announced the Azure Compute Pre-Purchase Plan, a new pricing program designed for customers with steady state, predictable workloads on Azure. With this new offer, customers who pre-purchase Azure compute for one year can realize cost savings of up to 63 percent. This plan will be available globally starting Dec. 1.