Azure: New Marketplace, Network Improvements, New Batch Service, Automation Service, more

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Today we released a major set of updates to Microsoft Azure. Today’s updates include: Marketplace: Announcing Azure Marketplace and partnerships with key technology partners Networking: Network Security Groups, Multi-NIC, Forced Tunneling, Source IP Affinity, and much more Batch Computing: Public Preview of the new Azure Batch Computing Service Automation: General Availability of the Azure Automation Service Anti-malware: General Availability of Microsoft Anti-malware for Virtual Machines and Cloud Services Virtual Machines: General Availability of many more VM extensions – PowerShell DSC, Octopus, VS Release Management All of these improvements are now available to use immediately (note that some features are still in preview).  Below are more details about them: Marketplace: Announcing Azure Marketplace and partnerships with key technology partners Last week, at our Clicking the Marketplace tile will enable you to explore a large selection of applications, VM images, and services that you can provision into your Azure subscription: Using the marketplace provides a super easy way to take advantage of a rich ecosystem of applications and services integrated to run great with Azure.  Today’s marketplace release includes multi-VM templates to run Hadoop clusters powered by Cloudera or Hortenworks, Linux VMs powered by Unbuntu, CoreOS, Suse, CentOS, Microsoft SharePoint Server Farms, Cassandra Clusters powered by DataStax, and a wide range of security virtual appliances. You can click any of the items in the gallery to learn more about them and optionally deploy them.  Doing so will walk you though a simple to follow creation wizard that enables you to optionally configure how/where they will run, as well as display any additional pricing required for the apps/services/VM images that you select. For example, below is all it takes to stand-up an 8-node DataStax Enterprise cluster: Solutions you purchase through the Marketplace will be automatically billed to your Azure subscription (avoiding the need for you to setup a separate payment method).  Virtual Machine images will support the ability to bring your own license or rent the image license by the hour (which is ideal for proof of concept solutions or cases where you need the solution for only a short period of time).  Both Azure Direct customers as well as customers who pay using an Enterprise Agreement can take advantage of the Azure Marketplace starting today. You can New VPN Gateway Sizes To cater to the growing hybrid connectivity throughput needs and the number of cross premise sites, we are announcing the availability of a higher performance Azure VPN gateway. This will enable a faster ExpressRoute and Site-to-Site VPN gateways with more tunnels. Operations and audit logs for VNet Gateways and ExpressRoute You can now view operations logs for Virtual Network Gateways and ExpressRoute circuits. The Editing experience for runbooks can also be performed directly in the administration portal: Pricing Available as a pay-as-you-go service, Automation is billed based on the number of job run time minutes used in a given Azure subscription.  500 minutes of free job runtime credits are also included each month for Azure customers to use at no charge. Learn More To learn more about Azure Automation, check out the following resources: The scale of Azure helps batch computing customers get their work done faster, experiment with different designs, run larger and more precise models, and test a large number of different scenarios without having to invest in and maintain large clusters. Virtual Machines: General Availability of even more VM Extensions In addition to enabling the Microsoft Anti-Malware extension for Virtual Machines, today’s release also includes support for a whole bunch more new VM extensions that you can enable within your Virtual Machines.  These extensions can be added and configured using the same EXTENSIONS tile on Virtual Machine resources within the Azure Preview Portal (the same screen-shot as in the Anti-malware section above). The new extensions enabled today include: PowerShell Desired State Configuration The PowerShell Desired State Configuration Extension can be used to deploy and configure Azure VMs using   Octopus Visual Studio Release Management Release Management for Visual Studio is a continuous delivery solution that automates the release process through all of your environments from TFS through to production. Visual Studio Release Management is integrated with TFS and you can configure multi-stage release pipelines to automatically deploy and validate your applications on multiple environments. With the new Visual Studio Release Management extension, VMs can be preconfigured with the necessary components for required for Release Management to operate. Summary Today’s Microsoft Azure release enables a ton of great new scenarios, and makes building applications hosted in the cloud even easier. 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.  Then visit the Microsoft Azure Developer Center to learn more about how to build apps with it. Hope this helps, Scott P.S. In addition to blogging, I am also now using Twitter for quick updates and to share links. Follow me at: twitter.com/scottgu

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