Microsoft Launches New Cloud Services for Azure Platform
By Jef Cozza / Top Tech News. Updated September 29, 2015.
Redmond is introducing a slew of updates and new features for its Azure cloud platform at a conference scheduled for later today. Among the upgrades Microsoft plans to introduce at its “AzureCon” event is the new Azure Container Service, an open source container scheduling and orchestration service.
The service will offer customers an open source environment for running container workloads using both Docker and Apache Mesos. In addition, it will include open source components such as Marathon (for launching and scaling container-based applications) and Chronos (for distributed cron and batch workloads). The service, which will also be able to deploy, scale, and orchestrate Swarm-based solutions, will be available in preview by the end of the year.
Big Data and IoT
Azure is one of the largest cloud services in the world, with 24 regions worldwide, more than AWS and Google combined. To underscore its commitment to maintaining that leadership position, Microsoft said it will be adding India to its list of regions.
Besides expanding its container service offerings, Microsoft said the updates will focus on several specific areas, including big data, mobile apps development, faster cloud deployment, the Internet of Things, and intelligent infrastructure. In particular, the company is launching an Azure IoT suite of tools that will work with a company's existing processes, devices, and systems to help build and scale IoT projects.
“It is purpose-built to address common business needs for IoT, such as remote monitoring, asset management and predictive maintenance,” said Jason Zander, CVP of the Microsoft Azure Team, in a statement. In addition, Microsoft also announced a new Microsoft Azure Certified for IoT program, which will test and certify Microsoft partners’ offerings for the IoT.
Yesterday, Redmond announced that the Cortana Analytics Suite, a managed big data and analytics suite, is now available for purchase. It also announced an expanded version of Azure Data Lake, which will now include a store and analytics service in addition to its existing managed Hadoop-as-a-service offering, Azure HDInsight.
New Cloud Security Features
Microsoft said it will also be launching a new Azure Security Center. The security center is an integrated security product that aims to give customers end-to-end visibility and control of the security of their Azure resources. In addition to enabling integrated security, monitoring and policy management, Azure Security Center will also provide customers with security recommendations based on information gathered from their deployments.
The service will analyze information gathered from a customer and compare it against global threat intelligence aggregated by Microsoft to help detect threats before they happen, the company said. Azure Security Center will be broadly available for Azure customers by the end of the year.
Microsoft is also planning to introduce the N-series, a new family of Azure virtual machines with GPU capabilities. Available in preview within the next few months, the N-series will feature the Nvidia Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform as well as Nvidia GRID 2.0 technology.