Azure Advisor Preview, Azure App Services Continuous Delivery, New Azure PaaS Services Available

Public preview of Azure Advisor, new Azure PaaS services for Azure Stack TP2, Azure Media Redactor public preview, Azure App Services Continuous Delivery.

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Public preview of Azure Advisor, personalized recommendation engine that provides proactive best practices guidance for optimally configuring Azure resources by analyzing resource configuration and usage telemetry to detect risks and potential issues.

It then draws on Azure best practices to recommend solutions that will reduce your cost and improve the security, performance, and reliability of your applications.

To get started with Azure Advisor, login to the Azure portal. Pick your subscription and click on the Get recommendations button. Depending on resources provisioned in the selected subscription, you should see a total number and the list of recommendations.

Azure Advisor lets you filter recommendations by resource group and see business impact for each recommendation. You can also view the recommendations based on category. You also gets suggested actions for each recommendation as well as step by step guidance that walks you through implementing the fixes.

Azure Advisor also provides inline actions, and if you don't intend to take an immediate action, "you can snooze a recommendation for a period," as well "dismissing a recommendation" is possible by just "choosing snooze and select 'Never'".

You can learn more about Azure Advisor including the list of supported recommendations here.

Azure Advisor Public Preview

Azure Advisor Public Preview.

New Azure PaaS services available for Azure Stack Technical Preview 2 (TP2), includes Azure App Service (Web Apps, API apps, and Mobile apps) and updated versions of SQL/ MySQL database.

TP2 has many new capabilities that will enrich Azure-consistency experience, including new Azure services such Queue Storage and Key Vault. Once deployed, "you can build powerful web and mobile applications between Azure and Azure Stack, enabled by true hybrid cloud consistency."

Visit this technical documentation for guideance on deployment, to know more about the innovation in these releases by watching this video:

Azure Stream Analytics jobs will be able to output to Power BI streaming datasets, and "will be enable you to create streaming tiles based on Stream Analytics output."

This new functionality for Stream Analytics outputs including: "Showing the latest value from the Stream Analytics output," "Showing the values over a set time window," "Lower latency between when the data is pushed to Power BI and when the visuals update."

This feature is available in private preview, to get access email with your Azure subscription ID and the region at ASAtoPBIStreaming@microsoft.com.

Starting today, Azure Media Redactor public preview is available in all public Azure regions as well as US Government and China datacenters as "free for the time being."

There is currently a ten minute limit on processed video length which will be removed with the next release.

Also Azure Media Redactor Visualizer open source tool, designed to help developers just starting with the annotations format with parsing and using the output is released today.

To get started with Redactor, just use the open source Azure Media Services Explorer workflow AMSE) tool on GitHub.

Azure Media Services Explorer workflow

Azure Media Services Explorer workflow

Finally, preview of the Continuous Delivery feature for App Services in the Azure portal released today "simplifies setting up a robust deployment pipeline." "You can setup a pipeline right from the Azure portal that builds, runs tests, and deploys to staging slot and then to production for every code commit/batch of code commits," writes Microsoft.

You can even choose to deploy automatically or setup manual approval for any deployment going to production.

To start using this feature, navigate to app's menu blade in the Azure portal and clicking on APP DEPLOYMENT > Continuous Delivery (Preview). As a part of Continuous Delivery setup, the following sequence of events occurs (verbatim):

  • Azure Continuous Delivery creates a build and a release definition in the Team Services account you specified, together with a service endpoint to connect to Azure.
  • If you chose to create a new Azure App Service instance for load tests, and/or a new slot for staging, these are created in your Azure subscription.
  • After setup has completed successfully, a build is triggered that builds and packages the application for deployment.
  • After the build has completed successfully, a new release is created and the deployment triggered.
  • If you chose to include a load test, the latest changes are first deployed to the Azure App Service you selected, and then the load test is executed after the deployment succeeds.
  • If you chose to use a staging slot, the latest changes are deployed to the staging slot and then a slot swap is performed to complete the continuous delivery workflow, microsoft explained.
Azure App Services Continuous Delivery

Azure App Services Continuous Delivery

Preview of continuous integration and deployment of multicontainer Linux applications is now available using Visual Studio, Visual Studio Team Services, and the open source Visual Studio Code.

To continue enabling deployment agility, these tools provide excellent dev-to-test-to-prod deployment experiences for container workloads using a choice of development and CI/CD solutions.

Key uses of this integration include:

Create a continuous pipeline to Azure Container Service with Visual Studio Team Services. In addition to the Azure CLI, similar experiences for setting up CI/CD are also available directly in the Azure Portal (in the ACS blade) and the Visual Studio IDE.

Use the Azure Container Registry to store images, customers can store Docker-formatted images for all types of container deployments.

Azure Container Registry integrates well with orchestrators hosted in Azure Container Service, including Docker Swarm, DC/OS and Kubernetes.

Azure Container Registry is a private registry for hosting container images.

The continuous integration and deployment tools will push the container images to the Azure Container Registry after a build. Later, it will pull images from the container registry and deploy them into the ACS cluster.