Azure Storage Import/Export Hits GA, Manage StorSimple Virtual Arrarys in Azure Portal

New Azure Portal, Azure Import/Export Service GA, StorSimple virtual arrays. Project Bletchley - Corda Distributed Ledger available on Azure.

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Azure Import/Export Service, which enables transfer of data in and out of Azure Blob Storage by shipping data on harddrives today receives some improvements including the general availability of Azure Import/Export Service in the new Azure portal and brings you the abilities including: "You can now manage import and export jobs across all storage accounts from same pane," "Also, you can now view status of overall job and of each drives individually with percentage complete during data transfer."

"Obtain a link to error log in case of a warnings/failure encountered during import or export job," or "Reminder warning appear now when you miss updating tracking information to avoid delays in the job-processing," explains Azure team.

In addition to the Classic Storage accounts, you can now create Import and Export jobs targeting Azure Resource Manager account with Hot and Cool access tiers.

Also, Azure Import/Export can now process import or export jobs using 2.5" Internal SATA drives and internal SSD drives, in addition to 3.5" internal SATA II/III disks.

An improved WAImportExport client tool available now, adds multi-drive and multi-source support and provides the following enhancements:

  • Ability to copy data from multiple source directories in a single command.
  • Ability to restructure the destination data from various source directories to different destination virtual directories.
  • Ability to prepare multiple disks using a single command line.
  • Automatic spreading of data across multiple disks.
  • Central control of how each disk and data are handled using comma-separated (CSV) file.

In addition, a new flag /skipwrite in WAImportExport V1 release of the tool allow "the disk preparation be split into two stages: data-copy using any OS/tool and post-processing using the Import/Export tool v1."

Finally, Azure Import/Export service is now available in Canada, US Gov and China now.

You can download WAImportExport V1 version of the tool here, and for further information, refer to this WAImportExport V1 usage guide.

Azure Import/Export in Azure portal

The availability of open source R3's Corda to Project Bletchley, expand today its distributed ledger platform support on Azure to enable the next generation of distributed business applications with a new R3 virtual machine image in the Azure Marketplace is now available and that "easily and quickly let you deploy a multi-member Corda demo network on a single VM."

This offering demonstrates the capabilities of Corda through real world scenarios, including an interest rate swap deal and Standard Initial Margin Model (SIMM) valuation. This is the first click-stop of many towards R3's financial-grade distributed ledger platform offering on Azure.

Some of Corda's key design choices include: "Designed for Business: Recording and management of financial transactions, within existing legal and regulatory frameworks," "Privacy First: Data sharing restricted to entitled participants of a transaction," "Modular Consensus: Support for multiple consensus algorithms."

For more additional information, download this technical white paper.

The StorSimple Virtual Device Series is now available in Azure portal, and using this enhanced user experience, users can easily manage their virtual arrays. To create a new StorSimple Device Manager in the Azure portal to manage your virtual arrays, navigate to: + NEW –> Storage –> StorSimple Virtual Device Series.

Here's what is new:

  • Enhanced user experience and improved navigation
  • Optimized and multiple workflows for efficient task completion
  • Integrated Support and Diagnostics experiences
  • Support for inbuilt Azure roles and ability to manage access through custom roles

StorSimple virtual arrays in Azure portal

Finally, LiveTiles is now fully integrated with the Power BI, allowing customers for the first time to visualize their data and other business content on a single pane of glass.

"With our new Power BI Tile, you can now easily combine visualized data alongside SharePoint documents, Yammer, Skype, external media and content from other third party applications. This is the only solution in the world that allows you to simply drag and drop the tile onto the canvas without needing to write a single line of code," said LiveTiles CTO Peter Nguyen-Brown.

LiveTiles integrates with Power BI Tile

Microsoft also notes that with the deprecation of Azure Access Control Service (ACS), they've now removed all references to ACS in the Dynamics SDK authentication code. Effective from versions "Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 Update 1 (v8.1.1) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 (v8.2), we removed Live ID support and ACS dependencies on the server-side," writes Microsoft.

Also, Microsoft.Xrm.Client is replaced with Microsoft.Xrm.Tooling.Connector in the CRM 2016 (8.x) SDK client, because "it was not compliant with the OAuth changes."

You can use current Microsoft Dynamics 365 Software Development Kit (SDK) to access Microsoft Dynamics CRM back to version 6.x for both auth and messaging. However, when upgrading to Dynamics 365, "make sure you use the latest Microsoft Dynamics 365 Software Development Kit (SDK)," writes Microsoft.

The table below outlines the current supported matrix for other SDK clients:

Dynamics 365 SDK Backwards Compatibility

Update 12/23: Last week, the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) approved the Chula Vista Police Department in San Diego County's use of Azure and Microsoft Office 365 government cloud services for criminal justice information.

CLETS provides law enforcement and criminal justice agencies access to FBI and state criminal justice information, along with the ability to communicate messages to other agencies within California, other states and Canada. As the interface to criminal justice information systems, CLETS approval is required for access to critical, life-saving public safety information.

General availability of Larger Block Blobs in Microsoft Azure Storage, increases the maximum file size from 195 GB to 4.77 TB.

The increased blob size better supports a diverse range of scenarios, from media companies storing and processing 4K and 8K videos to cancer researchers sequencing DNA. "We have increased the maximum allowable block size from 4 MB to 100 MB, while maintaining support for up to 50,000 blocks committed to a single Blob," writes company. This size increase only applies to "Block Blobs, and the maximum size of Append Blobs (195 GB) and Page Blobs (1 TB) remains unchanged. There are no billing changes," microsoft added.

With new larger block blob size, "mutability offers even more significant performance and cost savings, especially for workloads where portions of a large object are frequently modified," company said. Larger Block Blobs are supported by most recent release of the .NET Client Library (version 8.0.0), with support for Java, Node.js and AzCopy rolling out over the next few weeks. You can also directly use REST API as always.

For a deeper dive into the Block Blobs service including object mutability, watch the video below: