OMS Container Solution for Linux, Power BI Desktop, VMM 2012 R2 UR11

Microsoft Cloud Platform release announcements OMS Container Solution for Linux, VMM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 11, Git in TFS, Power BI Desktop, Power BI publisher for Excel.

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Public Preview of OMS Container Solution for Linux has now been announced as we reported a couple of days back.

What is OMS Container Solution for Linux?: "Basically Docker container is an open-source technology that brings to you lightweight, pared-down virtual machines that can be easily provisioned, you can use to build, run, test, and deploy distributed applications inside software containers."

As containers are now being used widely in production and are exploding in numbers, demand for container monitoring has increased. However, a centralized approach to logging and monitoring is required, this is where OMS Container Solution for Linux helps with these needs.

OMS Container Solution for Linux

Docker Version 1.8 thru 1.11.2 supports a wide varieties of the (c64) Linux operating systems including: "Ubuntu 14.04, 15.10, CoreOS(stable), Amazon Linux 2016.03, openSUSE 13.2, CentOS 7, SLES 12, RHEL 7.2."

With the OMS Container Solution, you'll be able to:

  • Centralize and correlate millions of logs from Docker containers at scale
  • See real-time information about Container status, image, and affinity
  • Quickly diagnose "noisy neighbor" containers that can cause problems on Container hosts
  • Retrieve, visualize, and monitor CPU, memory, storage, and network usage with 10-second real-time performance metrics
  • View detailed and secure audit trail of all Docker actions on Container hosts, explains Microsoft.

If you would like to try it out, get a free Microsoft Operations Management Suite subscription to test Container Solution features here. Additonally, you can also get a free subscription for Microsoft Azure here.

Also, now available is the Update Rollup 11 for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager.

According to KB3184831 article there are two updates: "One update for VMM Server and one for the Administrator console."

However, these updates are available only for manual download.

For more information on VMM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 11 (UR11), check out thos KB3184831 article.

OMS Security and Audit solution provides security insights about many sources of data from Windows and Linux machines. Though, you can add any source that emits Syslog to OMS, but today, Microsoft has announced a new capability to parse Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) logs and integrate them into OMS Security and Audit solution.

"After you forward your Cisco ASA logs to OMS via the Linux agent, OMS would not just index the log string but also parse most of the messages that are related to security," the team explains.

This makes it easy to search the data and use it in queries, alerts, and dashboards.

You can read the instructions about how to configure the Cisco ASA integration here.

Illustration of an overview of the Cisco ASA log processing architecture

iLlustration of Cisco ASA log processing architecture in OMS security

For those who develop extensions for Visual Studio Team Services or Team Foundation Server, the company has announced a new requirement during publishing, "when updating an extension on the Marketplace, the updated extension's version number must be greater than the published extension's version number," explains the team.

"Version number must increase each time an extension is published. Extension: fabrikam.my-extension Current version: 0.9.0 Updated version: 0.8.0."

This change only impacts Team Services extensions, not Visual Studio Code extensions.

Microsoft is also making it easier to sign into Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), which will bring some new login screens when connect to the service.

The company notes, that they're aligning "more closely with the Azure Active Directory (AAD) & Office 365 (O365) login processes as a part of this change."

How will this change impact you?

Starting soon, "you'll see a much simpler screen that simply asks you for your username, which might be your email address or your User Principal Name (UPN) if you're an AAD or O365 customer," explained Microsoft:

New simplified Microsoft VSTS login page

Microsoft is also making working with Git in Visual Studio Team Services and Team Foundation Server even easier with the "Git desktop client Tower" releasing a Windows version.

Today, Tower is used by 70,000 users on the Mac, and now comes with a dedicated integrations for VSTS and TFS services.

With that, "cloning and creating repositories is now just a click away" – and "many other Git tasks become easier and more accessible," stated MS team.

You can get Tower Windows version here.

In a new blog post, the VC team reporting that all of the features and fixes in Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 including optimizer improvements for std::abs(), std::min(), std::max(), and std::pow(), are also available in Visual Studio "15" Preview 4.

Additionally, the team notes "a new major IDE version would be releasing soon, as they are currently adding features to the compiler and STL since VS 2015 RTM in a highly compatible manner."

Specifically, "VS 2015 and VS "15" will have the same major compiler version (19) and their STLs will be binary-compatible, and this compatible compiler and STL will remain available throughout the lifecycle of VS "15"," explains VC team.

This implies that the STL's DLL will continue to be named msvcp140.dll. "At some point in the future, we expect to have a compiler version 20 and a binary-incompatible STL again," the team said.

With the release of Visual Studio "15" Preview 4, most of these features are coming alive, now is a great time to take them for a spin, check out the description of all the planned language features in C# 7.0.

Though, C# 7.0 adds a number of new features and brings a focus on data consumption, code simplification and performance. Perhaps the biggest features are "tuples", which make it easy to have multiple results, and pattern matching which simplifies code that is conditional on the shape of data.

That's not all, there are many other features big and small, read more over here.

With this month's release of Power BI publisher for Excel, improves the experience of connecting to your data from within Excel, as you can now: "Connect to data in read-only groups", and "Connect to reports and datasets that were shared with you."

Additionally, Power BI publisher for Excel "will now detect a connection to data with no measures, and notify you with a link to the documentation on how to solve this issue," explained the BI team.

You can read more on this issue in the documentation here.

Also release today is the 2016 August Power BI Desktop update, which bring several new reporting features, new data connectors, auto-recover desktop files, and new analytics pane.

The new analytics pane accroding to team is the "centralized place for you to find all the analytical capabilities in Power BI and help in your data exploration."

Additionally, the SAP BW connector, and inline hierarchies is now Generally Available starting with this update.

The SAP BW Connector can be found under the Database category within the "Get Data" dialog.

Here's the complete list of August updates:

Report View

  • Drill on line chart
  • Continuous axis for Date axis
  • General availability of inline hierarchies
  • Predefined matrix styles
  • Reorder fields in charts and tooltips
  • Color formatting for KPI visual

Analytics

  • Analytics pane
  • Dynamic reference lines

Data Connectors

  • Impala DirectQuery support
  • Snowflake connector
  • Improved Web connector – Web page previews
  • General availability of SAP BW connector

Query Editing Improvements

  • Option to Merge/Append as New Query

For a visual summary on updates, you can watch the video under or download Power BI Desktop client here:

Just in case, you missed anything, below you can find Microsoft Cloud Platform Release Announcements for August 24, 2016:

  • PowerApps | Public preview – Common data model for PowerApps, read here.
  • Operations Management Suite | OMS Security, read here
  • PowerShell (open sourcing) | Public, read here
  • Windows Server 2016 | VMware Migration offer – Available to purchase
  • Azure Premium Storage GA – new geo-availability | US North Central GA

    "Azure Premium Storage is a solid-state drive (SSD)–based storage solution designed to support I/O-intensive workloads."

    With Premium Storage, "you can add up to 64 TB of persistent storage per virtual machine (VM), with more than 80,000 IOPS per VM and extremely low latencies for read operations." Microsoft explained.

  • MySQL in-app for Azure App Service | Public, read here.
  • OMS Log Analytics Linux Management | GA

    Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) now offers expanded Linux monitoring capabilities with the general availability of the OMS Log Analytics agent for Linux.

    Built on the Open Source project FluentD, the agent provides actionable insights for your applications and workloads across major Linux distributions.

    You can onboard your Linux systems into OMS and get rich analytics including near real-time performance metrics. You can collect, correlate and search on Linux system logs and process metrics. You can also bring alerts from other monitoring solutions such as Nagios and Zabbix.

    You can try Operations Management Suite today here.

  • Operations Management Suite | Docker container support
  • Azure SQL Database – P15 | GA -New Azure SQL Database Premium performance level, P15, generally available.

    P15 offers 4,000 Database Transaction Units (DTUs)—that's twice as powerful as P11 offering—with extremely fast transactional performance, real-time analytics, and up to 1 TB of storage.

    An advantage to running a SQL database on Azure is being able to scale performance up or down, on the fly, to adapt to changing workload demands.

    This new performance level lets you scale up database performance for explosive growth of application workloads.

  • Azure SQL Database with Azure Active Directory authentication, now generally available.

    Azure SQL Database offers a set of simple-to-implement, built-in features to help secure data from malicious and unauthorized users.

    With SQL Database support for Azure AD authentication, you now have a mechanism of connecting to SQL Database by using identities in Azure AD for managed and federated domains. With Azure AD authentication, customers can manage the identities of database users and other Microsoft services in one central location.

  • Cognitive Services | PP – Academic Knowledge and Computer Vision APIs

    Microsoft Cognitive Services are a collection of APIs which enable developers to tap into high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge and search technologies, developed with decades of Microsoft research to build intelligent apps.

    The following APIs are in public preview today:

    • Computer Vision API, which gives you the tools to understand the contents of any image. Create tags identifying objects, beings, or actions present in the image, and then craft coherent sentences to describe it. With Computer Vision API, you are able to extract rich information from images to categorize and process visual data—and protect users from unwanted content.
    • Academic Knowledge API, which helps to tap into the wealth of academic content by applying the Knowledge Exploration Service to the Microsoft Academic Graph. Users can start from natural language queries, or you can ping the graph directly through structured query expressions.
    • Computer Vision API and Academic Knowledge API are available as standalone services, and public preview pricing went into effect on August 4, 2016.
  • Power BI Desktop | GA
  • Power BI service | GA

    More new and most frequently requested Power BI features are now available to end users and business analysts in the month of July.

    Real-time streaming (preview) provides functionality which makes it even easier to stream real-time data to Power BI, and to see that data light up in your dashboards.

    Auditing (preview) enables logging and monitoring of user activities.

    Azure Active Directory (AAD) Conditional Access provides the ability to set user permissions using AAD.

  • Azure SQL Database – Surface Area Updates | GA – JSON Support

    Now you can query and store both relational and textual data formatted in JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) using Azure SQL Database.

    Azure SQL Database provides simple built-in functions that read data from JSON text, transform JSON text into table and format data from SQL tables as JSON. JSON in Azure SQL Database enables you to build and exchange data with modern web, mobile, and HTM5/JavaScript single-page applications.

    Now you can easily integrate your Azure SQL Database with any service that uses JSON.

  • SQL Server Migration Assistant for Datazen | GA, read here.

This week, at LinuxCon, Microsoft announced the general availability of the OMS Agent for Linux.

Built on the open source project, FluentD, the GA OMS Agent for Linux brings enterprise grade management of Linux servers with ability to centralize Syslogs, Nagios + Zabbix alerts, reports the compnay.

In addition, it also brings 50+ real-time performance metrics, and custom application data in the powerful Log Analytics platform.

The OMS Agent for Linux enables you to:

  • Centralize and scan billions of syslog events from network devices.
  • Visualize and monitor real-time Linux process performance across hundreds of achines.
  • Bring in custom application data through one of the 300+ FluentD plugins.
  • Centralize your existing monitoring infrastructure with Nagios and Zabbix alerts.
  • Onboard your existing performance collectors with CollectD and StatsD.

Here's a video that details the GA announcement of Linux Management with Operations Management Suite:

Get a free Microsoft Operations Management Suite (#MSOMS) subscription here.