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Azure App Service Public Preview, Data Lake Services, Application Insights GA and More

Microsoft unveiled a series of products and partnerships that strengthen the company’s Azure cloud platform for building intelligent, cross-platform apps and services at the Connect() 2016 in NYC on Wednesday that include:

The availability of Azure App Service on Linux with support for Containers in preview provides native Linux support for Node.js and PHP stacks on Azure App Service and now enables developers to bring their own Docker-formatted container image from the Azure Container Registry, or a private container registry and support .NET Core.

With the new container support, “developers can create a customized container based on the defaults,” and allow to use new or experimental framework versions that are not available in the default containers.

Azure Data Lake services such as Azure Data Lake Analytics and Data Lake Store available today means developers and data scientists now have the capabilities required to easily store and process data at petabyte size files, with massively parallel analytics and enterprise-grade security for insights on data of any size, shape and speed.

Azure Data Lake Store is generally available is the first cloud Data Lake for enterprises that is secure, massively scalable and built to the open HDFS standard.

“With no limits to the size of data and the ability to run massively parallel analytics, you can now unlock value from all your analytics data,” writes Microsoft. It removes the complexities of ingesting and storing all your data while making it faster to get up and running with big data. Azure Data Lake includes three services:

  • Azure Data Lake Store, a no limits data lake that powers big data analytics
  • Azure Data Lake Analytics, a massively parallel on-demand job service
  • Azure HDInsight, a full managed Cloud Hadoop and Spark offering
Azure Data Lake Store GA

Azure Data Lake Store GA.

If you have an Azure subscription or a free Azure trial, Azure Data Lake Analytics will up and running in seconds by going through this Microsoft Virtual Academy getting started guide on Data Lake.

R Server for HDInsight generally available, when run as a service on top of Apache Spark, “achieves unprecedented scale and performance by combining familiarity of the open source R language with the power of Spark.”

Newly available in GA is the inclusion of R Studio Server Community Edition out-of-the-box making it easy for data scientists to get started quickly.

“Multi-threaded math libraries and transparent parallelization in R Server means handling up to 1000x more data and up to 50x faster speeds than open source R—helping you train more accurate models for better predictions than previously possible,” Microsoft explained.

Kafka for HDInsight in public preview lets you ingest massive amounts of real-time data and analyze that data with integration to Storm or Spark for HDInsight.

Doing so allows you to “build end-to-end real-time applications like IoT, fraud detection, click-stream analysis, financial alerts, or social analytics solutions.”

The Public Preview of the Azure Data Lake (ADL) Tools for VSCode provide users with the best in class light weight, keyboard focused authoring experience for U-SQL as an alternative solution to the Data Lake Tools for Visual Studio.

By extending VSCode, leveraging the Azure Data Lake Java SDK for U-SQL job submission, and integrating with the Azure portal for job monitoring, “the tools provide a cross-platform IDE. Users can run it smoothly in Window, Linux and Mac,” Microsoft stated.

The ADL Tools for VSCode fully embrace the U-SQL language and let you enjoy the power of IntelliSense, Syntax Highlighting, and the Error Marker. It covers the core user scenarios of U-SQL scripting and U-SQL extensibility through custom code.

ADL Tools for VSCode seamlessly integrate with Azure Data Lake Analytics (ADLA) that includes all the capabilities required to make it easy for developers, data scientists, and analysts to store data of any size, shape and speed, and do all types of processing and analytics across platforms and languages.

U-SQL on ADLA offers Job as a Service with the Microsoft invented U-SQL language. Customers do not have to manage deployment of clusters but can simply submit their jobs to ADLA, an analytics platform managed by Microsoft.

What features are supported in ADL Tools for VSCode?

  • U-SQL Language Authoring
  • U-SQL Scripting
  • U-SQL Language Extensibility
  • ADLA – Metadata Navigation
  • ADLA – Job Submission

For more information, check these resources: Azure Data Lake Tools for VSCode User Manual, or Azure Data Lake Analytics getting started tutorial.

Azure Data Lake Analytics general availability was disclosed at the Connect(); conference is the first cloud analytics service where you can easily develop and run massively parallel data transformation and processing programs in U-SQL, R, Python and .Net over petabytes of data.

It includes powerful tools within Visual Studio to write, debug, and optimize code. “Visual Studio actively analyzes your programs as they run and offers recommendations to improve performance and reduce cost.”

And, Data Lake tooling in Visual Studio Code allowing users to use a cross-platform code editor available on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Get additional content on Data Lake Analytics.

The general availability of Azure Application Insights (previously Visual Studio Application Insights) along with new pricing structure is announced.

Application Insights, if you are not aware of “is an integrated application performance management (APM) and application analytics solution that help understand how application performance relates to user experience and how these impact business outcomes.” It now provides a financially backed SLA offering 99.9% availability, Microsoft stated. Still not clear, you can see Application Insights quick overview and demo in the video embedded under.

The new pricing structure still allow free usage with no limitation on the APM and Analytics tools as you get full feature set without cost. And, you only pay “as your app grows and as you transmit more application telemetry to Application Insights,” but “you control how much you pay,” Microsoft writes.

The following new features and enhancements are rolled out today to Application Insights (verbatim):

  • Increased raw data retention to 90 days for Analytics Queries
  • European data center option for storing Application Insights data
  • Improvements in Application Performance Management:
    • Smart detection of degradation in request performance
    • Correlating Availability Monitoring results with server side telemetry which will let you diagnose failures of your synthetic tests
    • Failure Samples in Live Metrics Stream which will let you get insight into details of failed requests, dependency calls and exceptions in real time
    • Grid control in Azure Dashboards and additional charting options in Metric options such as percentage charts
  • Enhancements to the Codelens and Application Search capabilities inside Visual Studio provide more information in context to identify and fix issues sooner
  • Preview of Application Insights REST APIs to access all your queries, events, and metrics data

Application Insights has the following main working area:

  • Intelligent APM proactively monitor and improve performance of application you’re developing with advanced tools:
    • Visual application maps pinpoint performance issues.
    • Smart detection based on machine learning sends you alerts with embedded diagnostics.
    • With Live Metrics Stream you can monitor your application health metrics in real time, while you’re deploying a change.
  • Analytics gives answers to complex questions about application’s performance and usage, almost instantly.
  • DevOps Integration & Extensibility: It tightly integrated into Visual Studio product family Visual Studio Team Services, Team Foundation Server, Visual Studio IDE, System Center and Operations Management Suite and GitHub.

Azure Machine Learning is now generally available in Japan East and US East 2. These regions have the same pricing and SLA as other Azure regions where Azure ML is already available: US South Central, Southeast Asia, West Europe and Germany Central.

Finally, Azure’s Government Cloud has expanded its FedRAMP Provisional Authorization to Operate (P-ATO) with the addition of five new offerings.

With these addition, “the total number of Azure Government offerings that meet the FedRAMP High baseline grows to 18,” microsoft azure team said.

The new offerings have all received Joint Authorization Board (JAB) approval for addition to Azure Government’s P-ATO at the High Impact Level and include:

  • Azure Service Bus that provides cloud-enabled communication with enterprise messaging and relayed communication to help connect applications, services, and devices.
  • Azure Notification Hubs is a massively scalable mobile push notification engine for quickly sending millions of notifications to iOS, Android, Windows, or Kindle devices, working with APNS (Apple Push Notification Services), GCM (Google Cloud Message), WNS (Windows Push Notification Services), MPNS (Microsoft Push Notification Service), and more.
  • Azure Site Recovery: Orchestrates replication of on-premises physical servers and virtual machines to the Azure cloud or to a secondary datacenter allowing organizations to meet BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery) objectives.
  • Azure StorSimple is an integrated storage solution that manages storage tasks between on-premises devices and Microsoft Azure cloud storage.
  • Azure Backup is a simple and cost-effective backup-as-a-service solution that extends tried-and-trusted tools on-premises with rich and powerful tools in the cloud.

Operational Analytics for Azure SQL Database, a fully managed Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing (HTAP) database service in the cloud is now available.

It adds the bility to run both analytics (OLAP) and OLTP workloads on the same database tables at the same time allows developers to build a new level of analytical sophistication into their applications.

“Developers can eliminate the need for ETL and a data warehouse in some cases (using one system for OLAP and OLTP, instead of creating two separate systems), helping to reduce complexity, cost, and data latency. “

“The in-memory technologies in Azure SQL DB helps achieve phenomenal performance – e.g., 75,000 transactions per second for order processing (11X performance gain) and reduced query execution time from 15 seconds down to 0.26 (57X performance gain),” Microsoft explained.

This capability is now a standard feature of Azure SQL DB at no additional cost.

Operations Management Suite is introducing the public preview of container monitoring. A new solution in the Solution Gallery for the Insight & Analytics service, container monitoring presents a view of your container performance metrics, log analysis, container image inventories, and events in a centralized location.

Other new features in Operations Management Suite in Azure Backup include: Ransomware protection, VMware backup, and container monitoring.

Azure Backup also now include the ability to back up VMware virtual machines without an agent and at a folder level, ability to back up your IaaS virtual machines, and added retention of Azure SQL Database from 35 days up to ten years to meet your compliance requirements.

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