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Azure Government Cloud Annouces 3x Growth in 2016 Plus New Capabilities

At the 5th annual Government Cloud Forum, Microsoft highlight some new capabilities and developments for its Azure Government platform that now has over 600 customers, and more than 6 million users.

The Azure Government offers the most compliance certifications and attestations for mission-critical government workloads, as Tom Keane says, Azure “is committed to bringing breakthrough innovation, the strongest security and incredible new technology to government at the same pace we innovate for all customers, globally.”

In the past 90 days, he said, “over 75 new Azure Government capabilities, and 25 new capabilities in October were launched.”

Further he notes, that government customer can expect to see more innovation coming in days, weeks and months.

Microsoft also recently signed an FBI-approved CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Services) agreement with the US State of Georgia, bringing the total number of signed CJIS agreements to 24.

In addition there’re 13 Microsoft Government Cloud services in the FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program) compliance certification, writes Microsoft.

Microsoft is expanding its Government Cloud services with new announcements including:

Azure Marketplace for Government is now generally available, and with it, Microsoft today partner with some of the top Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) helping cstomers in finding the right solutions for their needs.

New ISV partners in the Azure Marketplace for Government include F5 Networks, Cisco Systems, ESRI, Citrix, Riverbed, Splunk and Barracuda.

Splunk Enterprise, a leading platform for Operation Intelligence now available to Azure Government Cloud customers, who can now launch a “Splunk Enterprise Standalone VM from Github to Azure Government via Azure Quickstart Templates.”

This specifically designed Quickstart ARM template for government cloud, run Splunk Enterprise from a single installation.

Those not aware of Splunk, “it searches, monitors, analyzes and visualizes machine-generated big data from websites, applications, servers, networks, sensors and mobile devices all in real time.” While “Splunk Enterprise indexes machine data in real time, enabling multiple roles across the organization—from system administrators to business analysts—to rapidly gain insight from the massive amounts of machine data generated by your environment,” Microsoft explained.

Splunk Enterprise for Azure Government Cloud

To launch Splunk Enterprise Standalone, go to solution templates in Azure QuickStart Repo on GitHub, and search for “Splunk on Ubuntu”, or click here.

For step-by-step deployment instructions for solution templates from Github in to Azure Government Cloud, see this technical documentation.

Riverbed Technology is bringing Riverbed SteelHead CX to Government Cloud customers to help them understand, optimize, and control applications and data across the hybrid enterprise, extending into the cloud.

SteelHead CX in Azure “enable peak performance of applications across any network, along with application visibility, and control. Also, by optimizing a wide variety of cloud apps, it offer end user best experience across hybrid networks.”

Azure Marketplace, if you’re not aware, “is the online store for Virtual Machine images, VM extensions and more that enable ISVs to offer pre-configured, Azure-certified software to customers on the Azure U.S. Government cloud.”

General Availability of Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) for Azure Government customers was announced as well.

The Log Analytics and Operations Management Suite Portal service provides “real-time insights using integrated search and custom dashboards to help customers readily analyze millions of records across all workloads and servers regardless of their physical location,” writes Curt Kolcun.

At the US Police Chiefs showcase, Microsoft signed three police agencies to utilize their Azure Government offerings; Los Angeles, Memphis, and Miami-Dade Police Departments.

In addition, two US government agencies, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are also taking advantage of Azure Government, as well as other Azure cloud services.

In the video below, Doug Hauger, talks about Microsoft Azure Government products and services, including CRM Online Government and Office 365 Government, and how Microsoft Cloud for Government meets the security and compliance requirements and needs of US federal, state, and local government agencies.

Sync Error Reports in Azure AD Connect Health are now in Public Preview, that makes it easy to report on any synchronization errors that might occur when syncing data from on-premises AD to Azure AD on your active (non-staging) using Azure AD Connect server.

It’s one of many new features added over the past six months.

The report is available in the new Azure Portal with following key capabilities:

  • A quick count of the total number of errors are available at a glance
  • Automatic categorization of errors based on error type and likely cause
  • Easily drill down into each category for a detailed view of each error
  • Role Based Access Control makes it easy to roll out securely

Sync Error Reports in #AzureAD Connect Health are now in Public Preview!

The availability of Microsoft Azure Analysis Services preview, assist business owners with the ability to visualize and manage their data easier.

The Analysis Services lets BI professionals create BI semantic models based on data that resides in the cloud or on-premises, whether that’s SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse or other data sources to provide business users with a simplified view over their data.

Business users can then choose their preferred data visualization tool such as Power BI, Excel, or others, to analyze their data.

  • Developers can create a server in seconds, choosing from the Developer (D1) or Standard (S1, S2, S4) service tiers. Each tier comes with fixed capacity in terms of query processing units and model cache. The developer tier (D1) supports up to 3GB model cache and the largest tier (S4) supports up to 100GB.
  • The Standard tiers offer dedicated capacity for predictable performance and are recommended for production workloads. The Developer tier is recommended for proof-of-concept, development, and test workloads.
  • Administrators can pause and resume the server at any time. No charges are incurred when the server is paused. We also plan to offer administrators the ability to scale up and down a server between the Standard tiers (not available currently).
  • Developers can use Azure Active Directory to manage user identity and role based security for their models.

The service is currently available in the South-Central US and West Europe regions. More regions will be added during the preview.

Microsoft also announced the exclusive Azure SQL Data Warehouse expanded free trial. With this, customers can request a one-month free trial for Azure SQL Data Warehouse, to try out the capabilities of SQL Data Warehouse and complete POCs.

This is a limited time offer, so submit your request now here.

Also available today is a Technical Preview of Power BI reports in “SQL Server Reporting Services”, is a pre-configured Virtual Machine in the Azure Marketplace.

The VM includes everything you need, even sample reports and data, making it quick and easy to give it a try, and supports Power BI reports that connect “live” to Analysis Services models – both Tabular and Multidimensional (cubes).

The BI team will extend support to additional data sources in a future preview.

Power BI also introduces today “Service Administrator role” to expand access to the Admin Portal, without having to grant them other Office 365 administrative access.

The Storage Client Library for C++ (2.4.0) now supports the Azure Storage Files endpoint via the REST API implementation.

This release brings support for all the File service features including: “Create/Delete/Resize Shares, Create/Delete Directories, and Create/Read/Update/Delete Files.”

More on the C++ Client Library 2.4.0 can be found here, and a quick start guide is available on Azure Storage documentation pages.

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