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Azure Log Analytics Upgrade Boosting Search & Insights, More in Cloud Services

Azure Log Analytics

Microsoft released an upgrade Wednesday to Azure Log Analytics service customers, enhancing search, smart analytics and insights.

The upgrade also creates a consistent-monitoring experience for IT operations and developers, and it enables an assortment of new capabilities and customers are already taking advantage of them.

To start using the new powerful search and query language to gain deep insights into your data, upgrade your workspace today, learn more about upgrade process and FAQs in Azure documentation.

General Availability of Azure Media Redactor, announced Wednesday, includes a couple of changes based on feedback along with updates to full SLA support.

“Azure Media Redactor is a powerful cloud video processing service based on artificial intelligence technology, and is capable of automatically detecting and blurring faces in your videos, for use in cases such as public safety and news media.

Updates in this release include the following: “improved processing speed, better face detection and tracking, stickier face ID association, and multiple blur modes.”

You can view updted pricing for Azure Media Redactor here.

jenkins plugin for azure app service
Jenkins plugin for Azure App Service

Azure App Service plugin for Jenkins, supporting web app deployments is available to users Tuesday, provides Jenkins native capability to continuously deploy to Azure Web Apps.

“Jenkins is an open source, continuous integration tool written in Java. Azure Web Apps let developers rapidly build, deploy and manage powerful websites and web apps using .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python and Java.”

This release of the Azure App Service plugin for Jenkins supports deploying to Azure Web App through: “Git and FTP for Web App and Web App on Linux, Docker for Web App on Linux.”

Web App on Linux is also now in public preview, offering another option to run cloud apps natively on Docker Containers for Linux.

jenkins plugin in action
Jenkins plugin fin action

Azure AD authentication extensions is now extended to Azure SQL DB and SQL DW tools for token-based authentication (Universal authentication) with MFA support.

With this release, the following SQL Server tools have been extended adding new functionality:

  • SSMS 17.2 supports the following functionalities:
    • Multiple-user Azure AD authentication for Universal authentication with multi-factor support (authentication option: Active Directory – Universal with MFA). A new user credential input field was added for the Universal authentication with MFA method to support multi-user authentication.
  • Azure AD MFA Conditional Access (CA) is available for SQL DB and DW.
    • Database export/import for DacFx wizard using Universal authentication with MFA.
    • ADAL managed library used by Universal authentication with MFA was upgraded to 3.13.9 version.
    • Object Explorer support for Universal authentication with MFA.
  • SSMS 17.0 release supports “Azure AD domain name or tenant ID” in Connection Properties, an entry required for Azure AD guest users including Microsoft accounts such as hotmail.com, outlook.com, and live.com, as well as non-Microsoft accounts such as gmail.com.
  • latest SQLPackage.exe supports Universal authentication with MFA.
  • API for DacFx supports Universal authentication with MFA.

A threat-protection feature for “Microsoft Cloud App Security” is now available through integration with Azure Active Directory.

With this feature, if suspicious activity is identified in the Cloud App Security portal, you can initiate an auto-remediation action to log off those users. It requires the users to sign in again to Office 365 – and to all apps accessed through Azure Active Directory.

“Real-time remediation for security threats is a key challenge for companies, where attackers can move quickly to access critical data,” the Cloud App Security team writes.

Azure AD Automated Expiration for Office 365 Groups is now in Public Preview, and let you set an expiration timeframe for any Office 365 group you choose. Once that timeframe is set, owners of any groups set to expire will be asked to renew them if they still need them.

Groups that aren’t renewed will be deleted, and using an earlier feature called “Soft-delete of groups”, any group that was not meant to be deleted can be restored within 30 days by the group owners.

Here are some other Cloud platform services annoucements:

Azure Batch Rendering Service Preview accelerates large scale rendering jobs to deliver results to our customers faster, enabling you to submit rendering jobs seamlessly via client applications such as Maya and 3ds Max, or via the Azure SDK.

As part of this offering, Azure is working with Autodesk, Chaos Group, and other partners to enable day to day rendering workloads seamlessly on Azure.

The Batch Rendering feature will provide tools such as client plugins that offer a rich, integrated experience, allowing you to submit jobs from within the applications with easy scaling, monitoring, and asset management.

Additionally, Azure SDK, available in various languages, and allows custom integration with existing environments. Also, a preview of Batch Labs, a desktop management tool, which includes job submission capabilities for supported applications, is announced.

Azure Log Analytics service is rolling out an upgrade to existing customers that offers powerful search, smart analytics, and even deeper insights. This upgrade provides an interactive query language and an advanced analytics portal, powered by a highly scalable data store like what Azure Application Insights offers today, thereby creating a consistent monitoring experience for IT operations and developers.

The query language offers flexible search functions and machine learning constructs to help you get deeper insights from your data.

In the initial phase of the rollout, when your Log Analytics workspace is ready to be upgraded, you will see a banner in your workspace with a call to action. Once you click and upgrade, you can start using the new capabilities and continue to use the solutions and views you had prior to the upgrade, without any interruption. If you’re new to Log Analytics, during the initial phase, you will need to start by activating your free account and then upgrade to the new capabilities. Once the rollout is complete across all Azure regions, new users will be able to get started without having to upgrade.

Azure SQL Database Preferred Dev Environment | Database scoped temp tables preview

The database scoped global temporary tables for Azure SQL Database now in preview allows the use of temporary tables (prefixed with ##table_name) scoped to a specific database. This allows users to share such tables among all users’ sessions within the same database.

Azure SQL Database Preferred Dev Environment | Resumable online index rebuild preview

The resumable online index rebuild for Azure SQL Database in preview, allows the ability to pause an online index rebuild operation and resume it later from where the rebuild operation was paused, or failed, rather than having to restart the operation from the beginning.

This feature also rebuilds indexes using only a small amount of log space. To learn more about resumable online index rebuild, please visit the Azure blog.

Azure SQL Database protects and secures data | Multi-Factor Authentication support for SQL tools general availability

The latest release of SQL Server Management Studio includes functional extensions for token-based authentication, also known as Universal Authentication connection mechanism. The Universal Authentication allows the use of Multi-Factor Authentication for native and guest user accounts in Azure Active Directory (AD).

General availability of Azure Content Delivery Network Dynamic Site Acceleration, improves the quality of the consumer experience by improving the load time of web pages with dynamic content.

Dynamic Site Acceleration is specifically targeted to accelerate web content that is not cacheable, such as user credentials and personal data. While static object delivery mainly uses caching to improve the speed, Dynamic Site Acceleration focuses on optimizing route and network between requester and customer origin.

New Intune integrated partners Check Point and Saaswedo now available to the public.

Check Point SandBlast Mobile (Mobile Threat Defense)

The integration between Check Point and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security will help secure mobile devices from advanced cyber threats, and help ensure that only compliant devices have access to company resources. Check Point SandBlast Mobile provides a centralized, comprehensive security solution that safeguards against progressive mobile cyberattacks, while ensuring employees’ privacy. SandBlast Mobile protects employees’ devices from malware attacks via infected apps, Man-in-the-Middle attacks on compromised Wi-Fi networks and hotspot logins, exploitation of operating systems for rooting and jailbreaking, and malicious links sent on SMS messages. This integration makes it easy to apply SandBlast Mobile’s threat intelligence as an additional input into Intune’s device compliance settings. Once a threat is detected, SandBlast Mobile immediately applies on-device protections, and notifies Intune to enforce device status changes and conditional access controls to ensure that company data stays protected until the issue is remediated. Visit Check Point’s product website for more information on their service.

Datalert from Saaswedo (Telecom Management)

This integration between Saaswedo and Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security gives you more control over managing your data and roaming costs. It brings Datalert’s real-time mobile data usage management capabilities together with Microsoft Intune’s mobile device management capabilities, providing you the ability to monitor and manage real-time mobile data usage by your employees on smartphones and tablets. The integration streamlines the deployment of the Datalert app onto users’ devices and connects the Datalert data to Intune to block data and/or roaming for users once usage thresholds are hit. This automates the process for IT to ensure that data thresholds are not exceeded. Visit Datalert’s product website for more information on their service.

Microsoft also released new features and product enhancements tp Current Branch of System Center Configuration Manager.

This release focuses on the following themes:

  • Configuration Manager makes it easier to adopt and deploy Windows 10 and Office 365.
  • Configuration Manager enables the management of Windows 10 security settings to protect users and company data.
  • Configuration Manager helps customers build the bridge to modern management of Windows to simplify management.
  • Configuration Manager Infrastructure is streamlined for simpler and easier use, reducing your total cost of ownership.
  • Microsoft continues to provide iterative value to customers using Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune.

Lastly, the July update for Dynamics 365 for Customer Insights includes a number of enhancements to improve the key performance indicators (KPIs) and help users implement new scenarios to drive intelligent customer engagement and better understand customer behavior.

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