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Microsoft Azure Government Gets ArcGIS, REHL VM Images, BIG-IP VE, GS-Series VMs

Microsoft first quarter results highlights its Cloud strength for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2016 reveals they earned “$20.5 billion GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), and non-GAPP revenue was $22.3 billion.”

“We are helping to lead a profound digital transformation for customers, infusing intelligence across all of our platforms and experiences,” said CEO at Microsoft. Adding, “We continue to innovate, grow engagement, and build our total addressable market,” he said.

Other statistics inldue: “operating income $5.2 billion GAAP, $7.1 billion non-GAA,” “net income $4.7 billion GAAP, and $6.0 billion non-GAAP,” and “earnings per share at $0.60 GAAP, and $0.76 non-GAAP.”

In other cloud news, Microsoft incorporates ‘actors’ (hint: think bits of code in the cloud) into its comprehensive, next-generation, microservice cloud application framework called “Azure Service Fabric” helping developers to add value to their business.

It’s in response to high demand for a “productized” version of the actor frameworks in Halo that were originally developed by Microsoft Research and 343 Industries, James Staten at Microsoft Cloud + Enterprise, writes.

Microsoft’s ‘Actor frameworks’ “make massive scale for millions of interacting users (or devices) a straightforward thing.”

To learn more about what actors are and how they can help developers focus on adding value to business, without getting mired in infrastructure, watch the video embedded below demonstrating (with a nice technical description of actor model), or visit here.

ArcGIS for Server is now available on the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud, and allow customers to deploy leading-edge GIS technology on Azure sites from virtual machine images on Microsoft Azure Marketplace.

“ArcGIS for Server provides a complete Web GIS environment for mapping and spatial analytics with ready-to-use maps and apps that can be shared and used by everyone in the organization,” explains Azure team. “It easily dovetails with other enterprise systems, including Microsoft Azure SQL and supports Azure security and compliance standards.”

“Mapping, analysis and geodata products can be readily used in apps for office and field workers, and for engaging and crowdsourcing communities,” team added.

Red Hat VM images in a Pay-as-you-go Model for Microsoft Azure Government customers is now available to deploy.

With this availability, customers can now deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8 and 7.2 VM images in “a Pay-As-You-Go model directly from Azure Government Marketplace with per-minute billing,” Azure team stated.

With the Pay-As-You-Go feature, consumers will be able to scale the services as needed for their work.

Since, the RHEL images are Red Hat certified, has passed thorugh extensive testing, and carries Certified Cloud and Service Provider program certification, “customers will be able to use secure stable and trusted platform for their critical IT infrastructure.”

Those with existing Red Hat subscriptions, like to run Bring-Your-Own-License style images, “need to register their existing Red Hat subscription for Red Hat Cloud Access,” team writes.

F5’s BIG-IP Virtual Edition (VE) application delivery controller (ADC) solutions in the Microsoft Azure US Government Cloud is generall available now.

Customers?who want to deploy mission-critical government applications in Microsoft-managed and physically-isolated datacenters within the continental United States can now?take advantage of F5’s market-leading application services to make their applications faster, more available, and more?secure.

With F5, customers in Azure Government cloud will be able to “leverage existing IT investments, maintain consistency and control by reusing existing F5 configurations, custom traffic and security policies, and automated scripts, saving you time and money,” the Azure team writes.

In addition, customers can protect their government applications from web attacks and secure access to applications and their data by implementing F5’s security solutions.

F5 also enable deploy “secure and dynamic site-to-site connectivity between Azure cloud resources and private data centers.”

In addition, Azure is also a participant in the F5 Ready program, which provides F5-driven verification testing to ensure compatibility of BIG-IP VEs in cloud partner environments.

“BIG-IP VE solutions available in a “Bring-Your-Own-License” (BYOL) model, let customers purchase BIG-IP VE Version Plus licenses, and then port the licenses to Azure,” while still maintaining F5 support.

BIG-IP VE in Azure comes in three product bundles – Good, Better, and Best, with bandwidth options “25M, 200M, and 1G instances.”

Microsoft notes, that F5 will add subscription and utility license models to optimize usage based on business needs as well as “pay for what you need with no upfront costs.”

Interested, you can request a free 30-day evaluation version here.

Another general availability anoounced is of the G-Series Virtual Machines in Microsoft Azure Government. With the GA, a new G-Series variant, “GS-Series” now supports Premium storage in the US Gov Virginia region.

G-Series if you don’t know, “provides more memory and more local solid state drive (SSD) storage than other Azure virtual machine sizes,” as well as “unparalleled computational performance by using latest Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family.”

While the new GS-Series VMs enable resource-intensive applications with fastest processors, “the most memory, and the highest input/output operations per second (IOPS) (for storage disk performance compared to any other series),” Azure team writes.

Benefits include: “Sizing to handle even largest business needs, fast I/O performance and extremely low latencies when using Azure Premium Storage.”

Here are the CPU, memory, and disk configurations for the G-Series instances:

Azure G-series Virtual Machines instances

With the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Azure Government, Microsoft unlike other Cloud Service Provider (CSP) has a suite of services that help manage and maintain IaaS deployments, is called “Operational Management Suite” (OMS).

Implementing OMS will save IT department time and money, there by allowing them to learn and work on new projects that they may not have time as it offer following services: “Backup, Site Recovery, Automation, and Monitoring / Log Analytics.”

You can start to see how OMS would be a benefit to Public Sector customers even if they are still primarily still using On-Premises Data Centers, Azure team writes.

Update 1610 for Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch available now in the Configuration Manager console.

In addition, the baseline version of Configuration Manager Technical Preview branch based on version 1610 available on TechNet Evaluation Center here.

This preview incclude following new features:

  • “Improvements to notification experience for high-impact task sequence and required application deployments. Any relevant client settings for notification frequency are still honored.
  • admins can deny previously approved application requests.
  • Filter by content size in automatic deployment rules to prevent large software updates from automatically downloading to better support simplified Windows down-level servicing when network bandwidth is limited.
  • Exclude clients from automatic upgrade by specifying a collection to exclude specific clients from upgrade,” writes Microsoft.

Finally, with System Center 2016 Operations Manager, users now have access to new Network Monitoring Management Pack generator tool. The tool provides extended monitoring for SNMP-enabled devices by generating users own custom Management Pack.

Microsoft notes, “management pack that this tool generat is currently supported by System Center 2016 Operations Manager and System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager.”

Network Monitoring Management Pack generation tool includes an SNMP_MPGenerator UI tool and a NetMonMPGenerator.exe command line tool.

The tool and the user guide can be downloaded here.

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