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Microsoft Introduces Azure Bot Service Preview, Backup Integrates into VM Management Blade

Microsoft formed a partnership with OpenAI research organization and introduces Azure Bot Service, that will enable developers to accelerate the development of bots with the Microsoft Bot Framework, and “easily deploy and manage them in a serverless environment on Azure.”

Bots run on “Azure Functions,” which is generally available today, and can be used to maximize development agility and operational efficiency of nearly any app or service, Harry Shum writes.

These bots can scale on demand and you only pay for the resources your bots consume. Adding further, the company said, that Microsoft Bot Framework is already in use by more than 50,000 developers for building bots.

On Tuesday, Microsoft also announced a new partnership with OpenAI, a nonprofit artificial intelligence research organization, who is an “early adopter of Azure N-Series Virtual Machines, which will be generally available starting in December,” Shum said.

The N-series VMs are designed for the most intensive compute workloads, including deep learning, simulations, rendering and the training of neural networks, as well as they also enable “high-end visualization capabilities to allow for workstation and streaming scenarios by utilizing the NVIDIA GRID in Azure.”

OpenAI, co-founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Greg Brockman and Ilya Sutskever, has also chose Microsoft Azure as its “primary cloud platform to help advance their research and create new tools and technologies that are only possible with the cloud,” he says.

The OpenAI partnership is “focused on making significant contributions to advance the field of AI, while also furthering our mutual goal of using AI to tackle some of the world’s most challenging problems,” Shum says. In short, “we are committed to democratizing artificial intelligence (AI) and making it accessible to everyone,” added Shum.

Microsoft said further that they’re working to deliver the next generation of hardware innovation, “Pascal-based GPUs on Azure,” in the near future. And, that the Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit has now been optimized to run on Azure N-Series Virtual Machines powered by NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.

Microsoft also announced the ability to seamlessly backup virtual machines in Azure from the VM management blade using “Azure Backup integrating into VM Management Blade.”

This announcement makes Azure the public cloud providing a backup experience natively integrated into VM management, giving ability to backup VMs directly from VM management blade, team Azure stated.

Azure Backup, which already supports backup of classic and Resource Manager VMs on Windows or Linux using Recovery Services vault, running on standard storage or on Premium Storage—had recently also added backup support of VMs encrypted using ADE (Azure Disk Encryption).

With this integration customers will now be able to perform following operations directly from VM management blade:

  • “No need to deploy any infrastructure to backup VMs
  • Customers can leverage highly available, scalable and resilient backup service at a cost-effective price
  • Cloud Economics: Infinite scale: Pay as you go: Simple Backup pricing makes it easy to protect VMs and pay for what you use
  • Configure Backup using simple two-step configuration
  • Trigger an on-demand backup for backup configured VMs
  • Restore a complete VM, all disks or a file-folders inside the VM( In preview for Windows VMs) from backup data
  • Customers can protect multiple VMs in one go or one at a time using a Recovery Services vault
  • View recovery points corresponding to configured backup schedule,” explained azure team.

To get started,select a virtual machine from the VM list view, then select Backup in Settings menu—Create or select a Recovery Services vault, create or select a Backup Policy. [By default a vault and a policy is selected to make this experience even smoother.]

Integration of Azure Backup into VM management blade

Azure Backup integrates into VM management blade.

Azure Security Center, which is built on three features “prevention, alerting, and recovery” enable organizations increase preparedness against malware attacks and equip them with a robust backup solution—today, the company has made it available to all customers in the UK.

Those who are not aware, “Azure Security Center helps protect your Azure resources by providing visibility into security across all your subscriptions, helping you find and fix vulnerabilities, and alerting you if threats are detected.”

Here is what of these features meant to customers:

  • Prevention add new authentication layer now “require Security PIN available only to users with valid Azure credentials” for critical operations like Delete Backup Data, Change Passphrase.
  • Alerting sends out email notifications for any critical operations and enable users to detect attacks as soon as they occur.
  • Recovery ensure getting you back your data from any old or recent recovery points. Azure backup retains deleted backup data for 14 days. Also, minimum number of recovery points are always maintained such that there are always sufficient number of points to recover from.
Azure Security Center in UK

Azure Security Center in UK.

Watch this video to learn more about how Azure Security Center works:

Finally, the OMS Security advanced detections will automatically be enabled for all OMS Security customers who have workspaces in Europe, starting today.

For these customers, the detection analysis will run in European datacenters. “We also improve the experience of investigating these detections. When you click a detection now, you would get inside the search a dedicated view,” Microsoft stated.

“OMS Security advanced detections are provided as a service, which means that customers don’t have to create or maintain the infrastructure and write threat detection rules. Microsoft does it for them on a global scale and brings Microsoft’s vast security knowledge and tools into play.”\

OMS Security advanced detections available in Europe

OMS Security advanced detections available in Europe

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