Azure Review: Government transformation; Video Indexer; Blob storage; SQL Data Warehouse; Azure Stack

April 3 2019

Microsoft continued to court government customers at the end of March, rolling out new FedRAMP compliance. In other areas of its operation, the Azure team focused on blob storage, SQL Database, Data Warehouse and Azure Stack.

Brazilian digital services company Tivit partnered with Microsoft to deploy a new IoT platform built on Azure, intended for tasks such as fleet monitoring. Major networking company, Riverbed, announced that it would display its Azure-focused application performance optimization system at the Microsoft Ignite event in Dubai. In the UK, small business CRM provider, Really Simple Systems, had its own announcement that its CRM interoperates with Azure Single Sign-on with the use of Azure Active Directory.

Microsoft may be poised for new Azure business in Australia after Keith Downs, the company's Australia government director, spoke at Microsoft Future Now in Sydney about how the Australian Treasury is shifting from a capex to an opex model under the leadership of the country's Digital Transformation Agency.

Microsoft continues to hone its cloud security outlook to court the US federal government and other government customers while competing with AWS. To this end, Video Indexer received multiple compliance certifications for FedRAMP, HITRUST, PCI, HIPAA, ISO 27001 and ISO 27018.

High-Throughput Block Blobs are now globally enabled for Blob Storage. Microsoft offered a test example, uploading 50,000 32 MiB block blobs at rate of 12.5Gb per second. HTBB is automatically enabled and doesn't come with any additional costs. Vivek Darera, principal program for cloud and AI, indicated that the blob storage interface for Data Box in preview since September is generally available, letting users copy data into Data Box with REST. He wrote:

In essence, this interface makes the Data Box appear like an Azure storage account. Applications that write to Azure blob storage can be configured to work with the Azure Data Box in exactly the same way. This enables very interesting scenarios, especially for big data workloads. Migrating large HDFS stores to Azure as part of a Apache Hadoop migration is a popular ask.

Beginning on March 22, Microsoft rolled out scheduled updates for Azure API Management, including several new attributes and a fix for a bug that caused TLS certificate errors when API Management is accessed from a regional gateway URL.

Simon Bisson, writing on InfoWorld, described watching a ticker on a petition site as the site became overloaded with traffic, resulting in 24 hour delays sending out authentication emails. He shared his recommendations for building a more scalable alternative by combining Azure Front Door's app gateway with the React web framework for connecting form elements to Javascript. Arlan Nugara, writing on Arlan Blogs, described the process of setting up caching plugins for an Azure hosted WordPress blog and running global or local load balancing workloads for NING-X cloud architecture. Meanwhile, on the Aidan Finn, IT Pro blog, Finn delved into service level agreements. Microsoft promises 99 percent uptime for services running across multiple availability zones. However, according to Finn the number of regions that support Availability zones is growing slowly and not all services are supported yet. He wrote:

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