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Azure Updates: Cost Details API; DeepSpeed; Confidential Containers

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,

Microsoft hosted its annual Inspire conference virtually for partners, bringing with it a slate of announcements. But there were even more updates for the Azure community in recent days.

Senior program manager Adam Wise discussed the Cost Details API, generally available for use by Enterprise Agreement and Customer Agreement customers. The API allows customers to download cost details on-demand and takes the place of previous Usage Details APIs. For MCA customers, cost details encompasses Azure, Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and Microsoft 365. Microsoft advises customers that are not currently using Exports and Cost Details API to migrate soon. According to Wise, the offering provides scalability, a single dataset for all usage details, security, purchase amortization, and schema consistency.

Principal software engineer Kushal Datta took a look at Microsoft’s hyperscale model training with DeepSpeed. Customers increasingly tune enormous models—like the 530 billion parameter Megatron-Turing model—and Microsoft supports these types of models using Azure Machine Learning. Going forward, customers will be able to use DeepSpeed modeling capabilities on Azure with training pipelines and bash scripts. “This optimized stack enabled us to efficiently scale training of large models using DeepSpeed on Azure. We are happy to share our performance results supporting 2x larger model sizes…We offer near-linear scalability both in terms of an increase in model size as well as increase in number of GPUs,” stated Datta.

Sean Allen, Microsoft principal research software development engineer, touted new

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