Azure Updates: Government data; Storage; Azure service pricing; Azure Policy ROI

October 11 2019

Microsoft kicked off October by highlighting its work in support of government customers. An independent assessment looked into the suitability of 113 Azure services to handle protected Australian government information and is available to customers and partners with similar security needs. So far, Microsoft is working with data center provider CDC to meet Australia's federal government needs while the state of Victoria has deployed VicCloud Protect with service provider Cenitex. Azure Global general manager Lily Kim touted the company's FedRAMP High provisional authorization in all public Azure regions, a new compliance accelerator, the assistance offered by Azure Blueprints and a White Glove Migration service with Azure Data Box for Azure Government. Sequoia Holdings announced a partnership with Microsoft to offer cloud emulation for Azure Government in classified Department of Defense and intelligence cloud regions.

Aspects of storage were also key topics. Microsoft announced direct-upload capabilities for Azure managed disks. Users can stage an on-prem VHD into a storage account and convert it to a managed disk or attach an empty disk to a VM. To overcome the limitations of these two methods, Storage Explorer will support managed disks with AzCopy v10 enabling cross-region copying. Customer provided keys can now be applied to more granular encryption scenarios for customer data in Azure Storage, with keys securely discarded after blob data is encrypted or decrypted.

For overall management and use of big data, partner director of product management Mike Flasko noted the general availability of Mapping Data Flows within Azure Data Factory. The approach helps with managing data at scale and enables users to build logical graphs and test them quickly with live data previews. It's even possible to schedule pipelines and monitor executions from the Data Factory monitoring portal.

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