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Azure Updates: Open Compute standards; Radius; Windows Server 2012/R2; Zone Redundant Storage

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,

Picking up the thread of Microsoft’s AI investments in 2023, CVP Rani Borkar looked at ways to boost AI infrastructure advancement through standardization. Microsoft has played an important role in the Open Compute Project since it joined in 2014, announcing a new security offering dubbed Project Caliptra at last year’s event, built with AMD, Google, and NVIDIA, on a modular Mt. Shasta chassis. Now that the time of the 2023 OCP Global Summit has come, Microsoft is teaming up with many of the same industry players to create OCP standards for GPU models.

The initiative will focus on two models of accelerators and GPU cards: Universal Base Board and Discrete. Updates will emphasize GPU firmware update requirements as well as Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability hardware requirements. Microsoft is also working on OCP-SAFE Security Appraisal Framework Enablement to boost security standards.

“As AI continues to be applied to every aspect of our lives, the need for more efficient, scalable, and cost-effective AI systems is evident. This includes optimization across the AI stack, including advancements in narrow-precision AI data formats to address the rapidly growing complexity and requirements of current AI models. Advances in AI hardware technology such as these narrow-precision formats and associated optimized algorithms create opportunities like never before to address fundamental challenges in maintaining scalable and sustainable AI solutions,” Borkar wrote.

Staying with open-source, Microsoft CTO Mark Russinovich announced that the Azure Incubations Team is releasing Radius, an open app for the cloud. Available through with an ongoing community discussion on Discord, Radius is intended to support development teams using Kubernetes, Terraform, and Bicep, while integrating CI/CD tools like GitHub Actions. The new app can support anything from eShop microservices apps to Microsoft cloud reference apps.

“Many enterprises are multi-cloud and want solutions that work well not on just Azure, but on other clouds, as well as on-premises. So, Radius is open-source and multi-cloud from the start. Companies like Microsoft, BlackRock, Comcast, and Millenium BCP have worked together to ensure applications defined and managed with Radius can run on any cloud. Anyone in the open-source community can contribute to Radius, ensuring Radius evolves along with the broader cloud native community,” Russinovich stated.

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