The Latest Azure Updates: Serverless Event Grid updates; Integration service environments; Azure Sphere; Monitoring; Cybercrime on Azure

June 5 2019

Microsoft wrapped up the month of May and launched into June with a clear focus on the message of serverless compute scenarios and the overlap of event-driven architecture and IoT.

"Event-driven architectures are increasingly replacing and outpacing less dynamic polling-based systems, bringing the benefits of serverless computing to IoT scenarios, data processing tasks or infrastructure automation jobs," wrote Bahram Banisadr, program manager for Azure event routing service Event Grid, in a blog post.

Among the slate of updates to Event Grid, one that was reportedly widely requested by users was device telemetry events for IoT Hub. The feature went public on May 29, giving customers a chance to integrate device data into other serverless compute systems like Logic Apps and Azure Functions along with webhooks. As for events themselves, a chance to advanced filtering allows unrestricted nested objects in JSON for enhanced granularity. Many of the filtering options come down to searching by string or bool, or assessing numbers greater than, less than, or equal to. Supporting multitenancy, Event Domains entered general availability with 100,000 topics per domain and 100 domains per subscription with the option to add more.

From the standpoint of vulnerability reduction, geo disaster recovery supports failover for metadata, syncing to a paired region in case an entire Azure region goes down. This feature is back compatible to all current event subscriptions, topics and domains.

Other elements of the "new" Event Grid remain in public preview. Service Bus is poised to become an event handler, receiving events for additional processing. Any tier of Event Grid will be able to publish events to Service Bus, directed through Azure Portal, PowerShell, CLI or simply by setting the endpoint type.

Besides serverless scenarios, a big theme at month's end was app isolation and configuration. The general availability of integration service environments means that large-scale integrations can be fully isolated and "injected" into Azure Virtual Network for deploying Logic Apps. For developers, this means a potential 50 percent productivity gain going from development to deployment, up to 5 GB of message handling for chunked requests, and 10 additional scale-out units. ISE is an option in almost all regions except for Canada East, Brazil South, West Central US, China Cloud and US Gov regions.

Integration services for Logic Apps include approaches such as site to site VPNs or Azure ExpressRoute  to connect to service endpoints, VMs, and servers. Engineers attempted to make integration features more cost effective for customers with over 50 million executions per month and worked to address "noisy neighbor" problems. Ye Gu, principal program manager for Azure Developer Experience announced a public preview of App Configuration with a consolidated view of configuration and more feature management.

Six months after it was announced, the same six regions that supported the Consumption Tier of Azure API Management will offer it in its generally available form. According to Microsoft documentation, the pricing tier is billed per execution and can drop to zero costs during times of no usage. It is targeted to four main areas, such as apps in test environments, Kubernetes microservices-architectures, Functions, Storage Accounts, Event Grids and other serverless compute workloads or scenarios with peaks and valleys of traffic. Based on user feedback, Microsoft shifted a number of features, letting customers expose custom domains, certify incoming traffic, controls on incoming API requests, and management with PowerShell, JavaScript, Ruby, .NET or Node. The team also integrated it with Azure Functions for better performance and added distributed tracing for Application Insights. Review pricing will remain in effect until August 1 as the service expands to other regions.

Version 19.05 of Azure Sphere launched at the close of May, offering real-time capable cores on MT3620 MCUs as well as DHCP-Ethernet support. Microsoft hosted SDK support on GitHub to aid debugging, development and deployment, added hardware-specific JSON, random number generator, CMake and new connectivity options.

Among geographic updates, Mv2-series VMs with Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M 2.5 GHz processors became available on both US East regions, with plans to expand to US West 2, Southeast Asia, Europe West and Europe North within the next few months. Depending on the configuration, each VM can support workloads between three and six terabytes, with optimizations in place for SAP HANA. Microsoft bills it as the largest memory SAP HANA VM in the public cloud. Elsewhere, Azure Kubernetes Service became generally available in South Africa North.

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