Tip: Learn All About Virtual Machines in Azure for Free

You might be new to Virtual Machines, or even new to Azure, or you could be a long-time VM aficionado. Whichever category you fall into, it’s always good to learn. Microsoft’s new Learn platform has a multitude of opportunities to educate yourself on the latest, most modern technologies. Whether you want a career in the cloud or just need information on how to complete a task or project, the free Virtual Machines is one of the core Compute components of Azure and proficiency in this area can lead to a great career. Use this direct link to access the growing list of free training modules on Virtual Machines in Azure:

Azure Backup for SQL Server Virtual Machines

Microsoft has just announced the availability for Azure Backup for SQL Server Virtual Machines. Azure Backup is an enterprise scale, zero- infrastructure solution, that eliminates the need to deploy and manage backup infrastructure while providing a simple and consistent experience to centrally manage and monitor the backups on standalone SQL instances and Always On Availability Groups. Details: Azure Backup for SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines now generally available!

Office 365 Groups Gains the Ability to Enforce Company-consistent Group Names

Microsoft is rolling out a new function for Office 365 Groups to allow companies to help make sense of the group names being created by end-users. Office 365 Groups is a valuable feature that gives users the ability to connect with like-minded or collaborative partners for corporate projects, business, and community. But, due to the ability to generate groups, the group names can become unruly. Azure AD Naming Policy for Office 365 Groups is now generally available and contains two rules that can be applied: Prefix-suffix naming policy You can define prefixes or suffixes that are then added automatically to enforce a naming convention on your groups (for example, in the group name “GRP_JAPAN_My Group_Engineering”, GRP_JAPAN_ is the prefix, and _Engineering is the suffix). Custom blocked wo...

Adaptive Network Hardening in Azure Security Center Now in Public Preview

Microsoft has now delivered adaptive network hardening capability into a public preview. What does it do? Adaptive Network Hardening uses intelligence to learn the network traffic and connectivity patterns of the Azure workloads and provide network security recommendations for rule configuration for your internet-facing virtual machines. To find this, in the Azure Portal go to Security Center select Networking and then Adaptive network hardening.

Windows Server 2019 + Microsoft Azure = hybrid management updates

See updates to Windows Admin Center and Windows Server 2019 that line up practical hybrid management scenarios with Microsoft Azure. Windows Server, Principal Program Manager, Jeff Woolsey starts you off with Azure File Sync. Sync your local files to the cloud with virtually unlimited storage and fast, secure access. Next, he’ll go over Azure Network Adapter for streamlined and encrypted connectivity from your Windows Server environment to Azure. See how to use your existing hardware, and how you can now easily protect and failover your virtual machines to Azure.

Azure Blob Storage Now Includes Auto-Tiering and Auto-Expiration Functionalities

In this video, learn what Azure Blob Storage on IoT Edge is, and how you can use it. You’ll also learn how to configure and deploy Azure Blob Storage on IoT Edge with auto-tiering and auto-expiration functionalities.

Microsoft Brings the IBM Mainframe to Azure with the 3270 Connector

If successful, Microsoft may finally put the IBM mainframe out of its misery. Microsoft today has announced that it has placed a new Microsoft Azure Logic Apps Connector for 3270 Screens into a public preview. According to Microsoft… The new Microsoft Connector for 3270 Screens (3270 Connector) allows enterprise developers to build modern applications that automate end-user task flows based on legacy IBM mainframe 3270 programs, to deliver Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other integration capabilities to transform business. Documentation can be found here: Integrate 3270 screen-driven apps on IBM mainframes with Azure by using Azure Logic Apps and IBM 3270 connector And, there’s also a developer tool available that produces metadata directly from the mainframe: Host Integr...

Microsoft Simplifies a Product Name: VM backup stack V2 Renamed to Instant Restore

Microsoft has a long history of extremely poor product naming. But, this latest instance might show that there’s hope for the company. For many, this is bigger news than some might realize. As part of a new feature rollout, Microsoft listened to customers and took the poorly named VM Backup Stack V2 and renamed it to Instant Restore. Instant Restore for Azure is a valuable new feature that has the following functions: Ability to use snapshots taken as part of a backup job that is available for recovery without waiting for data transfer to the vault to finish. It reduces the wait time for snapshots to copy to the vault before triggering restore. Reduces backup and restore times by retaining snapshots locally, for two days by default. This default vault is configurable to any value bet...

Microsoft Delivers Azure Sentinel to Preview – Intelligent Security Analytics for the Enterprise

Microsoft today has delivered into preview a new security analytics product called Azure Sentinel. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI), the service constantly digs into the Enterprise to uncover potential security issues and to identify active ones. Azure Sentinel works across all hardware, users, devices, and software both on-premises and in the cloud. It collects data, detects faults and flaws, investigates what it finds, and then has orchestration built in to deliver mitigations. The data that Azure Sentinel collects can be imported into Office 365 where it’s reviewed and shared. Preview it for free here:

Microsoft’s FSLogix Acquisition Embeds Windows and Office Deeper into the Cloud

Microsoft’s idea of a modern desktop experience is the ability to deploy and run Windows and Office from Azure. Today’s acquisition announcement of FSLogix takes that capability to the next level and will make it more difficult for Windows and Office customers to avoid cloud participation – and ultimately, Azure licensing schemes. To help extend our virtualization capabilities and provide an even richer experience for Microsoft 365 customers, we are excited to announce the acquisition of FSLogix. With this acquisition, customers will benefit in a number of ways. Through customer engagement, we know that Microsoft Office applications are some of the most highly used and most commonly virtualized applications in any business. Office 365 ProPlus is currently the best Office ...

Microsoft Skips RTM for Windows Server 2019, Unleashes it Publicly Anyway

With the growing number of reports of Windows 10 1809 problems, maybe this isn’t the greatest idea. Microsoft has now announced that Windows Server 2019 is generally available. If you are a Windows Server customer with valid Software Assurance, you can download Windows Server 2019 on the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC). You can also download the evaluation version of Windows Server 2019 at the Evaluation Center. For customers running Windows Server on Azure, Windows Server 2019 is also available in the Azure Marketplace. Later in October, we’ll be adding Windows Server 2019 to Visual Studio Subscription (former MSDN) and other portals, such as the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN). In a separate post, Cosmos Darwin, a senior program manager on Microsoft’s Core OS team, tal...

Microsoft’s Rick Claus on IT/Dev Connections and Why the Azure Team is Increasing Involvement with the Conference

For those that are just catching up, many of you know Rick Claus from the wildly popular Patch and Switch podcast with Joey Snow, his work with Channel 9 at Microsoft conferences and possibly even his work with IT/Dev Connections over the past few years. Rick is now leading an Azure team at Microsoft and we’re happy to announce today that Rick will be serving as our keynote speaker this year! Rick’s keynote is still coming together, but what he’s shared with me so far shows it will be visionary, timely, and recommended for those that want to extend their career as an IT Pro, a Developer and in the DevOps world. Fantastic! After a BIG week at the 25,000-plus attendee Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, Florida last week, we caught up with Rick to get this take on his (and his team’s) involve...