Azure Artifacts updates include pay-per-GB pricing

Alex Mullans


Azure Artifacts is the one place for all of the packages, binaries, tools, and scripts your software team needs. It’s part of Azure DevOps, a suite of tools that helps teams plan, build, and ship software. For Microsoft Build 2019, we’re excited to announce some long-requested changes to the service.

Until now, a separate, additional license was required for anyone using Azure Artifacts, beyond the Azure DevOps Basic license. We heard your feedback that this was inflexible, hard to manage, and often not cost-effective, and we’ve removed it. Now, Azure Artifacts charges only for the storage you use, so that every user in your organization can access and share packages.

Every organization gets 2 GB of free storage. Additional storage usage is charged according to tiered rates starting at $2 per GB and decreasing to $0.25 per GB. Full details can be found on our pricing page.

We’ve had support for Python packages, as well as our own Universal Packages, in public preview for some time. As of now, both are generally available and ready for all of your production workloads.

If you’re developing an open source project using a public Azure Repo or a repo on GitHub, you might want to share nightly or pre-release versions of your packages with your project team. Azure Artifacts public feeds will enable you to do just that, backed by the same scale and reliability guarantees as the private feeds you use for internal development. Interested in joining the preview? Get in touch (@alexmullans on Twitter).

With Azure Artifacts, your teams can manage all of their artifacts in one place, with easy-to-configure permissions that help you share packages across the entire organization, or just with people you choose. Azure Artifacts hosts common package types:

  • Maven (for Java development)
  • npm (for Node.js and JavaScript development)
  • NuGet (for .NET, C#, etc. development)
  • Python

Screenshot of Azure Artifacts

If none of those are what you need, Azure Artifacts provides Universal Packages, an easy-to-use and lightweight package format that can take any file or set of files and version them as a single entity. Universal Packages are fast, using deduplication to minimize the amount of content you upload to the service.

Azure Artifacts is also a symbol server. Publishing your symbols to Azure Artifacts enables engineers in the next room or on the next continent to easily debug the packages you share.

Artifacts are most commonly used as part of DevOps processes and pipelines, so we’ve naturally integrated Azure Artifacts with Azure Pipelines. It’s easy to consume and publish packages to Azure Artifacts in your builds and releases.

We’re excited for you to try Azure Artifacts. If you’ve got questions, comments, or feature suggestions, get in touch on Twitter (@alexmullans) or leave a comment.

Alex Mullans
Alex Mullans

Senior Program Manager, Azure Artifacts

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Azure introduces new innovations for SAP HANA, expanded AI collaboration with SAP

For many enterprises modernizing ERP systems is key to achieving their digital transformation goals. At Microsoft we are committed to supporting our customers by offering the single best infrastructure choice that exists for SAP HANA, bar none. 

In terms of raw capabilities we not only have the largest number of SAP HANA-certified offerings (25 configurations that span virtual machines and purpose-built bare metal instances from 192GB to 24TB), but also the widest footprint of regions with SAP HANA certified infrastructure (26 with plans to launch 8 more by end of 2019). We also support some of the largest deployments of SAP HANA in the public cloud, such as CONA Services.

We, in partnership with SAP, are very happy to announce multiple enhancements to SAP on Azure at SAPPHIRE NOW. We will offer our customers even more choices in infrastructure giving them greater VM memory, even more options around bare metal instances and business continuity.

In addition to this we are announcing deeper integration between SAP and Azure around AI, data protection and identity integration. These integrations will help our joint customers accelerate their digital transformation with the power of the cloud.

Here’s what’s new:

  • 6 TB and 12 TB VMs for SAP HANA: Azure’s Mv2 VM series will be available on May 13, offering virtual machines with up to 6TB RAM on a single VM. This is by far the largest-memory SAP HANA-certified configuration offered on any virtual machine in the public cloud. 6TB Mv2 VMs will be generally available and production certified in U.S. East and U.S. East 2 regions. U.S. West 2, Europe West, Europe North and Southeast Asia regions will be available in the coming months.

    In addition, 12TB Mv2 VMs will become available and production certified for SAP HANA in Q3 2019. With this, customers with large-scale SAP HANA deployments can take advantage of the agility offered by Azure Virtual Machines to speed SAP release cycles by spinning up dev/test systems in minutes and simplify operational processes with Azure’s integrated tools for automated patching, monitoring, backup and disaster recovery.

  • Largest Bare Metal Instance with Intel Optane for SAP HANA: In Q4 2019 we plan to launch the largest Intel Optane optimized bare metal instances in the cloud with our SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances, including general availability of a 4 socket, 9TB memory instance and a preview of an 8 socket, 18TB memory instance. These instances enable customers to benefit from faster load times for SAP HANA data in case of a restart, offering lower Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and a reduced TCO. To learn more, please get in touch with your Microsoft representative.
  • Integration of Azure AI in SAP’s digital platform: SAP’s machine learning capabilities will leverage Azure Cognitive Services containers in preview for face recognition and text recognition. By deploying Cognitive Services in containers, SAP will be able to analyze information closer to the physical world where the data resides and deliver real-time insights and immersive experiences that are highly responsive and contextually aware.

    SAP’s Machine Learning team is working with Microsoft Azure Cognitive services team to augment its own portfolio of home grown and partner services by leveraging the containerized Vision and Text Recognition services for solving identity validation and text understanding use cases.” – Dr. Sebastian Wieczorek, VP, Head of SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation

  • SAP Data Custodian on Microsoft Azure is now available: In September 2018, we announced our intent to make SAP Data Custodian, a SaaS offering, available on Microsoft Azure. We deliver on that promise today. Together, SAP and Microsoft offer unprecedented levels of data governance and compliance for our joint customers. Additionally, Microsoft will be a beta customer for SAP Data Custodian for our implementation of SAP SuccessFactors on Azure. For more information, you can read this blog from SAP.
  • Managed business continuity with Azure Backup for SAP HANA: Azure Backup support for SAP HANA databases is now in public preview. With this, customers can manage large-scale SAP HANA implementations with no infrastructure for backup. For more information, please refer to the Azure Backup for SAP HANA documentation.
  • Simplified integrations with Logic Apps connector for SAP: Today, the Logic Apps connector for SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA is generally available for all customers. Azure Logic Apps is an integration platform-as-a-service offering connectors to 250+ applications and SaaS services. With this, customers can dramatically reduce time to market for integrations between SAP and best-in-class SaaS applications. For more information, check out our Logic Apps SAP connector documentation.
  • Boosted productivity and enhanced security with Azure Active Directory and SAP Cloud Platform: Today, Standards-based integration between Azure Active Directory and SAP Cloud Platform is in preview, enabling enhanced business security and experience. For example, when using SAP Cloud Platform Identity Provisioning and Identity Authentication Services, customers can integrate SAP SuccessFactors with Azure Active Directory and ensure seamless access to SAP applications such as SAP S/4HANA, improving end-user productivity while meeting enterprise security needs.

Customers benefiting from SAP on Azure

With more than 90% of the Fortune 500 using Microsoft Azure and SAP, our 25-year partnership with SAP has always been about mutual customer success. We are confident the announcements made today will help customers using SAP on Azure grow and innovate even more than they already are: Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Study found that SAP customers on Azure, on average, can realize an ROI of 102% with a payback in under nine months from their cloud investments.

Here are five reasons SAP customers increasingly choose Azure for their digital transformation, and some customers who are benefitting:

  • Business agility: With Azure’s on-demand SAP certified infrastructure, customers can speed up dev/test processes, shorten SAP release cycles and scale instantaneously on demand to meet peak business usage. Daimler AG sped up procurement processes to deliver months faster than would have been possible in its on-premises environment. It powers 400,000 suppliers worldwide by moving to SAP S/4HANA on Azure’s M-series virtual machines.
  • Efficient insights: Dairy Farmers of America migrated its fragmented IT application landscape spread across 18 data centers, including mission critical SAP systems over to Azure. It leverages Azure Data Services and PowerBI to enable remote users easily access SAP data in a simplified and secure manner.
  • Real-time operations with IoT: Coats, a world leader in industrial threads, migrated away from SAP on Oracle to SAP HANA on Azure several years ago, enabling Coats to optimize operations with newer IoT-driven processes. With IoT monitoring, Coats now predicts inventory, manufacturing and sales trends more accurately than ever before.
  • Transforming with AI: Carlsberg, a world leader in beer brewing, migrated 80% of its enterprise applications to Microsoft Azure, including mission critical SAP apps. By leveraging Azure AI and sensors from research universities in Denmark, Carlsberg’s Beer Fingerprinting Project enabled them to map a flavor fingerprint for each sample and reduce the time it takes to research taste combinations and processes by up to a third, helping the company get more distinct beers to market faster.
  • Mission-critical infrastructure: CONA Services, the services arm for Coca-Cola bottlers, chose Azure to run its 24 TB mission critical SAP BW on HANA system on Azure’s purpose-built SAP HANA Infrastructure, powering 160,000 orders a day, which represents an annual $21B of net sales value.

Over the past few years, we have seen customers across all industries and geographies running their mission critical SAP workloads on Azure. Whether it’s customers in Retail such as Co-op and Coca-Cola, Accenture and Malaysia Airlines in services or Astellas Pharma and Zeullig Pharma in Pharmaceuticals, Rio Tinto and Devon Energy in Oil & Gas, SAP on Azure helps businesses around the world with their digital transformation.

If you are at SAPPHIRE NOW, drop by the Microsoft booth #729 to learn about these product enhancements and to experience hands-on demos of these scenarios.


Dell Technologies and Microsoft expand partnership with new VMware Solutions

The cloud is enabling organizations of all types to innovate and move faster toward their business goals. It has enhanced productivity and security and opened up new opportunities for companies to tap into the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT). The cloud is helping businesses in every industry transform: Retail is becoming more personal, banking is becoming more seamless, and healthcare is becoming more predictive and preventive.

This digital revolution demands that technology vendors be open and flexible to help address a wider range of customer needs. Over the years, we’ve worked with partners to create solutions that are customer-centric and enable easier adoption of technology. Some great examples include our partnerships with SAP, RedHat, Adobe, Citrix, and more. These partnerships are enabling customers to take advantage of Microsoft cloud solutions with the tools and technologies that already exist in their environments. Today, we are excited to continue this trend by announcing an expanded partnership with Dell Technologies to provide customers with a native, supported, and certified VMware experience on Microsoft Azure. Additionally, we are welcoming VMware into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem to extend the management and security capabilities of Microsoft Intune, as well as extend the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop.

 Azure VMware Solutions

Azure VMware Solutions deliver a comprehensive VMware environment in Azure allowing customers to run native VMware-based workloads on Azure. Customers can now seamlessly run, manage, and secure applications across VMware environments and Microsoft Azure with a common operating framework. Customers will be able to capitalize on their existing VMware investments, skills and tools, including VMware vSphere, vSAN, NSX, and vCenter while leveraging the scale, performance and innovation of Azure.

Azure VMware Solutions enable customers to extend and redeploy their VMware workloads natively on Azure dedicated hardware without having to refactor their applications. This integration also enables organizations to tap into Azure’s massive scale, security, andVMWare logo fast provisioning cycles to innovate and modernize applications while improving performance. Some of the more common customer scenarios include datacenter reduction or expansions, disaster recovery and business continuity and modern application development.

VMware workloads on Azure can be easily modernized via integration with a broad range of Azure services such as Azure Active Directory, Azure AI and IoT enabling new, intelligent experiences. Customers can also take advantage of unmatched Azure pricing and benefits for Windows Server and SQL Server hosted on Azure VMware Solutions including Azure Hybrid Benefits and free Extended Security Updates.

Shifting to a modern workplace

As customers embark on their digital workplace journey, Microsoft 365 provides organizations with a complete, intelligent solution to empower employees to be creative and work together, securely.

We are excited to welcome VMWare Workspace ONE into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Customers will be able to use Workspace ONE to manage and secure the powerful productivity features of Office 365 across devices via integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory Premium as part of the Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security suite. VMware Workspace ONE will be updated to integrate with APIs provided by Intune to deliver device status and health data to update the Azure Active Directory conditional access policy resolution status. Configuration of conditional access policies for Office 365 and Azure-based apps will continue to be done in the Azure Active Directory administration portal. This integration will provide additional technology choices for customers as they accelerate their digital transformation.

We also recently announced Windows Virtual Desktop, the only service that delivers a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. The excitement for the public preview has been incredible, and thousands of customers have already previewed the Windows Virtual Desktop experience. As a part of today’s agreement, VMWare will extend the capabilities of Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop to enable customers to further accelerate their cloud initiatives. Initial capabilities are expected to be available as a tech preview by the end of calendar year 2019.

Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. And we’re committed to realizing this mission through technology innovations and strategic partnerships that unlock shared value.  This collaboration is a great example of our ongoing commitment to meet the evolving needs of our customers.

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Dell Technologies and Microsoft expand partnership to help customers accelerate their digital transformation

  • New Microsoft Azure VMware Solutions bring customers more choice and flexibility
  • Microsoft and VMware collaborate on digital workspace offerings and future cloud integrations

DELL TECHNOLOGIES WORLD, LAS VEGAS, NV — April 29, 2019 — Dell Technologies (NYSE: DELL) and Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced they are expanding their partnership to address a wider range of customer needs and help accelerate digital transformations. Through this collaboration, the companies will deliver a fully native, supported, and certified VMware cloud infrastructure on Microsoft Azure. Additionally, joint Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to manage Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. VMware (NYSE:VMW) will also extend the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

“At Microsoft, we’re focused on empowering customers in their digital transformation journey, through partnerships that enable them to take advantage of the Microsoft Cloud, using the technologies they already have,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Together with Dell Technologies and VMware, we are providing our mutual customers with an integrated cloud experience and digital workplace solutions to open up new opportunities and meet their evolving needs.”

“Customers are excited to see us expand our collaboration with Microsoft,” commented Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value, provide more flexibility to accelerate their hybrid-multi cloud and multi-device journey, and accelerate the digital transformation of their business.”

The cloud has become fundamental to enabling organizations to move faster toward their business goals. With the cloud’s scalability, enhanced security, productivity, cost savings and more, companies are capitalizing on the many benefits. These benefits are enabling organizations to better tap into the potential of technologies like artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. Through this collaboration, the companies aim to accelerate customer transformations with even more open, flexible and scalable solutions.

“We’re excited to expand our collaboration with Microsoft. These innovative cloud and client offerings will deliver customers even more value,” commented Pat Gelsinger, CEO, VMware. “These offerings will provide customers flexibility to accelerate their cloud journey and drive their business forward.”

New Azure VMware Solutions provide a seamless VMware experience on Microsoft Azure

Azure VMware Solutions are built on VMware Cloud Foundation – a comprehensive offering of software defined compute, storage, networking and management – deployed in Azure. With these solutions, customers can capitalize on VMware’s broadly deployed and trusted cloud infrastructure while experiencing the power of Microsoft Azure.

Azure VMware Solutions give customers the power to seamlessly migrate, extend and run existing VMware workloads from on-premises environments to Azure without the need to re-architect applications or retool operations. Customers will be able to build, run, manage, and secure new and existing applications across VMware environments and Microsoft Azure while extending a single model for operations based on established tools, skills and processes as part of a hybrid cloud strategy.  Some of the more popular customer scenarios Azure VMware Solutions will support are app migration and datacenter expansion, disaster recovery, and business continuity and modern application development.

Azure VMware Solutions enable organizations to tap into Azure’s scale, security, and fast provisioning cycles to innovate and modernize applications while also improving performance. By integrating with native Azure services, customers can easily infuse advanced capabilities like AI, machine learning, and IoT into their applications enabling new, intelligent experiences.

Azure VMware Solutions are first-party services from Microsoft developed in collaboration with VMware Cloud Verified partners CloudSimple and Virtustream (a Dell Technologies company).

“At Walmart, we’re focused on making it easy, fast, friendly and fun to shop with us no matter where you are – whether online, in our stores or through our pick up services. We’re excited about the role technology plays in this and how it can help us deliver new services faster. Cloud and Client innovations are an important part of this and a key enabler of our digital transformation,” commented Clay Johnson, executive vice president and enterprise chief information office, Walmart. “The partnership being announced today between Microsoft, Dell and VMware in Cloud and Client innovations will allow them to better bring their best solutions to customers like us. We look forward to continuing to work with Microsoft, Dell and VMware to accelerate our digital transformation.”

Helping customers advance their digital workspace strategy

With this agreement, mutual Microsoft 365 and VMware Workspace ONE customers will be able to get the most out of their digital workspace across device platforms while maximizing existing and future investments. Specifically, customers will be able to use Workspace ONE to manage and secure the powerful productivity features of Office 365 across devices via cloud-based integration with Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory.

Through the new Dell Technologies Unified Workspace offerings, customers can further accelerate their Windows 10 digital transformation journey by leveraging the integration of Windows Autopilot and Dell Device Provisioning and Deployment Services, like Dell ProDeploy – all enabled by the integration of Microsoft 365, Workspace ONE, and Dell Provisioning Services.

In addition, Microsoft recently announced Windows Virtual Desktop, the only service that delivers a multi-session Windows 10 experience, optimizations for Office 365 ProPlus, and support for Windows Server Remote Desktop Services (RDS) desktops and apps. As a part of this agreement, VMware will extend the capabilities of Windows Virtual Desktop to enable customers to further accelerate their cloud initiatives, leveraging VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure. Initial capabilities are expected to be available as a tech preview by the end of calendar year 2019.

Microsoft and VMware are also exploring initiatives to drive further integration between VMware infrastructure and Azure such as integration of VMware NSX with Azure Networking and integration of specific Azure services with VMware management solutions. They will also be exploring bringing specific Azure services to the VMware on-premise customers. Through this collaboration, the companies aim to give customers a more seamless experience across VMware and Azure environments.

About Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) is a unique family of businesses that helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work and live. The company provides customers with the industry’s broadest and most innovative technology and services portfolio spanning from edge to core to cloud. The Dell Technologies family includes Dell, Dell EMCPivotalRSASecureworksVirtustream and VMware.

About Microsoft
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

About VMware
VMware software powers the world’s complex digital infrastructure. The company’s cloud, networking and security, and digital workspace offerings provide a dynamic and efficient digital foundation to over 500,000 customers globally, aided by an ecosystem of 75,000 partners. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is committed to being a force for good, from its breakthrough innovations to its global impact. For more information, please visit

For more information, press only:

Dell Technologies Media Relations,

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

VMware Media Relations, Michael Thacker, (650) 427-4454,

VMware, VMware Cloud, Workspace ONE, Horizon, Horizon Cloud, Cloud Foundation, and NSX are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other jurisdictions.


Azure SignalR Service now supports ASP.NET!



We’ve just shipped the official version of the SignalR Service SDK for ASP.NET support:

Azure SignalR Service is a fully managed Azure service for real-time messaging. It is a preferred way for scaling ASP.NET Core SignalR application. However, SignalR Service is based on SignalR for ASP.NET Core 2.0, which is not 100% compatible with ASP.NET SignalR. Some code changes and proper version of dependent libraries are needed to make ASP.NET SignalR application work with SignalR Service.

We have received many usage feedbacks from customers since we announced the preview support for ASP.NET, at Microsoft Ignite 2018. Today, we are excited to announce that we have released the generally available version 1.0.0 of ASP.NET support SDK for Azure SignalR Service!

This diagram shows the typical architecture to use Azure SignalR Service with application server either written in ASP.NET Core, or now, in ASP.NET.


For self-hosted SignalR application, the application server listens to and serves client connections directly. With SignalR Service, the application server will only respond to clients’ negotiate requests, and redirect clients to SignalR Service to establish the persistent client-server connections.

Using the ASP.NET support for Azure SignalR Service you will be able to:

  • Continue to keep SignalR application using ASP.NET, but work with fully managed ASP.NET Core based SignalR Service.
  • Change a few lines of SignalR API codes, to switch to use SignalR Service instead of self-hosted SignalR Hubs.
  • Leverage Azure SignalR Service’s built-in features and tools to help operate the SignalR application, with guaranteed SLA.

To receive the full benefit from the new ASP.NET support feature, please download and upgrade your SDKs to the latest supported versions:

  • .NET: 4.6.1+
  • Microsoft.AspNet.SignalR.*: 2.4.1
  • Microsoft.Azure.SignalR.AspNet: 1.0.0

Many factors, including non-technical ones, make the web application migrate from ASP.NET to ASP.NET Core difficult.

The ASP.NET support for Azure SignalR Service is to enable ASP.NET SignalR application developers to easily switch to use SignalR Service with minimal code change.

Some APIs and features are no longer supported:

  • Automatic reconnects
  • Forever Frame transport
  • HubState
  • PersistentConnection class
  • GlobalHost object
  • HubPipeline module
  • Client side Internet Explorer support before Microsoft Internet Explorer 11

ASP.NET support is focus on compatibility, so not all ASP.NET Core SignalR new features are supported. To name a few: MessagePack, Streaming, etc., are only available for ASP.NET Core SignalR applications.

SignalR Service can be configured for different service mode: Classic/Default/Serverless. For ASP.NET support, the Serverless mode is not supported.

For a complete list of feature comparison between ASP.NET SignalR and ASP.NET Core SignalR, the proper version of SDKs to use in each case, and what are the recommended alternatives to use for features discontinued in ASP.NET Core SignalR, please refer to doc here.

We’d like to hear about your feedback and comments. You can reach the product team at the GitHub repo, or by email.

Zhidi Shang

Principal Program Manager, Azure SignalR Service

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.NET Core Workers in Azure Container Instances


In .NET Core 3.0 we are introducing a new type of application template called Worker Service. This template is intended to give you a starting point for writing long running services in .NET Core. In this walkthrough you’ll learn how to use a Worker with Azure Container Registry and Azure Container Instances to get your Worker running as a microservice in the cloud.

Since the Worker template Glenn blogged about is also available via the dotnet new command line, I can create one on my Mac and edit the code using Visual Studio for Mac or Visual Studio Code (which I’ll be using here to take advantage of the integrated Docker extension).

dotnet new worker

I’ll use the default from the Worker template. As it will write to logs during execution via ILogger, I’ll be able to tell quickly from looking in the logs if the Worker is running.

public class Worker : BackgroundService
{ private readonly ILogger<Worker> _logger; public Worker(ILogger<Worker> logger) { _logger = logger; } protected override async Task ExecuteAsync(CancellationToken stoppingToken) { while (!stoppingToken.IsCancellationRequested) { _logger.LogInformation("Worker running at: {time}", DateTimeOffset.Now); await Task.Delay(1000, stoppingToken); } }

Visual Studio Code’s Docker tools are intelligent enough to figure out this is a .NET Core app, and will suggest the correct Docker file via the Command Palette’s Add Docker files to workspace option.

By right-clicking the resulting Dockerfile I can build the Worker into a Docker image in one click.

The Build Image option will package my Worker’s code into a Docker container locally. The second option, ACR Tasks: Build Image would use Azure Container Registry Tasks to build the image in the cloud, rather than on disk. This is helpful for scenarios when the base image is larger than I want to download locally or when I’m building an application on a Windows base image from Linux or Mac. You can learn more about ACR Tasks in the ACR docs. The Azure CLI makes it easy to login to the Azure Container Registry using the Azure CLI. This results in my Docker client being authenticated to the Azure Container Registry in my subscription.

az acr login -n BackgroundWorkerImages

This can be done in the VS Code integrated terminal or in the local terminal, as the setting will be persisted across the terminals’ environment. It can’t be done using the cloud shell, since logging into the Azure Container Registry requires local shell access so local Docker images can be accessed. Before I push the container image into my registry, I need to tag the image with the URI of the image once it has been pushed into my registry. I can easily get the ACR instance URI from the portal.

I’ll copy the URI of the registry’s login server in the portal so I can paste it when I tag the image later.

By selecting the backgroundworker:latest image in Visual Studio Code’s Docker explorer pane, I can select Tag Image.

I’ll be prompted for the tag, and I can easily paste in the URI I copied from the portal.

Finally, I can right-click the image tag I created and select Push, and the image will be pushed into the registry. Once I have a Docker image in the registry, I can use the CLI or tools to deploy it to Azure Container Instances, Kubernetes, or even Azure App Service.

Now that the worker is containerized and stored in the registry, starting an instance of it is one click away.

Once the container instance starts up, I’ll see some logs indicating the worker is executing, but these are just the basic startup logs and not my information-level logs I have in my Worker code.

Since I added Information-level logs during the worker’s execution, the configuration in appsettings.json (or the environment variable for the container instance) will need to be updated to see more verbose logs.

{ "Logging": { "LogLevel": { "Default": "Information", "Microsoft.Hosting.Lifetime": "Information" } }

Once the code is re-packaged into an updated Docker image and pushed into the Azure Container Registry, following a simple Restart…

… more details will be visible in the container instance’s logging output.

The Worker template makes it easy to create long-running background workers that you can run for as long as you need in Azure Container Instances. New container instances can be created using the portal or the Azure Command Line. Or, you can opt for more advanced scenarios using Azure DevOps or Logic Apps. With the Worker template making it easy to get started building microservices using your favorite ASP.NET Core idioms and Azure’s arsenal of container orchestration services you can get your microservices up and running in minutes.

Brady Gaster

Senior Program Manager, ASP.NET Core





Apache Hadoop 3.0 on Azure HDInsight now available

imageToday we’re announcing the general availability of Apache Hadoop 3.0 on Azure HDInsight. Microsoft Azure is the first cloud provider to offer customers the benefit of the latest innovations in the most popular open source analytics projects, with unmatched scalability, flexibility, and security. With the general availability of Apache Hadoop 3.0 on Azure HDInsight, we are building upon existing capabilities with a number of key enhancements that further improve performance and security, and deepen support for the rich ecosystem of big data analytics applications.

Bringing Apache Hadoop 3.0 and supercharged performance to the cloud

Apache Hadoop 3.0 represents over 5 years of major upgrades contributed by the open source community across key Apache frameworks such as Hive, Spark, and HBase. New features in Hadoop 3.0 provide significant improvements to performance, scalability, and availability, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating time-to-value.

  • Apache Hive 3.0 – With ACID transactions on by default and several performance improvements, this latest version of Hive enables developers to build “traditional database” applications on massive data lakes. This is particularly important for enterprises who need to build GDPR/privacy compliant big data applications.
  • Hive Warehouse Connector for Apache Spark – With the Hive Warehouse Connector, the Spark and Hive worlds are coming closer together. The new connector moves the integration from the metastore layer to the query engine layer. This enables higher, more reliable performance with predicate pushdown and other functionality.
  • Apache HBase 2.0 and Apache Phoenix 5.0 – Apache HBase 2.0 and Apache Phoenix 5.0 introduce a number of performance, stability, and integration improvements. With HBase 2.0, periodic reorganization of the data in the memstore with in-memory compactions improves performance as data is not flushed or read too often from remote cloud storage. Phoenix 5.0 brings more visibility into queries with query log by introducing a new system table that captures information about queries that are being run against the cluster.
  • Spark IO Cache – IO Cache is a data caching service for Azure HDInsight that improves the performance of Apache Spark jobs. IO Cache also works with Apache TEZ and Apache Hive workloads, which can be run on Apache Spark clusters.

Enhanced enterprise grade security

Enterprise grade security and compliance is a critical requirement for all customers building big data applications that store or process sensitive data in the cloud.

  • Enterprise Security Package (ESP) support for Apache HBase – With the general availability of ESP support for HBase, customers can ensure that users authenticate to their HDInsight HBase clusters using their corporate domain credentials and are subject to rich, fine-grained access policies (authored and managed in Apache Ranger).
  • Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) support for Apache Kafka – Customers can now bring their own encryption keys into the Azure Key Vault and use them to encrypt the Azure Managed Disks storing their Apache Kafka messages. This gives them a high degree of control over the security of their data.

Rich developer tooling

Azure HDInsight offers rich development experiences with various integrated development environment (IDE) extensions, notebooks, and SDKs.

  • SDKs general availability – HDInsight SDKs for .NET, Python, and Java enable developers to easily manage clusters using the language of their choice.
  • VSCodeHDInsight VSCode extension enables developers to submit Hive batch jobs, interactive Hive queries, and PySpark scripts to HDInsight 4.0 clusters.
  • IntelliJAzure Toolkit for IntelliJ enables Scala and Java developers to program Spark, Scala, and Java projects with built-in templates. Developers can easily perform local run, local debug, open interactive sessions, and submit Scala/Java projects to HDInsight 4.0 Spark clusters directly from the IntelliJ integrated development environment.

Broad application ecosystem

Azure HDInsight supports a vibrant application ecosystem with a variety of popular big data applications available on Azure Marketplace, covering scenarios from interactive analytics to application migration. We are excited to support applications such as:

  • Starburst (Presto) – Presto is an open source, fast, and scalable distributed SQL query engine that allows you to analyze data anywhere within your organization. Architected for the separation of storage and compute, Presto can easily query data in Azure Blob Storage, Azure Data Lake Storage, SQL and NoSQL databases, and other data sources. Learn more and explore Starburst Presto on Azure Marketplace.
  • Kyligence – Kyligence is an enterprise online analytic processing (OLAP) engine for big data, powered by Apache Kylin. Kyligence enables self-service, interactive business analytics on Azure, achieving sub-second query latencies on trillions of records and seamlessly integrating existing Hadoop and BI systems. Learn more and explore Kyligence on Azure Marketplace.
  • WANDisco – WANDisco Fusion de-risks migration to the cloud by ensuring disruption-free data migrations, easy and seamless extensions of Spark and Hadoop deployments, and short or long term hybrid data operations. Learn more and explore WANDisco on Azure Marketplace.
  • Unravel Data – Unravel provides a unified view across your entire data stack, providing actionable recommendations and automation for tuning, troubleshooting, and improving performance. The Unravel Data app uses Azure Resource Manager, allowing customers to connect Unravel to a new or existing HDInsight cluster with one click. Learn more and explore Unravel on Azure Marketplace.
  • Waterline Data – With Waterline Data Catalog and HDInsight, customers can easily discover, organize, and govern their data, all at the global scale of Azure. Learn more and explore Waterline on Azure Marketplace.

Get started now

We look forward to seeing what innovations you will bring to your users and customers with Azure HDInsight. Read the developer guide and follow the quick start guide to learn more about implementing open source analytics pipelines on Azure HDInsight. Stay up-to-date on the latest Azure HDInsight news and exciting features coming in the near future by following us on Twitter (#AzureHDInsight). For questions and feedback, please reach out to

About Azure HDInsight

Azure HDInsight is an enterprise-ready service for open source analytics that enables customers to easily run popular Apache open source frameworks including Apache Hadoop, Spark, Kafka, and others. The service is available in 30 public regions and Azure Government Clouds in the US and Germany. Azure HDInsight powers mission critical applications for a wide range of sectors and use cases including ETL, streaming, and interactive querying.


Microsoft doubles size of UK Azure region, increasing compute capacity by more than 1,500 percent

Microsoft today announced it has more than doubled the size of its Azure regions in the UK with the addition of Availability Zones, increasing compute capacity by more than 1,500% since they were first brought online in 2016.

The expansion will further help UK organisations continue their move to the cloud as part of their digital transformation journeys and builds on Microsoft’s strong presence in the UK. The move is likely to appeal to public sector organisations interested in hosting potentially sensitive information securely and locally.

Microsoft’s cloud platform, Azure, is used by the Department for Education, HM Revenue and Customs, and NHS Blood and Transplant, as well as numerous councils across the country. They can use two Azure regions in the UK – South and West – which host data for organisations and businesses based anywhere in the world.

Within the first month of Microsoft’s cloud services going online from the UK, the company shared that more than 1,000 customers had already signed up to access services. Today, tens of thousands of organisations across the country are utilising the Microsoft cloud services delivered from the UK.

Microsoft has continued to invest in its cloud infrastructure and service capabilities to meet the demand of this expanding customer base. As part of this investment, Microsoft today announced the launch of Azure Availability Zones in UK South. Availability Zones offer customers access to separate, physical locations within an Azure region featuring independent networking, power and cooling, as well as more protection and choice when using Microsoft’s cloud.

Take a tour of our data centres

Availability Zones give users protection from potential hardware and software failures so they can deliver their services with confidence. For anyone using two or more Availability Zones in the same Azure region, Microsoft guarantees Virtual Machine connectivity to at least one instance 99.99% of the time.

ClearBank, the UK’s first new clearing bank in more than 250 years, uses Azure delivered from Microsoft’s UK cloud regions, and is looking forward to the new zones. Nigel Walder, Chief Operating Officer, said: “We welcome Availability Zones in UK South as it will enable us to provide improved resilience and scalability more effectively as ClearBank continues with the launch of new products. Since the inception of ClearBank, Azure has been a core component of our platform and the enhanced zonal resiliency will ensure we can serve our customers even more effectively.”

Azure has announce 54 regions around the world – more than any other cloud provider – and Microsoft is seen as a trusted cloud partner for business, with global infrastructure relied on by more than 95% of the Fortune 500.

The company has been committed to the UK for more than 30 years, driving advances in cloud computing, developing new ways for people to interact with technology at home, at work and on the move, while transforming education and public services and supporting the UK economy.

<img data-attachment-id="74713" data-permalink="" data-orig-file="" data-orig-size="1934,1137" data-comments-opened="1" data-image-meta="{"aperture":"0","credit":"","camera":"","caption":"","created_timestamp":"0","copyright":"","focal_length":"0","iso":"0","shutter_speed":"0","title":"","orientation":"0"}" data-image-title="regions" data-image-description="

Global map showing Azure regions and Availability Zones

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Microsoft Azure regions and Availability Zones (click to enlarge)

Cindy Rose, Chief Executive of Microsoft UK, said: “The Microsoft cloud has become a core component to the strategies of thousands of UK organisations since the launch of services from our UK cloud regions in 2016. We continue to make significant investments to ensure that our customers are able accelerate their digital transformation journeys and their adoption of cloud services. By doubling our UK regions and increasing our compute capacity by more than 1,500%, our customers can have the confidence they can access any Azure services available in UK regions whenever they want. The launch of Availability Zones takes Azure to a new level in the UK by offering customers increased reliability, business continuity and peace of mind for their data and services.”

Microsoft has also announced the availability of Azure DevOps in the UK South region. The service lets users create software, using tools that Microsoft has invested in and developed over the past 15 years. In the previous month alone, more than 100,000 internal Microsoft users and millions of customers have used these services to build their own products and release them to the cloud and to their on-premise data centres.

Azure DevOps contains tools that span the complete development of software, helping customers ship quicker and with higher quality. Features include Azure Pipelines, which lets you continuously build, test and deploy to any platform and cloud; Azure Boards, which allows teams to easily plan, track and collaborate; Azure Repos to store and collaborate on source code, Azure Artifacts for sharing packages inside your company and Azure Test Plans, which lets users improve their code with testing services.

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3 questions to ask as you evaluate your cloud analytics provider

We all want the truth. To properly assess your cloud analytics provider, ask them about the only three things that matter:

  1. Independent benchmark results
  2. Company-wide access to insights
  3. Security and privacy

What are their results on independent, industry-standard benchmarks?

Perhaps you’ve heard from other providers that benchmarks are irrelevant. If that’s what you’re hearing, maybe you should be asking yourself why? Independent, industry-standard benchmarks are important because they help you measure price and performance on both common and complex analytics workloads. They are essential indicators of value because as data volumes grow, it is vital to get the best performance you can at the lowest price possible.

In February, an independent study by GigaOm compared Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Amazon Redshift, and Google BigQuery using the highly recognized TPC-H benchmark. They found that Azure SQL Data Warehouse is up to 14x faster and costs 94 percent less than other cloud providers. And today, we are pleased to announce that in GigaOm’s second benchmark report, this time with the equally important TPC-DS benchmark, Azure SQL Data Warehouse is again the industry leader. Not Amazon Redshift. Not Google BigQuery. These results prove that Azure is the best place for all your analytics.

Price performance comparison

This is why customers like Columbia Sportswear choose Azure.

“Azure SQL Data Warehouse instantly gave us equal or better performance as our current system, which has been incrementally tuned over the last 6.5 years for our demanding performance requirements.”

Lara Minor, Sr. Enterprise Data Manager, Columbia Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear logo 

Can they easily deliver powerful insights across your organization?

Insights from your analytics must be accessible to everyone in your organization. While other providers may say they can deliver this, the end result is often catered to specific workgroups versus being an enterprise-wide solution. Data can become quickly siloed in these situations, making it difficult to deliver insights across all users.

With Azure, employees can get their insights in seconds from all enterprise data. Data can seamlessly flow from your SQL Data Warehouse to Power BI. And without limitations on concurrency, Power BI can be used across teams to create the most beautiful visualizations that deliver powerful insights. This combination of powerful analytics with easy-to-use BI is quite unique. In fact, if you look at the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms and the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics below, you’ll see that Microsoft is a Leader.

Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms and the Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics

Our leadership position in BI, coupled with our undisputed performance in analytics means that customers can truly provide business-critical insights to all. As the TPC-DS benchmark demonstrates, Azure SQL Data Warehouse provides unmatched performance on complex analytics workloads that mimic the realities of your business. This means that Power BI users can effortlessly gain granular-level insights across all their data.

The TPC-DS industry benchmark I mentioned above is particularly useful for organizations that run intense analytics workloads because it uses demanding queries to test actual performance. For instance, one of the queries used in the TPC-DS benchmark report calculates the number of orders, time window for the orders, and filters by state on non-returned orders shipped from a single warehouse. This type of complex query, which spans across billions of rows and multiple tables, is a real-world example of how companies use a data warehouse for business insights. And with Power BI, users can perform intense queries like this by easily integrating with SQL Data Warehouse for fast, industry-leading performance.

How robust is their security?

Everyone is a target. When it comes to data, privacy and security are non-negotiable. No matter how cautious you are, there is always a threat lurking around the corner. Your analytics system contains the most valuable business data and must have both stringent security and privacy capabilities.

Azure has you covered. As illustrated by Donald Farmer, a well-respected thought leader in the analytics space, analytics in Azure has the most advanced security and privacy features in the market. From proactive threat detection to providing custom recommendations that enhance security, Azure SQL Data Warehouse uses machine learning and AI to secure your data. It also enables you to encrypt your data, both in flight and at rest. You can provide users with appropriate levels of access, from a single source, using row and column level security. This not only secures your data, but also helps you meet stringent privacy requirements.

It was immediately clear to us that with Azure, particularly Azure Key Vault, we would be able to meet our own rigorous requirements for data protection and security.”

Guido Vetter, Head of Corporate Center of Excellence Advanced Analytics & Big Data, Daimler

Daimler logo

Azure’s leading security and data privacy features not only make it the most trusted cloud in the market, but also complements its leadership in other areas, such as price-performance, making it simply unmatched.

Get started today

To learn more about Azure’s industry-leading price-performance and security, get started today!

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms Cindi Howson, James Richardson, Rita Sallam, Austin Kronz, 11 February 2019.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Management Solutions for Analytics, Adam Ronthal, Roxane Edjlali, Rick Greenwald, 21 January 2019.

This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Microsoft.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.


Hybrid storage performance comes to Azure

When it comes to adding a performance tier between compute and file storage, Avere Systems has led the way with its high-performance caching appliance known as the Avere FXT Edge Filer. This week at NAB, attendees will get a first look at the new Azure FXT Edge Filer, now with even more performance, memory, SSD, and support for Azure Blob. Since Microsoft’s acquisition of Avere last March, we’ve been working to provide an exciting combination of performance and efficiency to support hybrid storage architectures with the Avere appliance technology.

Linux performance over NFS

Microsoft is committed to meeting our customers where we’re needed. The launch of the new Azure FXT Edge Filer is yet another example of this as we deliver high-throughput and low-latency NFS to applications running on Linux compute farms. The Azure FXT Edge Filer solves latency issues between Blob storage and on-premises computing with built-in translation from NFS to Blob. It sits at the edge of your hybrid storage environment closest to on-premises compute, caching the active data to reduce bottlenecks. Let’s look at common applications:

  • Active Archives in Azure Blob – When Azure Blob is a target storage location for aging, but not yet cold data, the Azure FXT Edge Filer accelerates access to files by creating an on-premises cache of active data.

Active Archives in Azure Blob

  • WAN Caching – Latency across wide area networks (WANs) can slow productivity. The Azure FXT Edge Filer caches active data closest to the users and hides that latency as they reach for data stored in data centers or colos. Remote office engineers, artists, and other power users achieve fast access to files they need, and meanwhile backup, mirroring, and other data protection activities run seamlessly in the core data center.

WAN Caching

  • NAS Optimization – Many high-performance computing environments have large NetApp or Dell EMC Isilon network-attached storage (NAS) arrays. When demand is at its peak, these storage systems can become bottlenecks. The Azure FXT Edge Filer optimizes these NAS systems by caching data closest to the compute, separating performance from capacity and better delivering both.

NAS Optimization

When datasets are large, hybrid file-storage caching provides performance and flexibility that are needed to keep core operations productive.

Azure FXT Edge Filer model specifications

We are currently previewing the FXT 6600 model at customer sites, with a second FXT 6400 model becoming available with general availability. The FXT 6600 is an impressive top-end model with 40 percent more read performance and double the memory of the FXT 5850. The FXT 6400 is a great mid-range model for customers who don’t need as much memory and SSD capacity or are looking to upgrade FXT 5600 and FXT 5400 models at an affordable price.

Azure FXT Edge Filer

Azure FXT Edge Filer – 6600 Model Azure FXT Edge Filer – 6400 Model
Highest performance, largest cache High-performance, large cache
Specifications per node: Specifications per note:
1536 GB DRAM 768 GB DRAM
25.6 TB SSD 12.8 TB SSD
6×25/10Gb + 2x1Gb Network Ports 6×25/10Gb + 2x1Gb Network Ports
Minimum 3-node cluster Minimum 3-node cluster
Uses 256 AES encryption Uses 256 AES encryption

Key features

  • Scalable to 24 FXT server nodes as demand grows
  • High-performance DRAM/memory for faster access to active data and large SSD cache sizes to support big data workloads
  • Single mountpoint provides simplified management across heterogeneous storage
  • Hybrid architecture – NFSv3, SMB2 to clients and applications; support for NetApp, Dell EMC Isilon, Azure Blob, and S3 storage

The Azure FXT Edge Filer is a combination of hardware provided by Dell EMC and software provided by Microsoft. For ease, a complete solution will be delivered to customers as a software-plus-hardware appliance through a system integrator. If you are interested in learning more about adding the Azure FXT Edge Filer to your on-premises infrastructure or about upgrading existing Avere hardware, you can reach out to the team now. Otherwise, watch for update on the Azure FXT Edge Filer homepage

Azure FXT Edge Filer for render farms

High-performance file access for render farms and artists is key to meeting important deadlines and building efficiencies into post-production pipelines. At NAB 2019 in Las Vegas, visit the Microsoft Azure booth #SL6716 to learn more about the new Azure FXT Edge Filer for rendering. You’ll find technology experts, presentations, and support materials to help you render faster with Azure.