Azure Weekly

Your weekly Azure news fix

Azure Weekly is a summary of the week's top news to help you build on the Microsoft Azure Platform.

From AI to Availability Zones, it aims to keep you on top of the latest Azure developments.

Issue 320: 18th April 2021

I wanted to start this week with a big congratulations to Carmel Eve, who has just published her first LinkedIn Learning Course Exam Tips AZ-204: Developing Solutions for Microsoft Azure based on her blog post of the same subject.

There's a particularly fascinating article about text analytics (which has been an area of interest at endjin for a few years), but this post shows the insights that can be mined from unstructured data: Analyzing COVID Medical Papers with Azure and Text Analytics for Health. Next there's an interesting case study about how Royal Bank of Canada are using Always Encrypted with secure enclaves If you are doing anything with analytics, data lake and Power BI, this "Importing Data From ADLSgen2 Into Power BI" blog series is a must read, and a good place to start is Summary Of Findings.

Two product updates of note this week: Azure Blob storage supports objects up to 200 TB in size and Azure API Management support for Availability Zones are both GA.

And to finish off this issues, some developer related items. Microsoft have just released Managed Memory Dump Analyzers, which will be hugely helpful for troubleshooting issues that only happenin production. I'm a huge fan of Notebook-based development, so was pleased to see this article: Using Notebooks more with Azure Data Engineering services. We've been doing some work with Bicep over the last few weeks and it's a great improvement over ARM from a productivity perspective: Deploying Azure Bicep using GitHub Actions. Another interesting post this week: Stop typing PowerShell credentials in demos using PowerShell SecretManagement. Microsoft Graph is one most powerful, yet often overlooked Microsoft services, but you can get started with Developer's guide to Microsoft Graph Learn Together: Building Apps with Microsoft Graph

Finally, a fascinating post about Microsoft's efforts to implement Quic. Other than the big perf gains, I absolutely love that they have integrated performance benchmarks into the DevOps pipeline. This is a good approach for any NFRs you need to track: Making MsQuic Blazing Fast.

Issue 319: 11th April 2021

Let's start this week with two fascinating posts: Deepen the value chain for geospatial earth imagery on cloud using Azure Orbital and Building a balancing robot with Azure Sphere.

Next up, there's is now a Azure Static Web Apps CLI, you can now convert your favorite App Insights Workbooks, and also run Logic Apps in a Docker container.

There's a great interview with Mike Budzynski about API Management, a nice post from Stanislav Zhelyazkov with Tips on creating Azure policies for Azure SQL Databases, and from Alex Simons confidently modernize to cloud authentication with Azure AD staged rollout and the Azure Updates Team share the new Azure Cloud Services deployment model now generally available.

Finally, I wanted to apologise to Stephane Eyskens for accidentally misattributing someone else to his excellent post about The Azure Security Architect Map but to also highlight the book that he and Ed Price have written, called The Azure Cloud Native Architecture Mapbook - check it out!

Issue 318: 4th April 2021

The Azure Updates Team announces that Azure Static Web Apps now supports deployment with Azure DevOps. Alongside this, Aaron Powell runs through how to make authentication simpler for Static Web App APIs Also Azure Communication Services is generally available.

Orrin Edenfield walks through integration with on-prem data sources in Azure Synapse Analytics. On Channel 9, Julie Fryer and David Blank-Edelman talk about better app token security through application roles. Finally, Zachary Cavanell highlights how to automate note-taking in Microsoft Teams with meeting transcription.

Issue 317: 28th March 2021

Let's start with a couple of posts about the Cloud Adoption Framework and Enterprise Scale - two very useful approaches for building out your Azure estate. We've been using them for the past 9 months and they provide a great framework and foundation: Cloud Adoption Framework Enterprise-Scale Series and Livestream, and Scale cloud adoption with modular designs for enterprise-scale landing zones. Mark Russinovich also highlights the latest innovations inside Azure Datacenter Architecture. If you missed his Ignite session, it's worth a watch just to see the DNA storage demo.

In the data and analytics space, Get a 360-degree view of data sharing lineage with Azure Data Share and Purview and in compute there are New VM series supported by Azure Batch are General availability.

Command Line tools are undergoing a bit of a renaissance at the moment. I find that I'm spending more of my day in VS Code and my "inner dev loop" either involves the inbuilt Terminal or Windows Terminal, in this area there are a couple of good posts: The Windows Terminal made better with the Command Palette plus Multiple Actions in one Command, Getting Started with the Azure CLI and How to Install the Azure CLI Windows, Linux, macOS, Azure Shell. Combining Windows Terminal and Azure Cloud Shell is a powerful combo.

There are three interesting posts in the area of security and identity this week: Azure AD at Ignite 2021 Recap: Securing your application ecosystem, Azure Custom Roles Following Least Privilege Best Practices and How to take over and kill a viral AAD tenant.

Finally, an interesting post about how you can collaborate with the Azure Product Groups in Microsoft Customer Co-Creation: How You Can Help Influence the way Products and Services are Built.

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