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 388: 25th September 2022

Welcome to Azure Weekly Issue 388. There are two interesting announcement around Azure Storage: General availability update: Improved Append Capability on Immutable Storage for Blob Storage and Generally available: Immutable storage for Azure Data Lake Storage, and a talks about Azure Blob Storage and Life Cycle Management

Azure Payment HSM achieves PCI PIN certification offering customers secure digital payments solutions in the cloud. James Broome published the third part of his series about Insight Discovery, focusing on Defining Actionable Insights. Finally, two interesting posts about Azure Container Apps: Observability with Azure Container Apps and Azure Container Apps Networking: A condensed view of concepts.

Issue 387: 18th September 2022

A slight DevOps theme in the highlights this week; Bicep is in Visual Studio, and API Management DevOps Resource Toolkit v1.0.0 (GA). An announcement that could be a bit of a game changer: Azure Code Signing, democratizing trust for developers and consumers, and a good guide to programmatically generate Cloud Resource Names Part 1 and Part 2.

James Broome published the second in his series on planning and delivering modern data analytics solutions in successful data projects start by forgetting about the data and Barry Smart has recorded his session from Data Scotland 2022: Fake it 'til you make it - generating production quality test data at scale using Azure Synapse.

A theme that has been increasingly occurring in Brain Trust conversations with our customers is that of "trimming IT (cloud) budgets" in preparation for a (global) recession. There are many different tactics that can be used with Azure; changing contract type (eliminating CSP fees seems to be a theme), using reserved instances, auto-scaling to deal with peak / off-peak demands, dev/test pricing, moving resources to more modern VM SKUs, migrating workloads from VMs to AKS for higher density. These are the low-hanging fruit. If you want to take a more holistic view, to form a strategy across your IT estate, you may need a more structured process, as some of these decisions will need to be ROI based (i.e. need budget in order to deliver cost-savings). Barry Smart (who used to be CTO of a 100 year old Financial Services company) shares his tried and tested approach in A simple toolkit for IT budgeting and planning, which establishes a data-driven, evidence-based approach for auditing your estate, and grouping "digital assets" into four groups: Protect, Invest, Tolerate, Retire, which enables an easier conversations with senior decision makers & budget holders. It's worth a read!

Issue 386: 11th September 2022

Quite a packed edition, with lots of community content. An interesting announcement this week is the Generally availability of the Kusto Emulator; hopefully this will allow more people to investigate / integrate into their CI/CD pipelines. John Reilly has an interesting post Reverse engineering the Azure Application Insights Transactions URL, if you use App Insights, it's an interesting investigation.

The endjin folks have been busy blogging this week: Jon George kicks off a series sharing our findings as we've migrated some of our applications from Azure Functions to Container Apps: Bye bye Azure Functions, Hello Azure Container Apps: Introduction, James Dawson has come up with a workaround for Using Azure CLI Authentication within Local Containers, Liam Mooney provides a worked example for Automating Excel in the Cloud with Office Scripts and Power Automate which is a useful starting point for any organisation that wants to improve productivity by automating Excel based business processes. James Broome kicks off a series about successfully planning and delivering data analytics projects on Azure Synapse & Power BI in Insight Discovery part 1 – why do data projects often fail, and this dovetails nicely with a Microsoft post on Building the Lakehouse - Implementing a Data Lake Strategy with Azure Synapse.

There's an interesting walkthrough of Durable Entities, and a similar video-based overview of Azure Chaos Studio, and following on from last week, Taiseer Joudeh publishes the next two parts in his series about Dapr & Azure: Azure Container Apps with Dapr Bindings Building Block – Part 7 and Azure Container Apps Monitoring and Observability with Application Insights – Part 8

Issue 385: 4th September 2022

There are always a number of GA / Public & Private Preview announcements at the end / start of a month; Azure Virtual Machines with Ampere Altra Arm - based processors, Azure Cosmos DB integrated cache, and Azure Managed Grafana are generally available, and the public preview of App Configuration references for App Service and Azure Functions. There's a great 2022 Introduction to Azure Automation.

Taiseer Joudeh has a great series of posts about building Microservice Applications with Azure Container Apps and Dapr - Part 1, Deploy backend API Microservice to Azure Container Apps Part 2, Communication between Microservices in Azure Container Apps - Part 3, Dapr Integration with Azure Container Apps Part 4, and Azure Container Apps State Store With Dapr State Management API Part 5.

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