Issue 258: 19th January 2020
A few announcements to share this week: we've been told that Azure is now certified for the ISO/IEC 27701 privacy standard, there is a New Azure blueprint for CIS Benchmark, and that Azure Storage Blobs User Delegation SAS Tokens now Generally Available. Elsewhere, James Ding has written about Azure Data Explorer and Stream Analytics for anomaly detection, and Adam Bertram has provided a complete guide to Understanding Azure DevOps Variables.
Issue 257: 12th January 2020
A distinct lack of Azure blog-worthy announcements this week, so let's take a look at the updates:
Issue 256: 5th January 2020
Happy New Year to everyone, and welcome to the first edition of Azure Weekly in 2020! I'm still slightly shocked that this year will mark the 6th anniversary of this newsletter, and also endjin's 10th birthday. Time flies when you're having fun!
2019 felt, on the whole, like a stabilising year in the Azure ecosystem; there were a few big game changing announcements (Synapse being the big one IMHO), but mainly it felt like services were being refined & matured, SDK's expanded with idiomatic support for multiple popular languages, better Azure AD support was rolled out across many core services, and lots of developer productivity improvements were made. It was also the start of the third wave; a container-based reboot of Azure where services can be run in the cloud, on prem, on "the edge" (i.e. IoT devices), on local development machines or other cloud platforms. This is, of course, a quite complex strategy, and Azure Arc is a management wrapper around this approach.
There is no doubt that containers are going to play a significant part in the future, but I'm really hoping that they just become an implementation detail and enable higher level PaaS & Serverless models, rather than becoming the new IaaS; no-one wants to manage K8 clusters; modern organisations need more derive more value rather than perpetuating old models with new tech.
.NET Core 3.x is another landmark from 2019; this one felt like it was coming for ages; a mature & stable cross-platform release with many performance and productivity optimisations, and the final milestone before the one true unified, game changing .NET 5.x. I had the privilidge of being a tech reviewer for Ian Griffiths' Programming C# 8.0 Book for O'Reilly and we put some of the new zero allocation memory features to good use in the platform we delivered for OceanMind; we replaced a OSS IoT protocol decoder with a custom build C# Span<T> version - message processing went from several thousand to several million per second, which allowed us to migrate this compute from an always-on cluster into an Azure Function, saving tens of thousands of pounds per month in compute costs. .NET Core 3.x + Azure is an incredibly powerful combination. .NET Core deserves more love than it gets.
I'm personally very excited by Dapr, which feels like a distillation of the best ideas from Service Fabric (a very underrated and underappreciated stack), and Azure Functions, integrated with the OSS technologies that have gained traction (containers, gRPC etc), to deliver polyglot microservices. Again, this will really come into its own if it is offered via a serverless model on Azure. The last thing we did before the festive break was get Dapr running on a 4 node Raspberry Pi cluster, and it worked like a charm. Along with Dapr, The Open Application Model (OAM), Cloud Native Application Bundles (CNAB) and Porter are technologies worth keeping an eye on - more on these last two in the upcoming weeks.
Also in 2019, we span out all the Power BI content into a new Power BI Weekly newsletter, curated by Ed Freeman (who also happened to win "Cloud Apprentice of the Year" at the National Computing Awards), and we decided to publish the newsletter content to their own websites: https://azureweekly.info/ & https://powerbiweekly.info/ so people could subscribe via RSS as an alternative to a weekly email.
Issue 255: 15th December 2019
This is going to be the final issue of 2019 (and the decade)!. This week we have announced the exciting news that Carmel and Jess will be Speaking at NDC London about Combatting illegal fishing with Machine Learning and Azure!. Greg Suttie has also provided an Azure Advent Calendar – Week 1 recap
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