Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly Issue 272: 26th April 2020

This week, on the Azure blog, James Baker has written a post about how we can Optimize cost and performance with Query Acceleration for Azure Data Lake Storage. We've not had a chance to try this out yet, but it's definitely something we'll be looking into!

The updates team have also announced that the Azure Support API is generally available. This means that there is now an easy way to automate the mnanaging of Azure Support tickets.

And, on Azure Tips and Tricks, Michael Crump has explained how you can Use Azure Functions Premium Plan to avoid cold-starts. Not only this but, as we recently found out when carrying out a performance investigation, upgrading to premium can have a huge effect on performance due to the improved hardware and removal of limits on connections. It's definitely an idea to keep this option in mind when investigating how to improve the performance of a serverless system!

There have also been a couple of great DevOps related posts: Martin Brandl has provided an easy-to-follow walkthrough on How to deploy Azure Resource Manager ARM templates with GitHub Actions. And Mahendar Madhavaram and Eduardo Bottcher have provided an example of How to retrieve all work items associated with a release pipeline using Azure DevOps API.

We've been quite DevOps focused here at endjin over the past few weeks, with the exciting addition of James Dawson to our team. We're excited to see how we can improve our own CI/CD processes using his expertise! And, on our blog, Carmel has highlighted that the Recording of her and Jess' Azure Oxford talk: Combatting illegal fishing with Azure for less than £10/month is now available. Definitely worth a watch if you have the time!

And now something aimed at the UK Tech Sector...

Bytes For Heroes are looking for UK technology companies to help us with a COVID-19 based charity initiative that we launched last week; they're on a mission to provide hot meals to 1,000,000 NHS front line workers that are putting their lives on the line to save others.

By partnering with local catering firms, they're funding them to provide hot meals, and make a tangible difference to the lives of those who are doing what we can't do.

They kicked off with a pilot programme in Bristol at Southmeads Hospital, and have provided over 2000 NHS heroes with hearty meal, which went down really well! But they've got such a long way to go.

They've signed up Amazon AWS and UKCloud among a number of other technology companies that want to know they're making a difference.

Since launching, they've received some great press, including an article on Tuesday in The Register.

If you want to make a real difference and can get on board with their cause, they're looking for help in a number of ways:

  • Funding of meals - You can choose to either support the national effort, or support your local hospital directly. Meals are ranging between £2 and £5 per meal dependent on location.
  • Helping to raise awareness - Publicly supporting the cause via your social media channels and sales teams.
  • Lending a hand - If any of your teams want to volunteer to support our cause, and can help with PR, marketing, fund raising or want to be involved in the front line logistics, they'll help to make that happen.

How they can help you:

  • Your logo on our website with a link back to your website. This will be in "Our Supporters" section.
  • Social media highlighting your company as a supporter and thanking you.
  • Statistics from our app (Launching Friday 24th April) which will give you data on how many people the overall effort is supporting and how many NHS Heroes your donations have specifically provided.

They're not stopping there!

The next version of the app will allow you to provide a personalised message back to the NHS hero that redeems their meal voucher. Allowing you to say a special thankyou from your business for the work that they're doing.

And don't worry!

The team at Bytes for Heroes is 100% volunteer driven and 100% of all donations go straight to catering teams who are delivering these services at cost! Your money will go straight to feeding those who they want to support.

Get in touch now at

AI + Machine Learning

Covering: Anomaly detector, Azure Bot Service, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Open Datasets, Bing APIs, Cognitive Services, Computer Vision, Content moderator, Custom vision, Data Science Virtual Machines, Face, Form Recogniser, Immersive Reader, Ink Recogniser, Language Understanding (LUIS), Machine Learning Studio, Microsoft Genomics, ML.NET, Personaliser, Project Cortex, QnA Maker, Speaker Recognition, Speech-to-Text, Speech translation, Text Analytics, Text to Speech , Translator Speech, Translator Text


Covering: Apache Spark for HDInsight, Apache Storm for HDInsight, Azure Analysis Services, Azure Data Explorer, Azure Data Share, Azure Databricks, Azure Stream Analytics, Azure Synapse Analytics, Data Catalog, Data Factory, Data Lake Analytics, Event Hubs, HDInsight, .NET for Apache Spark, R Server for HDInsight


Covering: Azure Blockchain Service, Azure Blockchain Tokens, Azure Blockchain Workbench


Covering: Azure CycleCloud, Azure Dedicated Host, Azure Functions, Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple, Batch, Cloud Services, Linux Virtual Machines, SAP HANA on Azure Large Instances, Service Fabric, Virtual Machines, Virtual Machine Scale Sets


Covering: Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), Azure Red Hat OpenShift, CNAB, CNCF, Container Instances, Container Registry, Porter, WSL, Web App for Containers


Covering: Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Database for MariaDB, Azure Database for MySQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Database Edge, Azure Cache for Redis, SQL Data Warehouse, SQL Server on virtual machines, SQL Server Stretch Database, Table storage

Developer Tools

Covering: App Configuration, Azure Lab Services, CLIs, Developer tool integrations, SDKs, Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio Online


Covering: Azure Artifacts, Azure Boards, Azure DevOps, Azure Pipelines, Azure Repos, Azure Test Plans, Azure DevTest Labs, DevOps tool integrations


Covering: Azure Arc, Azure Stack


Covering: Azure Active Directory (AD), Azure Active Directory B2C, Azure Active Directory Domain Services


Covering: Azure API for FHIR, Event Grid, Logic Apps, Service Bus

Internet of Things

Covering: Azure Digital Twins, Azure IoT Central, Azure IoT Edge, Azure IoT Hub, Azure IoT solution accelerators, Azure Maps, Azure Sphere, Azure Time Series Insights, IoT DevKit, WildernessLabs, Windows 10 IoT Core Services

Management and Governance

Covering: Automation, Azure Advisor, Azure Backup, Azure Blueprints, Azure Lighthouse, Azure Managed Applications, Azure mobile app, Azure Monitor, Azure Policy, Azure Resource Manager, Azure Service Health, Azure Site Recovery, Cloud Shell, Cost Management, Microsoft Azure portal, Sceduler


Covering: Azure Media Player, Content Protection, Encoding, Live and On-Demand Streaming, Media Analytics, Media Services, Video Indexer

Mixed Reality

Covering: Kinect DK, Remote rendering, Spatial anchors


Covering: Azure Database Migration Service, Azure Migrate, Data Box


Covering: App Service (Mobile), Mobile apps, Notification Hubs, Visual Studio App Centre, Xamarin


Covering: Application Gateway, Azure Bastion, Azure DNS, Azure ExpressRoute, Azure Firewall, Azure Firewall Manager, Azure Front Door, Azure Internet Analyzer, Azure Private Link, Content Delivery Network, Load Balancer, Network Watcher, Traffic Manager, Virtual Network, Virtual WAN, VPN Gateway, Web Application Firewall


Covering: Azure DDoS Protection, Azure Information Protection, Azure Sentinel, Key Vault, Security Center


Covering: Archive Storage, Avere vFXT for Azure, Azure Data Lake Store, Azure FXT Edge Filer, Azure HPC Cache, Azure NetApp Files, Blob Storage, Disk Storage, File Storage, Managed Disks, Queue Storage, Storage Accounts, Storage Explorer, StorSimple


Covering: API apps, API Management, App Service (Web), Azure Cognitive Search, Azure SignalR Service, Azure Spring Cloud, Web apps

Windows Virtual Desktop

Covering: Windows Virtual Desktop

Azure Weekly Archive

If you would like to read more interesting articles from the Azure ecosystem check out our archive where you will find all of the back issues.

Contribute Content

If you would like to contribute any content to the Azure Weekly newsletter, please email