Azure Weekly

Azure Weekly Issue 420: 28th May 2023

It's an absolute beast this week. Microsoft BUILD was as epic as expected. As usual a great condensed summary of announcements can be found in the Book of News, and I'd recommend it as your first stop.

The big keynote announcements were all focused on OpenAI and Copilot, and how they are being integrated into every aspect of the Microsoft Product Portfolio. Prompt Engineering was getting a lot of love, and Prompt Flow looks very interesting. Microsoft Fabric, a unification of data products and an evolution of Azure Synapse; it was also unveiled as "data is the fuel that powers AI", and Fabric lower the barrier to entry and time to value. Fabric is an important foundational element as many organisations can only dream of harnessing AI once they've sorted out the chaos that is their data estate.

There's too much to cover for an editorial, so I'm going to highlight two session that I found really interesting; Azure Innovations with Mark Russinovitch, there's so much goodness in this session from Project Forge (formerly Singularity) to Hyperlight a new MicroVM technology like Firecracker. I also enjoyed Building AI solutions with Semantic Kernel, and this is top of my list of things I want to play with. The new Semantic Kernel VS Code extensions look useful.

There's 6 hours of Microsoft Fabric content split across two days in the launch event; Day 1 and Day 2. If that's too much of a time commitment for you, we've been on the private preview of Microsoft Fabric for the last 6 months and have published some useful content to share our insights; A landing page linking all our content, a Azure Radar page giving a high-level overview including Pros & Cons, a 20 minute perspectives on Microsoft Fabric discussion, a 10 minute Tour around Microsoft Fabric, and then several blog posts: An Introduction to Fabric, a detailed Azure Synapse Analytics versus Microsoft Fabric: A Side by Side Comparison, and a view on one of the killer features: What is OneLake?. I'm hoping that this is the last "new" data platform announcement for at least 5 years, as organisations tend to move slowly, and operate on roadmaps that are in the 5-10 year span, want to invest in a platform and then build value on top of it, rather than constantly having to re-invest in upgrading / migrating.

I've picked a few highlights from this edition: Generative AI for Developers: Exploring New Tools and APIs in Azure OpenAI Service, a fascinating insight into What runs ChatGPT Inside Microsoft's AI supercomputer Featuring Mark Russinovich, a feature I've been waiting for: Introducing jobs for Azure Container Apps, and an impressive announcement that seems to have slipped under the radar: Introducing the Azure Linux container host for AKS.

I'd like to thank Liam Mooney for the help putting together this epic edition.

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, Azure Purview


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

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


Covering: Microsoft Certifications, Azure Certifications, Microsoft Learning Paths, Certification Pathway Information

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, Scheduler, Azure Purview


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


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: 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

Azure Virtual Desktop

Covering: Azure Virtual Desktop

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