imageJoin the next OpenDev, a live technical series featuring open source community leaders.

This episode features DevOps, which increases business agility by delivering business value to customers faster. Learn how to combine leading projects in a DevOps toolchain, with the power of Azure, benefiting legacy and cloud-native applications.

For details, register here:

imageclip_image002This is a the Microsoft IoT event for IoT industry members – FREE of charge.

If you’re in the industry of manufacturing IoT devices, writing software that enable IoT, etc., this event is for you. 

For more information around Microsoft IoT, check out this article in ReadWrite web:

(Note: While educational, it’s not really an event for folks looking to implement IoT in their organization)

We are announcing the new “Azure free” account available to all customers via

The new “Azure free” account provides $200 credit for 30 days to experiment with a combination of products. It also includes 12-months of free compute, storage, network and database products and 25+ always free products to learn and to build your next ideas.

Visit to sign up!

Posted by: kurtsh | October 2, 2017

RELEASE: SQL Server 2017 (Windows, Linux, and Docker)

Starting Monday, October 2, 2017, customers will be able to bring the industry-leading performance and security of SQL Server to Linux and Docker containers for production workloads, enabling developers to build intelligent applications using their preferred language and environment.

The new release enables industry-leading performance, innovative security features, transformational analytics with AI built-in, and delivering insights wherever users are with mobile BI.

Learn more about SQL Server 2017.

To assist our customers to fast track their migration to Azure, we are pleased to announce Azure Migrate—a new service that provides the guidance, insights, and mechanisms needed to assist you in migrating to Azure.

Using an appliance-based approach, Azure Migrate provides:

  • Discovery and assessment for on-premises virtual machines and servers
  • Inbuilt dependency mapping for high-confidence discovery of multi-tier applications
  • Intelligent rightsizing to Azure virtual machines
  • Compatibility reporting with guidelines for remediating potential issues
  • Integration with Azure Database Management Service for database discovery and migration

Azure Migrate gives you confidence that your workloads can migrate with minimal impact to the business and run as expected in Azure. With the right tools and guidance, you can achieve maximum return on investment while assuring that critical performance and reliability needs are met.

To learn more about Azure Migrate and sign up for Limited Preview, please visit The Limited Preview enables discovery, cost analysis, and configuration recommendations for VMware-based environments. Support for discovering Hyper-V environments and for replication-based server migration will be added in the coming months. To access further migration resources, tools, and offers, visit the new Azure Migration Center. Please visit the Azure migration Infopedia page at for field sales and technical information.

The general availability of a new reduced-cost compute offering is now available for the Azure Batch service. Low-priority VMs can be specified for Azure Batch pools and are available at a 60% to 80% discount compared to regular on-demand VMs.

  • Low-priority VMs have a huge discount, are available in all regions for all VM series. They are allocated from surplus capacity, so available may vary and they can be preempted.
  • Interrupt tolerant workloads and jobs can leverage low-priority VMs to realize huge cost savings.

Azure Batch manages complexity. Batch pools can contain both on-demand and low-priority VMs, the number of VMs of each type can be changed at any time, interrupted tasks and automatically re-queued, preempted VMs are automatically replaced if available to maintain capacity.

Read the docs page for more on Azure Batch.

Visit the Azure pricing page for Pricing on Azure Batch.

Posted by: kurtsh | October 2, 2017

NEWS: Azure Reserved VM Instances… coming!

At Ignite, we pre-announced Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs) which will enable customers to reserve virtual machines on Azure for 1 year or 3 year terms and provide significant cost savings. Key benefits include:

  • Cost savings—customers can save up to 82% over pay as you go prices with RIs combined with Azure Hybrid Use Benefit (AHUB) for Windows VMs and up to 72% on all VMs. Customers can improve budgeting and forecasting because RIs are purchased in 1- and 3-year terms with a single up-front payment.
  • Simplicity and flexibility—customers select only three items: region, VM series, and term, reducing purchasing complexity. If customers decide at any time during the term that they need to exchange or cancel reservations, that’s easy too.
  • Prioritized compute capacity—customers request virtual machine capacity in their desired region or series to ensure the resources are available when—and where—they need them. Customers can now plan, implement, and execute against desired workloads by optimizing datacenter capacity around the globe.

Azure RIs are expected to become available for purchase before end of 2017.

Learn more about Azure Reserved VM Instances on

Bing now includes a FactCheck badge & automatically displays research from Snopes, Politifact, and other well-researched sources, under Bing search results of questionable validity that may be potentially "Fake News".


Read more about this feature on the Bing Blog:

imageJoin us for a free Microsoft webinar on Interactive Price Analytics and learn more about this fascinating topic. At the end of it, you will be able to use our new solution right out-of-the-box, or work with a Microsoft solution partner to you customize the solution further, to meet your business specific needs.

Every business needs data-driven insight into its pricing. But getting at true price effects is tricky. How much of that turkey did you sell because you discounted, and how much because it was Thanksgiving?

First, you need data scientists. They will tell you to run many experiments, but you’d need to hire engineers to build a system for that.  And you can only change a few prices once a month. There are price stickers to change and promotional materials to print. Can’t we just look at our sales history?

As it turns out, now you can. The Interactive Pricing Analytics mitigates the two worst pitfalls of modeling price sensitivity from historical data: confounding and data sparsity. It can be installed into your Azure subscription in four clicks. In the solution dashboard, you can see optimal pricing recommendations, item elasticities at a finely granular level, estimates of related-product effects such "as cannibalization", forecasts given current prices, and model performance metrics.

Direct interaction with the pricing model in Excel lets you simply paste your sales data there and analyze your prices without the need to integrate the data into the solution database first, simulate promotions and plot demand curves (showing demand response to price), and access dashboard data in numerical form.

To learn more about this free seminar, check out the following:

imageMicrosoft acquired Cycle Computing, a leader in cloud computing orchestration, to help make it easier than ever for customers to use High-Performance Computing (HPC) and other Big Computing capabilities in the cloud.

The cloud is quickly changing the world of Big Compute, giving customers the on-demand power and infrastructure necessary to run massive workloads at scale without the overhead. Your compute power is no longer measured or limited by the square footage of your data center.

Azure has a massive global footprint and, more than any other major cloud provider. It also has powerful infrastructure, InfiniBand support for fast networking and state-of-the-art GPU capabilities. Combining the most specialized Big Compute infrastructure available in the public cloud with Cycle Computing’s technology and years of experience with the world’s largest supercomputers, we open up many new possibilities.

Most importantly, Cycle Computing will help customers accelerate their movement to the cloud, and make it easy to take advantage of the most performant and compliant infrastructure available in the public cloud today.

Business Insider thought the announcement was a pretty big deal.  Read below to understand why.

Read the announcements here:

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