Azure Data Explorer gets new engine, numerous enhancements and Synapse integration

3.png

An Azure Data Explorer dashboard


Credit: Microsoft

Today, at a dedicated online event for Azure Data Explorer (ADX), Microsoft is announcing numerous enhancements to the service, including a next-gen release of the underlying engine and an array of integration points that should make it more accessible, more enticing and more useful. ADX, which is most often used for telemetry data lake workloads and analytical solutions as a service, will now run even faster overall than it had, will have numerous optimizations and will connect with a variety of other data services, streaming data sources and data visualization solutions. This will help a service that’s been very successful but not especially well-known, even among Azure analytics experts, achieve more mainstream appeal.

Performance gains galore

What new features are coming to ADX? To start with, Microsoft’s introducing a new version of the core engine (in preview, with GA expected in February), which

Read More
Read More

Microsoft’s Azure AD authentication outage: What went wrong

azureadoutage.jpg

Credit: Microsoft

On September 28 and September 29 this week, a number of Microsoft customers worldwide were impacted by a cascading series of problems resulting in many being unable to access their Microsoft apps and services. On October 1, Microsoft posted its post-mortem about the outages, outlining what happened and next steps it plans to take to head this kind of issue off in the future.

Starting around 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, September 28, customers began reporting they couldn’t sign into Microsoft and third-party applications which used Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) for authentication. (Yes, this means Office 365 and other Microsoft cloud services.) Those who were already signed in were less likely to have had issues. According to Microsoft’s report, users in the Americas and Australia were likely to be impacted more than those in Europe and Asia.

Microsoft acknowledged it was a service update targeting an internal

Read More
Read More

How ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator’ became a ‘living game’ with Azure AI

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a triumph, one that fully captures the meditative experience of soaring through the clouds. But to bring the game to life, Microsoft and developer Asobo Studio needed more than an upgraded graphics engine to make its planes look more realistic. They needed a way to let you believably fly anywhere on the planet, with true-to-life topography and 3D models for almost everything you see, something that’s especially difficult in dense cities.

A task like that would be practically impossible to accomplish by hand. But it’s the sort of large-scale data processing that Microsoft’s Azure AI was built for. The company was able to push 2.5 petabytes worth of Bing Maps satellite photo data through Azure machine learning to construct the virtual world of Flight Simulator. You could say it’s really the cloud that brings the game to life. Azure also helps to model real-time weather. (That’s

Read More
Read More

Microsoft boots apps out of Azure used by China-sponsored hackers

A motherboard has been photoshopped to include a Chinese flag.
Enlarge / Computer chip with Chinese flag, 3d conceptual illustration.

Fortune 500 companies aren’t the only ones flocking to cloud services like Microsoft Azure. Increasingly, hackers working on behalf of the Chinese government are also hosting their tools in the cloud, and that’s keeping people in Redmond busy.

Earlier this year, members of the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center suspended 18 Azure Active Directory applications after determining they were part of a sprawling command-and-control network. Besides the cloud-hosted applications, the members of the hacking group Microsoft calls Gadolinium also stored ill-gotten data in a Microsoft OneDrive account and used the account to execute various parts of the campaign.

Microsoft, Amazon, and other cloud providers have long touted the speed, flexibility, and scale that comes from renting computing resources as needed rather than using dedicated servers in-house. Hackers seem to be realizing the same benefits. The shift to the cloud can be

Read More
Read More

Microsoft Azure Orbital satellite service to compete with Amazon AWS

Microsoft will offer a new service called Azure Orbital that connects satellites directly to its cloud computing network, the company announced at its Ignite conference Tuesday.

The service will begin in a “private preview” to a select group of Microsoft customers. Earlier this month CNBC reported on Microsoft’s plans to challenge the Ground Station service that’s available from Amazon Web Services. Amazon and Microsoft are the two largest providers of cloud infrastructure, with data centers in far-flung places that can host websites and run applications using a variety of computing and storage services.

“With access to low-latency global fiber networks and the global scale of Microsoft’s cloud services, customers can innovate quickly with large satellite datasets,” Yves Pitsch, a principal product manager at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. “The cloud is central to both modern communications scenarios for remote operations and the gathering, processing, and distributing the tremendous amounts

Read More
Read More

Microsoft connects satellites to its cloud in new service, Azure Orbital

Sept. 22 (UPI) — Microsoft on Tuesday launched Azure Orbital, a new service that connects satellites to its cloud to process data from space.

Data satellite operators retrieve from space to observe Earth is key in addressing global challenges like climate change and furthering scientific innovation, Azure Networking Principal Program Manager Yves Pitsch said in a blog post Tuesday.

The new ground station service, Azure Orbital, connects satellite operators directly to the Azure cloud computing network to communicate with their satellites and process and store data from them.

Microsoft announced at its virtual Ignite conference Tuesday that Azure Orbital will begin in a “private preview” to select Microsoft customers.

“With Azure Orbital, we’re taking our infrastructure to space, enabling anyone to access satellite data and capabilities from Azure,” Microsoft CEO Satyr Nadella said during the Microsoft Ignite 2020 conference.

Amazon captured 45% of the cloud-computing market in 2019, when Microsoft

Read More
Read More