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December News Roundup: What's New with Azure?

Hello Cloud Gurus! Wondering what’s changed with Azure this month? We’ve written an article with everything you need to know to keep in the loop.

Jun 15, 2023 • 6 Minute Read

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  • azure
  • Cloud
  • Software Development

Hello Cloud Gurus! Wondering what’s changed with Azure over the last month, but haven’t had the time to check the headlines? We’ve written an article with everything you need to know to keep in the loop.

PSRule for Azure

We started off the month with an interview with Bernie White from Microsoft, who told us all about PSRule for Azure - an open-source, IaC tool that can help level-up your Azure deployments. Check out the chat below!

AZ-800 cert now launched

A brand new certification course launched on A Cloud Guru this month, the AZ-800 or Administering Windows Server Hybrid Core Infrastructure. It is an awesome course, filled with tons of hands-on labs, hours of meaningful content, all designed to teach you the ins and outs of Windows Servers. It covers content desperately needed for businesses that are in the process of transitioning to the cloud. 

If you have some time, take a look. There are so many demos, tutorials, and hands-on labs, that when you finish you will truly feel like you not only understand the material, but have been working with the concepts personally for quite some time. 

So if you’ve ever wanted to learn hybrid, set yourself apart from the competition and unwrap this awesome new course yourself this month.

New Deployment Options for Azure Container Apps

Microsoft announced a few new ways you can deploy Azure Container Apps. The first of these features, currently in preview, allows you to deploy an Azure Container App from just source code. There's no need to provide a dockerfile, or the instructions to create your container image. 

This is achieved using the simple az container up command from the Azure CLI. 

In the background, this command will deploy all of the required resources for your container app and if you target GitHub as a source, it will even configure continuous delivery.

And there's one other new deployment option, in addition to GitHub Actions that power this continuous delivery, there are now pipeline tasks for Azure DevOps to deploy Azure Container Apps.

Even better, all your favourite source code languages are supported, including .NET, Node, PHP, Python, Ruby and Go. Wayne Hoggett goes through a demo of these options if you're more of a visual learner!

Microsoft also announced Azure Bastion Shareable Links in Public Preview. This new feature enables connectivity to a target VM or VM scale set using a simple link. With this feature you longer need to provide access to the Azure Portal to grant remote access using HTTPS to a VM or scale set using Azure Bastion.

This is a great feature as you'll often need to provide temporary secure access to a virtual machine so a software vendor or developer can provide support for their application running on your virtual machine. You can see Wayne Hoggett demo-ing this below!

Azure Free Services updated to 55+ free services

Who doesn't love free stuff?

Microsoft has increased the number of Azure services that are free for the first 12 months for new customers. The new services include up to 100GB of Locally redundant Azure Files and up to 5 hours of Media Services for live and on-demand streaming.

Microsoft has also recently upped the number of always free Azure services from around 40 to over 55. You’ll receive the free quota for these services whether you're on an Azure Free Trial or Pay-as-you-go subscription.

Some of the new services include a quota for Azure Container Apps, new AI and machine learning services like Metrics Advisor and Speaker Recognition, and real-time communication with Web PubSub.

3 Key Cloud Adoption Trends in Migrating and Modernizing Workloads

A new study that Microsoft commissioned to more than 1,200 IT decision makers last month reveals three key cloud adoption trends. 

  • Even though business climates are extremely uncertain around the globe, over 82% of those surveyed state that cloud adoption plans remain integral to strategies in uncertain business climates. 
  • Over 74% of businesses surveyed say that modernization is a key focus for digital transformation.  
  • Over 63% of respondents said that hybrid and multi-cloud environments are the new normal. 

Brian Roehm believes that this is line with what he's heard in the community: that cloud is here to stay, adoption will likely continue to grow to saturation, and new technologies such as machine learning, will continue to evolve and grow. 

Forrester TEI of Azure PaaS services

Keeping on the topic of studies...

Microsoft recently partnered with Forrester to measure the real world return on investment that comes from modernizing legacy applications to take advantage of managed cloud services, such as Azure’s Platform as a Service offerings. The end result of cloud modernization came out to 228 percent ROI over a period of three years, which is huge! 

For further context, application modernization consists of ending investments in on-premises infrastructure and migrating apps to run on managed services such as Azure App Service as opposed to a simple lift-and-shift onto a cloud-based virtual machine. 

The return on investment figure was calculated from a number of factors including: 

  1. Cost savings from not having to purchase on-site infrastructure 
  1. Reduced administration costs 
  1. Increased efficiency to develop applications 
  1. Increased uptime for scaling applications 
  1. And time saved by bringing applications to market faster than ever before 

Overall, the same size teams that worked with on-premises applications were able to operate faster and more efficiently with managed Azure services, letting them focus on more valuable tasks as opposed to managing infrastructure, with better uptime as well.  

That’s all the big December headlines for Azure wrapped up! 

Want to keep on top of Azure News each week?

Azure This Week is your weekly news roundup for all things Azure. Join our expert hosts as they cover everything you need to know about the past week’s developments, keeping it short, fun and informative. 

Whether you’re just beginning your cloud journey, or you know your stuff, there’s something for everyone!