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May 3, 2019

Azure Announces Host of Updates, SQL at the Edge, Blames Outage on DNS Error

SQL at the Edge works via a small-footprint container running in ARM and x64-based devices

By CBR Staff Writer

A busy 24 hours for Microsoft’s cloud Azure started with a three-hour outage yesterday, which the company blamed on an error during a migration of a legacy DNS system to Azure DNS, during which some domains for Microsoft services were incorrectly updated: “No customer DNS records were impacted during this incident” it said.

The outage briefly took out Compute, Storage, App Service, AAD, and SQL Database services on Azure. (To mitigate, engineers corrected the nameserver delegation issue. Some apps and services that accessed the incorrectly configured domains cached the incorrect information, leading to a longer restoration time, it noted).

See also: Azure Suffers Limited Outage After Requests Tip Service Over “Operational Threshold”

The timing was unfortunate, coming as it did hours before the company announced a host of new services for Azure, including a new Cognitive Services category dubbed “Decision”; a managed blockchain service featuring J.P. Morgan’s enterprise Ethereum platform, Quorum as the first supported ledger; a preview of Azure SQL Database Edge, a new tool that brings Azure SQL Database in the cloud to edge computing devices, including, Arm-based machines as well as Intel ones for the first time, and more.

New Azure Services

The announcements came ahead of its Microsoft BUILD event, with key announcements including a new Azure Search feature that allows “customers to apply services to algorithms” and launch of the new Cognitive Services category – “Decision” that brings AI to Azure Search and lets customers apply Cognitive Services algorithms to extract new insights from their structured and unstructured content.

With regard to the previewed Azure SQL Edge, Azure VP Julia White described the offering as bringing to the edge “the same performant, secure and easy to manage SQL engine that our customers love in Azure SQL Database and SQL Server.”

The service operates off a small-footprint container running in ARM- and x64-based devices in a connected or disconnected environment and runs on Linux, with Windows support coming soon, Microsoft said in release notes published on Thursday.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the release is that also supports an offline deployment model; crucial for customers with offices or operations that are highly distributed, including in areas with patchy connectivity. Pricing is not yet available.

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A host of new Machine Learning services meanwhile include the general availability of hardware-accelerated models that run on FPGAs, as well as ONNX Runtime support for NVIDIA TensorRT and Intel nGraph for high-speed inferencing, Microsoft said.

Details on all of the new releases can be found here.

Read this: Dell and Microsoft Bury the Hatchet over VMware on Azure – as Dell Launches Own “Cloud” Offering

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