Microsoft held a virtual Azure conference this week and with it came several new announcements for features in Azure.  The virtual conference had sessions viewed by tens of thousands of people all over the world detailing the newest features of Azure.  Here is a quick summary of those announcements.

  • New Azure Regions in India – Microsoft has added three new data centers in India to provide more support for the rising demand in that area.  Regions include Mumbai (West), Channai (South), and Pune (Central).
  • N-Series VMs with GPU Support – New high end Azure VMs are available that have access to NVidia’s Tesla GPUs for performing graphic processor based compute intensive workloads such as remote visualization or machine learning.  The VMs currently support the K80 GPU with support for the M60 coming down the road.
  • Azure Security Center – This is a new service that unifies access to all of the security related features of Azure into a single location with dashboards and monitoring features.  It also allows  you to create custom security policies that can flag if an Azure service needs to be modified to be more secure.


Of course, even with the best possible protection in place, attackers will still try to compromise systems. To address this problem and adopt an “assume breach” mindset, the Azure Security Center uses advanced analytics, including machine learning, along with Microsoft’s global threat intelligence network to look for and alert on attacks. Signals are automatically collected from your Azure resources, the network, and integrated security partner solutions and analyzed to identify cyber-attacks that might otherwise go undetected.  — Scott Guthrie’s Blog

  • Azure IoT Suite General Availability – The Azure IoT Suite supports the collection of data from IoT devices deployed around the world and provides analytics and dashboards for monitoring devices around the world.  It was in public preview and is now available for purchase.
  • Azure IoT Hub – This is a new service that is in public preview and allows bi-directional communications between devices and an Azure Hub including authentication and security, support for protocols like HTTP and AMQP.
  • Azure Container Service – The Azure Container Service is an Apache MESOS based service for hosting Docker based apps with support for all of the standard Docker tooling such as Docker Compose, Marathon, Chronos, and Docker Swarm.  This service was announced at AzureCon but not available for use until later in the year.

For more information on these new features, watch the AzureCon sessions here.