Microsoft Azure receives new features and enhanced migration services

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Today at its Inspire conference, Microsoft launched a number of updates across Azure, including the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP). An evolution of the Azure Migration Program, AMMP helps enterprises assess how their on-premises workloads will perform — and cost — on Azure, complementing offerings like smart defaults for Azure Kubernetes Service and Azure API Management integration with Azure Event Grid.

“As we plan for the future together, we expect customers will continue to leverage cloud investments to refine and reimagine their digital strategies with an eye on remote productivity, sustainability, and security,” Azure senior director of product marketing Tanuj Bansal said in a blog post. “[These] new and expanded programs, offers, and product investments [will help] customers to accelerate their migration and modernization journey with Azure.”

AMMP covers a breadth of migration and modernization products spanning different apps, infrastructure, and data, including tie-ins with Azure Arc, Azure Spring Cloud, and Azure Cosmos DB. For example, AMMP supports deploying containerized apps to the Azure App Service via the Azure Migrate App Containerization tool, which helps modernize ASP.NET and Java web apps by packaging them as containers.

Beyond the AMMP news, and in light of the Windows 365 announcement today, Microsoft rolled out a monthly per-user access pricing option for Azure Virtual Desktop. The option will be effective January 1, 2022, with free promotional access available through December 31, 2021 for streaming first-party or third-party apps to external users. Customers will still have to pay for the underlying Azure cloud infrastructure.

New Azure integrations

Microsoft also debuted a preview of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) as an event source for Azure Event Grid. Now, customers can subscribe to AKS events for Kubernetes and node image version upgrade availability by selecting the Azure resource to subscribe to, providing an event handler or WebHook endpoint, and taking action when the subscribed event occurs.

In other news, Azure API Management integration with Azure Event Grid is in preview, allowing customers to configure API Management to publish events to Event Grid when a subscription is created on an API Management resource. As for smart defaults for Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), which are also in preview, they offer a set of scenario-specific cluster configurations including cost-optimized, batch processing, and hardened cluster access.

Partners in the Azure Synapse ecosystem can now include their solution directly in a new Partner Center, in addition, which can be accessed from anywhere in Synapse Studio. With the new Partner Center, Azure Synapse customers can browse partner solutions to learn more about each solution, connect to the partner service via an API, and automatically start a trial.

“In the past year, organizations increasingly turned to the cloud to survive potential business disruptions,” Bansal continued. “Over the last 24 months, [we’ve] helped thousands of customers unlock the benefits of the cloud, with the right mix of expert guidance and best practices to migrate to Azure.”


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