Tag Archives: Azure

The Complete Guide to Azure Virtual Machines: Part 1

Azure Virtual Machines make an already hugely flexible technology in virtualization even more adaptable through remote hosting.

Virtual machines are a part of Azure’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering that allows you to have the flexibility of virtualization without having to invest in the underlying infrastructure. In simpler words, you are paying Microsoft to run a Virtual Machine of your choosing in their Azure environment while they provide you access to the VM.

One of the biggest misconceptions I see in the workplace is that managing Cloud Infrastructure is the same as or very similar to managing on-premise infrastructure. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Cloud Infrastructure is a whole new ball game. It can be a great tool in our back pockets for certain scenarios but only if used correctly. This blog series will explain how you can determine if a workload is suitable for an Azure VM and how to deploy it properly.

Why Use Azure Virtual Machines Over On-Premise Equipment?

One of the biggest features of the public cloud is its scalability. If you write an application and need to scale up the resources dramatically for a few days, you can create a VM in Azure, install your application, run it in there and turn it off when done. You only pay for what you use. If you haven’t already invested in your own physical environment this is a very attractive alternative. The agility this solution provides software developers is on a whole new level compared to before and enables companies to become more efficient at creating applications, and being able to scale when desired is huge.

Should I Choose IaaS or PaaS?

When deploying workloads in Azure, it is important to determine whether or not an application or service should be run using Platform as a Service (PaaS) or a Virtual Machine (IaaS). For example, let’s say you are porting an application into Azure that runs on SQL. Do we want to build a Virtual Machine and install SQL or do we want to just leverage Azure’s PaaS services and just use one of their SQL instances? There are many factors in deciding whether or not to use PaaS or IaaS but one of the biggest is, how much control do you require for your application to run effectively. Do you need to make a lot of changes to the registry and do you require many tweaks within the SQL install? If so, then the virtual machine route would seem a better fit.

How To Choose The Right Virtual Machine Type

In Azure, the Virtual Machine resource specifications are cookie cutter. You don’t get to customize down to the details of how much CPU and Memory you want. They come in an offering of different sizes and you have to make those resource templates work for your computing needs. Making sure the correct size of VM is selected is crucial in Azure, not only because of performance implications for your applications but also because of the pricing. You don’t want to be paying more for a VM that is too large for your workloads.

Make sure you do your homework to determine which size is right for your needs. Also, pay close attention to i/o requirements. Storage is almost always the most common performance killer, so do your due diligence and make sure you’re getting the VM with the proper IOPS (Input/Output Operations per  Second) requirements. For Windows licensing, Microsoft covers the license and the Client Access License if you’re running a VM that needs CALs. For Linux VMs the licensing differs per the distribution.

Before we go and create a Virtual Machine inside Azure, let’s go over one of the gotchas that you might run into if you’re not aware. In Azure, since everything is “pay as you go”, if you’re not aware of the pricing at all times, you or your company may be getting a hefty bill from Microsoft. One of the common mistakes with VMs is that If you don’t completely remove your VM you can still get a charge. Simply just shutting down the VM will not stop the meter from running – you’re still reserving the hardware space from Microsoft so you’ll still be billed. Also when you delete the VM, you are going to have to delete the managed disk as well separately. The VM itself is not the only cost applied when running virtual machines.

Getting Started – Creating the Virtual Network

We will now demonstrate how to configure a Virtual Machine on Azure and getting connected to it. First, we will need to create the virtual networking so that the VM has some sort of network to talk out on. Afterward, we will create the Network Security Group which is like the “firewall” to the VM, and then finally we will create the VM itself. To create the Virtual Network, log into the Azure Portal and select “Create a Resource”. Then click on Networking > Virtual Network:

Azure Virtual Machines

Now we can specify the settings for our Virtual Network. First, we’ll give it a name. I’ll call mine “LukeLabVnet1”. I’ll leave the address space default here but we could make it smaller if we chose too. Then we will select our subscription type. You can use multiple subscriptions for different purposes, like a Development subscription and a Production subscription. Resource groups are a way for you to manage and group together your Azure resources for billing, monitoring, and to access control purposes. We already have a resource group created for this VM and its components so I will go ahead and select that. If we wanted, we could create a new one on the fly here. Then, we fill in the time zone which is Eastern for me. Next, we’ll give the subnet a name because we can create multiple subnets on this virtual network later, I’ll call it “LukeLabSubnet”. I’ll leave the default Address space for the subnet out since we are just configuring one VM and setting up access to it. Once we are done we will hit “create:

Now, to get to our newly created Virtual Network, on the left-hand side of the portal we select “Virtual Networks” and click on the one we just deployed:

We can configure all of our settings for our Virtual Network here. However, for the simplicity of the demonstration we will leave everything how it is for now:

Now that we have our virtual network in place, we will need to create our Network Security Group and then finally deploy our VM which will we do in part 2 of this series. As you can see there are a lot of components to learn when deploying VMs in Azure.

Comments/Feedback?

If you’re unsure about anything stated here let me know in the comments below and I’ll try to explain it better.

Have you tried Azure Virtual Machines? Let us know your verdict!

Nimble Collective Now Powered by Microsoft Azure Accelerates the Future of Animation | Nimble Collective

Nimble Collective and Microsoft Azure

— Nimble Collective on Microsoft Azure extends global reach;  plans to revolutionize animated content creation —

June 28, 2018 – MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA  – Today, Nimble Collective, the leading cloud-based animation technology platform, announced that it is available and optimized on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. As Nimble Collective’s exclusive cloud partner, Microsoft Azure provides storage and compute services to power Nimble’s high-end animation platform, rendering workloads and media asset management. As a Microsoft partner, Nimble will receive go-to-market and market development support from one of the world’s largest enterprise salesforces.

Microsoft Azure’s support of Nimble lets us expand our global reach to bring new voices, stories and artists to the world of animation,” said Rex Grignon, Co-Founder, CEO, Nimble Collective. “It will help us further reduce cost, complexity and enable new and established studios to accelerate their animation production. Nimble Collective is excited to partner with a platform company, with a trusted public cloud – Microsoft Azure – to deliver a world-class cloud-based animation production and management solution.”

Nimble Collective’s cloud-based animation production platform streamlines the traditional animation studio infrastructure. With full end-to-end production capabilities hosted in Microsoft Azure’s secure hyperscale environment, Nimble’s platform integrates everything digital animators need, including streaming workstations, asset management, license brokering, versioning, elastic compute farm to MPAA certification. All of which is seamlessly woven together in a browser-based workflow that dramatically simplifies and improves archaic animation processes.

“We go beyond data and storage to deliver a complete industrial-strength platform that dramatically lowers barriers to entry for every animator.” said Grignon. “Microsoft Azure uniquely gives us the features, performance, and scalability to offer our customers better user experiences, reliability and security a fraction of the cost of in-house studios.”

“Microsoft is committed to helping content creators achieve more using the cloud with a partner-focused approach to this industries transformation,” said Tad Brockway, General Manager, Azure Storage, Media and Edge at Microsoft Corp.  “We’re excited to work with innovators like Nimble Collective to help them transform how animated content is produced, managed and delivered.”

“This partnership with Azure represents further validation of the promise of Nimble Collective and we can’t wait to see what the future holds” said James Bennett, Co-founder/Creative Director with Shomen Productions. “Nimble is our solution of choice for our remote based production studio. We’re impressed with their user-friendly pipeline and amazing support team.”

About Nimble Collective

Founded in 2014 by Academy Award-winning animators and technology entrepreneurs, Nimble Collective is revolutionizing the animation content market by offering studio-level capabilities without the costly and complex infrastructure. With all the production capabilities of the animation pipeline hosted in a secure cloud environment, animators and their collaborators, wherever they are in the world, are able to spend more time creating instead of managing infrastructure. With Nimble Collective, studios can spend more time creating, and save up to 75% on overhead and drive faster time to market. Nimble Collective is the brainchild of animators Rex Grignon (Toy Story, Madagascar, and founding head of character animation at DreamWorks), Jason Schleifer (Lord of the Rings, Megamind) and Scott LaFleur (How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind). Learn more at NimbleCollective.com.

Media Contact for Nimble Collective

Juliet Travis
Liftoff Communications
510-612-9622
juliet@liftoffcommunications.com

Microsoft and DEWA bringing quantum computing to Dubai | Stories

DEWA will work with Microsoft and access new quantum Microsoft Azure services to create quantum-inspired solutions to power energy optimization and improve sustainability efforts in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — June 28, 2018 — The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) on Thursday announced plans to work with Microsoft Corp. to develop new quantum-based solutions to address energy optimization and other challenges where classical computers have serious limitations, making it the first organization outside the U.S. to participate in the Microsoft Quantum program.

As part of the deal, Microsoft will work closely with DEWA to identify the challenges where quantum computing will have the greatest impact. Energy optimization, for example, requires far too much traditional computing power to identify the ideal balance of resources from different energy sources to meet ever-changing consumption needs in real time.

As part of Dubai 10X (an initiative to use advances in technology to deliver new or existing services in radically different ways), DEWA wants to reimagine its role as a utility company by launching “Digital DEWA,” the digital arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, and is leveraging Microsoft Quantum to help accelerate its goals. In addition, the two organizations will look at ways to support the Dubai EXPO 2020, an event that brings people from all over the world to share ideas.

“We are delighted to work with Microsoft to bring the revolutionary power of quantum computing to Dubai, to achieve the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world. This also will contribute to addressing key challenges while furthering our goal to make the UAE one of the most innovative and sustainable countries in the world,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, managing director and CEO of DEWA. “This partnership will provide us with early access to Microsoft’s quantum computing research and capabilities to develop solutions that improve performance, productivity and quality of services provided to our customers and beyond.”

Microsoft is pioneering the emerging quantum era through a unique approach that will deliver the industry’s most stable and scalable quantum computer. As the development of the quantum computer continues, select partners such as DEWA can access new quantum-inspired Azure services for the most complete, state-of-the-art, end-to-end quantum programming.

Working with Microsoft, the Quantum Development Kit toolset and Azure quantum-inspired services, DEWA will be able to program and test quantum algorithms, then apply those quantum solutions within the existing Azure platform to achieve real-world impacts even before the development of a general-purpose quantum computer. This work will also provide DEWA with a seamless migration to using Microsoft’s quantum computer once it is available.

“Quantum computing holds the promise of solving some of our planet’s greatest challenges that today’s computers are unable to solve,” said Todd Holmdahl, corporate vice president of Microsoft Quantum. “Innovative partners such as DEWA understand the benefits of getting in early, not only to build their quantum knowledge and skills but to create immediate solutions that can be applied today.”

DEWA will also work with Microsoft to develop a quantum strategy, including understanding where quantum optimization methods can be applied for greatest impact in Dubai, both on classical computers and in the future on Microsoft’s quantum computer.

More information can be found at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/quantum/.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777, rrt@we-worldwide.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com.Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Why you should bet on Azure for your infrastructure needs, today and in the future

I love all the amazing things our partners and customers are doing on Azure! Adobe, for example, is using a combination of infrastructure and platform services to deliver the Adobe Experience Manager globally. HP is using AI to help improve their customer experiences. Jet is using microservices and containers on IaaS VMs to deliver a unique ecommerce experience. These three customers are just a few examples where major businesses have bet on Azure, the most productive, hybrid, trusted and intelligent cloud.

For the last few years, Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) has been the primary service hosting customer applications. Azure VMs are the easiest to migrate from on-premises while still enabling you to modernize your IT infrastructure, improve efficiency, enhance security, manage apps better and reduce costs. And I am proud that Azure continues to be recognized as a leader in this key area.

As you are considering your movement and deployment in the cloud, I want to share a few key reasons you should bet on Azure for your infrastructure needs.

Infrastructure for every workload

We are committed to providing the right infrastructure for every workload. Across our 50 Azure regions, you can pick from a broad array of virtual machines with varying CPU, GPU, Memory and disk configurations for your application needs. For HPC workloads that need extremely fast interconnect, we have InfiniBand and for supercomputing workloads, we offer Cray hardware in Azure. For SAP HANA, we provide virtual machines up to 4 TB of RAM and provide purpose-built bare metal infrastructure up to 20 TB of RAM. Not only do we have some of the most high-powered infrastructure out there, but we also provide confidential computing capabilities for securing your data while in use. These latest computing capabilities even include quantum computing. Whether it’s Windows Server, Red Hat, Ubuntu, CoreOS, SQL, Postgres or Oracle, we support over 4,000 pre-built applications to run on this broad set of hardware. With the broad set of infrastructure we provide, enterprises such as Coats are moving their entire datacenter footprint to Azure.

Today, I am announcing some exciting new capabilities:

  • Industry leading M-series VM sizes offering memory up to 12 TB on a single VM, the largest memory for a single VM in the public cloud for in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA. With these larger VM configurations, we are not only advancing the limits of virtualization in the cloud but also the performance of SAP HANA on VMs. These new sizes will be based on Intel Xeon Scalable (Skylake) processors, with more details available in the coming months.
  • Newer M-series VM sizes with memory as low as 192 GB, extending M-series VM range from 192 GB to 4 TB in RAM, available now, enabling fast scale-up and scale-down with 10 different size choices. M-series VMs are certified for SAP HANA and available worldwide in 12 regions. Using Azure ARM template automation scripts for SAP HANA, you can deploy entire SAP HANA environments in just minutes compared to weeks on-premises.
  • New SAP HANA TDIv5 optimized configurations for SAP HANA availability on Azure Large Instances with memory sizes of 6 TB, 12 TB, 18 TB. In addition to this, we now offer the industry-leading public cloud instance scale for SAP HANA with our new 24TB TDIv5 configuration. This extends our purpose-built SAP HANA offering to 15 different instance choices. With these new configurations, you can benefit from a lower price for TDIv5 configuration with an unparalleled 99.99% SLA for SAP HANA infrastructure and the ability to step up to larger configurations.
  • New Standard SSDs provide a low-cost SSD-based Azure Disk solution, optimized for test and entry-level production workloads requiring consistent performance and high throughput. You will experience improved latency, reliability and scalability as compared to Standard HDDs. Standard SSDs can be easily upgraded to Premium SSDs for more demanding and latency-sensitive enterprise workloads. Standard SSDs come with the same industry leading durability and availability that our clients expect from Azure Disks. Learn more about Standard SSDs.

Truly consistent hybrid capabilities

When I talk with many of our customers about their cloud strategy, there is a clear need for choice and flexibility on where to run workloads and applications. Like most customers, you want to be able to bridge your on-premises and cloud investments. From VPN and ExpressRoute to File Sync and Azure Security Center, Azure offers a variety of services that help you enable, connect and manage your on-premises and cloud environments creating a truly hybrid infrastructure. In addition, with Azure Stack, you can extend Azure services and capabilities to on-premises and the edge, allowing you to build, deploy and operate hybrid cloud applications seamlessly.

Today, I’m happy to announce that we are expanding the geographical coverage of Azure Stack to meet the growing demand of the customers globally. Azure Stack will now be available in 92 countries throughout the world. Given your excitement over Azure Stack, we continue to expand opportunities for you to deploy this unique service. For a full list of the supported countries, please visit the Azure Stack overview page.

Liquid Telecom, a leading data, voice and IP provider in eastern, central and southern Africa, plans to use Azure Stack to deliver value to its customers and partners in some of the most remote parts of the world.

“We have a long history of delivering future-focused and innovative services to our customers. Microsoft Azure Stack strengthens this mission while also enabling us to deliver value to a new set of customers and partners in some of the most remote parts of Africa. By using Azure Stack, alongside Azure and ExpressRoute over our award-winning pan-African fiber network, we can now guide our customers through increasingly complex business challenges, such as data privacy, compliance and overall governance in the cloud. This helps not only us, but our entire channel of distribution and value-added partners in enhancing the customer experience on their digital journey.” David Behr, Chief Product Officer, Liquid Telecom

Built-in security and management

I frequently get asked about best practices for security and management in Azure. We have a unique set of services that make it incredibly easy for you to follow best practices whether running a single VM or 1,000s of VMs, including built-in backup, policy, advisor, security detection, monitoring, log analytics and patching. This will help you proactively protect your VMs and detect potential threats to your environment. These services are built upon decades of experience at Microsoft in delivering services across Xbox, Office, Windows and Azure with thousands of security professionals and more than 70 compliance certifications. We have also taken a leadership position on topics such as privacy and compliance to standards such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ISO 27001, HIPAA and more. Last week we announced the general availability of Azure Policy which is a free service to help you control and govern your Azure resources at scale.

Today, I’m excited to announce a few additional built-in security and management capabilities:

  • Disaster recovery for Azure IaaS virtual machines general availability: You likely need disaster recovery capabilities to ensure your applications are compliant with regulations that require a business continuity plan (such as ISO27001). You also may need your application to run continuously in the unlikely event of a natural disaster that could impact an entire region. With the general availability of this new service, you can configure disaster recovery within minutes, not days or weeks, with a built-in disaster recovery as a service that is unique to Azure. Learn more about how to get started by visiting our documentation.

“ASR has helped Finastra refine our DR posture through intuitive configuration of replication between Azure regions. It’s currently our standard platform for disaster recovery and handling thousands of systems with no issues regarding scale or adherence to our tight RPO/RTO requirements.” Bryan Heymann, Director of Systems & Architecture, D+H

  • Azure Backup for SQL in Azure Virtual Machines preview: Today we are extending the Azure backup capability beyond virtual machines and files to also include backup of a SQL instance running on a VM. This is a zero-infrastructure backup service that provides freedom from managing backups scripts, agents, backup servers or even backup storage. Moreover, customers can perform SQL log backups with 15-minute intervals on SQL Servers and SQL Always On Availability groups. Learn more on the key benefits of this capability and how to get started.
  • VM Run command: Customers can easily run scripts on an Azure VM directly from the Azure portal without having to connect to the machine. You can run either PowerShell scripts or Bash scripts and you can even troubleshoot a machine that has lost connection to the network. Learn more about Run Command for Windows and Linux.

More ways to save money, manage costs and optimize infrastructure

Given the agility offered by cloud infrastructure, I know you not only want freedom to deploy but also want tight control on your costs. You want to optimize your spending as you transition to the cloud. We can help drive higher ROI by reducing and optimizing infrastructure costs.

Azure offers innovative products and services to help reduce costs, like low priority VMs, burstable VMs, vCPU-constrained VMs for Oracle and SQL databases, and archive storage so customers can choose the right cost optimized infrastructure option for their app. Azure also uniquely offers free Cost Management so customers can manage and optimize their overall budget better.

With Azure Reserved VM Instances (RIs), you can save up to 72 percent. By combining RIs with Azure Hybrid Benefit, you can save up to 80 percent on Windows Server virtual machines, and up to 73* percent compared to AWS RIs for Windows VMs – making Azure the most cost-effective cloud to run Windows Server workloads. Customers like Smithfield Foods have been able to slash datacenter costs significantly, reduce new-application delivery time and optimize their infrastructure spend.

I hope you enjoyed this overview of some of the coolest new capabilities and services in Azure. We are constantly working to improve the platform and make a simpler and easier infrastructure service for you! Please let us know how we can make it even better.

Get started today with Azure IaaS. You can also register now to the Azure IaaS webcast I am hosting on June 18, 2018 on many of these topics.

Thanks,

Corey

*Disclaimer:

  1. Sample annual cost comparison of two D2V3 Windows Server VMs. Savings based two D2V3 VMs in US West 2 Region running 744 hours/month for 12 months; Base compute rate at SUSE Linux Enterprise rate for US West 2. Azure pricing as of April 24, 2018. AWS pricing updated as of April, 24, 2018. Price subject to change.
  2. The 80 percent of saving is based on the combined cost of Azure Hybrid Benefit for Windows Server and 3-year Azure Reserved Instance. It does not include Software Assurance cost.
  3. Actual savings may vary based on location, instance type, or usage.

Introduction to Azure Cloud Shell: Manage Azure from a Browser

Are you finding the GUI of Azure Portal difficult to work with?

You’re not alone and it’s very easy to get lost. There are so many changes and updates made every day and the azure overview blades can be pretty clunky to traverse through. However, with Azure Cloud Shell, we can utilize PowerShell or Bash to manage Azure resources instead of having to click around in the GUI.

So what is Azure Cloud Shell? It is a web-based shell that can be accessed via a web browser. It will automatically authenticate with your Azure sign-on credentials and allow you to manage all the Azure resources that your account has access to. This eliminates the need to load Azure modules on workstations. So for some situations where developers or IT Pros require shell access to their Azure resources, Azure Cloud Shell can be a very useful solution, as they won’t have to remote into “management” nodes that have the Azure PowerShell modules installed on them.

Cloud Masterclass webinar

How Azure Cloud Shell Works

As of right now, Azure Cloud Shell gives users two different environments to use. One is a Bash environment, which is basically a terminal connection to a Linux VM in Azure that gets spun up. This VM is free of charge. The second environment available is a PowerShell environment, which runs Windows PowerShell on a Windows Server Core VM. You will need to have some storage provisioned on your Azure account in order to create the $home directory. This acts as the persistent storage for the console session and allows users to upload scripts to run on the console.

Getting Started

To get started using Azure Cloud Shell, go to shell.azure.com. You will be prompted to sign in with your Azure account credentials:

Azure Cloud Shell welcome

Now we have some options. We can select which environment we prefer to run in. We can run in a Bash shell or we can use PowerShell. Pick whichever one you’re more comfortable with. For this example, I’ve selected PowerShell:

Next, we get a prompt for storage, since we haven’t configured the shell settings with this account yet. Simply select the “Create Now” button to go ahead and have Azure create a new resource group, or select “Show Advanced Settings” to configure those settings to your preference:

Once the storage is provisioned, we will wait a little bit for the console to finish loading, and then the shell should be ready for us to use!

In the upper left corner, we have all of the various controls for the console. We can reset the console, start a new session, switch to Bash, and upload files to our cloud drive:

For an example, I uploaded an activate.bat script file to my cloud drive. In order to access it we simply reference $home and specify our CloudDrive:

Now I can see my script:

This will allow you to deploy your custom PowerShell scripts and modules in Azure from any device! assuming you have access to a web browser, of course. Pretty neat!

Upcoming Changes and Things to Note

  • On May 21st, Microsoft announced that they will be going with Linux platform for both the Windows PowerShell and Bash experience. How is this possible? Essentially they will be using a Linux container to host the shell. By default PowerShell Core 6 will be the first experience. They claim that the startup time will be much faster than previous versions because of the Linux container. For switching between bash and PowerShell in the console, simply type “bash”. If you want to go back to PowerShell Core just type “pwsh”.
  • Microsoft is planning on having “persistent settings” for Git and SSH tools so that the settings for these tools are saved to the CloudDrive and users won’t have to hassle with them all the time.
  • There is some ongoing pain with modules currently. Microsoft is still working on porting over modules to .Net Core (for use with Powershell Core) and there will be a transition period while this happens. They are prioritizing the porting of the most commonly used modules first. In the meantime, there is one workaround that many people seem to forget, implicit remoting. This is the process of taking a module that is already installed on another endpoint and importing it into your PowerShell session allowing you to call that module and have it remotely execute on the node where the module is installed. It can be very useful for now until we get more modules converted over to .Net Core.

Want to Learn More About Microsoft Cloud Services?

The development pace of Azure is one of the most aggressive in the market today, and as you can see Azure Cloud Shell is constantly being updated and improved over a short period of time. In the near future, it will most likely be one of the more commonly used methods for interacting with Azure resources. It provides Azure customers with a seamless way of managing and automating their Azure resources without having to authenticate over and over again or install extra snap-ins and modules; and will continually shape the way we do IT today.

What are your thoughts regarding the Azure Cloud Shell? Have you used it yet? What are your initial thoughts? Let us know in the comments section below!

Do you have interest in more Azure Goodness? Are you wondering how to get started with the cloud and move some existing resources into Microsoft Azure? We actually have a panel styled webinar coming up in June that addresses those questions. Join Andy Syrewicze, Didier Van Hoye, and Thomas Maurer for a crash course on how you can plan your journey effectively and smoothly utilizing the exciting cloud technologies coming out of Microsoft including:

  • Windows Server 2019 and the Software-Defined Datacenter
  • New Management Experiences for Infrastructure with Windows Admin Center
  • Hosting an Enterprise Grade Cloud in your datacenter with Azure Stack
  • Taking your first steps into the public cloud with Azure IaaS

Journey to the Clouds

Save your seat

DJI and Microsoft partner to bring advanced drone technology to the enterprise

New developer tools for Windows and Azure IoT Edge Services enable real-time AI and machine learning for drones

REDMOND, Wash. — May 7, 2018 — DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, and Microsoft Corp. have announced a strategic partnership to bring advanced AI and machine learning capabilities to DJI drones, helping businesses harness the power of commercial drone technology and edge cloud computing.

Through this partnership, DJI is releasing a software development kit (SDK) for Windows that extends the power of commercial drone technology to the largest enterprise developer community in the world. Using applications written for Windows 10 PCs, DJI drones can be customized and controlled for a wide variety of industrial uses, with full flight control and real-time data transfer capabilities, making drone technology accessible to Windows 10 customers numbering nearly 700 million globally.

DJI logoDJI has also selected Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud computing partner, taking advantage of Azure’s industry-leading AI and machine learning capabilities to help turn vast quantities of aerial imagery and video data into actionable insights for thousands of businesses across the globe.

“As computing becomes ubiquitous, the intelligent edge is emerging as the next technology frontier,” said Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft. “DJI is the leader in commercial drone technology, and Microsoft Azure is the preferred cloud for commercial businesses. Together, we are bringing unparalleled intelligent cloud and Azure IoT capabilities to devices on the edge, creating the potential to change the game for multiple industries spanning agriculture, public safety, construction and more.”

DJI’s new SDK for Windows empowers developers to build native Windows applications that can remotely control DJI drones including autonomous flight and real-time data streaming. The SDK will also allow the Windows developer community to integrate and control third-party payloads like multispectral sensors, robotic components like custom actuators, and more, exponentially increasing the ways drones can be used in the enterprise.

“DJI is excited to form this unique partnership with Microsoft to bring the power of DJI aerial platforms to the Microsoft developer ecosystem,” said Roger Luo, president at DJI. “Using our new SDK, Windows developers will soon be able to employ drones, AI and machine learning technologies to create intelligent flying robots that will save businesses time and money, and help make drone technology a mainstay in the workplace.”

In addition to the SDK for Windows, Microsoft and DJI are collaborating to develop commercial drone solutions using Azure IoT Edge and AI technologies for customers in key vertical segments such as agriculture, construction and public safety. Windows developers will be able to use DJI drones alongside Azure’s extensive cloud and IoT toolset to build AI solutions that are trained in the cloud and deployed down to drones in the field in real time, allowing businesses to quickly take advantage of learnings at one individual site and rapidly apply them across the organization.

DJI and Microsoft are already working together to advance technology for precision farming with Microsoft’s FarmBeats solution, which aggregates and analyzes data from aerial and ground sensors using AI models running on Azure IoT Edge. With DJI drones, the Microsoft FarmBeats solution can take advantage of advanced sensors to detect heat, light, moisture and more to provide unique visual insights into crops, animals and soil on the farm. Microsoft FarmBeats integrates DJI’s PC Ground Station Pro software and mapping algorithm to create real-time heatmaps on Azure IoT Edge, which enable farmers to quickly identify crop stress and disease, pest infestation, or other issues that may reduce yield.

With this partnership, DJI will have access to the Azure IP Advantage program, which provides industry protection for intellectual property risks in the cloud. For Microsoft, the partnership is an example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant technology ecosystem and builds upon existing partnerships in emerging sectors such as connected cars and personal wearables.

Availability

DJI’s SDK for Windows is available as a beta preview to attendees of the Microsoft Build conference today and will be broadly available in fall 2018. For more information on the Windows SDK and DJI’s full suite of developer solutions, visit: developer.dji.com.

About DJI

DJI, the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, was founded and is run by people with a passion for remote-controlled helicopters and experts in flight-control technology and camera stabilization. The company is dedicated to making aerial photography and filmmaking equipment and platforms more accessible, reliable and easier to use for creators and innovators around the world. DJI’s global operations currently span across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and its revolutionary products and solutions have been chosen by customers in over 100 countries for applications in filmmaking, construction, inspection, emergency response, agriculture, conservation and other industries.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

For additional information, please contact:

Michael Oldenburg, DJI Senior Communication Manager, North America – michael.oldenburg@dji.com

Chelsea Pohl, Microsoft Commercial Communications Manager – chelp@microsoft.com

Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

For more information, visit our:

Website: www.dji.com

Online Store: store.dji.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DJI

Instagram: www.instagram.com/DJIGlobal

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DJIGlobal
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/dji

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/DJI

 

 

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