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Azure Anomaly Detector: Strange Things Are Afoot
Microsoft is not the first company to scan data sets for irregularities (Oracle and Google come to mind), but its Anomaly Detector uses the power of machine learning to make intelligent observations. This is useful for organizations that deal with large amounts of data in time series.
Microsoft’s goal is to make it easy for developers to integrate machine learning functionality into their applications without significant experience in the space. Just as AWS seeks to “make machine learning boring and totally vanilla,” Microsoft’s aim is to democratize access to a powerful tool and leverage its considerable cloud infrastructure to that end.
Anomaly Detector is currently in preview as one of Microsoft’s Cognitive Services. Microsoft bills users per thousand transactions (beyond an initial trial), and promises 99.9% uptime. Anomaly Detector is an API, a stateless service that does not store user data, and is compatible with C#, Java, and Python.
Microsoft promises simple, seamless algorithmic analysis of large data sets as part of the democratization of machine learning. Anyone familiar with the Azure console should have little difficulty using the service. Where pattern recognition is important, event management for purposes of fraud detection, anti-money laundering, and proactive problem management as part of ITSM, Anomaly Detector is another arrow in the Microsoft Admin’s quiver.
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Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges 775% for Teams in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing – Part 2
Experiencing issues when using Microsoft online services? You are not alone. Capacity constraints were being hit, pre-COVID-19, and usage has surged in regions with enforced social distancing.
Google has announced a premium support plan for its cloud customers, promising a 15-minute response to the highest severity tickets. Google’s cloud has long struggled with enterprise customers – especially when compared to giants Microsoft and AWS – and this announcement is the latest incarnation of Google’s push to better serve a critical constituency.
Microsoft Announces Expansion of Azure Canadian Infrastructure, Offers Data Residency and High Availability
In January, Microsoft announced what it’s calling “the largest expansion of its Canadian-based cloud computing infrastructure” since 2016. Additional availability zones and services will increase capacity for cloud-hungry Canadians, and the addition of an Azure ExpressRoute site in Vancouver will guarantee security and performance in a regulated jurisdiction.
Microsoft’s announcement that server-side encryption with customer managed keys for Azure Managed Disks is now available is welcome news for security-minded public cloud customers. Managing one’s own keys in a cloud environment can be an important step in complying with regulatory requirements, and this new feature should open Azure Managed Disks to a wider group of customers who may have held back for this reason.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has provided its customers with better options for Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) ingress routing. Customers will have to consider which works best for their needs.
AWS VPC Traffic Mirroring gives customers more visibility for out-of-band traffic inspection. This feature is another useful tool for monitoring in the AWS cloud.
Microsoft Cloud Services Usage Surges Over 700% in Regions With Enforced Social Distancing: How Could This Impact Your Organization?
Organizations have been running into capacity constraints on cloud infrastructure in regions with enforced social distancing due to COVID-19. Having a back-up plan will be critical to your business continuity plans.
Microsoft has added six months of additional support to Windows 10 Enterprise and Education 1709. This will help reduce pressure to upgrade and provide support in the interim as companies focus on business continuity plans due to COVID-19.
Microsoft’s deep pockets and Financing division can save your IT budget. If your Enterprise Agreement is coming up for renewal in the next six months, we will likely be in an economic downturn.