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Azure for Partners

Welcome!

Welcome to the February edition of the Azure Partner Newsletter, a roundup of exciting product announcements, feature updates, and new assets available for our partner community, sent to subscribers every other month.

To stay up to date between publications, explore Azure Partner Zone and the Partner Tech Community for the most recent events, resources, news, customer stories, learning material, and more!

To subscribe to the newsletter, head here.

February Spotlight: Modernize Your Hosting Business on Azure

 
With 59% of enterprises migrating more workloads to the cloud in 2022, and 80% deploying cloud native architectures, now is the time to consider how you can leverage this incredible growth opportunity. Microsoft gives you the full spectrum of cloud native services to modernize your hosted workloads, refocus your workforce, and create new revenue streams. Learn more about how you can profit from a cloud migration by modernizing your hosting business here.

Digital Events

On-demand: Azure Open Source Day

Learn how to turbocharge your open-source apps and data by using Linux and hybrid cloud technologies together. Explore open-source innovations like Visual Studio Code, GitHub Codespaces, the new Azure Cosmos DB API for MongoDB, and the new CBL-Mariner Linux distribution built by Microsoft for Azure services. Join this free digital event to ask Microsoft insiders your questions in the live chat Q&A, and you’ll hear from Linux industry leaders like Red Hat and SUSE. Plus, hear Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, share a special announcement on the 30th anniversary for Linux.

Watch on-demand

Join the Azure Team at SQLBits: March 8-12

SQLBits 2022, Europe's largest Microsoft Data Platform conference, is less than a month away!

As the Premier Sponsor of the event, the full Azure data team will be heading to London to deliver 5 full-day workshops, 50+ sessions, a keynote, a booth, and much more! Content will span the entire data platform including SQL Server, Azure SQL, Cosmos DB, Azure Purview, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI.

This year's keynote is being led by Bob Ward, along with Buck Woody and surprise guests to show you, from SQL Server on-prem to Azure Data in the cloud, the latest and greatest data platform on earth!

To find out more about Microsoft's presence at SQLBits 2022, check out the latest blog from Bob Ward.

Read the blog

Citus Con: An Event for Postgres: April 12 & 13

Save the date for Citus Con: An Event For Postgres - a free, virtual, and global developer event organized by the Postgres team at Microsoft. Attendees will hear from open source users, Azure database customers, and experts in PostgreSQL and Citus about how these different audiences use Postgres. There will be both on demand and livestream talks for Citus Con that will take place across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas timezones, which will be published and free for anyone to watch on YouTube.

Join the event

Azure Cosmos DB Conference: April 19-20

The Azure Cosmos DB Conf will be happening April 19-20, 2022 and is a free online virtual developer event organized in collaboration with the Azure Cosmos DB community. The event will be streamed in three, 3-hour live segments with 25-minute sessions. Each Live Stream will have its own unique content delivered by community members and Microsoft.

Submit a session idea

Azure Migration & Modernization Program

With increasing demand for guidance on modernizing to Azure, we are keeping our eye on how best to support our customer needs. In January, we launched a new mechanics video providing guidance on options to migrate and modernize almost any workload – across virtual machines, web apps, databases and containers - to Azure. Check out more Azure migration and modernization mechanics videos here.

Don’t forget, you can now bring in your SAP projects to AMMP too. And hot off the press, AMMP now supports cloud-native application projects too as well as Azure Red Hat OpenShift and integration-PaaS – bring them on!

Resources:

  • Use FastTrack for Azure to help ISVs and enterprise customers de-risk and accelerate Azure adoption

Azure Advanced Specializations

New Pre-Audit Consulting Subsidy

Microsoft will be providing limited funding for ISSI pre-audit consulting engagements that will help partners prepare for Advanced Specialization requirements. This funding will be provided on a first-come first-served basis and is targeted towards those partners seeking the following Advanced Specializations:

  • Azure VMWare Solution
  • Hybrid Operations & Management with Microsoft Azure Arc
  • Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Microsoft Azure Stack HCI
  • Linux and Open Source Database Migration

To learn more, please request your PDM to reach out to [email protected]

Linux Migration

Azure Open Source Day

Learn how to turbocharge your open-source apps and data by using Linux and hybrid cloud technologies together. Explore open-source innovations like Visual Studio Code, GitHub Codespaces, the new Azure Cosmos DB API for MongoDB, and the new CBL-Mariner Linux distribution built by Microsoft for Azure services. Join this free digital event to ask Microsoft insiders your questions in the live chat Q&A, and you’ll hear from Linux industry leaders like Red Hat and SUSE. Plus, hear Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, share a special announcement on the 30th anniversary for Linux.

Watch on-demand

Windows Server Migration

Important dates:
Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 ESUs: Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 year two ESUs are coming to an end on January 14, 2022. The year three end is January 14, 2023.
Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 ESUs: Windows Server 2012/2012 R2 year three ESUs will end on October 10, 2023.

In January, we hosted a webinar titled ‘Plan for Windows Server and SQL Server 2012 End of Support’ where we answered questions for customers and explained how to migrate to Azure. See the End of Support FAQ and check out the new blog in our Tech Community highlighting the key dates for Windows Server End of Support key dates.

On-demand webinars:

SQL Server Migration

Azure is the best place for Windows Server and SQL Server workloads, and Azure SQL provides a variety of options for migrating, modernizing and innovating in the cloud. Azure SQL Managed Instance is the cloud destination for modernizing your on-premises SQL Server applications at scale, combining the best of SQL Server with all the benefits of a fully managed service. Our announcements at Ignite enable customers to move even more of their most demanding, mission critical workloads to the cloud.

SQL Server 2012 is Coming to End of Extended Support on July 12, 2022. After the end of support, customers lose access to critical security updates that protect customers against potential security vulnerabilities. Customer options include:

  • Migrate to Azure and register with SQL Server IaaS Agent extension for free ESUs.
  • Purchase Extended Security Updates and register with Azure Arc to receive ESU patches on-premises.
  • Modernize to Azure SQL Managed Instance, Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance, SQL Server 2019, or the recently announced private preview of SQL Server 2022.

Resources:

SAP on Azure

Thought Leadership content: The Right Route to Transformation article tells the story of our customer, Bertelsmann, its transformation journey and why they chose to modernize their businesses on the Microsoft Cloud platform. The article further reinforces the strategic partnership between Bertelsmann and Microsoft that was announced in a press release: Bertelsmann and Microsoft partner to transform consumer experiences in media and education.

The story is enriched by perspectives from industry leaders from IDC, the MIT Sloan School of Management, Intel and Microsoft.

Forrester TEI: The recently conducted Forrester’s 2021 Total Economic Impact Study uncovered strong performance of customers’ SAP environments running on Azure. Performance metrics included:

  • 112% ROI
  • $26.1M quantifiable benefits
  • $12.36M NPV
  • <6 months payback period
  • 14% reduction in development time
  • 25% reduction in development resource
  • 30% reduction in expansion time

Join our webinar on Reducing Costs and Drive Business Value with SAP on Azure

New customer stories:

Open Source Migration

Azure provides excellent value for Linux and OSS DB migrations, from managed PostgreSQL and MySQL to distributed NoSQL database from Cosmos DB. The new benchmark report by global tech consultancy Cazton found Azure Cosmos DB faster than MongoDB Atlas in most common use cases, 93% less expensive for reads, and 20% less expensive for writes.

Resources:

Azure Virtual Desktop

Tools
Azure Pricing Calculator for Azure Virtual Desktop now enables:

  • Estimating ANY deployment size, unblocking SMBs with deployments of fewer than 100 users and large enterprises with 10,000+ users
  • Combining session host compute, storage, and networking estimates within a single module
  • Viewing cost-per-user estimates based on their selections

Skilling

New and updated content

Customer offers

Resources

Hybrid Cloud Solutions

It’s sure been a busy month on hybrid with quite a few exciting updates to share:

  • Review how cloud trends show customers increasing investments in hybrid and multicloud in the Official Microsoft Blog post bylined by Erin Chapple. In tandem, we published a Transform Blog highlighting hybrid and multicloud customer, Nokia.
  • We recently pushed live our latest webinar, “Bring Azure Anywhere with Azure Arc”. This webinar delivers an introduction into Azure Arc-enabled data services and walks through a few financial services use cases. Watch on demand: Azure Arc Webinar | Microsoft Azure
  • To facilitate guest licensing for Azure Stack HCI customers, there is a new offer now in public preview that brings simplicity and more flexibility for licensing. Learn more.

Resources: New and Updated

App Innovation

We often hear from software leaders that the set of potential levers to improve business performance is so large and diverse – that it is often unclear how to prioritize or where to start. The Developer Velocity Assessment leads to a precise understanding of what it takes for a company to increase Developer Velocity through a comprehensive review of software development practices including technology, working practices, and organizational enablement.

Learn more about Developer Velocity here and take a first assessment with your customers here.

Resources:

Cloud Native Apps

Resources:

Modernize .NET Apps

In November, we helped customers think strategically with the Modernizing Apps and Data IDC whitepaper and an on-demand virtual event. Product momentum continues with Azure Spring Cloud integration with Elastic for unified observability of Spring Boot apps.

Resources:

AI

Resources:

Cloud Adoption Framework

Following the successful launch of the Cloud Adoption Strategy Evaluator in Q2, we published a new Microsoft Mechanics video in January. This video emphasizes the importance of leveraging the new assessment to build a comprehensive business case, and also highlights other assessments like the Azure Well-Architected Review, Governance Benchmark, and more. Please help us amplify this video and share these tools with your customers.

We just published a new Azure Enablement Show episode on the hybrid and multicloud scenario. This episode discusses different Microsoft Azure features like the Azure landing zone accelerator, Azure Arc, and ArcBox and how they can assist organizations configure and deploy hybrid and multicloud environments. Watch this video and share.

We also launched a new cloud economics blog series, starting with “Rightsize to maximize your cloud investment with Microsoft Azure” and Azure Hybrid Benefit deep dive. Check them out!

Resources:

Well-Architected

Check out our recent Security thought leadership post and this one regarding enhancements of the VM rightsizing recommendation in Azure Advisor.

Be on the lookout next month for a new Well-Architected landing page in the Azure website (www.azure.com)!

Resources:

Skills Building

Complete the new Azure Virtual Desktop Specialty 30 Days to Learn It Cloud Skills Challenge

In about 13 hours (less than an hour a day during the 30-day challenge), learn how to use Azure Virtual Desktop to deliver remote desktop and remote app experiences in Microsoft Azure. Completing the free Azure Virtual Desktop 30 Days to Learn It Cloud Skills Challenge will result in eligibility for 50% off the Azure Virtual Desktop certification exam.

Register

Azure Retirements

As we drive innovation in our services, we will also retire older and outdated services and update them with new offerings to help your customers improve their business operations. Please review these retirements in Azure updates retirement section. We have sent targeted email communications and service health notifications to affected customers. If you know your customers are using the retired services, features, APIs, tools or SKUs, please remind them to follow the steps in the migration documents and transition to the replacement versions.

Call to action:
Go to Azure updates on Azure website, in Update type, select retirements and the year. Select filter results.

Specialized Areas
IoT

New customer stories
As part of its digital transformation, @Axpo has vastly improved the status and performance of its hydro plant asset-management system, which is built on @Microsoft Azure. https://aka.ms/AAf9n67 #AzureIoT #AzureMaps. Grupo Bimbo takes a bite out of production costs with Azure IoT throughout factories. https://aka.ms/Grupo-Bimbo-IoT.

Mixed Reality

We recently launched the Total Economic Impact of Mixed Reality Using HoloLens 2, which highlights how mixed reality solutions on HoloLens 2 are delivering material ROI while enhancing and streamlining enterprise operations. Included in the deliverable are industry spotlights for manufacturing, healthcare, education, and AEC.

As part of our effort to expand our developer learning content, we recently published a new MS Learn module focused on enabling MR apps to detect real-world objects with Azure Object Anchors. Azure Object Anchors is a mixed reality service that helps you create rich, immersive experiences by automatically aligning 3D content with physical objects. Real-time marker-less 3D content alignment and the ability to use existing 3D models significantly helps reduce touch labor and alignment errors while unlocking mixed reality scenarios. Quickly grasp the fundamentals, convert your 3D models, and use the sample app to detect your object in the physical world.

Resources:

Advanced Networking

We recently conducted a free digital event to showcase IaaS innovations, engage with product experts, and explore infrastructure solutions, in November 2021. Please leverage the content at Azure IaaS Digital Event.

Be aware of a networking recommended action: Azure Traffic Manager introduced additional IP addresses for endpoint monitoring service to enhance the capacity of our probing plane; please review to ensure Traffic Manager health probes for the application endpoints don’t fail and result in misrouting of traffic.

Resources

Azure VMWare Solutions

The Azure VMware Solution team is excited to kick off H2 with a digital event in March. Registration will be published shortly, so penicil March 23rd in your schedule to tune into keynotes from Microsoft and VMware execs, as well as some fantastic hands-on experience for customers.

It’s been a busy start to the year with a raft of new assets and announcements:

New customer stories:

  • University of Miami: University of Miami Gains Flexibility and DR resiliency with Azure VMware Solution
  • Investor Bank: Investors Bank seamlessly transforms its data center using Azure VMware Solution

Forrester TCO study: The Projected Total Economic Impact™ Of Microsoft Azure VMware Solution

New Azure Series Webinar: OnDemand registration now available

New MS learn path: Check out the latest MS learn modules for Azure VMware Solution

New product enhancements:

Resources: