New study from 451 Research suggests increase in application hosting and business applications


New study (commissioned by Microsoft) is good news for cloud service providers…

“More than 75 percent of customers are now beyond the cloud discovery phase and expect that in three years, almost half of their applications will be deployed in a combination of private and public cloud environments.”

Full Story: PR Newswire

Azure Machine Leaning and the Connected Cow?!


Machine learning is the process of teaching a computer to impose structure and meaning on data.  Currently Machine learning is “on fire” and with it we’re seeing an amazing new possibilities formerly reserved for science fiction.

Typical Scenarios:
  • Improving elevator efficiencies
  • Predicting Grocery delivery of different foods and house goods
  • Predicting the Outcome of the 2014 U.S. Congressional Elections
  • Personalized experience in the retail industry for all interactions and touch points
  • Retail Fraud
  • Price Optimization
  • Inventory Forecasting
  • Location Analytics
New Scenarios
  • Heat map for breeding cows

Breeding cows can be tricky. The window for successful insemination is narrow – 12 – 18 hours every 21 days – and spotting it can require farmers to monitor tens or even hundreds of cows.

In Japan, dairy farmers employed a high-tech solution to noticing when a cow was getting frisky.

Microsoft needs to change Azure Paradigm to support “Patch Tuesday”


8 Days ago Microsoft posted the following announcements and updates for the Microsoft Azure Platform,  additional details at the link below.  All I can say is that we need to get these product release updates on a “Patch Tuesday” model.  I can’t keep up!

This is a blog post of a new ongoing series of consolidated updates from the Cloud Platform team.

  • Azure Search Generally Available
  • Azure DocumentDB to Become Generally Available
  • Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS) Now Available in Open Licensing
  • Azure Media Services Now Fully Integrated with Azure CDN
  • Media Encoder Premium for Azure Media Services in Public Preview
  • Azure Active Directory Dynamic Membership For Groups
  • Automatic Password Change for Social Media Shared Accounts
  • March Update to Microsoft Intune
  • Latest Version For Azure SQL Database Now Generally Available in Asia and Improved Data Recover Objectives For V12 in All Regions
  • Compute-Intensive A10 and A11 Virtual Machine Instances Now Generally Available
  • Remote Desktop app for Windows Phone Now Supports Gateway and Remote Resources

Full Story: TechNet

Cloud market leader Amazon AWS, leads to Microsoft / Cisco partnership


All the partnerships and maneuvering has been interesting since AWS marketshare significantly increased over the past 7 years.  With this latest announcement, Microsoft and Cisco are partnering on development technologies that allow developers to use a common API to develop new applications that work on premise or on Azure. With the partnership, Cisco will be merging their API (called APIC) with Microsoft API (called WAP).  When complete, You can choose to run your application on premise in your on datacenter on either Microsoft’s or Cisco’s cloud platform.

With today’s announcement, Microsoft and Cisco announced a new technology platform, called “Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform.”

Full Story:. Redmond Magazine

How to get started with Microsoft’s NOSQL database: DocumentDB


My background is relational databases i.e., boolean Algebra, E.F Codd, Microsoft SQL.  However, NoSQL databases are increasingly used in big data and real-time web applications. If you business needs involve unstructured data, it’s time to give Azure a look.  

Microsoft Azure has many options for storing and working with data, including:

  • Table storage, which provides an easy way to quickly access data using key values that describe the data.
  • The traditional relational option via SQL Azure.
  • The DocumentDB route for unstructured data, which allows you to work with data via a RESTFul interface that takes advantage of JSON — store, retrieve, and interact via JSON.

DocumentDB allows you to query all data in the document, while table storage only works with metadata outside the document.

TechRepublic: Full Story

ThyssenKrupp elevator using Azure Machine Language to drive down maintenance costs


Great example / scenario of how Azure Machine Language can help your business drive down costs.

Since last year the company has been working with Microsoft to build a monitoring system that feeds data from its elevators and escalators to the Azure cloud platform, using Microsoft’s Intelligent Systems Service to help capture that information and its Machine Learning service to make sense of it.

The aim is to develop a system that knows what repairs need to be carried out before anything breaks and which can advise engineers on what work needs doing during call-outs.

“With machine learning we’re going to be given a list saying ‘On your next maintenance these are the tasks that you should perform’,” said Smith.

Full Story at ZDNet

DevOps adoption rises and hybrid cloud strategy deepens in new study


The RightScale 2015 State of the Cloud report has found DevOps adoption increase year on year in enterprises, as well as a continued push towards a hybrid cloud strategy.

Other interesting stats from the study included:

  • 62% of enterprise respondents say central IT makes more than half of cloud purchasing decisions
  • Greater scalability (57%) remains the key benefit of the cloud, alongside faster access to infrastructure (57%) and higher availability (51%)
  • 93% of the 930 respondents are using cloud in some capacity, with 58% opting for both public and private, 30% public only, and 5% private only

Full Story

What is Azure Machine Learning and why is it important: 4 Examples


Azure Machine learning — getting a system to teach itself from lots of data rather than simply following preset rules — actually powers the Microsoft software you use everyday.


  1. Machine learning enables Clutter in Office 365 to determine with uncanny accuracy which email
  2. Makes it easier to touch the right menu on a Windows tablet with your finger
  3. Helps OneNote figure out your handwriting.
  4. If you’re selling handbags, dresses, shoes, or other fashion items on eBay, you might see much better sales overseas because automatic translations of listings are more accurate — and available in all 45 languages Azure ML supports.


Full Story: Yesterday’s announcement of Azure Machine Learning offers the latest sign of Microsoft’s deep machine learning expertise — now available to developers everywhere.

Microsoft Azure ML Site: 

Don’t be a Luddite! Get rid of your old, outdated tape backup software


Microsoft just announced a number of new features in their February 2015 Azure Backup update. The key capabilities (for non System Center users) are:

  • Long term retention – cloud as tape replacement
  • Offline seeding – complete your initial seeding faster and off-the-network

With the latest update, customers can specify daily, weekly, monthly and yearly retention policies. Customers can now retain their data for up to 99 years in Azure! If you are using tapes to address your long term retention needs – this release provides a compelling value prop to use Azure to address your backup and long term retention needs.

Full Story: Long term retention – cloud as tape replacement