Ignite Nov ’21: Here’s everything Microsoft announced for Azure

Arif Bacchus

Microsoft Azure Data Center

The November edition of Microsoft Ignite is here and Ignite has always been about IT professionals, so Azure is front and center. Topics include Azure AI, Data, Dev & Ecosystem, Hybrid, Infra, IoT, MIgration, Mixed Reality, Networking, and Resilience. We got you covered with a recap of everything Microsoft announced for Azure.

Azure AI

We start with Azure AI. On this front, Microsoft announced two major things. The first is that Azure Cognitive Search now supports more languages, for a total of more than 50. Microsoft says that advanced machine learning techniques help understand user intent and contextually rank the most relevant search results.

Secondly, Azure Cognitive Services now offers a preview of Azure OpenAI Service. This provides Microsoft customers access to OpenAI’s GPT-3 models with enterprise capabilities.

Azure Data

Microsoft Azure Data Center


Azure Data saw five major announcements at Ignite 2021. First up, Azure Cosmos DV got a set of new features that make it easier for developers to build and maintain cost-effective application databases. Secondly, Azure Synapse got updated features. These include new database templates, real-time analytics for telemetry, and Event Hubs Premium hitting GA.

Third up, there was the news that the Flexible Server deployment option for Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL hit generally available this month. Also included was the news that Azure SQL Managed Instance now has significant new investments and feature updates to enhance performance and security for apps modernizing on Azure

The final Azure Data story is SQL Server 2022 hitting preview. Microsoft is calling this the most cloud-connected release of SQL Server yet. This release should enable customers to drive deeper insights, predictions, and governance from their data at scale.

Azure Dev & Ecosystem

Cybersecurity Microsoft Azure Domain Fronting

Azure Dev & Ecosystem saw a total of 9 different announcements at Ignite 2021. Azure Communication Services released two improvements designed to enhance customer experiences across multiple platforms.  Azure Container Apps hit preview and Azure Logics Apps got some updates. In addition, Azure Service Bus large message support hit GA, as well as Azure Web PubSub service. Other Azure Dec & Ecosystem announcements are below.

We’ll end by mentioning that Azure APU management has also been updated. There are three new features in the update and you can learn more here and here.

Azure Hybrid &Azure Infra

Azure Icon

Azure Hybrid got 4 major updates at Ignite 2021. This includes new tools for IT pros in Azure Stack HCI, new Azure Arc releases, new Azure Virtual Desktop features, and some updates for Windows Server on Azure.

When it comes to Azure Infra, there are 5 major announcements coming out of Ignite. The first of those is the new Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets. Second up is new Azure Virtual Machines for better price performance, Third up is enhanced support and capabilities with
Azure Monitor. Fourth up is the Azure Disk Storage updates hitting GA, and finally, a new Azure Virtual Machines selector.

Azure IOT


Microsoft shared some news around Azure IoT at Ignite. It says that IoT is seeing 90% adoption globally. Microsoft hopes its IoT Signals product can help boost IoT adoption. It put our a report about it here.

Azure Migration and Azure Mixed Reality

Hololens 2 (1024x768)

With Azure Migration and Azure Mixed Reality, there’s a couple of different announcements you need to know about. Microsoft shared updates around Azure Migration. And, in Azure Mixed Reality, Microsoft is announcing a HoloLens 2 promotional offer where the headset is 15% off,  Of course, we can’t forget Mesh in Teams, either.

Azure Networking & Azure Resilience

Azure cloud deployment

Ending with Azure Networking & Resilience, there are just a few things here. In Azure Networking, Azure Gateway Load Balancer now enables the insertion of third-party network virtual appliances into a network path. In addition, Azure Network Function Manager became generally available, There are also new features for Express Route, and updates for Azure network security.

When it comes to Azure Resilience, there’s a new Azure Chaos Studio. This should give Azure customers more ways to find gaps in their apps, and help plan mitigations to avoid end-user disruption.