The biggest update to shake the IT world in May 2018 was the implementation of GDPR, the new legislation designed to streamline data handling laws across Europe. These updates were reflected in the latest Microsoft Azure updates to ensure Azure customers don’t fall foul of the law changes. To keep you up to speed, here’s a quick overview of the Microsoft Azure updates you may have missed in the past month.
Single sign-in across Storage Explorer and Visual Studio
Storage Explorer now shares credentials with Visual Studio, so you’ll only need to sign in once to be able to access both and your developer tools will stay connected to your Azure subscriptions.
Blob uploads and downloads improved
Microsoft is continually making improvements to the blob upload and download experience and performance. Blob storage is a helpful way to store large volumes of data, such as photos or videos which need to maintain data integrity.
Improved access tiers for storage
It's the nature of web applications that some data is accessed more often than other data. Media resources hosted on a website front page will be accessed more frequently than a disaster recovery dataset.
The latest updates mean you can categorise your access tiers as hot, cool and archive and then only pay for the storage you are actually using. You can read more about the updated access tiers here.
Share SAS URLs with ease
Microsoft Azure customers will never again need to worry about sharing files too large to send by email. The new changes from Storage Explorer mean you can upload a file to blob storage and then get a temporary access link to the file.
You have complete control over how long the URL is valid for, so it’s perfect for sharing large files in a pinch.
Manage backups with ease
Storage Explorer allows you to quickly and easily create a backup copy of a file before making any changes. The snapshot tool allows you to create a snapshot of a file at a particular moment, so you never need to worry about making changes or sharing files again.
GitHub feedback platform
Instead of filling out a survey or a questionnaire, you can now raise issues around Storage Explorer directly on GitHub. This will allow you to search for issues other users have had, share workarounds and get updates when issues are resolved.
New capabilities for GDPR compliance
In a webcast, Microsoft Azure president Brad Smith outlined the organisation’s commitment to ensuring their product is completely compliant with GDPR. This includes the introduction of the Azure Data Subject Request (DSR) portal and the Azure Policy, which enables users to set their policies in line with GDPR rules.
You can read more about the Azure Data Subject Requests for GDPR here.
Azure Security Centre updates
The new and improved Security Centre offers unparalleled security management and threat protection to help website owners meet GDPR requirements. The updates allow users to apply security policies across workloads, limit exposure to threats, enable encryption and respond quickly to attacks.
Introduction of Compliance Manager
For companies unsure if their current and future plans are compliant with GDPR, the introduction of the Azure Compliance manager will ensure their site remains compliant, no matter what changes they make. It’s the perfect addition to your own GDPR accountability programme.
You can read more about GDPR accountability here.
Manage data residency requirements
Azure has more global regions than any other cloud provider, which means that users can be confident that their customers' data is under control. This offers customers high availability, disaster recovery and backup options should things go wrong.
Learn more about how the Azure Regions work here.
New addition to Azure Marketplace
Azure’s thriving ecosystem that allows partners to publish anything from virtual machine images to solution templates. This offering just got a little richer with the introduction of container images to the Azure Marketplace.
Container images allow customers to discover and acquire certified container images to build their own container-based solutions. Containers can be found under the “container apps” sections of the Marketplace.
Once an image is available in your Azure Container Registry, it’s ready to be deployed like any other container image. You can even opt in for updates, so newer versions will be pushed to your registry.
If you’re interested in helping to build the container ecosystem, you can start the process of onboarding as a Marketplace publisher here.