Azure Updates: Confidential Computing; Insight Engines; VM Backup; Backup center

January 15 2023

The new year is now firmly underway with the arrival of mid-January and Microsoft is slowly picking up the pace of its Azure announcements. Microsoft CTO Mark Russinovich touted Azure Confidential Computing capabilities, based on 4th generation Intel Xeon scalable processors with Intel Trusted Domain Extensions (TDX). The new capabilities are set to become available later this year and are intended to help regulated industries to lift and shift workloads with hardware enforced memory protection. Existing DCsv3 VMs and hypervisor capabilities offer a small trust boundary, but a growing number of customers have requested additional protection to meet data sovereignty requirements. According to Russinovich, Microsoft is opting for Azure Attestation as the standard, with attestation against the entire VM or container.

Microsoft distinguished engineer Pablo Castro announced that Gartner named Microsoft a Leader in the 2022 Magic Quadrant for Insight Engines. Gartner based its ranking off of two Microsoft services: Azure Cognitive Search and Microsoft Search for Microsoft 365. Microsoft has targeted Cognitive Search to scenarios in a wide range of industries such as manufacturing, energy, retail, financial services, and healthcare. “Nearly every user knows what to do when they see a search box. All SaaS applications targeting audiences from consumer to enterprise can greatly benefit from a great search experience over their own data. Azure Cognitive Search can deliver an out-of-the-box solution, inclusive of various multi-tenancy strategies, support for over 50 languages, and a global presence to ensure your solution is delivered in the right location for your customers,” Castro wrote.

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