Azure Updates: VMs; Firewall policy management; Africa cloud growth

August 29 2022

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VP of Azure Compute Platform Paul Nash announced the general availability of Azure Virtual Machines with Ampere Altra-based processors. The new VMs are GA as of September 1 in 10 different Azure regions and Availability Zones. The Arm-based VMs can be added to Kubernetes clusters managed with AKS. General-purpose Dpsv5 and Dplsv5 and memory optimized Epsv5 Azure Virtual Machine series—all based on the Ampere Altra processors—entered preview earlier in the year to support large-scale workloads. Going forward, Azure users will be able to deploy and provision the new VMs through SDKs, APIs, PowerShell, and Azure portal.  Following general availability, Microsoft plans to offer Reserved VM Instances pricing.

Product Manager Yuval Pery explored ways to improve Azure Firewall policy management with Tufin SecureTrack integration. Many companies face problems securely troubleshooting network connectivity especially with hundreds of connected assets. Recently, Tufin integrated with Azure Firewall to offer unified security for Microsoft customers. Tufin SecureTrack provides automated audit trails as well as automated network topology mapping.

Indian journalist Abhishek Mande Bhot, writing for Microsoft, shared the story of Shankar Thule, a civil contractor in India who used his smartphone during the pandemic to earn digital certifications with Pidilite. Although Pidilite is a supplier of construction material in the Indian market, it conducts trainings for thousands of contractors throughout the country with the support of the Microsoft Community Training platform. For Pidilite, this involved using Teams to deliver trainings and Azure Data Lake to store data from trainings, feeding it into Power BI for analysis.

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