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Apr 15, 2017 11:16 AM EDT

Microsoft Azure Unleashes A Massive Cloud Salvo, Aimed At Beating AWS In The Battle For Cloud Supremacy [Video]


Microsoft Azure is getting another major salvo this week, but this time it's much bigger and more complete than the previous one. The software giant is currently busy beefing up its hybrid cloud computing capabilities functionality as the company's main cloud differentiators, adding a salvo of additional migration tools, new cloud features and fully enhanced Microsoft Azure tools. The latest update will provide more cloud capabilities and competitive stakes, allowing the software giant to compete more effectively with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the brutal cloud arms race.

In a recent Microsoft Azure blog post, the Redmond-based software company released a more detailed information about the three newly added cloud migration. This week, the company is making all of these three newly introduced hybrid cloud migration tools available to Microsoft Azure customers.

The first one and perhaps the most important of the three Azure cloud migration tools is the new Cloud Migration Assessment service. Using this, companies and organizations can now determine the estimated cost of transitioning their on-premises server workloads to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Not just the transition cost, it can also show how much the companies can save in the cloud migration process, TechCrunch reported.

The second one is the Azure Site Recovery, which is a tool for migrating virtual machines (VMs) to Microsoft Azure cloud platform from other cloud service platform such Google Cloud, AWS, VMware, and more. This tool is primarily used for cloud disaster recovery purposes, but can also be used in moving virtual machines to Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft is also promising a new feature that will allow users to tag virtual machines within the Microsoft Azure portal itself. This tagging feature will simplify and streamline the process of migrating Windows Server virtual machines. This new feature will be arriving in the coming weeks, according to Microsoft.

The third cloud migration tool is the Azure Hybrid Use Benefit, which can be activated via the Azure Management Portal. As mentioned earlier in the company's blog post, Azure Hybrid Use Benefit is actually an option for organizations licensed to use Windows Server Standard or Datacenter editions provided that those organizations also have Software Assurance coverage for those licenses. To learn more about Azure Hybrid Use Benefits, check out the Microsoft Azure website.

Additionally, Microsoft has also announced that the company's Azure Active Directory (AD) B2B authentication service has reached general availability this week. Starting April 12, Azure Active Directory (AD) B2B service will be made available for general use. Meanwhile, there's also some reports and speculations that Microsoft might use Azure AD B2B to provide guest access for Microsoft Teams, which is Microsoft's Slack competitor. However, the company has not made any further comment about this story.

Also this week, the software giant has also released a new set of related commands for the Microsoft Azure Container Registry to help developers to create and manage their Docker container images stored on the cloud service. Check out the Microsoft Azure video below to learn more about Azure Container Service.

Also coming on Microsoft Azure, a newly released set of commands for Azure Batch, the company's batch processing platform for doing high-performance computing and large-scale parallel applications. With the new Azure Batch commands, companies and organizations can now create, manage and schedule batch jobs, and even create a Batch account along with the applications packages.

In addition to the Azure Batch, Microsoft Azure is also adding a new Azure SQL Database commands that will allow users to spin up, manage and scale databases and data warehouses. It also made the previews of Azure DevTest Labs and Azure Monitor available to Microsoft Azure customers this week.

In another Microsoft Azure-related story, Microsoft is adding a new Interactive Shell to Azure Command Line Tool to help users familiarize themselves with the Microsoft Azure tools' command structures, formats, and capabilities. The new version of Azure Command Line tool will bring a new interactive experience that can help Azure users master the tool and enter POSIX commands with less error.

According to the software company, the Microsoft Azure Command Line Interactive (CLI) Shell provides an interactive mode, which will allow users to write and run Azure CLI 2.0 commands, with less error. This command line tool provides an autocomplete dropdowns, auto-cached suggestions combined with a more detailed documentation for guiding beginners. Azure CLI 2.0 can also be used by security or IT admins to generate, store and access cryptographic keys in the Azure Key Vault service, Microsoft added.

Finally, the Redmond-based company this week also released a new version of the Azure Search Traffic Analytics feature set in Azure Application Insights. This fully upgraded version of Traffic Analytics will allow Microsoft Azure customers to draw clearer insights on their target audience so that they can come out with better and more relevant content, UI or other elements. For more about the latest updates, check out the Microsoft Azure website.

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