Following up on the attention it received at its “cloud briefing” in San Francisco last week, Microsoft today gave people a peek at new big-data capabilities in its growing Azure public cloud, as well as a slew of administrative features for its Office 365 applications.
The public-cloud announcements show the company executing on its stated strategy of letting developers at companies deploy applications in any way they want. The Office 365 announcements, meanwhile, demonstrate Microsoft trying hard to build on its historical success on people’s desktops with Office applications and create a set of cloud-based services worthy of business from big companies.
Speaking at the company’s TechEd Europe conference in Barcelona, Spain, executives today announced that next year Office 365 will gain mobile-device management capabilities that will allow IT to control what employees can do with their phones and tablets, across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Meanwhile, data-loss prevention is headed for Microsoft’s SharePoint Online and OneDrive applications. That way, companies can more effectively clamp down on the sharing of sensitive corporate information.
Microsoft is also introducing Azure Batch, a service based on its GreenButton acquisition that can run jobs across large data sets using distributed computational infrastructure.
“Azure Batch can be used to execute ‘traditional’ HPC (high-performance computing) workloads like risk analysis or engineering simulations, but is just as well suited for workloads like file processing, rendering, transcoding, builds, and so on,” a Microsoft spokesman told VentureBeat in an email. “Azure Batch can allocate thousands of VMs (virtual machines) that span multiple physical clusters; it provides the ability to manually or automatically scale the number of VMs to cater for varying load and allow customers to pay for use.”
Microsoft is also coming out with Azure Operational Insights, an application for analyzing machine data, sort of like Splunk’s software. “While there are many log management tools on the market, Operational Insights is uniquely positioned to take advantage of both System Center integration as well as Microsoft deep knowledge of core solutions its provides,” the spokesman wrote.
Oh, and the Azure Automation service for simplifying low-level processes is now available to everyone.
Microsoft also debuted representational state transfer (REST) application programming interfaces (APIs) for calendars, contacts, email, and files in Office 365.
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