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Microsoft launched its IoT Central cloud service out of beta today. This news was part of a passel of announcements aimed at providing new functionality to developers using the company’s cloud services to build applications that tap into connected devices, data-intensive processing, and Java tools like Spring Boot.

IoT Central is a new service designed to make it easier for developers to build these applications without as much code as would be required to build such systems from scratch. Customers can use the service to create virtual representations of their physical devices and then collect data, change settings, generate analytics from device data, and more.

The idea is to give enterprises that need a little extra help getting off the ground a smooth onramp into managing IoT services. While managing connected devices is a natural task for cloud computing, building those services can be difficult. Microsoft’s offering could help coax enterprises into its cloud and then lead them to migrate more of their workloads to Azure in the future.

Microsoft also launched a new set of storage-optimized virtual machines that are powered by AMD’s Epyc processors. That’s part of the chipmaker’s return to the datacenter space as it competes with offerings from Intel, which previously had a dominant hold on the market.


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The Lv2-series VMs are designed for workloads that require high-performance I/O operations and lots of storage, like MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, and Cloudera. The smallest instance comes with eight virtual CPUs, 64GiB of RAM (1GiB is roughly 1.074GB), and a single 1.9TB SSD. The highest-end instance comes with 64 vCPUs, 512GiB of RAM, and eight connected 1.9TB SSDs.

Right now, the new instances are available in private beta, with broader availability coming soon.

Java developers also got some love from the tech titan today, with the launch of several new capabilities for Azure and Microsoft’s developer tools.

The new Spring Boot Starters for Azure are designed to let developers import identity management functionality from Azure Active Directory, application secrets management from Azure Key Vault, and storage capabilities from Azure Storage. All of that functionality will be available through the Spring Initializr, Visual Studio Code, IntelliJ, Eclipse, and the cf command-line interface.

In addition to the Spring support, Microsoft also upgraded its Visual Studio Code text editor with the ability to remotely code in Java or other supported languages running inside Azure Functions, Microsoft’s event-driven compute service. That means it will be easier for developers to figure out what’s going wrong with a function that has been written and deployed in the cloud.

Visual Studio Code also gained an Azure Functions extension, making it easier for Java developers to write functions and then deploy them to Microsoft’s service using the cross-platform text editor.

This news comes roughly a week after Amazon Web Services announced AWS Cloud9, a web-based integrated development environment that can be used to debug functions running on Lambda, that cloud provider’s functions-as-a-service offering.

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