How Microsoft Azure helps drive agility and optimization for your business


Welcome to Microsoft Ignite! I’m incredibly inspired by this global community and how you’ve navigated your organizations through significant changes over the past few years.

In a world where business leaders are feeling the pressure to do more with less, organizations of all sizes and industries are increasingly embracing cloud technologies as the path toward digital and business resilience.

I've had the opportunity to speak with our customers about their business needs and the challenges they’re facing. Customers, we hear you, and that's what this year's Microsoft Ignite is all about—empowering you through cloud technology so you can focus on what your organization does best—create, innovate, and differentiate.

We aim to be the world’s computer and most trusted cloud partner for all workloads. No matter where you are on your cloud journey, we have the expertise, capabilities, and platform to help increase agility, optimize technology investments, and create data-driven experiences. To that end, we’re announcing several new developments to help our customers optimize their resources and get the most out of their existing investments.

Performance, scale, mission-critical capabilities: Azure delivers to keep your business efficient and resilient

As our customers continue to embrace digital capabilities with strong cloud fundamentals, the “how” of cloud migration is top of mind, especially for mission-critical workloads.

We work closely with the technology vendors you have traditionally relied upon to run all your workloads and ensure Azure is ready for you to modernize your on-premises applications. We’re announcing several new capabilities to support this:

  • Nutanix Cloud Clusters on Microsoft Azure is now available for easy extension or migration of your existing on-premises Nutanix workloads and a consistent environment with no need to modify or retool.
  • Updates to Azure VMware Solution (AVS): Beginning today, this native VMware environment previews stretched clusters, providing 99.99 percent uptime for mission-critical applications requiring the highest availability, and Customer Managed Keys for maximum control over access to encrypted data.
  • The collaborative SAP ERP is now in preview and increases user productivity and focus by integrating workflows across SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Office for close collaboration without application or context switching.
  • Updates to Azure Center for SAP solutions, an end-to-end deployment and management experience running SAP on Azure, now previews support for registering Windows-based systems and installing SAP S/4HANA 2020/2021, while providing cost transparency through integration with the cost analysis feature and even more quality checks.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a great example of an organization that chose to migrate its SAP solutions and other resources to Microsoft Azure to improve operations and boost fan engagement. Azure enabled them to spend less time managing technology and focus more on generating fan-centric experiences that bring together business, game, and fan data to enhance the way people can enjoy interacting with the NBA.

We know that optimizing investments frees up the resources you need to build the experiences that are most meaningful for your customers.

We’re pleased to announce several advancements to deliver new levels of price performance, mission-critical capabilities, and security—while increasing efficiency and ensuring your business stays resilient, including:

  • The expansion of the Azure Disk Storage portfolio with the general availability of Premium SSD v2 for greater flexibility when managing performance and costs.
  • We are investing to help you modernize your infrastructure, from the ground up by taking a system-level approach. We recently introduced new Azure Virtual Machines and Azure Kubernetes Service that feature Ampere Altra Arm–based processors and deliver excellent price performance when running scale-out Linux workloads.
  • Azure Elastic SAN, a new cloud-native, fully managed, and massively scalable storage area network service—only available through Azure.
  • New foundational Azure confidential computing service to help protect data in use, and the addition of confidential computing capabilities to services like Azure Virtual Desktop and SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines.

Delivering data-driven experiences that give you more time and value

We continue to enhance the way Microsoft Azure integrates across infrastructure and data services so you can keep your business efficient and resilient.

In May, we launched the Microsoft Intelligent Data platform, integrating our best-in-class database, analytics, and data governance products for a seamless experience.

Today’s announcements empower our customers to do more with less, add layers of intelligence to applications, unlock predictive insights, and govern data anywhere.

  • Developers can build on their terms with the new innovation in cloud-native distributed data and open-source. Azure Cosmos DB is expanding beyond NoSQL to support distributed PostgreSQL, bringing everything developers love about PostgreSQL to Azure Cosmos DB.
  • General availability of the SAP Change Capture Data Connector in Azure Data Factory enables customers to bring in SAP data for advanced analytics. Azure Data Factory’s new Microsoft Graph Data Connector for Microsoft 365 datasets transports your office data into Azure, so you can unlock collaboration and productivity insights. We’re also continuing to remove friction from end-user experiences, allowing you to share your Power BI datasets across tenants through Power BI B2B data sharing.
  • Microsoft Purview combines unified data governance with risk and compliance solutions. Business Workflows, now generally available, and Business Metamodel, now in preview, make it easier to maximize the business value of your data and drive cross-functional data governance.

And, our new Partner Ecosystem, enables ISVs to build on top of the open and governed Microsoft Intelligent Data platform, delivering an enriched, cost-optimized experiences for customers across all industries.

Transform your business with Azure, anywhere

We want you to be able to stay agile and flexible when extending Azure to your on-premises, multicloud, and edge environments. We meet you where you are, so you can blend your own enterprise and operational edge investments with Azure’s global infrastructure to leverage the best Azure has to offer—on your own terms.

With Azure Arc, we built a bridge that extends the Azure platform so our customers can build cloud-native applications and services with the flexibility to run them across their existing datacenters, edge, and multicloud environments.

For example, Wells Fargo turned to Azure Arc to streamline a scalable compute platform across on-premises and cloud environments. And to get that same fully managed, cloud-native experience, they are extending Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) to their own datacenters. This offers the flexibility to adapt to ever-changing regulations and compliance requirements by running AKS wherever it’s needed. In turn, they’re able to bring new products and services to market faster and delight their customers.

I’m pleased to announce new Azure Arc capabilities to save you money and enable further innovation.

  • Expansion of the Azure Hybrid Benefit to include AKS so you can deploy the Azure Kubernetes Service on Azure Stack HCI or Windows Server in your own datacenters or edge environments at no additional cost. This ensures a consistent, managed Kubernetes experience from cloud to edge for both Windows and Linux containers.
  • Azure Automanage is now generally available for Azure Virtual Machines and Arc-enabled servers. Within minutes, you can automatically configure servers to best-practice Azure services with a simple "point, click, set, forget" experience—whether they run Windows, Linux, or are already located in Azure, on-premises, or even in other clouds.

Do more with less: migrate, optimize, reinvest

We’re focused on finding ways to help you save and get maximum value out of your cloud investments, wherever your business might be in its journey.

We already have pricing benefits and offers, like Azure Hybrid Benefit, to help you achieve savings while adopting and operating in Azure. We also understand you may need additional help to ensure workloads remain secure and protected with hybrid flexibility as you move.

At Microsoft Ignite we’re announcing enhancements and benefits to make this even easier.

  • Our flagship Azure Migration and Modernization program (AMMP) now helps you plan and deploy cloud security services as you migrate, including support for Microsoft Defender for Cloud and Microsoft Sentinel. You can also take advantage of Azure innovation across hybrid environments with Azure Arc deployment support for workloads that need to remain on-premises.
  • A new Azure savings plan for compute allows you to save up to 65 percent on select compute services compared to pay-as-you-go prices.1

If you’re further along in the journey to cloud, you need to optimize what you’ve already invested. Tools like Microsoft Cost Management and Azure Advisor help you better manage and understand your cloud spend with best practice guidance and personalized insights.

We want you to be able to take these cloud savings and reinvest them into critical areas like crisis management, security, and intelligent cloud-native solutions that help your business stay resilient, grow, and create new value.

You can read more about how we’re investing in Azure to help you do more with less and there’s a great breakout session this week that will help you bring it all together for your business.

Our commitment to you

Whether you’re getting started with migration, ready to optimize existing investments, or looking to reinvest your savings and keep innovation with cloud-native technologies, we’re here to help you make it happen.

Our commitment is to be the cloud partner you can trust along your entire cloud journey, helping you build agility, optimize your business, and create data-driven experiences.

On behalf of the entire Azure team here at Microsoft, thanks for letting us be that partner for you. However you’re experiencing the Microsoft Ignite sessions this week—from the home office, gathered in Seattle, or around the world—we hope you enjoy the event!

Learn more about Azure at Microsoft Ignite this year


1Customers may see savings estimated to be between 11 percent and 65 percent. The 65 percent savings is based on one M64dsv2 Azure Virtual Machines for CentOS or Ubuntu Linux in the East US region running for 36 months at a pay-as-you-go rate vs. a reduced rate for a 3-year savings plan. Based on Azure pricing as of October 2022. Prices subject to change. Actual savings may vary based on location, instance type, or usage.

Source: Azure Blog Feed

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