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Azure product announcements and updates

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In this email, you’ll find important Azure product updates and announcements.
Search by keyword or sort articles by categories via the website version.
Azure Machine Learning updates in preview
Pricing | Machine Learning Overview webpage
Azure Machine Learning is a predictive analytics service that makes it possible to quickly create and deploy predictive models as analytics solutions. You can work from a ready-to-use library of algorithms, use them to create models, and deploy your predictive solution quickly. You pay only for the cloud resources that are used.Take advantage of all these benefits:

More modeling, less prepping. Intelligent data prep built right in. It learns your data preparation steps as you perform them, and then runs them on the rest of your data. Export your work in Python or Spark for reproducibility and scale on all your data.
Increase your rate of model experimentation. Track model code, configurations, parameters, and training data to quickly identify the best performing models and ensure reproducibility.
Build, deploy, and manage everywhere. Rapidly prototype on a desktop then scale up using virtual machines and scale out using Spark clusters. Docker containers make model training and deployment flexible and easier.

New features for Machine Learning are now available in preview in the following regions: East US, West Central US, and Australia East. More regions will be added soon. Learn more about Machine Learning on the overview and pricing webpages.

Azure Data Factory is a fully managed data integration service that automates the movement and transformation of data, allowing you to:

Improve business outcomes by composing and monitoring factories that convert raw data points into actionable business insights for making better decisions.
Take advantage of hybrid data integration, which lets you create, schedule, and orchestrate data-driven workflows to move data between both on-premises and cloud data stores.
Process data using compute services such as Apache Spark with Azure HDInsight, Microsoft SQL Server, Azure SQL Database, SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), and Azure Data Lake Analytics.

With Azure Data Factory, you can meet security and compliance needs while taking advantage of extensive capabilities and paying only for what you use. You can accelerate your data integration with multiple data source connectors natively available in-service. SSIS customers can easily lift their SSIS packages into the cloud using new managed SSIS hosting capabilities in Data Factory.

Azure File Sync preview centralizes your file services in a managed cloud service to reduce complexity associated with server sprawl while preserving your on-premises compatibility and performance. File Sync preview synchronizes files bi-directionally from Windows Server 2012 R2 and 2016 servers into Azure Files, providing:

Multi-site access.
Cloud tiering of less frequently accessed data.
Integrated backup.
Direct cloud access without a gateway.

File Sync preview can be used on your existing servers via a downloadable agent. File Sync preview is now available in the West US, West Europe, Southeast Asia, and Australia East regions. Learn more about File Sync on the overview and pricing webpages.

Azure Logic Apps pricing updates and name change

Azure Logic Apps helps customers connect their SaaS and enterprise apps by providing a visual designer to create business processes and workflows, such as managing trading partners and agreements.

Effective November 1, 2017, we’re updating the naming and pricing for Logic Apps. The updates provide greater transparency and cost effectiveness, and most customers should see lower effective prices with the new pricing model. The key changes are:

Previously, the pricing for actions and connectors was combined into one rate. Now, actions and connectors are charged independently of each other for greater transparency.
The price for each execution of each action has been reduced.
Storage and egress will no longer be charged separately. Instead, you will be charged for data retention based on the policy you assign.
A new Basic Integration Account, for XML processing and light business-to-business (B2B) workloads, has been added.

We’re also making changes to the naming of service types and resource names. Your app won’t require code changes, however you may need to modify billing routines that rely on meter names or resource GUID.

Service type Resource name Resource GUID
Previous name
New name
Integration Account
Previous name
New name
Logic Apps Actions
Actions 155afecf-5804-
Previous name
New name
Enterprise Connector

Collectively, these changes better align pricing and usage, as well as providing customers with greater insights and control. For more information about the impact to existing GUIDs, please visit this webpage. Learn more about Logic Apps on the overview and pricing webpages.

Microsoft R Server virtual machines name change to Microsoft Machine Learning Server
Microsoft R Server is an enterprise class server for hosting and managing parallel and distributed workloads of R processes on servers (Linux and Windows) and clusters (Hadoop and Apache Spark). It provides an execution engine for solutions built using Microsoft R packages, extending open source R with support for high-performance analytics, statistical analysis, machine learning scenarios, and massively large datasets.

Starting November 1, 2017, Microsoft R Server will be renamed as Microsoft Machine Learning Server. This new name reflects the inclusion of Python as a new advanced analytics language.

Guidance and recommendations:

The current R Server virtual machines in Azure will continue to be available for a limited time following general availability of the converged offering, under Machine Learning Server.
If you acquired an R Server virtual machine through the Azure website, you’ll continue to have access to your current R Server offering until July 2018.
Because this is a name change, there shouldn’t be issues with using your existing apps that were developed for R Server in Machine Learning Server. You’ll also get the benefits of an additional language, Python.

To learn more about Machine Learning Server, please visit the Microsoft Data Platformwebpage.

Microsoft Cognitive Services: Text Analytics API generally available
Pricing | Text Analytics API webpage
The Text Analytics API, part of Microsoft Cognitive Services, is a suite of text analytics web services used to analyze unstructured text. This API uses advanced natural language processing techniques to deliver best-in-class predictions. It includes API functions such as:

Sentiment analysis
Key phrase extraction
Language detection

The Text Analytics API is now generally available in five regions: East US 2, West US, West Central US, West Europe, and Southeast Asia. General availability (GA) pricing will take effect on November 1, 2017. Learn more about the Text Analytics API on the overview and pricingwebpages.

For a complete list of announcements and updates, visit Azure updates.

Note: As an Azure customer, you are receiving this email because we are required to notify you of product changes that may impact your subscription. This is the only communication that you will receive directly from Microsoft regarding these product changes.

Thank you,

Your Azure Team


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