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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Enhances Azure SQL Database, Active Directory and Media Services

Microsoft Enhances Azure SQL Database, Active Directory and Media Services

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Microsoft announced new features to Azure SQL Database, Azure Active Directory, Azure RMS and Azure Media Services.

The latest version of Microsoft’s cloud database, Azure SQL Database became generally available. Initially launched in Europe, SQL Database achieves near-complete compatibility with Microsoft SQL Server engine. General availability will continue across US regions on February 9, 2015 with a rollout to other data centers by March 1, 2015. This release introduces a suite of security features such as Row-Level Security, Dynamic Data Masking, and Transparent Data Encryption. Available in public preview, customers can implement Row-level Security on databases to enable implementation of fine-grained access control over rows in a database table for greater control over data access. Dynamic Data Masking, a policy-based security feature that helps limit the exposure of data in a database by returning masked data to non-privileged users will become available soon. Transparent Data Encryption feature will be added to SQL Database V12 databases for encryption at rest. Simplified high availability configuration based on AlwaysOn technology makes it easy to configure failover for an on-premises SQL Server workload or a cloud only SQL Server workload. Finally, customers can deploy SQL Server on the new Azure G-Series VMs that offer up to 32vCPUs, 448GB of memory, and 6.59TB of local SSD.

Azure Active Directory has added new features in the form of Conditional Access for SaaS Apps and Azure AD Connect Health. Conditional Access for SaaS Apps is a policy evaluation engine integrated with Azure AD. It enables IT admins to create access policies that evaluate the context of a user’s login to make real-time decisions about which applications they should be allowed to access. Azure AD Connect Health is a cloud based service to monitor and secure cloud and on-premises identity infrastructure. In this first preview, Azure AD Connect Health provides customers who use ADFS with detailed monitoring, reporting and alerts for their ADFS servers.

Azure Rights Management is a cloud-based rights management solution for Office 365 as well as for on-premises servers and services. Microsoft has added Azure RMS migration toolkit, new updates to RMS SDK and RMS sharing app for Windows Phone 8.1, the introduction of departmental templates and new Azure RMS onboarding controls. These features allow customers to designate a subset of users who can start to protect content with Azure RMS.

Content Protection feature for Azure Media Services is now generally available for both live and on-demand workflows. It is backed by the full support of the Azure Service-Level Agreement (SLA). With this, Azure customers can use the license delivery and AES 128-bit encryption key delivery service that is used to deliver the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

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