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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft Announces Copilot for Azure, an AI Assistant for IT Professionals

Microsoft Announces Copilot for Azure, an AI Assistant for IT Professionals

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Microsoft has introduced Copilot for Azure, an AI-based tool designed to enhance the management and operation of cloud infrastructure and services. It leverages the capabilities of large language models (LLMs) with Azure's Resource Model to provide a comprehensive understanding and handling of Azure's functionalities, spanning from cloud services to edge technology.

Erin Chapple, corporate vice president of Azure infrastructure at Microsoft, summarised this announcement in a blog post. The advancement of cloud management has led to more complex infrastructures and demanding requirements, causing IT professionals to lose productivity in information-seeking. Chapple stated that Microsoft's Copilot for Azure tackles this by simplifying complex tasks, aiding in discovering and using new features and providing insights that enhance efficiency across teams and organizations.

Similar to how GitHub Copilot has boosted developer productivity, Copilot for Azure aims to provide similar benefits to IT professionals. Evidence from GitHub suggests that users of its Copilot feature experience increased productivity, reduced time spent on information searches, and the ability to concentrate on more fulfilling work.

Microsoft's Copilot for Azure aids in designing and configuring services in line with organizational policies, simplifying the process of setting up and adhering to compliance requirements. In operations, Copilot for Azure allows for the execution of complex commands and efficient resource management. It also provides answers to relevant questions, helping IT professionals navigate the complexities of cloud infrastructure more effectively. For troubleshooting, the tool offers a significant advantage by integrating with various Azure services to identify problems, analyze causes, and suggest solutions. Copilot for Azure also focuses on optimization, recommending ways to improve the cost efficiency, scalability, and reliability of cloud services.

We are already seeing how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly expanding its reach into various domains, reshaping how tasks are approached and executed. Amazon's recent announcement of Amazon Q, a new generative AI-powered assistant, reflects AI's growing role in enhancing customer experiences and business operations. Microsoft also unveiled AR Copilot in Dynamics 365 Guides at their Ignite 2023 conference showcasing AI's integration into industrial workspaces. This tool combines the power of generative AI with mixed reality to assist frontline workers in handling complex tasks and resolving issues more efficiently. By using Dynamics 365 Guides, workers can interact with Copilot using natural language and physical gestures, such as pointing at objects.

Members of the technology community actively participated in discussions about the announcement in the blog post's comment section. A user named Thomas Oeser asked about the cost of Copilot for Azure, and JasonG33 responded that it is free during the preview period.

Copilot for Azure is integrated within the Azure portal and will be accessible through the Azure mobile app and CLI. It is developed to analyze and interpret various Azure-related data sources, including Azure Resource Manager (ARM), and Azure Resource Graph (ARG). Microsoft employees and a small group of customers are currently using Microsoft Copilot for Azure. Interested readers can sign up for the preview; the onboarding into the preview will be done every week.

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