Microsoft Expands Azure DevOps Portfolio –

Microsoft has made available a bevy of updates to its DevOps portfolio that, collectively, are intended to increase its share of a wave of applications that will be rolled out across the extended enterprise.

Additions to the Microsoft DevOps portfolio were announced at the Microsoft Ignite 2021 conference and include DevOps Workflow Generator, a free tool designed to help DevOps teams visualize their toolchain, and updates to Azure Automanage, a framework for automating the management of virtual machines on Windows Server and, in preview, on Linux.

At the same time, Microsoft has added support for open source OpenTelemetry agent software to Azure Monitor and made available a preview of Azure Chaos Studio, a service for testing application resiliency.

Microsoft is also making available a preview of Windows Server 2022 that adds secure-code capabilities for workloads deployed on the platform. Microsoft also previewed updates to backed databases such as SQL Server 2022, Cosmos and its implementation of the Redis database created by Redis Labs.

Finally, Microsoft has also made available a preview of integration between GitHub Actions for automating software development tasks and Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) using Open ID Connect, an authentication protocol advanced by the OpenID Consortium.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told conference attendees the next 10 years will witness more digitization than the previous four decades as IT shifts from an era defined by mobile and cloud computing to one defined by ubiquitous computing and ambient intelligence.

Applications built in everything from procedural code to the Microsoft Power Fx, a low-code tool that Microsoft created using the programming language it originally built for users of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Microsoft envisions those applications will primarily be built on its cloud and distributed everywhere. On the backend, a range of database and artificial intelligence (AI) services will be invoked primarily via application programming interfaces (APIs).

Of course, every major cloud service provider has similar ambitions. Most organizations today are not standardizing on a single cloud. Rather, they are determining which class of workloads run best on which cloud computing platform regardless of whether that approach increases the total cost of IT. Each additional platform adopted typically requires IT teams to master separate tools. However, Microsoft is now also making a case for a cloud-native framework that can be deployed anywhere to build, deploy and manage applications.

In the meantime, the number of workloads deployed on cloud services continues to grow. The market research firm Canalys reported worldwide spending on cloud infrastructure services reached $49.4 billion in the third quarter of 2021, a 35% increase. Microsoft currently trails Amazon Web Services (AWS) in overall market share but continues to steadily make gains. Microsoft and AWS collectively account for roughly half of all cloud infrastructure service consumption.

DevOps best practices will need to evolve to meet the challenges of multi-cloud computing. In addition to cloud platforms and on-premises IT environments, applications are now starting to be deployed at the edge in greater numbers. DevOps teams need to be able to continuously deploy applications and their associated updates across a wide range of platforms. The challenge, of course, is that all those platforms have unique attributes that make truly automating the entire process on an end-to-end basis an elusive goal.

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