In another hybrid-cloud move involving Microsoft's cloud this week, the software giant announced that its on-premises data gateway for Azure is now generally available, along with a handful of new features.
"This gateway helps you securely connect your business apps in the cloud to your data sources on-premises. You can use the gateway to move data to and from the cloud while keeping your data sources on-premises," blogged Dimah Zaidalkilani, program manager of Application Insights at Microsoft. "The gateway currently supports Azure Logic Apps, but in the next few months, will also expand to support Azure Analysis Services."
Zaidalkilani added that the release includes a new feature that offers customers some flexibility on which Azure region the service links with. Previously, the gateway defaulted to an organization's Azure Active Directory tenant location. Now, customers can select their own regions for the gateway cloud service along with Azure Service Bus channel to be used with their gateway installations, she announced.
As usual, some caveats apply. Since the gateway must be reinstalled if customers wish to change its region after the fact, Zaidalkilani advised users to make certain they select the desired Azure region during the installation process.
Also new is the ability to delete a gateway's connection to an Azure resource and link it to another. Finally, the company has rolled out new connectors for on-premises data sources for Oracle EBS (E-Business Suite), PostgreSQL and Azure Logic Apps, joining the existing connectors for MySQL and Teradata.
Microsoft is also granting its enterprise cloud customers more fine-grained visibility into the effects that their Azure usage is having on the bottom line.
The company released a preview of Azure Consumption and Charge APIs (application programming interfaces), part of an ongoing effort by the company to add more visibility into cloud costs. Anand Edwin, a principal engineering manager at Microsoft, said the APIs grant users "the ability to query Azure Usage details and Marketplace Charges by any desired date range or billing period," in a May 4 announcement. "These APIs enable organizations to gain deep insights into their usage and spend for all workloads running on Azure."
Available APIs include a Usage Details API that offers daily tallies of the Azure resources consumed and their estimated costs. The new Balance and Summary API summarizes the impact of new purchases, service changes, overages and balances on a monthly basis.
On the cloud database front, Microsoft has raised the data storage limit on Premium Elastic Pools in Azure SQL Database. Elastic Pools enable customers to automatically scale their cloud databases up or down as demand changes, avoiding costly overprovisioning or being caught unprepared during sudden usage spikes.
Signaling that Azure SQL is catching on and attracting bigger database workloads, the company also announced on May 4 that it has raised the maximum storage limit on Premium Elastic Pools from 750GB to 4TB.
For now, the extra storage is available in select Azure data centers with more regions to follow. Additional details are available here.