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Microsoft is introducing a series of updates to Azure, Azure Arc and Power Platform. The tech giant aims to broaden Azure Arc’s foundation for hybrid and multi-cloud environments, strengthen Azure Synapse’s data management and improve multi-disciplinary collaboration in Power Platform.

Microsoft shares the news at Microsoft Ignite, its annual conference, which takes place digitally this year. In this article, we describe the updates available as of today.

Azure Arc for hybrid and multicloud

A Microsoft spokesperson highlights a significant group of customers with tens to thousands of servers, applications and databases in multiple locations, spread across on-premises, edge and multicloud environments. With them in mind, the tech giant is introducing innovations in Azure Arc, Microsoft’s management platform for hybrid and multicloud environments.

Firstly, as of today, users of VMware vSphere and Azure Stack HCI can manage the entire lifecycle of VMs from the Azure Portal. Until now, it was only possible to manage existing VMs from within the Azure Portal. Secondly, Azure Machine Learning through Azure Arc is usable for ML forecasting in various environments. Thirdly, a directly connected Azure Arc mode should facilitate the deployment, management and security of Azure Arc databases through Azure.

In addition, Microsoft is introducing Azure Virtual Desktop for Azure Stack HCI, an on-premises desktop and application virtualization tool for speed and policy needs. Also, Microsoft Defender for Cloud is now equipped with Security Posture Management (CSPM) and Workload Protection for Amazon Web Services, reinforcing its attractiveness as a central management point for multiple environments. Finally, cloud migrations based on Azure Arc have been added to AMMP, Microsoft Azure’s consulting service for cloud transformations.

Azure Synapse and SQL Server 2022

Moreover, solutions within Azure were revamped. Azure Synapse now features support for Dataverse. Furthermore, the Azure Synapse data explorer became a part of Azure Synapse’s platform, which, according to Microsoft, makes it easier to retrieve device and user data.

The Azure Synapse updates are available through a public preview. The simultaneously introduced SQL Server 2022 is not, and currently exclusively available through a gated preview. The upcoming release promises to facilitate cloud integrations and enrich choices among programming languages and platforms, including Linux, Windows and Kubernetes.

Develop, deploy and deliver applications

Microsoft argues that organization-wide concerns around speed and finances often penalize the delivery of developed applications. According to the tech giant, a focus on low-code application development can provide a solution. Microsoft notes that fusion teams, also known as multi-disciplinary teams with both IT professionals and programmers, lead to optimal low-code applications. In this light, Microsoft is revamping its Power Platform. At the base are new features for better collaboration in fusion teams, accelerating programming via Power FX and distributing applications in the Power App app stores.