Microsoft announces MySQL and PostgreSQL Azure services and Azure Cosmos DB

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"But in choosing Microsoft Azure we have access to a highly secure, global cloud that offers data redundancy in multiple in-country locations for business continuity - something that's an absolute prerequisite for us given we operate a high-availability business".

At this week's Build developer conference, Microsoft made a bunch of cloud-based data announcements, including previews of new Azure database services for PostgreSQL and MySQL. While it might not be as well known as Amazon or Google in the Cloud Computing department, it seems Microsoft is doing things to make Azure at least competitive to both of those common cloud computing platforms.

The new Microsoft tools are created to make corporate database software, used to power everything from internal systems and records to public-facing websites, more smoothly integrate into the company's Azure platform. Announced a year ago, the framework now has more than 130,000 registered developers. The system should deliver the configured throughput within 5 seconds at the 99th percentile, from the time of the request to scale.

The write-optimized Cosmos DB offers single-digit millisecond latency and guarantees consistency and high availability through SLAs.

Ensure that the system is "always on". Microsoft previewed Docker, Azure Functions and Xamarin.IoT support.

Despite the abundance of research and proposals for more than 50 consistency models, the distributed database community has not been able to commercialize consistency levels beyond strong and eventual consistency. Keeping database schema and indexes in-sync with an application's schema is especially painful for globally distributed applications. These are DocumentDB, which uses SQL, MongoDB emulating a popular open-source NoSQL database manager and, new in this release, Gremlin for graph support and Table for key-value pairs. The database engine can efficiently translate and project different data models onto the ARS-based data model.

Operate at a very low cost to pass on the savings to customers.

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Once you sign- in on the Azure app, you can check the status and metrics anytime.

What is particularly striking about Cosmos DB is that it's unashamedly created to take full advantage of Microsoft's hyperscale data center infrastructure - running across 27 regions.

If you don't know what Azure is, then this probably won't have much of an effect on you (wiki-hole, if you are curious), but it's basically a platform similar to Google's Cloud Platform and Amazon's AWS. Cosmos DB is designed for "planet-scale" applications, giving developers fine control over the replication policies and reliability.

The company added new cognitive services that will enable developers to build such intelligence capabilities as vision, speech, language and search to their applications, as well as for bot experiences.

Microsoft also rolled out a number of other services to bolster Azure and blur the lines between its public cloud and broader set of services.

From the data side, Microsoft announced a new Azure data migration service, which streamlines moving data systems to Azure, including Oracle and SQL Server. "In the year ahead, we are excited about usage growth coming from commercial deployments and new devices - and increasing customer delight with Windows", Microsoft's spokesperson told ZDnet in July 2016.