As you would probably expect, Microsoft Azure is playing a big part in the ongoing Microsoft Inspire 2021 partner conference. On day one of the event, Microsoft discussed various ways it is improving Azure to help organizations migrating to the cloud.

To start, Microsoft has rebranded the Azure Migration Program (AMP) as the Azure Migration and Modernization Program (AMMP). Just a name change on the surface, but Microsoft says the addition of “Modernization” is important.

The company says as it helped organizations migrate to Microsoft Azure over the last year, those same customers were asking for help in modernizing their internal applications. Azure Migration in its new AMMP form will now include support for app modernization and also include support for Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Spring Cloud.

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Moving on, Microsoft has extended free security updates for Windows Server 2008/R2 and SQL Server 2012. Importantly, this extension is only available to Microsoft Azure customers. While free updates are available for Azure users, Microsoft says on-premises users of these services can still buy Extended Security Updates.

Microsoft points out being Azure brings more advantages than free security updates:

“Customers can take advantage of innovative Azure-only capabilities and ease operational burden while modernizing Windows Server and SQL Server environments. For example, Azure Automanage improves workload performance and uptime through simplified management for Windows Server and Linux VMs.”

Improved Azure Migration Tools

Back at Ignite 2021 in March, Microsoft announced the preview of App Containerization, a tool that allows Azure customers to containerize and deploy Java and .NET apps into Azure Kubernetes Service. At Inspire, the company is now extending that service to cover apps heading to Azure App Services.

Additionally, Azure Arc-enables Azure SQL has been given a general availability launch data for July 30, 2021. If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, it allows organizations to manage hybrid SQL Servers during digitization.

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