Microsoft refreshes Azure Stack preview; adds new cloud services

Microsoft has refreshed the preview of its Azure Stack hybrid computing appliance software and added previews of some new cloud services.

Microsoft has refreshed the third (and said to be final) Azure Stack technical preview with lots of new features and fixes.

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Don't call it Azure Stack Technical Preview (TP) 4. But given the many features and fixes in the April 6 update, you might be excused if you do.

Today's update includes previews of the Azure App Service (web apps, API apps, and mobile apps), Azure Functions server-less computing, and updated version of of SQL/MySQL database services.

In addition, according to Microsoft's blog post on the update, "Based on feedback and several ongoing improvements/bug fixes, we've also updated the Azure Stack TP3 software for a better deployment and operational experience."

In order to try out the new Azure Platform-as-a-Service services introduced today, users must first move to the updated TP3 software, which includes refreshed features for both administrators and tenants.

Microsoft rolled out TP3 of Azure Stack on March 1, paving the way for a mid-2017 release of the product. Azure Stack is Microsoft's hybrid-cloud offering that will be preloaded on one of four server options. Users will be able to run Azure Stack -- which provides many of the pieces of Microsoft's Azure public cloud in a form they can run inside their own or partners' on-premises datacenters -- as an appliance.

In March, with the introduction of TP3, Microsoft execs said the company would be adding Azure Functions, VM Extension syndication, and multi-tenancy support. Blockchain, Cloud Foundry, and Mesos templates workloads to Azure Stack in the near term.

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