Microsoft launched its IoT Central cloud service out of beta today. This news was part of a passel of announcements aimed at providing new functionality to developers using the company’s cloud services to build applications that tap into connected devices, data-intensive processing, and Java tools like Spring Boot.

IoT Central is a new service designed to make it easier for developers to build these applications without as much code as would be required to build such systems from scratch. Customers can use the service to create virtual representations of their physical devices and then collect data, change settings, generate analytics from device data, and more.

The idea is to give enterprises that need a little extra help getting off the ground a smooth onramp into managing IoT services. While managing connected devices is a natural task for cloud computing, building those services can be difficult. Microsoft’s offering could help coax enterprises into its cloud and then lead them to migrate more of their workloads to Azure in the future.

Microsoft also launched a new set of storage-optimized virtual machines that are powered by AMD’s Epyc processors. That’s part of the chipmaker’s return to the datacenter space as it competes with offerings from Intel, which previously had a dominant hold on the market.

The Lv2-series VMs are designed for workloads that require high-performance I/O operations and lots of storage, like MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, and Cloudera. The smallest instance comes with eight virtual CPUs, 64GiB of RAM (1GiB is roughly 1.074GB), and a single 1.9TB SSD. The…

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