Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (November 2018 – Weeks: 46 and 47)

This series of blog posts includes the most important announcements and major updates regarding Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Azure Stack, officialized by Microsoft in the last two weeks.


Azure Network Watcher enabled by default for subscriptions that contain virtual networks

Azure Network Watcher provides tools to monitor, diagnose, view metrics, and enable or disable logs for resources in an Azure virtual network.

Network Watcher is now enabled by default for subscriptions that contain a virtual network. There is no impact to your resources or associated charge for automatically enabling Network Watcher. This will simplify and improve your network troubleshooting experience.

To learn more about Network Watcher features, or for information about how to opt out, see the product documentation. You can also get information about pricing.


Azure Availability Zones in Southeast Asia

Azure Availability Zones, a high-availability solution for mission-critical applications, is now generally available in Southeast Asia.

Availability Zones are physically separate locations within an Azure region. Each Availability Zone consists of one or more datacenters equipped with independent power, cooling, and networking. With the introduction of Availability Zones, we now offer a service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.99% for uptime of virtual machines.

Availability Zones are generally available in select regions.


Microsoft Azure is now certified to host sensitive health data in France

Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Office 365, and Microsoft Dynamics have been granted a Health Data Hosting (HDS) certification. This makes Microsoft the first major cloud provider capable of meeting the strict standards of storing and processing health data for data centers located in France, and under the new certification process that began in June 2018. This validates the very high level of safety and protection that Microsoft can offer to French healthcare entities, who will be able to rely on the Microsoft cloud to deploy the applications and health services of tomorrow. These applications and health services will also be in compliance with the current regulations on data protection and privacy.


Announced the Azure File Sync v4 release

Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • Adds support for Windows Server 2019.
  • Adds a new date-based cloud tiering policy setting. This policy setting is used to specify files that should be cached if accessed in a specified number of days. To learn more, see Cloud Tiering Overview.
  • Fixes an issue in which cloud tiering can take up to 24 hours to tier files.
  • Improvement when adding a new server to an existing sync group. Files are now downloaded based on the recently Created\Modified date from other servers in the sync group.
  • Improves interop with antivirus and other solutions so that tiered files can now use the FILE_ATTRIBUTE_RECALL_ON_DATA_ACCESS attribute.
  • Fixes an issue in which servers are unable to communicate with the Storage Sync Service when app-specific proxy settings are used.
  • Fixes an issue in which deleting a server endpoint will no longer cause tiered files to become unusable as long as the cloud endpoint was not deleted and the server endpoint is recreated within 30 days.
  • Improves unattended agent installations by enabling including an answer file.
  • Adds support for a volume-level restore option on servers which have cloud tiering disabled.
  • Improves sync so that it now supports bidirectional control characters.
  • Adds miscellaneous performance and reliability improvements for sync and cloud tiering.


New H-series Azure VMs for HPC workloads

Two new H-series (HB and HC) Azure Virtual Machines for high-performance computing (HPC) workloads are now available in preview. These are optimized for HPC applications driven by intensive computation, such as implicit finite element analysis, reservoir simulation, and computational chemistry. More information in this blog.

Azure Stack

Azure App Service on Azure Stack 1.4 (Update 4) 

Released the fourth update to Azure App Service on Azure Stack. These release notes describe the improvements and fixes in Azure App Service on Azure Stack Update 4 and any known issues.

Extension Host is coming with the next update 1811

Extension Host will be enabled by the next Azure Stack update, 1811. This capability further enhances security and simplifies network integration for Azure Stack.

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