Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (April 2019 – Weeks: 15 and 16)

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

Gateway Transit support for Global VNet Peering

Global VNet Peering seamlessly connects Azure virtual networks across regions. After virtual networks are peered, they appear as one for connectivity purposes. Traffic between resources in the peered virtual networks is completely private and stays on the Microsoft Backbone. Gateway Transit is a VNet Peering property that enables one virtual network to use the VPN gateway in the peered virtual network for cross-premises connectivity. Previously, support for Gateway Transit was limited to peering within the same region. Now, Gateway Transit is supported for Global VNet Peering in all Azure public regions, Azure China regions, and Azure Government regions. Gateway Transit enables you to use a peered virtual network’s gateway instead of creating a new gateway for connectivity. As you increase your workloads in Azure, you need to scale your networks across regions and virtual networks to keep up with the growth. VNet peering’s Gateway Transit can help simplify your network architecture.

Full IPv6 support for Azure Virtual Networks

Dual Stack IPv4/IPv6 connectivity with full IPv6 support for Virtual Networks is now available. This lets you bring your private IPv6 space into Azure and enables connectivity over IPv6 within your Virtual Networks. With this, you’re able to address IPv4 depletion, meet regulatory requirements, and expand into the growing mobile and IoT markets with your Azure-based applications.

Azure Cost Management generally available for Pay-As-You-Go customers

The general availability of Azure Cost Management features for all Pay-As-You-Go and Azure Government customers will greatly enhance the ability to analyze and proactively manage  cloud costs. These features will allow you to analyze your cost data, configure budgets to drive accountability for cloud costs, and export pre-configured reports on a schedule to support deeper data analysis within your own systems. This release for Pay-As-You-Go customers also provides invoice reconciliation support in the Azure portal via a usage csv download of all charges applicable to your invoices.

New experience and APIs for purchasing Azure reservations

The new user experience also shows purchase recommendations for VM size that have consistent usage over the last 30 days, to help you select the right VM size. You can now add multiple products to your cart and purchase them together from the Azure portal, or use the reservation APIs to purchase individual products.

Rewrite HTTP headers with Azure Application Gateway

Rewriting HTTP headers in Azure Application Gateway is now supported. You can add, remove, or update HTTP request and response headers while the request and response packets move between the client and backend application. You can also add conditions to ensure that the headers you specify are rewritten only when the conditions are met. Rewriting headers helps you accomplish several important scenarios such as removing port information from X-Forwarded-For headers, adding security-related header fields like HSTS/ X-XSS-Protection, removing response header fields which may reveal sensitive information, etc.

Azure Backup support to move Recovery Services vaults across subscriptions and resource groups

Azure Backup support for move functionality for recovery services vaults where you can migrate a vault between subscriptions and resource groups with a few steps, in minimal downtime and without any data-loss of old backups. You can move the vault across resource groups and subscriptions. This is very helpful in scenarios like expiry of old subscription, moving from EA to CSP type subscription, organizational and departmental changes or separation between QA environment and production environment.  Post migration, all the settings, backup policies and configurations in the vault are retained, including all backup and recovery points created in the past inside the vault. You can restore from retained backup history in the vault regardless of whether the VM is moved with the vault or not to the target subscription.

Azure Availability Zones in UK South and in Japan East

Azure Availability Zones, a high-availability solution for mission-critical applications, is generally available in UK South and in Japan East. 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, Microsoft offers a service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.99% for uptime of virtual machines. Availability Zones are generally available in select regions.

Azure virtual network service endpoint policies expanded

Public preview for virtual network service endpoint policies for Azure Storage was expanded to four new US regions on March 25. Azure virtual network service endpoint policies enable you to prevent unauthorized access to Azure service resources from your virtual network. You can now allow access to only specific Azure service resources (for example, storage accounts) by using endpoint policies over service endpoints. For details about supported capabilities and limitations, and for configuration guidance, see Virtual network service endpoint policies (preview).