Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (June 2019 – Weeks: 25 and 26)

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

General availability of Azure Premium Files

Premium Files is a new performance tier for Azure Files and is designed for IO intensive workloads with low latency and higher throughput requirements. Premium tier provides 20x capacity, 100x IOPS, and 170x throughput as compared to the existing standard tier. Premium Files stores data on the latest Solid-State Drives (SSDs), which makes it suitable for wide variety of workloads like file services, databases, persistent storage for containers, content and collaboration repositories, analytics, home directories, high variable and batch workloads, among many others. 

Azure Bastion Public Preview

Azure Bastion enables more secure and seamless RDP and SSH access to Azure Virtual machines directly in the portal (over port 443) without the need of any public IP on the virtual machine. Additional details are available on the Azure Bastion product page, and Azure Bastion product documentation page.

Azure Firewall: public preview for multiple public IPs and Availability Zones

Azure Firewall now supports multiple public IPs and availability zones in public preview using PowerShell and templates:

Just-in-time access supports Azure Firewall

When a user requests access to a VM with a JIT policy, Security Center first checks that the user has Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) permissions to request access to a VM with a JIT policy. If the user has permissions and the request is approved, Security Center automatically configures the NSG and the Azure Firewall rules to allow inbound traffic.

ExpressRoute supports up to 4 circuits from the same peering location into the VNet

ExpressRoute now supports up to 4 circuits from a single peering location connected to an ExpressRoute virtual network gateway, which was previously limited to a single circuit in a peering location. This is generally available in Azure Public.

Preview Refresh for Azure DNS Private Zones

Announced the Refresh release for Azure DNS private zones (preview). The Preview Refresh introduces new functionality and lifts several restrictions that public preview had.

Availability of Microsoft cloud datacenter regions in the Middle East

Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are now generally available from datacenter regions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with plans for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to be available by the end of 2019.

VM Health feature now supports new OS’ and is available in new regions

VM Health feature now supports new OS’ and is available in new regions

VM Health feature included in Azure monitor for VMs is now available for VMs that are running on Windows 2012 R2 and 2019. Additionally, VM Health feature is also available in cases where the associated workspace is in SEA (South East Asia), UKS (UK South), and CCAN (Canada Central) regions.

Public preview of monitoring VM scale sets

Public preview of monitoring Windows and Linux VM scale sets from within the scale set resource blade.

Update rollup for Azure File Sync Agent

An update rollup for the Azure File Sync agent was released.

Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • Accessing or browsing a server endpoint location over SMB is slow on Windows Server 2012 R2.
  • Increased CPU utilization after installing the Azure File Sync v6 agent.
  • Cloud tiering telemetry improvements.

More information about this update rollup:

  • This update is available for Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019 installations that have Azure File Sync agent version 4.0.1.0 or later installed.
  • The agent version of this update rollup is 6.3.0.0.
  • A restart may be required if files are in use during the update rollup installation.
  • Installation instructions are documented in KB4489739.

M-series VMs are available in the South Africa North region

Azure M-series VMs are now available in the US South Central region. M-series VMs offer configurations with memory from 192 GB to 3.8TiB (4TB) RAM and are certified for SAP HANA.

GPU Optimized Visualization VMs now available in new regions

NVv3-Series VMs are now available in South Central US, West US, West Europe and North Europe Azure regions.

Azure Stack

Azure Stack update

This update includes new improvements, and fixes for Azure Stack. This article describes the contents of the 1906 update package.