Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (August 2019 – Weeks: 31 and 32)

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

Azure Dedicated Host

Azure Dedicated Host is a new Azure service that enables you to run your organization’s Linux and Windows virtual machines on single-tenant physical servers. Azure Dedicated Hosts provide you with visibility and control to help address corporate compliance and regulatory requirements. Azure Dedicated Host is in preview in most Azure regions.

Azure marketplace charges are available in Azure Cost Management for Pay-As-You-Go customers

Azure marketplace charges within Cost Analysis tool for Pay-As-You-Go customers are available. As a part of this preview you can analyze marketplace charges alongside Azure service charges within Cost Analysis and reconcile Azure marketplace invoice using both Cost Analysis and a new usage csv download API.

Network security group improvements

New improvements have been added to network security group (NSG), which filters network traffic to and from various Azure resources:

  • Specify ICMP as the protocol in your NSG rules, in addition to TCP, UDP, or Any. 
  • Override the default Azure platform considerations by creating an NSG rule with the following service tags. Please exercise caution when using these tags.
    • ​​AzurePlatformDNS for DNS 
    • AzurePlatformIMDS for IMDS 
    • AzurePlatformLKM for Windows licensing (Key Management Service)
Azure File Sync agent v7.1 update rollup
 

Azure File Sync agent v7.1 update rollup is on Microsoft Update and Microsoft Download Center. 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.
  • Miscellaneous reliability improvements for cloud tiering and sync.

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 7.1.0.0.
  • A restart may be required if files are in use during the update rollup installation.
  • Installation instructions are documented in KB4490496.

Most cost-effective storage offering

Microsoft has dropped Azure Archive Storage prices by up to 50 percent in some regions. The new pricing is effective immediately.

New AMD-based Azure VMs for general purpose and memory intensive workloads

New Azure virtual machines part of the Dv3 and Ev3-series, optimized for general purpose and memory intensive workloads, are in Preview. The new general purpose Da_v3 and Das_v3 Azure VM-series provide up to 64 vCPUs, 256 GiBs of RAM and 1,600 GiBs of SSD-based temporary storage. Das_v3 Azure VM-series supports Premium SSD disk storage. The new memory optimized Ea_v3 and Eas_v3 Azure VM-series provide up to 64 vCPUs, 432 GiBs of RAM and 1,600 GiBs of SSD-based temporary storage. Eas_v3 Azure VM-series supports Premium SSD disk storage.

M-series virtual machines (VMs) are generally available in the Brazil South Region

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

Azure Geo and Zone Redundant Storage in public preview

Azure Geo and Zone Redundant Storage (GZRS) helps customers achieve higher data resiliency by Synchronously writing three replicas of your data across multiple Availability Zones and Asynchronously replicating the data to another region within the same geo into a single zone (like LRS today) protecting from a regional outage.

Azure Files Active Directory (Azure AD) authentication with Azure AD domain services is generally available

Azure Files offers fully managed file shares in the cloud that are accessible via the industry standard SMB protocol. Integration with Azure AD enables SMB access to Azure file shares using Azure AD credentials from Azure AD domain services domain joined Windows VMs.

Azure Firewall feature updates for July 2019

Here are the Azure Firewall feature updates for July 2019:

  • Multiple public IPs is generally available in all Azure public regions.
  • Availability Zones is now generally available. 
  • SQL FQDN filtering is now in preview in all Azure regions.
  • Azure HDInsight FQDN tag is now in preview in all Azure public regions. 
  • Central management using partner solutions