Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (September 2019 – Weeks: 37 and 38)

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.


New cloud regions in Germany

Microsoft Azure is available from new cloud regions in Germany. Azure is available in new cloud datacenter regions in Germany, Germany West Central (located in Frankfurt) and Germany North (located in Berlin), to provide greater flexibility, the latest intelligent cloud services, full connectivity to the global cloud network, and data residency within Germany. The new regions with German-specific compliance, including Cloud Computing Compliance Controls Catalogue (C5) attestation, and will remove barriers so in-country companies can benefit from the latest solutions such as containers, IoT, and AI.

Azure Firewall is ISO compliant

Azure Firewall is Payment Card Industry (PCI), Service Organization Controls (SOC), and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compliant. It currently supports SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, SOC 3, PCI DSS, and ISO 27001, 27018, 20000-1, 22301, 9001, 27017. For more information, see the Microsoft Compliance Guide.

New Azure ExpressRoute sites

The following new ExpressRoute meet-me sites are now live:

  • Copenhagen
  • Stockholm
  • Munich

Azure Private Link in preview

Private Link simplifies the network architecture and secures the connection between endpoints in Azure by keeping data on the Azure network, thus eliminating exposure to the internet. Private Link also enables you to create and render your own services on Azure. During public preview, Private Link supports Azure Storage, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen 2, Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and customer-owned services.

Monitor bandwidth for all peered Azure virtual networks with ExpressRoute

Azure network monitoring solutions including Network Performance Monitor and Network Watcher help monitor your networks in the cloud and in hybrid environments. ExpressRoute Monitoring enables you to monitor network performance over ExpressRoute circuits that are configured to use private peering or Microsoft peering.

Azure Monitor for Azure Virtual Machines is available in additional regions

Monitor for Virtual Machines monitors and analyzes the performance and health of your Windows and Linux virtual machines hosted in Azure, on-premises, or with another cloud provider. Azure Monitor for Azure Virtual Machines is now available in Japan East, North Europe, and East US2. 

Service Map feature of Azure Monitor is available in additional regions

Service Map automatically discovers application components on Windows and Linux systems and maps communication between services. The feature enables you to view your servers, processes, inbound and outbound connection latency, and ports as interconnected systems. The Service Map feature of Azure Monitor is available in Japan East, North Europe, and East US2. 

Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) for Azure Files premium tier

Zone Redundant Storage (ZRS) is available for Azure Files premium tier. The ZRS replication provides customers a choice of performant Azure Files services with higher availability. With the release of ZRS support, Azure Files premium tier now offers two durability options:

  • Zone redundant storage (ZRS) for data protection against entire zonal outage.
  • Locally-redundant storage (LRS) for lower cost-effective storage for data protection against hardware failure.

Currently, ZRS option is available in West Europe and we plan to gradually expand the regional coverage.

Azure Lab Services supports new GPU Virtual Machine sizes

Azure Lab Services supports two new 6-core GPU Virtual Machine sizes: 

  • Small GPU (Compute): 6 cores, 56 GB RAM, 139 Lab units.
    • Available in US, North Europe, and West Europe regions
    • Best-suited for compute-intensive and network-intensive applications such as Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning 
  • Small GPU (Visualization): 6 cores, 56 GB RAM, 160 Lab units.
    • Available in US, North Europe, West Europe, and Australia regions
    • Best-suited for remote visualization, streaming, gaming, and encoding using frameworks such as OpenGL and DirectX. 

M-series virtual machines (VMs) are available in new regions

Azure M-series VMs are now available in: Germany West, Germany North, Switzerland West and Switzerland North. M-series VMs offer configurations with memory from 192 GB to 3.8 TiB (4 TB) RAM and are certified for SAP HANA.

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