Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (January 2020 – Weeks: 03 and 04)

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.


Microsoft to launch new cloud datacenter region in Israel

Microsoft announced plans to establish the company’s first cloud region in Israel to deliver its intelligent, trusted cloud services through a local datacenter region. This investment expands the Microsoft global cloud infrastructure to 56 cloud regions in 21 countries, with the new Israel region anticipated to be available starting with Microsoft Azure in 2021, with Office 365 to follow. The new Israel region will adhere to Microsoft’s trusted cloud principles and become part of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world, already serving more than a billion customers and 20 million businesses.

Azure is now certified for the ISO/IEC 27701 privacy standard

zure is the first major US cloud provider to achieve certification as a data processor for the new international standard ISO/IEC 27701 Privacy Information Management System (PIMS). The PIMS certification demonstrates that Azure provides a comprehensive set of management and operational controls that can help your organization demonstrate compliance with privacy laws and regulations. Microsoft’s successful audit can also help enable Azure customers to build upon our certification and seek their own certification to more easily comply with an ever-increasing number of global privacy requirements.

New support for Network Security Group flow logs

Network Security Group (NSG) flow logs, a feature of Azure Network Watcher, allows you to view information about ingress and egress IP traffic. This feature now supports two new Azure Storage configurations:

  • Firewalled Storage accounts. Configuring Storage firewalls provides greater access control and security of your data. NSG flow logs can now be sent to storage accounts with a firewall enabled.
  • Service endpoints for Storage. Azure Virtual Network service endpoints allow you to control how your network interacts with Azure, ensuring that traffic from your virtual network to Azure services remains on the Azure backbone network. NSG Flow Logs can now be sent to Storage accounts accessible through virtual network service endpoints.

Microsoft Sustainability Calculator provides insights into IT carbon emissions

The Microsoft Sustainability Calculator is a Power BI application for Azure enterprise customers that provides new insight into carbon emissions data associated with their Azure services. For the first time, those responsible for reporting on and driving sustainability within their organizations will have the ability to quantify the carbon impact of each Azure subscription over a period of time and datacenter region, and to see estimated carbon savings from running those workloads in Azure versus on-premises datacenters. This data is crucial for reporting existing emissions and will help drive additional decarbonization efforts.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux gold images now available on Azure

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) bring-your-own-subscription images, also referred to as RHEL gold images, are now available in Azure with a simple, automated sign-up process.

Azure Stack

Azure App Service on Azure Stack Hub Update 8 Released

This release updates the resource provider and brings the following key capabilities and fixes:

  • Updates to App Service Tenant, Admin, Functions portals and Kudu tools. Consistent with Azure Stack Portal SDK version.
  • Managed disk support for all new deployments: all new deployments of Azure App Service on Azure Stack Hub will make use of managed disks for all Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine Scale Sets.  All existing deployments will continue to use unmanaged disks.
  • Updates to core service to improve reliability and error messaging enabling easier diagnosis of common issues.
  • TLS 1.2 Enforced by Front End load Balancers

All other fixes and updates are detailed in the App Service on Azure Stack Update Eight Release Notes.

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