Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (August 2020 – 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.



SQL Server FCI on Shared Disks for SQL Server on virtual machines

Azure Shared Disks for SQL Server Failover Cluster Instance (SQL FCI) on Azure IaaS is now in general availability. Azure Shared disks for SQL FCI enables lift and shift migrations for the most commonly used high availability configuration on-premises to Azure IaaS.


New regions for Azure Blob storage object replication (preview)

Object replication is a new capability for block blobs that lets you replicate your data from your blob container in one storage account to another anywhere in Azure. Microsoft has expanded the preview regions to include East US 2 and Central US.

Azure Blob storage: Network File System 3.0 protocol support (preview)

Network File System (NFS) 3.0 protocol support for Azure Blob storage is now in preview. Azure Blob storage is the only storage platform that supports NFS 3.0 protocol over object storage natively (no gateway or data copying required), with crucial object storage economics. This new level of support helps with large scale read-heavy sequential access workloads where data will be ingested once and minimally modified further including large scale analytic data, backup and archive, NFS apps for seismic and subsurface processing, media rendering, genomic sequencing, and line-of-business applications. NFS 3.0 is available to block blob storage accounts with premium performance in the following regions: US East, US Central, and Canada Central. Support for GPV2 accounts with standard tier performance will be announced soon. During the preview, test data stored in your NFS 3.0-enabled storage accounts will be billed at the same capacity rate (per GB per month) as Azure Blob storage. Pricing for transactions is subject to change and will be determined when generally available.

Azure File Sync agent v10.1

Azure File Sync agent v10.1 is available and it’s now on Microsoft Update and Microsoft Download Center.

Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • Azure private endpoint support
  • Files Synced metric will now display progress while a large sync is running, rather than at the end.
  • Miscellaneous reliability improvements for agent installation, cloud tiering, sync and telemetry.

Installation instructions are documented in KB4522411.


Upcoming billing changes to Azure Bandwidth

On a rolling basis throughout September 2020, Microsoft will move Bandwidth to a source–destination billing model. Additionally, metering will be divided into inter-region meter IDs. As a result, Bandwidth charges for inter-region data transfers will either remain the same or decrease. First 5 GB of outbound data transfers will remain free of charge and the current data volume tiers will be replaced by one flat price.

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