Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (September 2020 – Weeks: 35 and 36)

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 Dedicated Hosts now support new Azure Virtual Machines series

Azure Dedicated Host provides a single-tenant physical server to host your Azure Virtual Machines for Windows and Linux. The server capacity is not shared with other customers. Address specific organizational compliance requirements or plan your maintenance window by deploying your workloads on Azure Dedicated Hosts. You can now deploy Dsv4, Ddsv4, Esv4, and Edsv4 Azure Virtual Machines on Dedicated Hosts. New Azure Dedicated Host SKUs featuring new hardware types for the Dsv3 and Esv3 Azure VM series are now generally available as well. With this update, we continue to expand the range of general purpose and memory intensive workloads that you can run on Azure Dedicated Hosts while providing greater performance.

New Azure VMs for general purpose and memory intensive workloads

The new D v4 and E v4 series Azure Virtual Machines, now generally available, are based on the Intel Xeon Platinum 8272CL custom processor, which can achieve up to 3.4Ghz all core turbo frequency. These new Azure Virtual Machines do not provide any temporary storage. If you require temporary storage select the latest Dd v4 and Ed v4 Azure virtual machines, which are also generally available.

  • The D v4 / Ds v4 virtual machine sizes offer a combination of vCPUs and memory able to meet the requirements associated with most general-purpose workloads. You can attach Standard SSDs and Standard HDDs disk storage to the D v4 virtual machines. If you prefer to use Premium SSD or Ultra Disk storage, please select the Ds v4 virtual machines.
  • The E v4 / Es v4 virtual machines feature up to 504 GiB of RAM and are ideal for various memory-intensive enterprise applications. You can attach Standard SSDs and Standard HDDs disk storage to the E v4 VMs. If you prefer to use Premium SSD or Ultra Disk storage, please select the Es v4 virtual machines.

Automated deployment of Always On availability groups through the Azure portal (Public preview)

A new, automated way to deploy Always On availability groups is now in preview for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) using the SQL VM resource provider. The VM resource provider simplifies configuring Always On availability groups by handling infrastructure and network configuration details. It offers a reliable deployment method with the correct resource dependency settings and internal re-try policies. Deploying automated Always On availability groups with SQL VM resource provider today will improve availability for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines. Learn more about Always On availability group deployments.


AzCopy: new version available

AzCopy v10.6 has released with support for:

  • Sync command now includes access control lists (ACLs) between supported resources (e.g. Windows and Azure Files) using persist-smb-permissions flag
  • Sync also includes SMB properties (Created Time, Last Write Time, and attributes such as Read Only) between supported resources (e.g. Windows and Azure Files) using the persist-smb-info flag
  • Support for higher block & blob size.  Blob block size up to 4,000 MiB supported.  This provides block blob sizes up to 190.7 TiB (4,000 MiB x 50,000 blocks)
  • Support for Blob Versioning using list-of-versions flag for both download and delete operations

Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2: access control list recursive update (public preview)

The ability to recursively propagate access control list (ACL) changes from a parent directory to its existing child items for Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen2 is now available in public preview. This public preview is available globally in all Azure regions, through PowerShell, .NET SDK, and Python SDK.

Azure Blob versioning is now general available

Azure storage strives to protect your business critical data from any accident or attack. To support that goal, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of Azure Blob versioning. Azure Blob Versioning automatically maintains previous versions of an object and identifies them with version IDs. You can list both the current blob and previous versions using version ID timestamps. You can also access and restore previous versions as the most recent version of your data if it was erroneously modified or deleted by an application or other users.


Azure DNS: Introducing automatic child zone delegation

A new update released to general availability in all clouds that makes it easier for you to create Child Zones which are easily attached to Parent Zones. Prior to this release, when a customer was creating a new child zone, they would add their resource records to the newly created zone but often missed the step adding the complicated nameserver records back to the parent zone, causing name resolution failure when the customer would try to test the newly created zone.  This update creates an option for you to identify their new zone as a child (please see illustration) of an existing zone in Azure DNS. When this selection has been made, the name server records for the child zone will be automatically populated in the parent, saving you 4 additional steps. For a quick explanation on how to create child zones, please check out our tutorial guide.

Upcoming changes to Standard Public IPs and Standard Load Balancers

With Network API version 2020-08-01, zone behavior for Standard SKU resources (Azure Load Balancer and Public IP addresses) will be updated such that:

  • when no zone is specified, a non-zonal resource is created
  • when a single zone is specified, a zonal resource is created 
  • when multiple zones are specified in a region with Availability Zones, a zone-redundant resource is created

A zone-redundant resource can only be created in regions where Availability Zones are supported

Azure Stack

Azure Stack Hub

Stream Analytics can be run on Azure Stack Hub

Azure Stream Analytics now can be run on Azure Stack Hub as an IoT Edge module. Configurations have been added to the IoT Edge module which allows it to interact with blob storage, Event Hubs, and IoT Hubs running in an Azure Stack Hub subscription. Customers can build truly hybrid architectures for stream processing in your own private, autonomous cloud, which can be connected or disconnected with cloud-native apps using consistent Azure services on-premises.

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