Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (February 2021 – Weeks: 05 and 06)

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 achieves new certifications

Microsoft Azure has achieved this new certifications:

  • Its first PCI 3-D Secure (PCI 3DS) certification
  • It has increased the scope of its HITRUST CSF certification to include 172 Azure offerings across 49 Azure regions. Azure’s HITRUST certification letters are available on the Service Trust Portal and include the full list of HITRUST CSF certified Azure offerings and regions.

New planned datacenter region in Georgia (East US 3)

The new datacenter region will have a presence in Douglas and Fulton counties, in response to growing customer demand, supporting the creation of new jobs and local business growth. Availability Zones in the new East US 3 region will provide customers with high availability and additional tolerance to datacenter failures.


Soft delete for Azure file shares is now on by default for new storage accounts

Soft delete for Azure file shares is now enabled by default and this change will apply to all new storage accounts. Soft delete protects your Azure file shares from accidental deletion. Soft delete acts like a recycle bin for Azure file shares, meaning that deleted shares remain recoverable for their entire retention period (7 days by default for storage accounts created after January 31st).  You will be charged for soft deleted data on the snapshot meter. If you have automated the creation of new storage accounts and the creation/deletion of new file shares within them, you must modify your scripts to explicitly disable soft delete after the creation of a new storage account. Soft delete will remain disabled by default for existing storage accounts.

Azure File Sync agent v11.2 

The Azure File Sync agent v11.2 release is being flighted to servers which are configured to automatically update when a new version becomes available.

Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • If a sync session is cancelled due to a high number of per-item errors, sync may go through reconciliation when a new session starts if the Azure File Sync service determines a custom sync session is needed to correct the per-item errors.
  • Registering a server using the Register-AzStorageSyncServer cmdlet may fail with “Unhandled Exception” error.
  • New PowerShell cmdlet (Add-StorageSyncAllowedServerEndpointPath) to configure allowed server endpoints paths on a server. This cmdlet is useful for scenarios in which the Azure File Sync deployment is managed by a Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) or Service Provider and the customer wants to configure allowed server endpoints paths on a server. When creating a server endpoint, if the path specified is not in the allow list, the server endpoint creation will fail. Note, this is an optional feature and all supported paths are allowed by default when creating a server endpoint. To learn more, see the release notes.

How to obtain and install this update:

  • To obtain and install this update, configure your Azure File Sync agent to automatically update when a new version becomes available or manually download the update from the Microsoft Update Catalog.

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 or later installed.
  • The agent version of this update rollup is
  • A restart may be required if files are in use during the installation.
  • Installation instructions are documented in KB4539952.

Append blob support for Azure Data Lake Storage (limited public preview)

Append blobs allow users to append data to the end of a blob or file quickly and existing content does not need to be modified.  This makes append blobs great for applications such as logging that need to add information to existing files efficiently and continuously.  Until now, only block blobs were supported in Azure Data Lake Storage accounts. With this preview, applications can use create append blobs in these accounts also and write to them using Append Block operations.

Ingest up to 10 files and blobs with the new Azure Data Explorer intuitive UX

You can now easily ingest blobs or files into Azure Data Explorer with the new ingestion intuitive wizard. This ingestion wizard also allows you to create a table automatically based on the source structure.

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