Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (July 2021 – Weeks: 25 and 26)

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 VM Image Builder service: custom image building process

Azure VM Image Builder service is a managed service to build custom Linux or Windows virtual machine (VM) images with ease, and be compliant with your company’s security policy across Azure and Azure Stack. With Azure VM Image Builder, the Microsoft managed service built on HashiCorp Packer, you can describe custom images in a template using new or existing configurations and enables VM image building immediately without setting up and managing your own image building pipeline.

New Azure VMs for confidential workloads (Limited Preview)

Microsoft is announcing the limited preview go-live of the DCsv3-series and DCdsv3-series Azure Virtual Machines, starting in the East US 2 region. Leveraging Intel Software Guard Extensions (SGX), you can allocate private regions of memory, called enclaves, giving you more granular protection against processes or administrators with higher privilege levels. These new VMs enable you to protect the confidentiality and integrity your code and data while in use.


Azure Blob storage: NFS 3.0 protocol support

Network File System (NFS) 3.0 protocol support for Azure Blob Storage is generally available. 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 object storage economics. The data stored in your storage account with NFS support is billed at the same rate as blob storage capacity charges with no minimal provisioned capacity required.

Azure NetApp Files: regional Capacity Quota

The default capacity quota for each subscription will be changed from no quota to a quota of 25 TiB, per region, across all service levels. This capacity change will not have any impact on your current service but will ensure (new) capacity pool creation or capacity pool size increases will succeed based on available regional capacity. Any regional capacity quota increase does not incur a billing increase, as billing will still be based on the provisioned capacity pools.

Expansion of credit-based disk bursting to Azure Standard SSDs E30 and smaller

Credit-based disk bursting is now available on Azure Standard SSDs E30 and smaller (less than or equal to 1TiB). With credit-based bursting, your disks can burst IOPS and throughput for a short-time (up to 30 minutes) to handle unexpected disk traffic and process batch jobs with speed. Now you can deploy your disks for their average performance needs instead of for peak performance, enabling you to achieve cost savings. All your existing or new Standard SSD disks (less than or equal to 1TiB) will have credit-based bursting enabled by default with no user action or addition costs.

Expansion of on-demand disk bursting for Premium SSD to more regions (preview)

Microsoft has now expanded the preview of on-demand disk bursting to all production regions. You can enable on-demand bursting on existing or new disks following instructions here.


VPN NAT (preview)

Azure VPN NAT (Network Address Translation) supports overlapping address spaces between customers on-premises branch networks and their Azure Virtual Networks. NAT can also enable business-to-business connectivity where address spaces are managed by different organizations and re-numbering networks is not possible. VPN NAT preview provides support for 1:1 Static NAT.

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