Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (October 2021 – Weeks: 39 and 40)

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.



What’s new in Azure VMware Solution

  • Azure VMware Landing Zone is now publically available. It is Microsoft’s prescriptive, opinionated and best-practices backed guidance for deploying and managing workloads running on Azure VMware solution.
  • It’s soon possible to use Azure NetApp Filesas NFS datastore for Azure VMware Solution. It’s a great option for using the same NetApp VSAN datastores as used in on-premise environments in Azure now.
  • It is possible now to do HCX migration over VPN and SD-SWAN. Customers can get an additional option besides Azure ExpressRoute for driving migrations.  
  • Azure VMware Solution is now included as part of Azure Workload Acquisition & Nurture incentive Partners can take advantage of multiple benefits available under the program to drive Azure VMware Solution projects.
  • New enhancements, global expansion, partner integration are now available as documented here.

Availability Zones now generally available in new regions

Azure Availability Zones are now generally available in the South Africa North, Norway East and Korea Central region. These new zones provide customers with options for additional resiliency and tolerance to infrastructure impact.


Azure NetApp Files waitlist removal

Azure NetApp Files, one of the fastest growing bare-metal Azure services is now available to Azure customers directly from the Azure portal, CLI, API or with SDK, without having to go through waitlist approval process.

Standard network features for Azure NetApp Files (preview)

Standard network features for Azure NetApp Files volumes is now in public preview in select regions. This includes support for increased IP limits, Network Security Groups, User-defined routes, and additional connectivity patterns like connectivity over Active/Active VPN gateway and ExpressRoute FastPath.

Azure NetApp Files Backup capability (preview)

Azure NetApp Files backup expands the data protection capabilities of Azure NetApp Files by providing fully managed backup solution for long-term recovery, archive, and compliance.
Azure NetApp Files online snapshots are now enhanced with backup of snapshots. With this new backup capability, you can offload your Azure NetApp Files snapshots to Azure blob storage in a fast and cost-effective way, further protecting your data from accidental deletion.

Enable hierarchical namespace for existing Azure Storage accounts

Accelerating value through data analytics by enabling the Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) hierarchical namespace for existing Azure Storage accounts is now generally available. The benefits of the ADLS hierarchical namespace in providing enhanced performance and features that are dedicated to maximizing the value of data analytics is well established. You can now get this benefit for existing accounts and data by enabling the hierarchical namespace in place.

Object replication for Premium Block Blob Storage (preview)

Object replication allows you to replicate your premium block blob data at the blob level from one storage account to another anywhere in the Azure.
Object replication unblocks a new set of common replication scenarios for premium block blobs:

  • Minimize latency: have your users consume the data locally rather than issuing cross-region read requests.
  • Increase efficiency: have your compute clusters process the same set of objects locally in different regions.
  • Optimize data distribution: have your data consolidated in a single location for processing/analytics and then distribute only resulting dashboards to your offices worldwide.

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