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.
New centralized management experience for Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server (preview)
Azure Hybrid Benefit for SQL Server helps reduce costs by allowing existing on-premises licenses with active Software Assurance to be assigned to Azure. Now there’s an easier way to manage the benefit, optimize cost savings, and sustain compliance for the entire organization. Instead of assigning the benefit to each individual Azure resource (e.g. virtual machine), billing admins can now assign and manage SQL Server licenses at an Azure subscription or entire Azure account level.
Cross region replication for Azure NetApp Files
With this disaster recovery capability, you can replicate your Azure NetApp Files volumes between select Azure standard and non-standard region pairs continuously in a fast and cost-effective way, protecting your data from unforeseeable regional failures. Azure NetApp Files cross region replication leverages NetApp SnapMirror technology so only changed blocks are sent over the network in a compressed, efficient format. This technology reduces the amount of data required to replicate across the regions with up to 50% or more, therefore saving Azure NetApp Files customers data transfer cost. It also shortens the replication time so you can achieve a smaller Restore Point Objective.
Azure Firewall Premium now generally available in five new Azure regions
Azure Firewall Premium provides next generation firewall capabilities that are required for highly sensitive and regulated environments, and it is now generally available in the following new Azure Cloud regions: USGov Texas, USGov Arizona, USGov Virginia, China North 2 and China East 2.
Azure Stack HCI
New feature update
Feature updates for Azure Stack HCI are released periodically to enhance the customer experience. This month’s feature update for Clusters running Azure Stack HCI, version 21H2 are:
- Use GPUs with clustered VMs: Provide GPU acceleration to workloads running in clustered VMs.
- Dynamic CPU compatibility mode: Processor compatibility mode has been updated to take advantage of new processor capabilities in a clustered environment.
- Storage thin provisioning: Improve storage efficiency and simplify management with thin provisioning.
- Network ATC: Simplify host networking and network configuration management.
- Adjustable storage repair speed: Gain more control over the data resync process by allocating resources to either resiliency or performance to service your clusters more flexibly and efficiently.
- Support for nested virtualization on AMD processors: Improve flexibility in evaluation and testing scenarios with VM-based clusters.
- Manage quick restarts with Kernel Soft Reboot