Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (November 2021 – Weeks: 43 and 44)

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.

In this dedicated post you can find the most important announcements and major updates officialized last week during Microsoft Ignite (November 2021) conference.



Zerto Disaster Recovery for Azure VMware Solution

Zerto Disaster Recovery is now available and supported with Azure VMware Solution, delivering data protection and disaster recovery services that eliminate data loss and downtime for vSphere virtual machines running on Azure VMware Solution environment.

Zerto Disaster Recovery for Azure VMware Solution supports the following 3 scenarios:

  • On-premises VMware to Azure VMware Solution for Hybrid disaster recovery
  • Azure VMware Solution to Azure VMware Solution for cloud-based disaster recovery
  • Azure VMware Solution to Azure IaaS for cloud-based disaster recovery

Azure Spot Virtual Machines: Try to restore functionality

You can now opt-in and use this feature while deploying Spot VMs using Virtual Machine Scale Sets. This new feature will automatically try to restore an evicted Spot VM to maintain the desired target compute capacity (e.g., number of VMs) in a scale set.


Azure File Sync agent v14 

Improvements and issues that are fixed in the v14 release:

  • Improved server endpoint deprovisioning guidance in the portal. When removing a server endpoint via the portal, we now provide step by step guidance based on the reason behind deleting the server endpoint, so that you can avoid data loss and ensure your data is where it needs to be (server or Azure file share).
  • Invoke-AzStorageSyncChangeDetection cmdlet improvements. Microsoft has improved the Invoke-AzStorageSyncChangeDetection cmdlet and the 10,000 item limit no longer applies when scanning the entire share. 
  • Azure File Sync is now supported in West US 3 region.
  • Reduced transactions when a file consistently fails to upload due to a per-item sync error.
  • Reliability and telemetry improvements for cloud tiering and sync.

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 release:

  • This release is available for Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2022 installations.
  • A restart is required for servers that have an existing Azure File Sync agent installation if the agent version is less than version 12.0.
  • The agent version for this release is
  • Installation instructions are documented in KB5001872.

Ephemeral OS disks for Azure VMs support additional VM sizes

You now can choose where to store Ephemeral OS disks, either in VM temp disk or on VM cache. This feature enables Ephemeral OS disks to be created for all the VMs, which don’t have cache or have an insufficient cache (such as Dav3, Dav4, Eav4, and Eav3) but has sufficient temp disk to host the Ephemeral OS disk.


New Azure Firewall Premium capabilities

 Several new Azure Firewall Premium capabilities are available:

  • Azure Firewall Premium availability in more regions. Azure Firewall Premium is now available in both Microsoft Government Cloud and Azure China 21Vianet. This expansion makes Azure Firewall Premium now available in 44 Azure regions.
  • Terraform support for Firewall Policy Premium. Azure Firewall Premium supports a range of DevOps tools including Azure CLI, PowerShell, REST API. Customers can now use Terraform, a popular open-source tool used by DevOps for implementing infrastructure as code, to manage their Azure Firewall Premium.
  • Web categories Category Check (in preview). Web categories lets administrators allow or deny user access to web site categories such as gambling websites, social media websites, and others. Often customers want to check what categories does a specific URL fall under. Customers can now use the convenience of Azure Portal to determine URL web categories and share feedback if the category is not accurate.
  • Migrate to Premium SKU using Stop/Start approach. If you use Azure Firewall Standard SKU with Firewall Policy, you can use the Allocate/Deallocate method to upgrade your Firewall SKU to Premium. This migration approach is supported on both VNET Hub and Secure Hub Firewalls. Secure Hub deployments will be upgraded while preserving the public IP of the firewall. 

Extended regional availability for Private Link NSG Support and for Private Link UDR Support

Private Endpoint support for Network Security Groups (NSGs) and Private Endpoint support for User Defined Routes (UDRs) are now in public preview.

  • Private Endpoint support for Network Security Groups (NSGs) enhancement will provide you with the ability to enable advanced security controls on traffic destined to a private endpoint.
  • Private Endpoint support for User Defined Routes (UDRs) enhancement will provide you with the ability to apply custom routes to traffic destined to a private endpoint with a wider subnet range. 

At this time, this features are available in the following regions: UsEast2Euap, UsCentralEuap, WestCentralUS, WestUS, WestUS2, EastUS, EastUS2, Asiaeast, Australiaeast, Japaneast, Canadacentral, Europenorth, Koreacentral, Brazilsouth, Uksouth, US South, US North, and France Central.

ExpressRoute IPv6 Support for Private Peering

IPv6 support for ExpressRoute Private Peering is now generally available with ExpressRoute circuits and Azure environments globally. IPv6 support will unlock hybrid connectivity for you as you look to expand into mobile and IoT markets with Azure, or to address IPv4 exhaustion in your on-premise networks.

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