Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (December 2021 – Weeks: 47 and 48)

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.



West Central US: Microsoft expands cloud services with two new datacenters in Wyoming

Microsoft is announcing the launch of two new Microsoft datacenters in Cheyenne –  Wyoming, one in Cheyenne Business Parkway and another in Bison Business Park, enabling to expand and support the growth and demand for digital services in West Central US datacenter region. Cheyenne has been home to Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure services since 2012 and this expansion will enable us to continue providing services to current and new customers.

New Azure Virtual Machines DCasv5 and ECasv5-series (preview)

Azure DCasv5/ECasv5 confidential virtual machines (VMs) powered by 3rd Gen AMD EPYC™ processors with SEV-SNP are available in preview.

SQL Server IaaS Agent extension for Linux SQL VMs

Microsoft is making the capabilities of SQL Server IaaS Agent extension available to Linux platforms, starting with Ubuntu with plans for other distributions in time.

If you are already running SQL Server on Azure using an Ubuntu Linux Virtual Machine, the SQL Server IaaS Agent extension now enables you to leverage integration with the Azure portal and unlocks the following benefits for SQL Server on Linux Azure VMs:

  • Compliance: The extension offers a simplified method to fulfill the requirement of notifying Microsoft that the Azure Hybrid Benefit has been enabled as is specified in the product terms.  This process negates needing to manage licensing registration forms for each resource.
  • Simplified license management: The extension simplifies SQL Server license management, and allows you to quickly identify SQL Server VMs with the Azure Hybrid Benefit enabled using the Azure portal, Azure PowerShell, or the Azure CLI.

IaaS Agent extension full mode no restart for SQL VMs

You can now enable the full mode of SQL Server IaaS Agent extension with no restart, giving you access to more manageability features for SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines without interruption to your workloads. Previously, you had to restart the SQL Server services to enable these features. The full mode of SQL Server IaaS Agent extension unlocks many benefits such as Automated Backup, Automated Patching, Storage Optimization, and more, along with license management that comes with lightweight mode.


Azure File Sync: new agent released

The Azure File Sync agent v14.1 is available. Issue that is fixed in the v14.1 release:

  • Tiered files deleted on Windows Server 2022 are not detected by cloud tiering filter driver. This issue can also impact Windows 2016 and Windows Server 2019 if a tiered file is deleted using the FILE_DISPOSITION_INFORMATION_EX class.

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 KB5001873.

Azure NetApp Files application volume group for SAP HANA (preview)

Application volume group (AVG) for SAP HANA enables you to deploy all volumes required to install and operate an SAP HANA database according to best practices in a single one-step and optimized workflow. The application volume group feature includes the use of proximity placement group (PPG) with VMs to achieve automated, low-latency deployments. Application volume group for SAP HANA has implemented many technical improvements that simplify and standardize the entire process to help you streamline volume deployments for SAP HANA. Instead of creating the SAP HANA volumes (data, log, shared, log-backup, file-backup) individually, the new application volume group for SAP HANA creates these volumes in a single ‘atomic’ operation (GUI, RP, API).


VPN Gateway NAT

Azure VPN NAT (Network Address Translation) supports overlapping address spaces between your on-premises branch networks and your 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 provides support for 1:1 Static NAT and 1-to-many dynamic NAT.

Wildcard listener on Application Gateways

Azure Application Gateway now supports the use of wildcard characters such as asterisk (*) and question mark (?) for hostnames on a multi-site HTTP(S) listener. You can now route requests from multiple host-names such as to the same backend pool through a single listener configured with a wildcard hostname such as *

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