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.
Virtual Machine restore points (preview)
Public preview of VM restore point is available, a new resource that stores VM configuration and a point-in-time snapshot of one or more managed disks attached to a VM. VM restore points supports multi-disk application consistent snapshots and can be leveraged to easily capture backups of your VM and disks. You can easily restore the VM using VM restore points in cases of data loss, corruption, or disasters. Microsoft is also introducing a new Azure Resource Manager (ARM) resource called Restore Point Collection, which will act as a container for all the restore points of a specific VM.
Placement polices for Azure VMware Solution
Placement policies are used to define constraints for running virtual machines in the Azure VMware Solution Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC). These constraints allow the you to decide where and how the virtual machines should run within the SDDC clusters. Placement polices are used to support performance optimization of virtual machines (VMs) through policy, and help mitigate the impact of maintenance operations to policies within the SDDC cluster.
Secure access to storage account from a virtual network/subnet in any region (preview)
You can secure access to your storage account by enabling a service endpoint for Storage in the subnet and configuring a virtual network rule for that subnet through the Azure storage firewall. You can now configure your storage account to allow access from virtual networks and subnets in any Azure region. By default, service endpoints enable connectivity from a virtual network to a storage account in the same Azure region as the virtual network or it’s paired Azure region. This preview enables you to register your subnet to allow service endpoint connectivity to storage accounts in any Azure region across the globe.
Attribute-based Access Control (ABAC) conditions with principal attributes (preview)
Attribute-based access control (ABAC) is an authorization strategy that defines access levels based on attributes associated with security principals, resources, requests, and the environment. Azure ABAC builds on role-based access control (RBAC) by adding conditions to Azure role assignments expressed as a predicate using these attributes. This update to the preview enables the use of Azure AD custom security attributes for principals in role assignment conditions. You can now use combine principal attributes with resource and request attributes in your condition expressions.
Soft delete for blobs capability for Azure Data Lake Storage
Soft delete for blobs capability for Azure Data Lake Storage is now generally available. This feature protects files and directories from accidental deletes by retaining the deleted data in the system for a specified period of time. During the retention period, you can restore a soft-deleted object, i.e. file or directory, to its state at the time it was deleted. After the retention period has expired, the object is permanently deleted. All soft deleted files and directories are billed at the same rate as active ones until the retention period has expired.
Azure Stack HCI
Windows Server guest licensing offer for Azure Stack HCI (preview)
To facilitate guest licensing for Azure Stack HCI customers, we are pleased to announce a new offer that brings simplicity and more flexibility for licensing. The new Windows Server subscription for Azure Stack HCI is available in public preview as of December 14, 2021. This offer will allow you to purchase unlimited Windows Server guest licenses for your Azure Stack HCI cluster through your Azure subscription. You can sign up and cancel anytime and preview pricing is $0 until general availability (GA). At GA, the offer will be charged at $23.60 per physical core per month. This offer simplifies billing through an all-in-one place Azure subscription and in some cases will be less expensive for customers than the traditional licensing model.