Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (July 2023 – Weeks: 25 and 26)

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.



Azure HBv4 and HX Series VMs for HPC

Azure HBv4 and HX-series Virtual Machines (VMs) are now generally available. With the general availability, Microsoft is offering customers the first VMs featuring the latest 4th Gen AMD EPYC™ processors with AMD 3D V-Cache™ technology (codename ‘Genoa-X’), paired with 400 Gigabit NVIDIA Quantum-2 InfiniBand. Azure HBv4 and HX-series VMs offer leadership levels of performance, scaling efficiency, and cost-effectiveness for a variety of HPC workloads such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD), financial services calculations, finite element analysis (FEA), geoscience simulations, weather simulation, rendering, quantum chemistry, and silicon design.


Azure Application Gateway: using a common port for public and private listeners (preview)

Azure Application Gateway now supports configuring the same port number for public and private listeners in preview. You no longer need to use non-standard ports or customize the backend application. This provision enables you to use a single Application Gateway deployment and easily configure it to serve traffic for both internet-facing and internal clients.

Default Rule Set 2.1 for Regional WAF with Application Gateway (preview)

Announcing the preview of the Default Rule Set 2.1 (DRS 2.1) for regional WAF on Azure Application Gateway. The default rule set is now available on the Azure Application Gateway WAF V2 SKU. DRS 2.1 is baselined off the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Core Rule Set (CRS) 3.3.2 and extended to include additional proprietary protections rules developed by Microsoft Threat Intelligence team. The Microsoft Threat Intel team analyzes Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) and adapts the CRS ruleset to address CVE and reduce false positives.


Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage in Southeast Asia, UK South, South Central US and West US 3

Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage is now available in Southeast Asia, UK South, South Central US and West US 3 regions. This next-generation storage solution offers advanced general-purpose block storage with the best price performance, delivering sub-millisecond disk latencies for demanding IO-intensive workloads at a low cost. It is well-suited for a wide range of enterprise production workloads, including SQL Server, Oracle, MariaDB, SAP, Cassandra, MongoDB, big data analytics, gaming on virtual machines, and stateful containers.

Azure NetApp Files double encryption at-rest (preview)

Azure NetApp Files double encryption at-rest feature now provides multiple independent encryption layers, protecting against attacks to any single encryption layer. Threats are diminished to the encrypted data, for example:
– Single encryption key being compromised
– Encryption algorithms with implementation errors
– Data encryption configuration errors

This feature is currently available in West Europe, East US 2, East Asia regions and will roll out to other regions as the preview progresses.

Azure Elastic SAN Public Preview improvements

Azure Elastic SAN is currently in preview and several improvements have been made to the service. These include expanded regional availability, simplified multi-session connectivity for optimized volume performance, and native integration with Azure Container Storage (in preview). Azure Container Storage leverages Azure Elastic SAN as the backing storage resource to optimize price versus performance through dynamic resource sharing. Microsoft has also made it easier to migrate to Azure Elastic SAN and other block storage offerings like Premium SSD V2 and Ultra Disk, by including them in the Storage Migration Program.

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