Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (October 2023 – Weeks: 39 and 40)

This blog post series highlights the key announcements and major updates related to Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Azure Stack, as officially released by Microsoft in the past two weeks.



Microsoft Azure Now Available from New Cloud Region in Italy

Microsoft Azure has officially reached General Availability in a new cloud region in Italy. This expansion of Azure’s global presence brings its cloud services closer to businesses and organizations in Italy, enabling them to benefit from Azure’s comprehensive suite of services for their digital transformation initiatives. With this new cloud region, customers in Italy can now take advantage of low-latency, high-performance computing and networking capabilities offered by Azure, while complying with local data residency requirements and ensuring data sovereignty.


Default outbound access for VMs in Azure will be retired: Transition to a new method of internet access

Azure is retiring the default outbound access for virtual machines (VMs) and recommends transitioning to a new method of internet access. This change is part of Azure’s ongoing commitment to improve the security and performance of its services. Customers are advised to review the documentation and make necessary changes to ensure uninterrupted outbound connectivity for their VMs.

Domain Fronting update on Azure Front Door and Azure CDN

Azure has announced the general availability of the domain fronting update on Azure Front Door and Azure CDN. This update enhances the security and performance of the services. Domain fronting is a technique used to obfuscate the destination of HTTPS traffic. With this update, Azure aims to provide better security and improved performance for its users. The update ensures that the services are more resilient and can handle traffic more efficiently.

Gateway Load Balancer IPv6 support

Azure Gateway Load Balancer now supports IPv6, which allows you to build, deploy, and scale applications that use IPv6 addresses. This enhancement provides a consistent frontend IP for virtual appliances, ensuring that traffic is distributed evenly across multiple instances. With this update, Azure continues to expand its IPv6 capabilities, enabling you to meet the requirements of your IPv6-enabled applications.


Zone-redundant storage for Azure Disks is now available in more regions

Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) for Azure Disks is now available in more regions. ZRS replicates your data in availability zones, ensuring data resilience and protection against zone failures. This update provides a higher level of resilience for your critical applications and ensures that they remain operational even if one of the availability zones fails.

Customer-Managed Keys for Azure NetApp Files Volume Encryption is Now Available in US Gov Regions (preview)

Azure is excited to announce the availability of Customer-Managed Keys for Azure NetApp Files Volume Encryption in the US Gov Regions, now in public preview. This new feature empowers Azure customers in government sectors to have greater control over their data security and encryption keys when using Azure NetApp Files. With Customer-Managed Keys, customers can manage their own encryption keys using Azure Key Vault, ensuring a higher level of data security and compliance with specific regulatory requirements. This preview provides an opportunity for customers in government regions to evaluate and test this feature before its general availability.

Azure Stack

Azure Stack HCI

Premier Solutions for Azure Stack HCI

The introduction of Premier Solutions for Azure Stack HCI represents a significant leap forward in Azure’s offerings for customers seeking enhanced operational efficiency, rapid deployment, and flexible procurement options. This innovative category of products has been developed in close collaboration with industry leaders like Dell Technologies and Lenovo, resulting in a seamless and comprehensive edge infrastructure solution.

Key Benefits of Premier Solutions for Azure Stack HCI:

  • Improved Operational Experience: Premier Solutions are designed to streamline and enhance the operational experience for Azure Stack HCI users. By leveraging the expertise and technology of Azure, customers can expect greater reliability, scalability, and ease of management, ensuring that their infrastructure runs smoothly without interruptions.
  • Faster Time to Value: With Premier Solutions, customers can deploy Azure Stack HCI more quickly and efficiently. The integration of hardware, software, and cloud services simplifies the setup process, reducing the time and effort required to get the system up and running. This means organizations can start realizing the benefits of their HCI infrastructure sooner.
  • Greater Flexibility with as-a-Service Procurement: Premier Solutions offer flexible procurement options, aligning with the as-a-service model that is becoming increasingly popular in the IT industry. This allows organizations to scale their infrastructure as needed, optimizing costs and resources while ensuring they have access to the latest technologies and features.
  • Deep Integration: The collaboration with leading partners, including Dell Technologies and Lenovo, ensures a high level of integration between hardware and software components. This deep integration results in a more cohesive and efficient HCI solution, delivering improved performance and reliability.
  • Seamless Connectivity: Premier Solutions enable seamless connectivity between on-premises infrastructure and the Azure cloud. This connectivity ensures that organizations can leverage the full power of Azure services while maintaining control over their data and resources.


Over the past two weeks, Microsoft has introduced a slew of updates and announcements pertaining to Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Azure Stack. These developments underscore the tech giant’s unwavering commitment to enhancing its cloud offerings and adapting to the ever-evolving needs of businesses and developers. Users of Azure can anticipate improved functionalities, streamlined services, and enriched features as a result of these changes. Stay tuned for more insights as I continue to monitor and report on Azure’s progression in the cloud sphere.

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