Azure Management services: what’s new in January 2024

This month, Microsoft has introduced a series of significant updates for Azure management services. This is part of a series of monthly articles aimed at providing an in-depth and detailed analysis of the most relevant innovations. The goal is to keep users always informed about the ongoing evolutions of Azure, providing the essential information to explore these developments further.

The following diagram shows the different areas related to management, which are covered in this series of articles:

Figure 1 – Overview of Management Services in Azure


Azure Monitor

Support for Azure Monitor VM Insights Dependency Agent for VM Linux RHEL 8.6

The Dependency Agent of Azure Monitor VM Insights is now supported for Linux Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8.6 VMs. This means that the Dependency Agent can be used to monitor network connections and processes of Linux RHEL 8.6 virtual machines and visualize the dependencies between them in the VM Insights Map function.

Integration of Azure Advisor with Azure Monitor Log Analytics Workspace

Azure Advisor is a cloud tool designed to help users follow best practices in optimizing their workloads in Azure. This solution analyzes resource configurations and telemetry data to provide targeted recommendations to improve four key areas: cost efficiency, performance, reliability, and security of Azure resources. Moreover, to support more effective management of Azure Monitor costs, Microsoft has implemented specific cost optimization recommendations and integrated Azure Advisor into the Log Analytics Workspace management interface.

Dedicated clusters in Azure Monitor logs now support different commitment levels

Microsoft has extended the capabilities of dedicated clusters in Azure Monitor Logs, now supporting any level of commitment, starting from a minimum of 100 GB per day. This new feature offers greater flexibility and customization for users who require specific solutions for their monitoring and logging needs. With this expansion, customers have the option to choose the service level that best fits their needs, ensuring more efficient and tailored data management.


Update management

Azure Update Manager on Azure Arc-enabled servers: new billing rules

From February 2024, Azure Update Manager will start generating consumption for Azure Arc-enabled servers. Azure Update Manager, formerly known as Azure Automation Update Management, has been available since September 2023. Customers who started using the service from that date will not be subject to costs until February 1, 2024.

Starting February 1, 2024, customers using Azure Update Manager on Azure Arc-enabled servers will be billed daily, with a specific rate per server per day, equivalent to about $5 USD per server per month.

An Azure Arc-enabled server is considered managed by Azure Update Manager on days when it meets both of the following conditions:

it has a connection status with Arc at any time of the day; an update operation is performed on it (patch on demand or via scheduled job, evaluation on demand or via periodic assessment) or it is associated with a schedule.


Azure Cost Management

Updates related to Microsoft Cost Management

Microsoft is constantly seeking new methodologies to improve Microsoft Cost Management, the solution to provide greater visibility into where costs are accumulating in the cloud, identify and prevent incorrect spending patterns, and optimize costs. This article reports some of the latest improvements and updates regarding this solution.

Azure Arc

Preview of the Azure Arc extension for Visual Studio Code

Microsoft has announced the public preview of the Azure Arc extension for Visual Studio Code. This extension allows developers to easily manage Azure Arc resources and services directly from Visual Studio Code. With this integration, developers can expect greater efficiency and simplified workflows, as they will have the ability to access and manage Azure Arc resources without leaving the Visual Studio Code development environment.


Microsoft Defender for Cloud

New features, bug fixes, and deprecated features of Microsoft Defender for Cloud

The development of Microsoft Defender for Cloud is constantly evolving, with continuous improvements being introduced. To stay updated on the latest developments, Microsoft updates this page, which provides information on new features, bug fixes, and deprecated features. Specifically, this month’s main news includes:

  • introduction of agentless container posture for GCP in Defender for Containers and Defender CSPM;
  • public preview of agentless malware scanning for servers;
  • integration of Defender for Cloud with Microsoft Defender XDR;
  • DevOps security annotations for Pull Requests enabled by default for Azure DevOps connectors.


Azure Site Recovery

Support for Azure VMs with Premium SSD v2

Azure Site Recovery now supports Azure VMs equipped with Premium SSD v2. This feature is available as a private preview in selected Azure regions. Premium SSD v2 disks represent Azure’s most advanced block storage solution, ideal for high I/O intensity enterprise workloads, offering sub-millisecond latencies, high IOPS, and throughput. This addition responds to a frequent customer request to be able to use Azure Site Recovery with Azure VMs on Premium SSD v2. Thanks to this feature, customers can ensure greater data security and operational continuity of applications and workloads, even in case of planned or unplanned interruptions.


Azure Migrate

New releases and features of Azure Migrate

Azure Migrate is the service in Azure that includes a broad portfolio of tools that can be used, through a guided user experience, to effectively address the most common migration scenarios. To stay updated on the latest developments of the solution, you can consult this page, which provides information on new releases and new features.

Azure Evaluation

For those who wish to explore and personally evaluate the services offered by Azure, a unique opportunity is available: by accessing this page, you can test various features and services for free. This will allow you to better understand how Azure can adapt and improve your IT operations, while ensuring security and innovation.

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