Archivi categoria: Cloud

Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (January 2020 – Weeks: 01 and 02)

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

Azure Lab Services updates

Azure DevTest Labs recently released different updates:

  • Enables multiple owners to manage a lab.
  • Added the ability to automatically shut down virtual machines when a users’ remote desktop (RDP) session is disconnected (Windows).
  • Integration with Azure Bastion, enabling you to connect to your lab virtual machines through a web browser.
  • It automatically installs the necessary GPU drivers for you when you create a lab with GPU machines. You no longer have to figure out which GPU driver to use on your own.

Azure File Sync agent version 5.x will expire on February 12th

To continuously improve Azure File Sync, Microsoft can only support old versions of the agent for a limited time. On February 12, 2020, Azure File Sync agent version 5.x will be expired and stop syncing. If you have servers with agent version 5.x, update to a supported agent version (6.x or later). If you don’t update your servers before February 12, 2020, they will stop syncing. To resume syncing, the agent must be updated to a supported version.

Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (December 2019 – Weeks: 51 and 52)

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

Serial console for Azure Virual Machines available in US Government Cloud

Serial console is available in preview in the Azure US Government Cloud, allowing customers in the government-only clouds to access the serial console of their VMs or virtual machine scale set instances.

Azure Data Box Disk is available in the East Asia

Data Box Disk is an SSD-disk-based option for offline data transfer to Azure. It’s ideal for a recurring or one-time data migration of up to 40 TB to Azure and is especially well suited for data migration from multiple remote or branch offices. Azure Data Box Disk is now available in the East Asia (Hong Kong) region. This is in addition to the other Azure regions where Data Box Disk is already available: US, EU, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Azure Government (US).

Azure Bastion generally available in East US 2 and West US 2

Azure Bastion is generally available in two more Azure public cloud regions, East US 2 and West US 2. Azure Bastion is a managed PaaS service that provides secure and seamless RDP/SSH connectivity to your virtual machines directly in the Azure portal over SSL and without any public IPs on your virtual machines.

Azure management services e System Center: novità di Dicembre 2019

Nel mese di dicembre sono state annunciate, da parte di Microsoft, un numero importante di novità riguardanti gli Azure management services e System Center. La nostra community rilascia mensilmente questo riepilogo che consente di avere una panoramica complessiva delle principali novità del mese, in modo da rimanere sempre aggiornati su questi argomenti ed avere i riferimenti necessari per condurre eventuali approfondimenti.

Azure Monitor

Miglioramenti in Azure Monitor per containers

Il nuovo agente di Azure Monitor per containers, introduce diversi miglioramenti nell’utilizzo delle risorse e nell’ottimizzazione del volumi dei dati, favorendo così una riduzione dei costi. Questo aggiornamento comporta anche la modifica ad alcune tabelle dove vengono consolidati i dati e potrebbero essere necessarie alcune modifiche alle query esistenti se fanno uso di questi campi: Name e Image nella tabella ContainerLog.

Nuove funzionalità in Azure Monitor Metrics Explorer

Per quanto riguarda Azure Monitor, la componente Metrics Explorer ha visto il rilascio delle seguenti nuove funzionalità:

  • Maggiore flessibilità nella generazione dei grafici.
  • Il selettore delle risorse supporta la possibilità di scegliere più risorse nello scoping.
  • Grafici più granulari come numero di punti dati.
  • Miglioramento nelle Legende dei grafici.

Per maggiori dettagli a riguardo è possibile consultare questo articolo.

Azure Backup

Azure Backup: gestione dei resource group per le macchine virtuali

In Azure Backup è stata introdotta la possibilità di personalizzare il nome del resource group creato dal servizio, agendo sulla policy di backup per la protezione delle macchine virtuali. Azure Backup crea infatti un resource group specifico dove vengono posizionate le collection dei restore point, che ospitano gli instant recovery points delle VMs gestite. Di dafault il naming di questo resource group è il seguente: AzureBackupRG_Geo_n, ma ora viene fornita la possibilità di personalizzarlo.

Supporto per le VMs encrypted di dimensioni superiori ai 4TB

La possibilità di fare il backup e il restore di macchine virtuali encrypted con dimensioni superiori ai 4 TB è stata estesa a tutte le region di Azure. In questo modo l’experience e le possibilità fornite da Azure Backup per la protezione di queste macchine è la medesima, indipendentemente dalla dimensione.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Nuovo Update per Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager (current branch)

Per Configuration Manager è stato ufficialmente rilasciato l’update 1910 che formalizza che Configuration Manager è ora parte di Microsoft Endpoint Manager. La nuova versione introduce inoltre diverse cambiamenti rivolti ad arricchire e migliorare diverse funzionalità della soluzione.

Per verificare i dettagli riguardanti le novità incluse in questo aggiornamento è possibile consultare questo documento.

Nuovo rilascio per il Technical Preview Branch

Per Configuration Manager è stato rilasciato nel Technical Preview Branch l’update 1912 che tra le principali novità permette di forzare a un device l’upload dei propri client logs verso il site server. Il tutto è possibile inviando una client notification action dalla console di Configuration Manager.

Per verificare i dettagli riguardanti le novità incluse in questi aggiornamenti è possibile consultare questo documento.

Si ricorda che i rilasci nel Technical Preview Branch consentono di valutare in anteprima le nuove funzionalità di Configuration Manager ed è consigliato applicare questi aggiornamenti solo in ambienti di test.

Valutazione di Azure e System Center

Per testare e valutare in modo gratuito i servizi offerti da Azure è possibile accedere a questa pagina, mentre per provare i vari componenti di System Center è necessario accedere all’Evaluation Center e, dopo essersi registrati, è possibile avviare il periodo di trial.

Azure Arc: un nuovo approccio agli ambienti ibridi

L’impiego di architetture ibride nelle realtà aziendali è sempre più preponderante, in quanto consentono di continuare a trarre vantaggio dagli investimenti fatti nel proprio ambiente on-premises e, allo stesso tempo, utilizzare l’innovazione introdotta dal cloud. L’adozione di soluzioni ibride risulta vincente se tiene conto anche di una politica condivisa per la distribuzione, la gestione e la messa sicurezza dei componenti. Senza coerenza nella gestione dei differenti ambienti, i costi e la complessità rischiano di crescere in modo esponenziale. Microsoft ha deciso di rispondere a questa esigenza con la soluzione Azure Arc, che coinvolge una serie di tecnologie con l’obiettivo di sviluppare nuovi scenari ibridi, dove i servizi e i principi di gestione di Azure vengono estesi a qualsiasi infrastruttura. In questo articolo viene presentato l’approccio adottato da Azure Arc per gli ambienti ibridi.

La complessità degli ambienti IT è in continua espansione al punto da riscontrare realtà con applicazioni basate su diverse tecnologie, attive su infrastrutture eterogenee e magari che adottano soluzioni in differenti cloud pubblici. L’esigenza molto sentita dai clienti è di poter adottare una soluzione che in modo centralizzato consenta di inventariare, organizzare e applicare delle policy di controllo sulle proprie risorse IT ovunque si trovino.

Il principio che sta alla base di Azure Arc è quello di estendere le pratiche di gestione e di governance di Azure anche ad ambienti differenti e di adottare soluzioni tipicamente cloud, come tecniche DevOps (infrastructure as code), anche per gli ambienti on-premises.

Figura 1 – Panoramica di Azure Arc

Per ottenere questo risultato Microsoft ha deciso di estensione il modello Azure Resource Manager per poter supportare anche ambienti ibridi, facilitando in questo modo l’implementazione delle funzionalità di security presenti in Azure su tutti i componenti dell’infrastruttura.

Figura 2 – Azure Management per tutte le risorse

Azure Arc consiste in un insieme di differenti tecnologie e di componenti che permette di:

  • Gestire le applicazioni in ambienti Kubernetes: viene fornita la possibilità di effettuare il deploy e la configurazione delle applicazioni Kubernetes in modo omogeneo su tutti gli ambienti, adottando le moderne tecniche DevOps.
  • Consentire l’esecuzione degli Azure data services su qualsiasi infrastruttura: il tutto si basa sull’adozione di Kubernetes e permette di rispettare più facilmente i criteri di compliance, di migliorare la sicurezza dei dati e di avere una notevole flessibilità in fase di deploy. Al momento i servizi contemplati sono Azure SQL Database e Azure Database for PostgreSQL.
  • Organizzare, gestire e governare tutti i sistemi server: Azure Arc estende infatti le possibilità offerte in ambito governance e management da Azure anche alle macchine fisiche e ai sistemi virtuali presenti in ambienti differenti. Tale soluzione è chiamata nello specifico Azure Arc for servers.

Figura 3 – Tecnologie di Azure Arc

Azure Arc prevede l’utilizzo di Resource Provider specifici per Azure Resource Manager ed è necessaria l’installazione degli agenti di Azure Arc.

Accedendo al portale si può notare come Azure Arc for Servers sia già attualmente disponibile in preview pubblica, mentre è necessario effettuare una registrazione per gestire in preview gli ambienti Kubernetes e i data services.

Figura 4 – Azure Arc nel portale Azure

Grazie all’adozione di Azure Arc che introduce una visione complessiva, è possibile raggiungere, per le proprie architetture ibride, i seguenti obiettivi, difficilmente perseguibili diversamente:

  • Standardizzazione delle operazioni
  • Organizzazione delle risorse
  • Sicurezza
  • Controllo dei costi
  • Business Continuity
  • Rispetto delle normative e della compliance aziendale

Figura 5 – Cloud-native governance con Azure Arc

Conclusioni

Azure Arc è stato recentemente annunciato e nonostante si trovi ancora in una fase embrionale, ritengo che possa evolvere notevolmente al punto da rivoluzionare la gestione e lo sviluppo degli ambienti ibridi. Per mantenersi aggiornati su come si svilupperà questa soluzione è possibile registrarsi a questa pagina.

Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (December 2019 – Weeks: 49 and 50)

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

Azure Dedicated Hosts now generally available

Azure Dedicated Host provides a single-tenant physical server to host your Azure virtual machines for Windows and Linux. The server capacity is not shared with other customers. As a result, you can run general purpose, memory intensive or compute intensive workloads in a hardware-isolated and virtualized server environment dedicated to your organization. With Azure Dedicated Host, you can address specific compliance requirements while increasing visibility and control over your underlying infrastructure.

General Availability of Proximity Placement Groups

Azure proximity placement groups, now in General Availability,  enable customers to achieve co-location of Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) resources with low network latency.

Azure Spot VMs in Preview

Azure Spot VMs let you access unused Azure compute capacity at deep discounts compared to pay-as-you-go VM prices. Spot VMs are ideal for workloads that can be interrupted, providing scalability while reducing costs. You get unique Azure pricing and benefits when running Windows Server workloads on Spot VMs.
You can take advantage of Spot VM pricing for Azure VMs or VM scale sets (VMSS). Select the right deployment model based on your preferences and the characteristics of your application. Like their low-priority VMs predecessors, Spot VMs are engineered to run workloads that don’t need to be completed within a specific timeframe.

New bot protection rule in preview for Web Application Firewall with Azure Front Door service

A new bot protection ruleset is in preview for Azure Web Application Firewall with Azure Front Door service. Adding to this updated ruleset are three bot categories: good, bad, and unknown. There are multiple bot groups within each category. Bot signatures are managed and dynamically updated by Web Application Firewall service. The default action for bad bot groups is set to Block, for the verified search engine crawlers group it’s set to Allow, and for the unknown bot category it’s set to Log. Customers may overwrite the default action with Allow, Block, Log, or Redirect for any type of bot groups. 

Maintenance control for platform updates in preview

The preview of a maintenance control feature for Azure Virtual Machines gives more control to customers with highly sensitive workloads for platform maintenance, running on an Azure Dedicated Host or an Isolated VM, where the underlying physical server runs a single customer’s workload. This feature is not supported for VMs deployed in hosts shared with other customers. Using this feature, customers can control all impactful host updates, including rebootless updates, for up to 35 days.

Azure Private Link support in AKS is in preview

AKS now supports Azure Private Link in public preview. With Azure Private Link in AKS, customers can interact with the Kubernetes API server as a private endpoint in their virtual network, ensuring that all Kubernetes management operations remain completely isolated. Because Private Link provides private connectivity from the customer’s virtual network to the Azure-managed Kubernetes control plane, customers can still get all the benefits of AKS but in an even more secure configuration.

Application Gateway Ingress Controller for Azure Kubernetes Service

A new solution to bind Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Application Gateway. This new solution provides an open source Application Gateway Ingress Controller (AGIC) for Kubernetes, which makes it possible for AKS customers to leverage Application Gateway to expose their cloud software to the Internet. Bringing together the benefits of the Azure Kubernetes Service, our managed Kubernetes service, which makes it easy to operate advanced Kubernetes environments and Azure Application Gateway, our native, scalable, and highly available, L7 load balancer has been highly requested by our customers.

HC-Series VMs are now available in South Central US

HC-Series Hi Performance Computing VMs now available in South Central US

Azure Cost Management updates

New updates to Azure Cost Management help you manage costs for cloud solution provider (CSP) subscriptions, build better dashboards by customizing tile names, save money with Azure reservations for 16 different services, along with additional enhancements.

Azure Migrate: Agentless dependency analysis is now available in preview

Azure Migrate now supports agentless dependency analysis in a limited preview. The dependency data is discovered remotely by the Azure Migrate appliance without the installation of any agent or script on virtual machines. This feature is currently available only for VMware servers.

Microsoft plans to establish new cloud datacenter region in Qatar

Microsoft recently announced plans to establish a new cloud datacenter region in Qatar to deliver its intelligent, trusted cloud services and expand the Microsoft global cloud infrastructure to 55 cloud regions in 20 countries. he new region is anticipated to be available starting with Microsoft Azure in 2021, and Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to follow.

Azure File Sync agent v9.1

Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • Self-service restore support: users can now restore their files by using the previous version feature. Prior to the v9 release, the previous version feature was not supported on volumes that had cloud tiering enabled. This feature must be enabled for each volume separately, on which an endpoint with cloud tiering enabled exists. 
  • Support for larger file share sizes: Azure File Sync now supports up to 64TiB and 100 million files in a single, syncing namespace.
  • Data Deduplication support on Server 2019: Data Deduplication is now supported with cloud tiering enabled on Windows Server 2019. To support Data Deduplication on volumes with cloud tiering, Windows update KB4520062 must be installed.
  • Improved minimum file size for a file to tier: The minimum file size for a file to tier is now based on the file system cluster size (double the file system cluster size). For example, by default, the NTFS file system cluster size is 4KB, the resulting minimum file size for a file to tier is 8KB.
  • Network connectivity test cmdlet: As part of Azure File Sync configuration, multiple service endpoints must be contacted. They each have their own DNS name that needs to be accessible to the server. These URLs are also specific to the region a server is registered to. Once a server is registered, the connectivity test cmdlet (PowerShell and Server Registration Utility) can be used to test communications with all URLs specific to this server. This cmdlet can help troubleshoot when incomplete communication prevents the server from fully working with Azure File Sync and it can be used to fine tune proxy and firewall configurations.
    • To run the network connectivity test, run the following PowerShell commands:
      • Import-Module “<SyncAgentInstallPath>\StorageSync.Management.ServerCmdlets.dll”
      • Test-StorageSyncNetworkConnectivity
  • Remove server endpoint improvement when cloud tiering is enabled: As before, removing a server endpoint does not result in removing files in the Azure file share. However, behavior for reparse points on the local server has changed. Reparse points (pointers to files that are not local on the server) are now deleted when removing a server endpoint. The fully cached files will remain on the server. This improvement was made to prevent orphaned tiered files when removing a server endpoint. If the server endpoint is recreated, the reparse points for the tiered files will be recreated on the server.
  • Performance and reliability improvements
    • Reduced recall failures. Recall size is now automatically adjusted based on network bandwidth.
    • Improved download performance when adding a new server to a sync group.
    • Reduced files not syncing due to constraint conflicts.

Installation instructions are documented in KB4522360.

Azure Stack

Microsoft has validated the Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 edge server for Azure Stack HCI

Microsoft and Lenovo have teamed up to validate the Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 for Microsoft’s Azure Stack HCI program. The ThinkSystem SE350 was designed and built with the unique requirements of edge servers in mind. It is versatile enough to stretch the limitations of server locations, providing a variety of connectivity and security options and can be easily managed with Lenovo XClarity Controller. The ThinkSystem SE350 solution has a focus on smart connectivity, business security, and manageability for the harsh environment.

Azure Networking: gestione di micro-perimetri con Azure Firewall Manager

Nel cloud pubblico di Microsoft è stato introdotto il nuovo servizio di management Azure Firewall Manager che consente di gestire in modo centralizzato le policy di security e le regole di routing. Grazie a questa soluzione è possibile governare al meglio i perimetri di sicurezza dei propri ambienti cloud ottenendo una protezione ottimale del proprio ecosistema aziendale. In questo articolo vengono riportate le caratteristiche principali del nuovo servizio evidenziando i vantaggi che si possono ottenere grazie al suo utilizzo.

Il modello di sicurezza, definito Zero trust dagli analisti di Forrester Research, e in contrasto con i modelli convenzionali basati sulla sicurezza perimetrale, ci indirizza nell’adozione di un approccio legato alla micro-segmentazione e alla definizione di perimetri granulari nella propria architettura di rete. Per agevolare questo approccio Microsoft ha rilasciato questo strumento che, mettendo a disposizione un unico pannello di controllo centralizzato, è in grado di semplificare la configurazione e la gestione delle network security policy, le quali spesso devono essere distribuite su più istanze di Azure Firewall.

Azure Firewall Manager al momento si integra con Azure Virtual WAN, il servizio che consente di implementare architetture di rete gestite secondo il modello hub and spoke. Azure Firewall ora può essere attivato nelle reti di Hub di Virtual WAN e nel momento in cui policy di security e di routing vengono associate da Azure Firewall Manager ad una rete di Hub questa viene definita come Secured Virtual Hub.

Figura 1 – Panoramica di Azure Firewall Manager

Adottando Azure Firewall Manager è possibile ottenere i seguenti benefici:

  • Configurazioni e deployment centralizzati: il deployment e la configurazione di più istanze di Azure Firewall, in reti di Hub di Virtual WAN, può essere fatta in modo centralizzato. Queste istanze di Azure Firewall possono risiedere in differenti region di Azure e su diverse subscription. Inoltre, è possibile organizzare una gerarchia di policy di Azure Firewall ottimizzate per DevOps, dove le Global firewall policy vengono gestite dall’IT centrale e le firewall policy locali vengono delegate ai DevOps per favorire una migliore agilità nei processi.
  • Routing automatizzato: viene fornita la possibilità di ridirigere facilmente e in modo centralizzato il traffico dalle reti di spoke verso il Secure Virtual Hub, il tutto senza dover manipolare le User Defined Routes delle reti di spoke.
  • Integrazione con partner Security as a Service (SECaaS) di terze parti: per arricchire ulteriormente le funzionalità di sicurezza è prevista l’integrazione con SECaaS partners, attualmente Zscaler e iBoss, ma presto sarà possibile anche con CheckPoint.

Figura 2 – Central security e route policy management

Nel dettaglio gli step per adottare la soluzione sono i seguenti:

  1. Creazione dell’architettura di rete hub and spoke, utilizzando il servizio Azure Virtual WAN e attivazione di una istanza Azure Firewall nella rete di Hub. Per fare ciò è possibile procedere tramite due distinte modalità:
    1. Creazione di una nuova Secured Virtual Hub tramite Azure Firewall Manager e aggiunta delle virtual network connections;
    2. Trasformazione di un Virtual WAN Hub esistente, attivando sulla rete di Hub il servizio Azure Firewall.

Figura 3 – Avvio del processo tramite Azure Firewall Manager

  1. Selezione dei security provider (opzionale). Questo può essere fatto sia durante il processo di creazione di un Secure Virtual Hub oppure durante la conversione di un Virtual WAN Hub in un Secure Virtual Hub.

Figura 4 – Scelta del Trusted Security Partner

  1. Creazione di una firewall policy e associazione con la rete di Hub. Questo è possibile solo per le Azure Firewall Policy, mentre per le policy delle soluzioni di Security as a Service (SECaaS) fornite dai partner, è necessario utilizzare i loro strumenti di gestione.
  1. Configurazione delle impostazioni di routing sul secured hub per attrarre il traffico delle reti di spoke e renderlo filtrato secondo le policy definite.

Al momento Azure Firewall Manager è supportato solamente per la gestione di architetture Hub and Spoke create tramite il servizio Azure Virtual WAN. Il supporto per poter gestire anche le istanze di Azure Firewall attivate nelle Virtual Network è atteso per la prima metà del prossimo anno.

Conclusioni

Azure Firewall Manager è uno strumento che risulta molto utile per gestire ambienti complessi composti da differenti architetture di rete che adottano il modello Hub and Spoke tramite Azure Virtual WAN. Questo servizio di management aggiuntivo nonostante sia agli albori, e destinato ad arricchirsi presto con nuove funzionalità, risulta di fondamentale importanza per gestire in modo più semplice ed efficace la propria architettura di rete di Azure. Al momento il servizio è in Public Preview, quindi non sono garantiti SLA (Service-Level Agreement) e non dovrebbe essere utilizzato in ambienti di produzione.

Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (December 2019 – 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.

Azure

Microsoft cloud in Norway opens with availability of Microsoft Azure

Microsoft announces the availability of Microsoft Azure from the new cloud datacenter regions in Norway, marking a major milestone as the first global cloud provider to deliver enterprise-grade services in country. The new cloud regions in Norway are targeted to expand in 2020 with Office 365, one of the world’s leading cloud-based productivity solutions, and Dynamics 365 and Power Platform, the next generation of intelligent business applications and tools.

Azure Migrate now supports assessment of physical servers

Support to assess physical servers is now available in Azure preview, in addition to existing support for VMware and Hyper-V servers. The appliance for physical servers can be installed on an existing Windows server. This feature can be used to assess virtual machines where there is no access to the hypervisor, as well as virtual machines on any cloud.

Azure Migrate: assessment of imported servers is supported in preview

Azure Migrate now supports the assessment of server inventories imported using a CSV file. Import the servers into Azure Migrate server assessment by adding server details in a CSV file as per the available template, deploying an appliance isn’t required. This is useful if you’re looking for a quick assessment using CMDB inventory or if you’re waiting for approvals to deploy the Azure Migrate appliance. Performance-based assessments can be run as well by specifying utilization values in the CSV.

Azure DevTest Labs: Azure managed identities to deploy lab environments

Azure managed identities to deploy lab environments As a lab owner, you can now use a user assigned managed identity to deploy environments in a lab. This feature is helpful in scenarios where the environment contains or has references to Azure resources such as key vaults, shared image galleries, and networks that are external to the environment’s resource group. It enables creation of sandbox environments that aren’t limited to the resource group of that environment only.

Azure DevTest Labs: New Dashboard with Cost Estimator

Azure Lab Services added a dashboard view enabling instructors to view the summary of the lab. On the dashboard, you will be able to see cost estimate for the lab based on size of the virtual machine picked, number of students, quota hours and scheduled hours.

HPC Specialized VMs (GPU) – NVv4-Series in preview

NVv4 offers unprecedented GPU resourcing flexibility, giving customers more choice than ever before. Customers can select from VMs with a whole GPU all the way down to 1/8th of a GPU. This makes entry-level and low-intensity GPU workloads more cost-effective than ever before, while still giving customers the option to scale up to powerful full-GPU processing power. NVv4 Virtual Machines support up to 32 vCPUs, 112GB of RAM, and 16 GB of GPU memory.

Kubernetes cluster health with Azure Monitor for containers

Azure Monitor for containers can now monitor and report health status of Kubernetes cluster infrastructure components and all nodes running on any Kubernetes cluster.

Azure private endpoint support for Azure Cosmos DB in preview

Azure private endpoint for Azure Cosmos DB is a network interface that connects you privately and securely to a service powered by Azure Private Link. Private Endpoint uses a private IP address from your virtual network, effectively bringing the service into your virtual network.

 

Azure management services e System Center: novità di Novembre 2019

Nel mese di novembre, complice anche la conferenza Microsoft Ignite 2019, Microsoft ha svelato numerose novità riguardanti gli Azure management services e System Center. La nostra community, tramite questi articoli rilasciati con cadenza mensile, vuole fornire una panoramica complessiva delle principali novità del mese, in modo da rimanere sempre aggiornati su questi argomenti ed avere i riferimenti necessari per effettuare maggiori approfondimenti.

Azure Log Analytics

Nuova versione dell’agente per sistemi Linux

Questo mese la nuova versione dell’agente di Log Analytics per sistemi Linux introduce miglioramenti riguardanti il processo di installazione, le performance e risoluzione di problematiche nell’utilizzo dei custom log. Per ottenere maggiori informazioni a riguardo è possibile accedere alla pagina ufficiale GitHub.

Azure Site Recovery

Nuovo Update Rollup

Per Azure Site Recovery è stato rilasciato l’Update Rollup 42 che risolve diverse problematiche e introduce alcuni miglioramenti. I relativi dettagli e la procedura da seguire per l’installazione è consultabile nella KB specifica.

Miglioramenti nel clean up delle risorse

In Azure Site Recovery, nello scenario di replica delle VMs tra region differenti di Azure, sono stati introdotti dei miglioramenti riguardanti il clean up delle macchine virtuali e delle relative NIC deallocate (failed back), quando viene ripristinato il sito primario in seguito ad un processo di failback. In questo modo sono più semplici le operazioni necessarie per riabilitare la protezione. Inoltre, nel caso si disabiliti la replica in seguito ad un failback, Site Recovery effettua anche il clean up dei dischi presenti nella region secondaria, oltre che delle VMs e delle relative NIC.

Azure Backup

Nuove funzionalità per la protezione di SQL Server

In Azure backup sono state rese disponibili le seguenti nuove funzionalità per quanto riguarda la protezione di SQL Server:

  • Protezione nativa di SQL Server 2019 a bordo di macchine virtuali Windows Server 2019 in Azure.
  • Protezione di SQL Server 2008 e 2008 R2 per i sistemi migrati in Azure.
  • Possibilità di effettuare “Restore as Files”, che consente di ripristinare i dati protetti come file .bak. Questa funzionalità consente di spostare i file ovunque (differenti subscription, regions e on-premises) introducendo una maggiore flessibilità nell’eseguire le operazioni di ripristino.

SAP HANA backup

In Azure Backup la protezione dei DB di SAP HANA nelle macchine virtuali è disponibile nella region UK South, il tutto in modo integrato e senza dover prevedere una infrastruttura di backup specifica. Tale soluzione risulta ufficialmente certificata BackInt da SAP.

System Center Updates Publisher

Nuova versione

Una nuova versione di System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) è stata rilasciata ed è disponibile a questo indirizzo.

Microsoft Endpoint Manager

Nuovo brand per Configuration Manager

Microsoft Endpoint Manager è il nome assegnato alla soluzione Microsoft per la gestione integrata di tutti device. Microsoft ha infatti deciso di unificare Configuration Manager e Intune, senza dover affrontare migrazioni complesse e semplificando il licensing. Con questo approccio Microsoft consente di sfruttare gli investimenti fatti su Configuration Manager e di adottare i vantaggi e le potenzialità offerte dal cloud Microsoft.

Il brand Microsoft Endpoint Manager  comprende le seguenti soluzioni Microsoft di management:

Nuova versione per il Technical Preview Branch di Configuration Manager

Per Configuration Manager è stato rilasciato l’update 1911 (Technical Preview Branch) che tra le principali novità ufficializza che Configuration Manager è ora parte di Microsoft Endpoint Manager.

Per verificare i dettagli riguardanti le novità incluse in questo aggiornamento è possibile consultare questo documento.

Si ricorda che i rilasci nel Technical Preview Branch consentono di valutare in anteprima le nuove funzionalità di SCCM ed è consigliato applicare questi aggiornamenti solo in ambienti di test.

Desktop Analytics è ora disponibile

La soluzione Desktop Analytics è disponibile pubblicamente. Si tratta di uno strumento in grado di fornire informazioni utili e di mettere a disposizione le automazioni necessarie per mantenere aggiornato il parco macchine Windows. L’integrazione possibile di Desktop Analytics con System Center Configuration Manager, aggiunge il valore dato da una soluzione cloud all’infrastruttura locale.

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Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (November 2019 – Weeks: 45 and 46)

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.

In this dedicated post you can find the most important announcements and major updates officialized last week during Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference.

Azure

Save more on Azure usage: reservations for six more services

With reserved capacity, you get significant discounts over your on-demand costs by committing to long-term usage of a service. Microsoft is pleased to share reserved capacity offerings for the following additional services:

  • Blob Storage (GPv2) and Azure Data Lake Storage (Gen2).
  • Azure Database for MySQL.
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL.
  • Azure Database for MariaDB.
  • Azure Data Explorer.
  • Premium SSD Managed Disks.

With the addition of these services, Microsoft supports reservations for 16 services, giving you more options to save and get better cost predictability across more workloads.

Azure Key Vault Virtual Machine extension generally available

The Azure Key Vault Virtual Machine extension makes it easier for apps running on virtual machines to use certificates from a key vault, by abstracting the common tasks as well as best practices.

Azure Disk Encryption

Azure Disk Encryption enables you to encrypt your Azure Virtual Machine disks with your keys safeguarded in Azure Key Vault. Previously this capability was available through PowerShell and CLI, now this capability is also available in the Azure portal, which makes it very easy to use. Microsoft has also added support for the latest versions of the common Linux distros on Azure, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6 and 7.7 as well as CentOS Linux 7.6 and 7.7.

HB and HC Virtual Machines in additional regions

The HB-series VMs are optimized for HPC applications driven by memory bandwidth, such as fluid dynamics, explicit finite element analysis, and weather modeling. The HB-Series VM is now available in East US. HC-series VMs are optimized for HPC applications driven by intensive computation, such as implicit finite element analysis, reservoir simulation, and computational chemistry. The HC-Series VM is now available in Japan East. 

Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (Microsoft Ignite 2019 – Special Edition)

This special edition includes the most important announcements and major updates regarding Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Azure Stack, officialized by Microsoft this week during Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference. Microsoft announced several important additions to its Azure infrastructure as a service (IaaS) portfolio and the Microsoft infrastructure services continue to evolve to optimize the experience of running business-critical workloads.

Azure

Azure Arc: Extended Azure management and security to any infrastructure

Azure Arc enables Azure services anywhere and extends Azure management to any infrastructure for unified management, governance and control across clouds, datacenters and edge. They look and feel just like Azure resources, and they provide unified auditing, compliance, and role based access control across multiple environments and at scale.
As a result, customers can modernize any infrastructure with cloud management and security protection. With cloud practices that work anywhere, Microsoft is delivering these resources, from cloud to datacenter to edge, and enabling cloud security anywhere.
With Azure Arc, customers can now take advantage of Azure’s robust cloud management experience for their own servers (Linux and Windows Server) and Kubernetes clusters by extending Azure management across environments.
Customers can seamlessly inventory, organize, and govern their own resources at scale through a consistent and unified experience through the Azure Portal.

Virtual Machines

Azure generation 2 virtual machines generally available

Generation 2 virtual machines are now generally available on Azure. Generation 2 VMs provide support for Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX), UEFI boot architecture, and the ability to provision large VMs (up to 12TB) and OS Disks sizes that exceed 2TB. 

Proximity placement groups generally available

A proximity placement group is a logical grouping capability for Azure Virtual Machines that you can use to decrease the network latency between a set of virtual machines. When you assign your virtual machines to a proximity placement group, their placement is optimized to deliver lower latency for your latency-sensitive workloads. Now this feature is generally available in most Azure regions.

Azure VMware Solutions available in West Europe

Azure VMware Solutions are available in the West Europe Azure region. Azure VMware Solutions delivers the ability to run your VMware environment natively on Azure. This gives you the option to leverage your existing VMware skills and investments while taking full advantage of the scale and automation Azure offers. Azure VMware Solutions is now supported in East US, West US, and West Europe regions.

Azure Spot VMs

Azure Spot Virtual Machines, give you access to unused Azure compute capacity at deep discounts, will be available soon (we expect to preview this by early 2020). Spot Virtual Machines will be ideal for workloads that can be interrupted, providing scalability while reducing costs. You will be able to take advantage of Spot Virtual Machine pricing for Azure Virtual Machines or Virtual Machine Scale Sets (VMSS) to deploy opportunistic workloads of all sizes.

New virtual machine scale sets capabilities in preview

New virtual machine scale sets features simplify the management of virtual machines while improving their runtime and performance capabilities.

Vulnerability assessment in Azure Security Center

Applications that are installed in virtual machines could often have vulnerabilities that could lead to a breach of the virtual machine. Microsoft announced that the Security Center Standard tier includes built-in vulnerability assessment for virtual machines for no additional fee.

Advanced data security for SQL servers on Azure Virtual Machines

Azure Security Center’s support for threat protection and vulnerability assessment for SQL DBs running on IaaS virtual machines (VMs) is in preview.

New Azure Dav4-series and Eav4-series virtual machines

New Azure Dav4-series and Eav4-series virtual machines (VMs) based on AMD EPYC™ are available. They are ideal for general purpose (Dav4-series) and memory intensive workloads (Eav4-series).

New NVv4 series Azure Virtual Machines in preview 

NVv4 (currently in preview) offers, for Windows Virtual Desktops and high-performance computing (HPC) workloads, enhanced GPU resourcing flexibility, giving customers more choice by offering partitioned GPUs built using industry-standard SR-IOV technology. Customers can select the right size of GPU Virtual Machines with as little as 2GB of dedicated GPU frame buffer for an entry-level desktop in the cloud, and up to the whole GPU with 16GB of frame buffer to provide powerful engineering workstations.

Updated NDv2 Azure Virtual Machines preview

The NDv2-series Virtual Machines, currently in preview, are the latest, fastest, and most powerful addition to the GPU family, specifically designed for the cutting edge demands of distributed HPC, AI, and machine learning workloads.

HBv2 Azure Virtual Machines for HPC workloads coming soon

HBv2 VMs are designed to deliver supercomputer-class performance, message passing interface (MPI) scalability, and cost efficiency for a variety of real-world HPC workloads. HBv2 Virtual Machines support up to 80,000 cores for single MPI jobs to deliver performance that rivals some of the world’s largest and most powerful bare metal supercomputers.

Networking

Azure Bastion is generally available

Microsoft announced the general availability (GA) of Azure Bastion, a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) service that provides more secure and seamless RDP and SSH access to virtual machines directly through the Azure portal.

 

Azure Firewall Manager is now in preview

Azure Firewall Manager Preview is a security management service that provides central security policy and route management for cloud-based security perimeters. It works with Azure Virtual WAN Hub, a Microsoft-managed resource that lets you easily create hub and spoke architectures. When security and routing policies are associated with such a hub, it is referred to as a Secured Virtual Hub.

Native Azure Active Directory authentication support in point-to-site VPN

Native Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) authentication support for OpenVPN protocol, and Azure VPN Client for Windows are now available. Native Azure AD authentication support was widely requested by enterprise customers because Azure AD integration enables user-based policies, conditional access, and multi-factor authentication (MFA) for P2S VPN. Native Azure AD authentication requires both Azure VPN gateway integration and a new Azure VPN Client to obtain and validate an Azure AD token.

Azure Private Link is now available in all regions

Azure Private Link, which provides private connectivity to Azure services, is now available in all regions.

Azure Peering Service in managed preview

Azure Peering Service is a partnership with service providers to provide highly reliable and optimized internet connectivity to Microsoft services. It also provides internet latency telemetry and route monitoring with alerting against hijacks, leaks, and any other BGP mal configurations.  Azure Peering Service is targeting customers with an internet-first network strategy for accessing Azure and SaaS services such as Office 365. Through partnering with internet service providers, customers are able to take advantage of optimized routing of their internet traffic to the Microsoft cloud.

Enhancements to Azure Virtual WAN

Significant enhancements include the preview of hub-to-hub and any-to-any connectivity. Virtual WAN users can connect multiple hubs for full mesh connectivity to further simplify their network architecture. Additionally, ExpressRoute and Point to Site are now Generally Available with Virtual WAN.

IPv6 for Azure Virtual Network is generally available

IPv6 support within the virtual network and to the internet enables you to expand into the growing mobile and IoT markets with Azure-based applications and to address IPv4 depletion in your own corporate networks.

Azure ExpressRoute for satellites is available

ExpressRoute, with one of the largest networking ecosystems in the public cloud, now includes satellite connectivity partners, bringing new options and coverage.

Storage

Azure Data Share is available

Azure Data Share enables organizations to easily and securely share data with other organizations to expand analytics datasets for enhanced insights.

Azure Stack 

Azure Stack, the extension of Azure that brings the innovation of cloud computing to build and deploy hybrid applications anywhere, is being renamed “Azure Stack Hub“. Also, Azure Data Box Edge, the Microsoft data-transfer devices, is being renamed as “Azure Stack Edge“.  

So, Azure Stack will expand to include a portfolio of products consisting of:

  • Azure Stack HCI
  • Azure Stack Hub (previously Azure Stack)
  • Azure Stack Edge (previously Azure Data Box Edge):
    • It is an Azure managed appliance that brings the compute, storage, and intelligence of Azure to the edge.
    • It is a first party Microsoft appliance, delivered to customers’ sites to run Azure services with no upfront costs (you pay monthly in your Azure bill).
    • Customers can use the Azure portal to order and provision Azure Stack Edge; Azure management tools are used for monitoring and running updates. 

Azure Stack Hub

Microsoft is sharing some new updates for Azure Stack Hub roadmap, including N-Series virtual machines enabled by NVIDIA V100 GPUs. It’s also announcing the general availability of Kubernetes on Azure Stack Hub. You can now easily provision Kubernetes clusters on Azure Stack Hub using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) engine to automate the creation, update, and scaling of Kubernetes clusters. In the first half of 2020, Event Hubs and Azure Stream Analytics will also be available for public preview.

Azure Stack Edge

Azure Stack Edge will soon support new compute and AI capabilities including virtual machines, Kubernetes clusters, NVIDIA GPU support and high-availability support. With these capabilities, Azure Stack Edge is quickly evolving to the forefront of edge computing in the market. Microsoft is also enabling private cellular networks as a service by adding the tech preview of multi-access edge compute (MEC) on Azure Stack Edge.

Azure Stack portfolio and Azure Arc

Azure Arc and Azure Stack portfolio are complementary, so you can combine the benefits of Azure Arc with Azure Stack portfolio, where Azure Arc can manage virtual machines, containers, and run Azure Data Services on Azure Stack portfolio of validated and integrated systems while leveraging the compute and cloud capabilities of Azure Stack.

Conclusions

The most important announcement from Microsoft Ignite 2019 for me is Azure Arc, the Microsoft’s new approach to hybrid. Enterprises rely on a hybrid technology approach to take advantage of their on-premises investment and, at the same time, utilize cloud innovation. As more business operations and applications expand to include edge devices and multiple clouds, hybrid capabilities must enable apps to run seamlessly across on-premises, multi-cloud, and edge devices, while providing consistent management and security across all distributed locations. Hybrid cloud capabilities in Microsoft is evolving to enable innovation anywhere, while providing a seamless development, deployment and ongoing management experience.