Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (November 2019 – Weeks: 43 and 44)

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

New Cost Management features

Here are the Cost Management features that are generally available as of October 2019.

Azure Mv2-series VMs with 12TB memory now GA in new regions

Azure Mv2-series Virtual Machines with 12TB memory are generally available for the US West 2, US East, US East 2, Southeast Asia, EU West and EU North regions. Azure Mv2-series virtual machines are hyper-threaded and feature Intel® Xeon® Platinum 8180M 2.5GHz (Skylake) processors, offering up to 416 vCPU in 3TB, 6 TB and 12 TB memory configurations. This is by far the largest-memory virtual machine offered on Azure. Mv2-series virtual machines provide unparalleled computational performance to support large in-memory databases and workloads such as SAP HANA and SQL Hekaton.

Azure Monitor’s Service Map is available in new regions

The Service Map feature of Azure Monitor is now available in South Central US, West US, Central US, North Central US, East Asia, and Central India.  Around the world is it available in eighteen public regions. Service map automatically discovers application components on Windows and Linux systems and maps the communication between services. With service map, you can view your servers in the way that you think of them—as interconnected systems that deliver critical services. Service map shows connections between servers, processes, inbound and outbound connection latency, and ports across any TCP-connected architecture, with no configuration required other than the installation of an agent.

Server-side encryption with customer-managed keys for Azure Managed Disks (preview)

The preview for server-side encryption (SSE) with customer-managed keys (CMK) for Azure Managed Disks is available. Azure customers already benefit from server-side encryption with platform managed keys (PMK) for Azure Managed Disks enabled by default. Customers also benefit from Azure disk encryption (ADE) that leverages the BitLocker feature of Windows and the DM-Crypt feature of Linux to encrypt Managed Disks with customer managed keys within the guest virtual machine. Server-side encryption with customer-managed keys improves on platform managed keys by giving you control of the encryption keys to meet your compliance needs. It improves on Azure disk encryption by enabling you to use any OS types and images for your virtual machines by encrypting data in the storage service. Server-side encryption with customer-managed keys is integrated with Azure Key Vault (AKV) that provides highly available and scalable, secure storage for RSA cryptographic keys backed by hardware security modules (HSMs). You can either import your RSA keys to Azure Key Vault or generate new RSA keys in Azure Key Vault.

Azure File Sync is available in new regions

Azure File Sync is available in South Africa and UAE regions. To get the latest list of supported regions, see this document.

Azure File Sync agent v8 release

Azure File Sync is now on Microsoft Update and Microsoft Download Center. Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • Restore performance improvements
    • Faster recovery times for recovery done through Azure Backup.Restored files will sync back down to Azure File Sync servers much faster.
  • Improved cloud tiering portal experience
    • If you have tiered files that are failing to recall, you can now view the recall errors in the server endpoint properties. Also, the server endpoint health will now show an error and mitigation steps if the cloud tiering filter driver is not loaded on the server.
  • Simpler agent installation
    • The Az\AzureRM PowerShell module is no longer required to register the server making installation simpler and fast.
  • Miscellaneous performance and reliability improvements

More information about this release:

  • This update is available for Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019 installations that have Azure File Sync agent version 4.0.1.0 or later installed.
  • The agent version of this update rollup is 8.0.0.0.
  • A restart may be required if files are in use during the update rollup installation.
  • Installation instructions are documented in KB4511224.