Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (March 2020 – Weeks: 11 and 12)

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

Virtual Network NAT generally available

Azure Virtual Network NAT (Network Address Translation) simplifies outbound-only Internet connectivity for virtual networks. NAT can be configured for one or more subnets of a virtual network and provides on-demand connectivity for virtual machines.

Private Endpoints for Azure Storage are Generally Available

Private Endpoints provide secure connectivity to Azure Storage from a Azure virtual network (VNet). On-premises networks can also securely connect to a storage account using a private endpoint when that network is to a VNet using Express Route or VPN. Private Endpoints for Azure Storage are now generally available in all Azure public regions.

Azure Web Application Firewall integration with Azure Content Delivery Network service in preview

Azure Web Application Firewall service protects your web applications from malicious attacks. In addition to Azure Application Gateway and Azure Front Door service, Web Application Firewall is now natively integrated with Azure Content Delivery Network, protecting Content Delivery Network endpoints from common exploits such as SQL injection and cross site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Private Link for different Azure services is available

Azure Private Link is now generally available (GA) for the below services:

  • Azure Storage
  • Azure Data Lake Storage Gen 2
  • Azure SQL Database
  • Azure Cosmos DB
  • Azure Synapse Analytics (SQL Data Warehouse)
  • Azure Key Vault
  • Azure Database for MySQL
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL
  • Azure Database for MariaDB
  • Azure Kubernetes Service -> Kubernetes API

In addition, Private Link is now available in preview for the following services:

  • App Service
  • Azure Cognitive Search
  • Event Hub
  • Service Bus
  • Azure Relay
  • Azure Backup
  • Azure Container Registry
  • Event Grid -> Topics
  • Event Grid -> Domains

App Service regional Virtual Network integration

The regional Virtual Network integration feature has now entered general availability (GA) and supports sending all outbound calls into your virtual network. Use features like network NSGs and UDRs against all outbound traffic from your web app.

Azure Shared Disks for clustered applications in preview

Azure Shared Disks is a shared block storage offering, enabling customers to run latency-sensitive workloads without compromising on well-known deployment patterns for fast failover and high availability. Azure Shared Disks are best suited for clustered databases, parallel file systems, persistent containers, and machine learning applications. Azure Shared Disks provide a consistent experience for applications running on Windows or Linux based clusters today.

ACR built-in audit policies for Azure Policy in preview

Azure Container Registry now supports built-in audit policies for Azure Policy.

Preparing for TLS 1.2 in Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure recommends all customers complete migration towards solutions that support transport layer security (TLS) 1.2 and to make sure that TLS 1.2 is used by default.

Azure File Sync agent version 6.x will expire on April 21, 2020

On April 21, 2020, Azure File Sync agent version 6.x will be expired and stop syncing. If you have servers with agent version 6.x, update to a supported agent version (7.x or later).

Azure Storage: Append Blob immutability support is generally available

Store business-critical data objects in a non-erasable and non-modifiable state for a user-specified retention interval using immutable storage for Azure Blob storage. Append blobs allow the addition of new data blocks to the end of an object and are optimized for data append operations required by auditing and logging scenarios.

General availability of NVv4 and HBv2-Series virtual machines

General availability of NVv4 virtual machines in South Central US, East US, and West Europe regions. Additional regions are planned in the coming months. With NVv4, Azure is the first public cloud to offer GPU partitioning built on industry-standard SR-IOV technology. HBv2-series VMs for HPC are now available in the Azure West Europe region.