Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (June 2020 – Weeks: 25 and 26)

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

Compute

New general purpose and memory-optimized Azure Virtual Machines with Intel

New general purpose and memory-optimized Azure Virtual Machines based on the 2nd generation Intel Xeon Platinum 8272CL (Cascade Lake) are available.

With this announcement, Microsoft is introducing two new Azure Virtual Machines families, one of which represents a brand-new product category in the portfolio:

  • The Azure Ddv4 and Ddsv4 and Edv4 and Edsv4 virtual machines, which include a local data temporary disk (now generally available)
  • The Azure Dv4 and Dsv4 and Ev4 and Esv4 virtual machines, a new category of virtual machines, which rely on remote disks and do not provide temporary local storage (now in preview).

The new virtual machine (VM) sizes deliver up to roughly 20 percent CPU performance improvement compared to their predecessors, the Dv3 and Ev3 VM families.

Azure Virtual Machines DCsv2-series is now available in new regions

Confidential computing DCsv2-series virtual machines (VMs) are now available in East US, Canada Central, UK South, and West Europe.

Extended term reservation for the Azure HBv2 Virtual Machine

Announcing the availability of the 5-year reservation for the Azure HBv2 Virtual Machine. The extended term reservation provides significant cost discount compared to pay-as-you-go rates. The extended term reservation provides continuous access to HBv2 resources for all supported Azure regions.

Storage

Azure Storage account failover

Customer-initiated Storage account failover is now generally available, allowing you to determine when to initiate a failover instead of waiting for Microsoft to do so. When you perform a failover, the secondary replica of the Storage account becomes the new primary, and the DNS records for all Storage service endpoints—blob, file, queue, and table—are updated to point to this new primary. Once the failover is complete, clients will automatically begin reading from the Storage account and writing data to it in the new primary region, with no code changes. Customer initiated failover is available for GRS, RA-GRS, GZRS, and RA-GZRS accounts.

Azure geo-zone-redundant storage is now generally available

Geo-zone-redundant storage (GZRS) and read-access geo-zone-redundant storage (RA-GZRS) are now generally available, offering intra-regional and inter-regional high availability and disaster protection for your applications. GZRS writes three copies of your data synchronously across multiple Azure Availability zones, similar to zone-redundant storage (ZRS), providing you continued read and write access even if a datacenter or availability zone is unavailable. In addition, GZRS asynchronously replicates your data to the secondary geo-pair region to protect against regional unavailability. RA-GZRS exposes a read endpoint on this secondary replica allowing you to read data in the event of primary region unavailability.

Ephemeral OS disks for Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) now support additional VM sizes (preview)

You now have the ability to store ephemeral OS disks on the VM temp or resource disk in addition to the VM cache (in preview). This enables their use with VMs that don’t have a cache, or have insufficient cache, but do have a temp or resource disk to store the ephemeral OS disk such as Dav3, Dav4, Eav4, and Eav3.

Networking

Web Application Firewall for Azure Front Door service logging enhancements

Azure Web Application Firewall for Azure Front Door Service now has a match details field in the logs to provide insights on why a request triggered a Web Application Firewall rule. In addition, you can facilitate further analysis by embedding the unique reference string in a Web Application Firewall custom response message to link the request to a specific entry in the Azure Front Door Service and Web Application Firewall logs.

Rules Engine for Azure Front Door and Azure CDN

The Rules Engine feature on both Azure Front Door and Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) is now generally available. Rules Engine places the specific routing needs of your customers at the forefront of Azure’s global application delivery services, giving you more control in how you define and enforce what content gets served from where.