Azure Management services: what's new in September 2020

Also in September, Microsoft announced news regarding Azure management services. Our community publishes this summary monthly to provide an overview of these new features. In this way you can stay up-to-date on these topics and have the necessary references to conduct further investigations.

The following diagram shows the different areas related to management, which are covered in this series of articles, in order to stay up to date on these topics and to better deploy and maintain applications and resources.

Figure 1 – Management services in Azure overview

Monitor

Azure Monitor

New agent version for Windows Systems

A new version of the Log Analytics agent has been released this month for Windows systems, which introduces several improvements and greater stability.

New unified Agent and data collection rules (preview)

Azure Monitor is introducing a new concept for configuring data collection and a new unified agent for Azure Monitor in public preview. The new agent and data collection rules improve some key areas of data collection from virtual machines in Azure Monitor, including:

  • Send data to both Log Analytics and Azure Monitor metrics.
  • Data collection scoping for a subset of virtual machines for a single workspace.
  • Sending data to multiple workspaces for Linux VMs (multi-homing).
  • Improvements in Windows event filters.

New agent for containers

The new version of the Azure Monitor agent for containers introduces these changes:

  • Allows you to monitor the status of your deployments and Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA) via workbook.
  • Accessing the tab Health (limited preview)
  • Bug fixes such as displaying node status “not ready”.

Azure Resource Health

Azure Cloud Services support

In Azure Resource Health real-time health status and status history are now reported for Azure Cloud Services, in particular:

  • Help diagnose and get support for Azure Cloud Service.
  • Reports the current and past status of resources at the level of Deployment, Role & Role Instance.
  • Provides detailed reasons for health status changes.
  • Sets alerts when health status changes.

Govern

Azure Cost Management

Cost Management for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Adopting a multi-cloud strategy usually results in high complexity in cost control, often given by the different management of different cost models and different billing cycles. Keeping the costs of workloads residing on different cloud providers under control can be difficult to understand as they require the use of different dashboards and views.

Azure Cost Management introduced the ability to centrally manage AWS costs in addition to Azure. This feature allows you to avoid budget surpluses, to maintain control and better manage cloud cost responsibility.

Secure

Azure Security Center

Introduction to Azure Defender

Threat protection services in the Azure Security Center have been renamed to Azure Defender. In addition, thanks to the new dashboards, a better experience is offered for detecting security threats and their responses.

Securing SQL databases and virtual machines at any location

With Azure Arc support, Azure Defender can now protect SQL servers located on-premises and in multicloud environments, as well as virtual machines hosted in other public clouds.

Advanced protection for containers

The growing popularity of the adoption of containers and Kubernetes has led to an evolution in Azure Defender for Kubernetes. In fact, to ensure adequate workload protection in the Kubernetes environment, Azure Defender has included Kubernetes policy management, hardening and application of admission controls.

In addition, thanks to the introduction of a mechanism that allows continuous scanning of container images, the possibility of maliciously exploiting the running containers is reduced to a minimum.

IoT protection

Azure Defender for IoT, thanks to the recent acquisition of CyberX, can provide security for IoT devices in agentless mode. The solution provides continuous detection of IoT assets / OT, vulnerability management and threat monitoring for both greenfield and brownfield devices.

Protect

Azure Backup

Backup Center

The new Backup Center solution, currently available in public preview, provides a unique experience designed for centralized backup management at scale. With Backup Center, you can dynamically explore large backup inventories between vaults, subscriptions, locations and even different tenants. The Backup Center can also govern any actions related to backups.

Backup Center supports the following types of workloads:

  • Azure Virtual Machines
  • SQL in Azure Virtual Machines
  • Azure Database for PostgreSQL servers
  • Azure Files

Cross Region Restore

Recovery between different Azure regions, available for virtual machines, has also been extended to support SQL and SAP HANA. Cross Region Restore allows customers to restore their data to secondary regions at any time, essential in the event of the unavailability of the primary region.

Long-term protection of Azure Database for PostgreSQL

Azure Backup and Azure Database Services have merged to provide an enterprise-class backup solution for Azure Database for PostgreSQL (preview). Through managed backup policies you can enable backup retention for up to ten years.

Azure Site Recovery

New Update Rollup

For Azure Site Recovery was released theUpdate Rollup 50 that solves several issues and introduces some improvements. The details and the procedure to follow for the installation can be found in the specific KB.

Migrate

Azure Migrate

Introduced support for Availability Zones

In the tool Azure Migrate: Server Migration the support for Availability Zones was introduced when migrating server systems to Azure. The Azure Availability Zones are a mechanism for achieving high availability, protecting applications and data from failure that might occur in Azure datacenters. With this new opportunity, you can achieve better resiliency for application workloads that migrate to your Azure environment.

Support for Windows Virtual Desktop and ASP.NET web applications included

Azure Migrate has recently expanded support to include in migration scenarios:

  • Windows Virtual Desktop. This migration process helped companies provide a secure and reliable remote desktop experience, simplifying the path to the adoption of cloud solutions.
  • ASP.NET Web Applications. By migrating on-premises .NET-based web applications to managed services provided by the Azure platform, such as App Service and Azure SQL, customers are able to reduce costs and simplify application management.

Evaluation of Azure

To test for free and evaluate the services provided by Azure you can access this page.

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