Azure Management services: what's new in January 2022

The new year started with several announcements from Microsoft regarding news related to Azure management services. The monthly release of this summary allows you to have an overall overview of the main news of the month, in order to stay up to date on these topics and have the necessary references to conduct further exploration.

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

News regarding Azure Monitor alerts

The following changes have been introduced in Azure Monitor regarding alerts:

  • Frequency of 1 minute for alert logs. Alert logs allow users to use a Log Analytics query to evaluate, with a set frequency, resource logs and activate an alert based on the results obtained. Rules can trigger one or more actions using Action Groups. Now you have the ability to evaluate the alert query every minute, thus reducing the overall time for activating an alert log. By adopting this frequency of evaluation it should be taken into account that it also has an impact on the costs of Azure Monitor.
  • New way of creating alert rules: the experience of creating an alert rule has been transformed from an articulated process into a simple and intuitive wizard.

New agent: support for Private Links

The new Azure Monitor agent introduced support for network configurations via private link. This configuration allows you to operate in restricted environments that require special network requirements and a high degree of isolation.

New version of the agent for Linux systems

A new version of the Log Analytics agent has been released this month for Linux systems thanks to which several improvements and greater stability are introduced.

Govern

Azure Cost Management

Improvements in Azure Advisor recommendations for virtual machines

Azure has improved the Azure Advisor recommendation named “Shutdown/Resize your virtual machines”. This recommendation offers customers the opportunity to save costs by targeting virtual machines that are not being used efficiently.

Among the main improvements we have made are:

  • Resizing of series between different SKUs: up to this new version, the sizing recommendations provided by Azure Advisor were mostly within the same SKU family. This means if you were using a D3 v2 inefficiently, a D2 v2 or a D1 v2 was recommended, or a smaller SKU but within the same family. Now the recommendations take into account, to increase savings, the ability to move to different families by using SKUs that adapt perfectly to the workload based on the data collected.
  • Adoption of new versions of SKU families: in general, newer versions of SKU families are more optimized, offer more features and a better performance / cost ratio than previous versions. If the workload is found to be running on an older version and can achieve cost benefits without impacting performance on a newer version, is reported by Azure Advisor.
  • Improvements on the quality of reports: Microsoft received feedback that some recommendations were not feasible as they did not take certain criteria into account. In order to improve the quality of the recommendations, they are now generated taking into account even more characteristics, such as accelerated network support, support for premium storage, availability in a region, inclusion in an availability set, etc. . Furthermore, to increase the quality, the robustness and applicability of the recommendations the entire recommendation engine has been completely revamped to base it on new automatic and cutting-edge machine learning algorithms.

Multitasking in cost analysis (preview)

Azure Cost Management introduces a new cost analysis experience that allows you to do them more effectively. The preview includes a new tabbed experience to simplify analysis. Starting with an integrated view list, you can open multiple tabs to explore different cost aspects at the same time.

Updates related toAzure Cost Management and Billing

Microsoft is constantly looking for new methodologies to improve Azure Cost Management and Billing, the solution to provide greater visibility into where costs are accumulating in the cloud, identify and prevent erroneous spending patterns and optimize costs . Inthis article some of the latest improvements and updates regarding this solution are reported.

Secure

Microsoft Defender for Cloud

New features, bug fixes and deprecated features of Microsoft Defender for Cloud

Microsoft Defender for Cloud development is constantly evolving and improvements are being made on an ongoing basis. To stay up to date on the latest developments, Microsoft updates this page, this provides information about new features, bug fixes and deprecated features. In particular, this month the main news concern:

  • Microsoft Defender for Resource Manager has been updated with new alerts and a greater emphasis has been introduced on high-risk operations mapped to MITER ATT&CK® Matrix
  • Introduced recommendations for enabling Microsoft Defender plans on workspaces (preview)
  • Automatic provisioning of the Log Analytics agent on Azure Arc-enabled machines (preview)

Protect

Azure Backup

Changes in security settings

Azure Backup recently released the following changes regarding security settings for workloads protected by Microsoft Azure Recovery Service Agent, Azure Backup Server, or System Center Data Protection Manager:

  • Integration with MUA (Multi-user authorization): the operation of “disabling safety functions” is now defined as a critical operation that can be protected by a Resource Guard.
  • To provide protection against accidental or harmful elimination, it is no longer possible to unregister a protected server if the security features are enabled for the vault and there are associated backup items, in active or soft delete state.
  • Customers will not have to incur any costs for backup data kept in the soft delete state.
  • The backup policy is not applied to data kept in the soft delete state and therefore no data is deleted for 14 days.

Azure Site Recovery

Support for Azure Policy

Microsoft has introduced the ability to use Azure Policies to enable Azure Site Recovery for virtual machines (VM) on a large scale, thus allowing you to more easily and quickly adhere to organizational standards. After creating a Disaster Recovery policy for a specific subscription or for a specific resource group, all new virtual machines added to that subscription or to the resource group will have Azure Site Recovery enabled automatically. The policy in question is called "Configure disaster recovery on virtual machines by enabling replication via Azure Site Recovery“. In addition to enabling replication for large-scale virtual machines, the Policies make it possible to maintain control over the achievement of organizational standards. Indeed, compliance with policies can be monitored and, if virtual machines are found to be non-compliant, you can create a remediation activity to make the subscription or resource group compliant with the 100%.

Support for Managed Disk of Zone Redundant Storage type (ZRS)

Azure Site Recovery (ASR) introduced support for ZRS type managed disks. Therefore, ASR now allows you to protect virtual machines that take advantage of ZRS managed disks, replicating them in a secondary region of your choice. ASR identifies the source disks as ZRS managed disks and creates equivalent ZRS managed disks in the secondary region. If there is an outage in a region and it is necessary to fail over to the secondary region, ASR will activate the virtual machines in the secondary region with ZRS managed disks, ensuring the same level of resilience.

Migrate

Azure Migrate

New Azure Migrate releases and features

Azure Migrate is the service in Azure that includes a large portfolio of tools that you can use, through a guided experience, to address effectively the most common migration scenarios. To stay up-to-date on the latest developments in the solution, please consult this page, that provides information about new releases and features.

Evaluation of Azure

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

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