Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (August 2022 – Weeks: 31 and 32)

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 Dedicated Host restart (preview)

Azure Dedicated Host gives you more control over the hosts you deployed by giving you the option to restart any host. When undergoing a restart, the host and its associated VMs will restart while staying on the same underlying physical hardware. With this new capability, now in preview, you can take troubleshooting steps at the host level.

Azure Dedicated Host support for Ultra SSD (preview)

Currently, VMs running on Azure Dedicated Host support the use of Standard and Premium Azure disks as data disks. With this preview, Microsoft is introducing support for Azure Ultra Disks on Azure Dedicated Host. Azure Ultra disks are highly performant disks on Azure that offer high throughput (maximum of 4000 MBps per disk) and high IOPS (maximum of 160,00 IOPS per disk) depending on the disk size.
If you are running IaaS workloads that are data intensive and latency sensitive, such as Oracle DB, MySQL DB, other critical databases, and gaming applications, you will benefit from using Ultra disks as data disks on VMs hosted on Azure Dedicated Host.

Microsoft Azure available from new cloud region in Qatar

Microsoft is launching a new datacenter region in Qatar. The new datacenter region includes Azure Availability Zones, which offer you additional resiliency for your applications by designing the region with unique physical datacenter locations with independent power, network, and cooling for additional tolerance to datacenter failures.

Enforcement mode of machine configuration (previously guest configuration)

The enforcement mode of machine configuration (previously guest configuration) is now generally available. This represents the ApplyAndMonitor and ApplyAndAutocorrect auditing modes. The customer experience within Azure has not changed as a result of the renaming. Machine configuration continues to provide a native capability to audit or configure operating system settings as code, both for machines running in Azure and hybrid Azure Arc-enabled servers, directly per-machine or at-scale orchestrated through Azure Automanage, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, or Azure Policy.
You will now be able to:

  • Apply and monitor configurations: set the required configuration on your machines and remediate on demand.
  • Apply and autocorrect configurations: set the required configuration at scale and autoremediate in the event of a configuration drift.
  • Apply configurations to machines at management group level.
  • Set TLS 1.2 to machines through our newly released built-in policy.
  • Create, delete, and monitor the compliance of your configurations through the Azure portal.


Azure StorSimple 8000/1200 series will no longer be supported starting 31st December 2022

Support for the following StorSimple versions will end 31st December 2022:
• StorSimple 8000 series – 8100, 8600, 8010, 8020
• StorSimple 1200 Series
• StorSimple Data Manager
• StorSimple Snapshot Manager

The StorSimple service will reach end of life which means the following will no longer be available:
• All cloud management capability (e.g. viewing or updating settings related to volumes, shares, backups, backup policies or installing updates, etc.)
• Access to live data and backups.
• Access to customer support resources (phone, email, web)
• Hardware replacement parts and repair services for StorSimple 8000 series devices
• Software updates for StorSimple 8000 series and 1200 series devices

Microsoft has been expanding the portfolio of Azure Hybrid storage capabilities with new services for data tiering and cloud ingestion, providing more options to customers for storing data in Azure in native formats.


Azure Firewall Premium is now ICSA labs certified

Azure Firewall Premium SKU is a managed, cloud-based network security service that protects your Azure Virtual Network resources. It provides advanced threat protection that meets the needs of highly sensitive and regulated environments and includes Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) and TLS inspection capabilities.
The new Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) certification from ICSA Labs is an important IPS certification, is an addition to existing Firewall certification, from ICSA Labs.
ICSA Labs provides credible third-party testing and certification of security and health IT products, as well as network-connected devices. This includes certification of network intrusion prevention systems.
ICSA Labs Network Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) security certification test cycle includes Azure Firewall protection against exploits aimed at approximately 100 high severity vulnerabilities in enterprise software. Because real world attacks do not happen on a quiescent network, ICSA Labs tests with an appropriate level of background traffic using various mixes of enterprise network traffic. The test included evasion techniques, platform security of the product itself, logging, secure administration, and administrative functions.
Azure Firewall is the first cloud firewall service to attain the ICSA Labs Corporate Certification for both Firewall and IPS services.

Next hop IP support for Route Server

With next hop IP support, you can deploy network virtual appliances (NVAs) behind an Azure Internal Load Balancer (ILB) to acheive key active-passive connectivity scenarios and improve connectivity performance.

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