Azure Management services: what's new in January 2023

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:

Figure 1 – Management services in Azure overview


Azure Monitor

Certificate the IT Service Management Connector (ITSMC) with ServiceNow Tokyo version (preview)

The IT Service Management Connector (ITSMC) is certified on the Tokyo version of ServiceNow. This connector provides a two-way connection between Azure Monitor and ServiceNow, useful to help you track and fix problems faster.


Azure Cost Management

Management of billing accounts for EA customers

For Enterprise Agreement customers (EA) “indirect” the ability to manage your billing accounts directly from Cost Management and Billing has been introduced. All relevant information regarding department, account and subscription are available directly from the Azure portal. Furthermore, from the same point it is possible to view the properties and manage the policies of the indirect EA enrollments.

Updates related toMicrosoft Cost Management

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

Azure Arc

Active Directory Connector for Arc-enabled SQL MI

Azure Arc-enabled data services introduced Active Directory support (AD) for the management of Identity and Access Management (IAM). Indeed, the Arc-enabled SQL Managed instance can use an Active Directory domain (AD) existing on-premises for authentication. To facilitate this, Azure Arc-enabled data services introduce a new Custom Resource Definition (CRD) native Kubernetes called Active Directory Connector. This provides Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instances running on the same data controller the ability to perform Active Directory authentication.

View SQL Server databases using Azure Arc (preview)

Today, customers and partners manage a large number of databases. For each of these databases, it is essential to be able to create an accurate mapping of the configurations. This may be for inventory or reporting purposes. Centralizing database inventory in Azure using Azure Arc allows you to create a unified view of all your databases in one place, regardless of the infrastructure in which they are located: in Azure, in the data center, at edge sites or even other clouds.


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:

  • the endpoint protection component (Microsoft Defender for Endpoint) it is now accessible on the Settings and monitors page;
  • new version of the recommendation to find missing system updates;
  • cleanup of deleted Azure Arc machines in linked AWS and GCP accounts.


Azure Backup

Updates and improvements regarding SAP HANA

The following updates and improvements have been made recently to Azure Backup for SAP HANA, the certified solution Backint for protecting SAP HANA databases residing in Azure virtual machines:

  • Long-term retention for backups “adhoc”: it is now possible to provide customized retention for backups that occur on demand, outside the scheduled policies.
  • Partial restore-as-files: Azure Backup for HANA allows recovery points to be restored as a file. If you download the entire chain for one recovery point and want to repeat the operation for another adjacent recovery point, you don't need to download the entire chain again. It is also possible to restore only the files you want.
  • Integration with native clients and with other tools: previously, for certain scenarios, it was necessary to deactivate backint before the request and reactivate it afterwards, thereby increasing the RPO. With the improvements introduced, these additional steps are no longer necessary and it will be sufficient to activate the requests from the native clients or from the other tools used.

Azure Site Recovery

Ability to use Azure Backup Center for ASR monitor

Azure Backup Center is the point of reference for those who use the native backup features of the Azure platform and allows them to govern, to monitor, manage and analyze backup tasks. Microsoft has extended its capabilities by including monitor capabilities for Azure Site Recovery, which:

  • Viewing the inventory of replicated items, from a single view, for all vaults.
  • Consultation through a control panel of all the replication jobs.

Azure Backup Center supports ASR replication scenarios involving Azure virtual machines, VMware and physical machines.


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. In particular, this month the main news concern:

  • Possibility to plan savings with the ASP savings option (Azure Savings Plan for compute) with the Azure Migrate business case and assessment.
  • Support for exporting the business case report to an .xlsx workbook from the portal.

Evaluation of Azure

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

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