Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (April 2023 – Weeks: 13 and 14)

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.



New General-Purpose VMs: Dlsv5 and Dldsv5

The Dlsv5 and Dldsv5 VM series are ideal for workloads that require less RAM per vCPU than standard general purpose VM sizes. Target workloads include web servers, gaming, video encoding, AI/ML, batch processing and more. These VM series can potentially improve price-performance and reduce the cost of running workloads that do not require more memory per vCPU. The new VMs feature sizes with and without local temporary storage.


Azure Firewall enhancements for troubleshooting network performance and traffic visibility (preview)

Microsoft Azure Firewall now offers new logging and metric enhancements designed to increase visibility and provide more insights into traffic processed by the firewall. IT security administrators may use (in preview) a combination of the following to root cause application performance issues:

o    Latency Probe metric
o    Flow Trace Log
o    Top Flows Log

Private Application Gateway v2 (preview)

Application Gateway v2 is introducing a collection of new capabilities to further enable you to control network exposure using Application Gateway v2 skus:

  • private IP only frontend configuration (elimination of Public IP);
  • enhanced control over Network Securtiy Groups:
    • eliminate GatewayManager service tag requirement;
    • enable definition of Deny All Outbound rule;
  • enhanced control over Route Table rules:
    • forced Tunelling Support (learning of route via BGP);
    • route Table rule of next hop Virtual Appliance.


Azure File Sync agent v16

The Azure File Sync agent v16 release has finished flighting and is now available on both Microsoft Update and the Microsoft Download Center.

Improvements and issues that are fixed:

  • improved Azure File Sync service availability:
    • Azure File Sync is now a zone-redundant service which means an outage in a zone has limited impact while improving the service resiliency to minimize customer impact. To fully leverage this improvement, configure your storage accounts to use zone-redundant storage (ZRS) or Geo-zone redundant storage (GZRS) replication. To learn more about different redundancy options for your storage accounts, see: Azure Storage redundancy
  • immediately run server change enumeration to detect files changes that were missed on the server:
    • Azure File Sync uses the Windows USN journal feature on Windows Server to immediately detect files that were changed and upload them to the Azure file share. If files changed are missed due to journal wrap or other issues, the files will not sync to the Azure file share until the changes are detected. Azure File Sync has a server change enumeration job that runs every 24 hours on the server endpoint path to detect changes that were missed by the USN journal. If you don’t want to wait until the next server change enumeration job runs, you can now use the Invoke-StorageSyncServerChangeDetection PowerShell cmdlet to immediately run server change enumeration on a server endpoint path;
  • bug fix for the PowerShell script FileSyncErrorsReport.ps1;
  • miscellaneous reliability and telemetry improvements for cloud tiering and sync.

More information about this release:

  • this release is available for Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019 and Windows Server 2022 installations;
  • the agent version for this release is;
  • installation instructions are documented in KB5013877.

Azure Files NFS: nconnect support

Azure Files NFS v4.1 share now support nconnect option. Nconnect is a client-side Linux mount option that increases performance at scale. With nconnect, the NFS mount uses more TCP connections between the client and the Azure Files service for NFSv4.1. Using Nconnect can improve a client’s throughput/IOPS upto 4X and reduce TCO by upto 70%. There is no additional billing cost associated to using this feature. This feature is available to all existing and new shares.

Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage in new regions

Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage is now available in East US 2, North Europe, and West US 2 regions. This next-generation storage solution offers advanced general-purpose block storage with the best price performance, delivering sub-millisecond disk latencies for demanding IO-intensive workloads at a low cost. It is well-suited for a wide range of enterprise production workloads, including SQL Server, Oracle, MariaDB, SAP, Cassandra, MongoDB, big data analytics, gaming on virtual machines, and stateful containers.

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