Azure Management services: what's new in July 2023

Microsoft is constantly announcing news regarding Azure management services and as usual this monthly summary is released. The aim is to provide an 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

Azure Monitor Agent Health experience (peview)

The Azure Monitor Agent (AMA) is responsible for collecting monitoring data from the guest operating system of the virtual machines, both in Azure and hybrid environments, which are then transmitted to Azure Monitor. Thanks to the Azure Monitor Agent Health experience, it is now possible to easily monitor the health of agents on a large scale, both on Azure, both locally (on-premise) or on other cloud infrastructures.

Improved table-level RBAC checking in Azure Monitor Logs

Azure Monitor Logs offers advanced role-based access management capabilities (RBAC) to enable secure management of sensitive logs in complex environments. Table-level access allows you to allow only a specific group of people to read the data, limiting access to only a selected set of tables. This new method works by assigning permissions to the sub-resource of the table, enabling granular RBAC even for custom log tables and ensuring the use of well-known standard Azure RBAC tools.

Events from Azure Event Hubs to Azure Monitor Logs

Azure Event Hubs provide a simple and powerful way to bring data into your Azure Monitor environment. Thanks to new feature, you can now send events directly from an Event Hub into the Log Analytics workspace. Azure Event Hubs is a big data streaming platform that allows you to collect events from different sources, ready to be processed by various Azure services and other external platforms. This ability to ingest data is particularly beneficial for those who already use queue messaging mechanisms and have an interest in moving the data into a Log Analytics workspace, in Sentinel, or to route them to multiple destinations.

Support for Azure Monitor Sandboxing Pod in Container insights

Container Insights now supports container tracking “Pod Sandboxing”. The concept of Pod Sandboxing represents an effective strategy to protect yourself from situations of “Container Breakout”, where a user, both malicious and legitimate, manages to break through container isolation to access the filesystem, to processes, to network interfaces and other resources on the host machine. In the past, isolation could be achieved through the use of node pools, but this approach generated significant operational overhead and required additional resources, increasing overall costs. Thanks to the adoption of Pod Sandboxing, this issue is addressed through kernel-level workload isolation, providing a more efficient and secure solution.

The Azure Monitor agent supports VM Insights in the Government Cloud (preview)

As part of the public preview, Azure Monitor Agent now supports VM Insights within Azure Government Cloud.


Update management

Hotpatch available on Windows Server VMs on Azure with Desktop Experience install mode

Hotpatch is now available for Windows Server Azure Edition VMs with Desktop Experience install mode, using the newly released image. Hotpatch is a feature that allows you to patch and install operating system security updates on Windows Server Azure Edition virtual machines on Azure without the need to reboot.
It was previously available for Server Core install mode, but now, Windows Server Azure Edition VMs installed with Desktop Experience installation mode no longer need to reboot every month for security updates, by providing:

  • less impact on workload with fewer reboots;
  • faster deployment of updates as packages are smaller, they install faster and have easier patch orchestration with Azure Update Manager;
  • greater protection, since Hotpatch update packages are limited to Windows security updates that install faster without reboots.


Azure Cost Management

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

Deployment of ESU-derived updates on Azure Arc-enabled servers

On the occasion of Inspire, Microsoft has announced Extended Security Updates (ESU) enable Azure Arc. With Azure Arc, organizations will be able to purchase and distribute Extended Security Updates seamlessly (ESU) in on-premises or multicloud environments, direct from the Azure Portal. As well as providing centralized management of security patches, Azure Arc-enabled ESUs offer greater flexibility with a pay-as-you-go subscription model, compared to the classic ESU offered through the Volume Licensing Center which are purchased annually. For more information, please refer to’dedicated article.


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:

  • managing automatic updates of Defender for Endpoint for Linux;
  • Agentless scanning of virtual machine secrets in Defender for P2 Servers and DCSPM;
  • new security warning in Defender for Servers plan 2: detection of potential attacks that leverage Azure VM GPU driver extensions;
  • support for disabling detections of specific vulnerabilities;
  • availability of Data Aware Security Posture.


Azure Backup

Restore points of virtual machines consistent with crashes (preview)

Microsoft has announced support, in public preview, of crash consistent mode (on multiple disks) for VM recovery points. This is a workaround (without agent) to store virtual machine configuration and snapshots, consistent in writing order, at a specific time for all managed disks attached to the virtual machine.


Azure Migrate

Updating Windows servers in end of support phase (EOS)

Azure Migrate provides a preview of the feature that allows you to upgrade legacy Windows Server systems without disruption. During the Azure migration process, the ability to upgrade legacy servers is introduced, minimizing efforts, downtime and associated risks. This is accomplished by creating a copy of the server in the Azure environment and later upgrading there. Thanks to this approach, the impact on the original server is minimized, ensuring a safe and efficient transition. For more details and in-depth information, I invite you to refer to’dedicated article.

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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