Azure Management services: what's new in August 2023

Microsoft constantly releases news about Azure management services. By publishing this summary, you want an overview of the most significant innovations introduced in the last month. This allows you to stay up-to-date on these topics and have the necessary references to conduct further investigations.

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 container insights offers new cost optimization settings

Container insights expands the public preview of cost optimization settings, now enabling a third dimension for adjusting container insights data collection settings, with one configuration per table. Customers can now individually select which data tables to include in their Log Analytics workspace.
Per-table configurations can be enabled through ARM, CLI and Azure Portal.


Azure Advisor

Improve VM resiliency with Availability Zone recommendations

One of the recommended practices to achieve high resilience, according to the guidelines of the Well Architected Framework (WAF), is the distribution in different zones of the workloads. By adopting this recommendation, now available in Azure Advisor, you can design your solutions to use VM “zonal”, thus ensuring the isolation of virtual machines from potential failures in other areas.


Azure Cost Management

New cost optimization opportunities using the new workbook template in Azure Advisor
The Azure Cost Optimization Workbook serves as a centralized hub for some of the most used tools that can help the customer achieve their utilization and efficiency goals. It offers a number of recommendations, including Azure Advisor cost recommendations, the identification of idle resources and the management of virtual machines that are not deallocated correctly. Furthermore, provides insights into using the Azure Hybrid benefit options for Windows, Linux e database SQL.

Exporting data to a firewall-protected storage account

Azure Cost Management now supports exporting data to a firewall-protected storage account, ensuring a high level of security. The export can be scheduled on a daily basis, weekly or monthly and the exported data can be used for dashboard creation or for integration with financial systems.


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:

  • Defender for Container: agentless discovery for Kubernetes;
  • Preview release of GCP support in Defender CSPM;
  • new security alerts in Defender for Servers Plan 2: detection of potential attacks that abuse Azure VM extensions;
  • business model and pricing updates for Defender for Cloud plans.


Azure Backup

Cross Subscription Restore for Azure Virtual Machines

Microsoft introduced the ability to restore Azure VMs to another subscription within the same tenant as the subscription where the source VM exists, provided you have the necessary permissions. By default, the recovery occurs in the same subscription where the source virtual machine exists. This feature is only allowed if you have Cross Subscription Restore enabled for the Recovery Services vault. Cross Subscription Restore allows you to restore by creating a VM or restoring disks. You can use Cross Zonal Restore and/or Cross Region Restore in conjunction with this restore option.

Azure Backup introduces Cross Region Recovery for PostgreSQL (preview)

Azure Backup has launched a new preview feature: Cross Region restore for PostgreSQL backups. This feature takes advantage of Geo-Redundant storage with Read access, allowing you to keep data in two different regions. The innovation lies in the fact that now not only can backups be accessed when a problem occurs in an Azure region, but you can do it at any time, ensuring greater flexibility and security. This option is particularly useful for those who want to test the readiness of their backups or for those looking for greater data resilience. Currently, this feature is available for PostgreSQL in select regions, enriching the offer of Azure Backup in terms of data accessibility.

Azure Site Recovery

DR for shared disks (preview)

Microsoft released private preview of Azure Shared Disk DR for workloads running Windows Server Failover Clusters (WSFC) on Azure virtual machines. It is therefore possible to protect, monitor and recover WSFC clusters as a single unit throughout its lifecycle, while generating cluster-consistent recovery points.

Salient features:

  • private preview will support the protection of Windows Server failover clusters. Some applications using this architecture are SQL FCI, SAP ASCS, Scale-out File Servers, etc.
    • OS supported: Windows Server 2016 and later;
    • number of nodes: up to 4 nodes per cluster;
    • shared disks: any number of shared disks can be attached to the cluster;
  • the failover operation supports failover of the entire cluster at the same time;
  • once a failover has been performed, you will need to re-enable replication for reverse direction protection.

New Update Rollup

For Azure Site Recovery was released theUpdate Rollup 68 that solves several issues and introduces some improvements. The details and the procedure to follow for the installation can be found in the specific KB.

Support in the presence of a higher level of “churn” on the data

Azure Site Recovery now supports scenarios with increased data rotation. This enhancement gives customers the ability to handle scenarios with a high volume of data changes, ensuring greater resiliency and reliability for their critical applications.


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.

Azure Database Migration

Azure portal experience for Azure Database Migration Service (preview)

You can now use DMS to perform migrations from both the Azure portal and the ADS extension. The Azure portal experience allows you to perform tasks such as creating a new database migration service from within the Azure portal, initiating the migration from SQL Server on-premises to various Azure targets and accessing an integration runtime configuration page. The Azure portal experience also offers a list of prerequisites, documentation and links to tutorials, customized according to the selected target.

Evaluation of Azure

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

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