Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (June 2024 – Weeks: 23 and 24)

This blog post series highlights the key announcements and major updates related to Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Azure Stack, as officially released by Microsoft in the past two weeks.



Azure VMware Solution: Microsoft and Broadcom to support license portability for VMware Cloud Foundation

Microsoft and Broadcom are expanding their partnership to support VMware Cloud Foundation subscriptions on Azure VMware Solution. This initiative allows customers who own or purchase VMware Cloud Foundation licenses to use them on Azure VMware Solution and in their own data centers, providing greater flexibility to adapt to changing business needs.

Key Benefits and Features:

  • License Portability: customers with eligible VMware Cloud Foundation entitlements can purchase subscriptions and use them interchangeably between on-premises environments and Azure VMware Solution. This flexibility supports seamless mobility and transfer of licenses as business requirements evolve.
  • Continued Purchase Options: customers can still buy Azure VMware Solution with VMware licenses included or use their own existing VMware licenses. This provides a range of purchasing options to suit different preferences and needs.

In addition to the new VMware license portability benefit, VMware Rapid Migration Plan provides an additional and comprehensive set of licensing benefits and programs to reduce the cost and time it takes for organizations to migrate to Azure VMware Solution:

  • Price Protection: customers can secure pricing for one, three, or five years through reserved instances.
  • Savings on Windows Server and SQL Server: organizations with Software Assurance for on-premises Windows Server and SQL Server licenses can benefit from the Azure Hybrid Benefit, allowing them to use these licenses on Azure VMware Solution. Additionally, free Extended Security Updates are available for older versions facing end of support.
  • Migration Support: the Azure Migrate and Modernize program offers resources, expert assistance, and funding from Microsoft and its partners to streamline the migration process.
  • Azure Credits: customers purchasing a new reserved instance for Azure VMware Solution can receive additional Azure credits, applicable to Azure VMware Solution or other Azure services.

This collaboration enhances the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of deploying VMware environments in the cloud, enabling businesses to optimize their operations and infrastructure with greater ease.


Azure NetApp Files Launch in Italy North Region

Azure NetApp Files has expanded its availability to the Italy North Azure Region. This expansion allows customers in the region to leverage high-performance file storage solutions, enhancing their ability to manage and scale their data storage needs efficiently.

Azure File Sync Agent v17.3 and v18.1 Security-Only Updates Released

Microsoft has announced the release of the Azure File Sync agent versions v17.3 and v18.1, focusing solely on security updates. The v17.3 update addresses a critical issue that might have allowed unauthorized users to delete files in restricted locations, as outlined in CVE-2024-35253. This update is available for servers running Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022, and is applicable to servers with agent versions v16.x and v17.x installed. The corresponding agent version is, with installation instructions detailed in KB5039814.

Similarly, the v18.1 update is targeted at servers with the v18 agent version installed and is compatible with Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server 2022. The agent version for this release is, with installation instructions available in KB5023058. Notably, these updates are distributed through Microsoft Update and not the Microsoft Download Center. The next release, version 18.2, expected in the coming weeks, will be available across all prior versions of Azure File Sync agents and through multiple distribution channels, including the Microsoft Download Center, Microsoft Update, and Microsoft Update Catalog.

Azure Stack

Azure Stack HCI

Azure Stack HCI – 2405 Update

The Azure Stack HCI, version 23H2, introduces multiple release trains including 2306 (limited release), 2311, 2402, and now 2405. Each release train encompasses a baseline build and subsequent updates. The baseline build is the initial software version in a release train, and upgrading to the next version within the same train necessitates deploying the baseline build first.

The baseline update 2405 addresses several issues and improvements. Key fixes include:

  • During cluster deployments with a large Active Directory, a timeout issue when adding users to the local administrator group has been resolved.
  • New ARM templates for cluster creation are released, simplifying the creation of dependency resources and addressing missing mandatory fields.
  • The secret rotation PowerShell command Set-AzureStackLCMUserPassword now supports a parameter to skip the confirmation message.
  • Secret rotation reliability is improved, especially when services do not restart promptly.
  • Deployment is now enabled when a disjoint namespace is used.
  • Fixed an issue in deployment related to setting the diagnostic level in Azure and on the device.
  • A new PowerShell command is released to update the SBE partner property values provided at deployment.
  • An issue preventing the update service from responding after an SBE-only update run is fixed.
  • An issue preventing a node from joining Active Directory during an add server operation is resolved.
  • Improved reliability of Network ATC when configuring host networking with certain network adapter types.
  • Enhanced reliability in detecting firmware versions for disk drives.
  • Update notifications for health check results sent from the device to AUM (Azure Update Manager) are improved. Previously, large message sizes caused no results to be shown in AUM.
  • Fixed a file lock issue causing update failures for the trusted launch VM agent (IGVM).
  • Resolved an issue preventing the orchestrator agent from restarting during an update run.
  • Addressed a rare condition causing delays in the update service discovering or starting an update.
  • Fixed an issue with Cluster-Aware Updating (CAU) interaction with the orchestrator when an update is in progress.
  • The naming schema for updates is adjusted to differentiate between feature and cumulative updates.
  • Enhanced reliability in reporting cluster update progress to the orchestrator.
  • Resolved an issue where the Azure Arc connection was lost when the Hybrid Instance Metadata service (HIMDS) restarted, ensuring the device now automatically reinitiates the Azure Arc connection.

Known issues in this release involve:

  • When viewing readiness check results for an Azure Stack HCI cluster via the Azure Update Manager, there may be multiple readiness checks with the same name.
  • During the registration of Azure Stack HCI servers, an error may appear in the debug logs: “Encountered internal server error. One of the mandatory extensions for device deployment may not be installed.”
  • There is an intermittent issue where the Azure portal incorrectly reports the update status as “Failed to update” even though the update is complete.


Over the past two weeks, Microsoft has introduced a slew of updates and announcements pertaining to Azure Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Azure Stack. These developments underscore the tech giant’s unwavering commitment to enhancing its cloud offerings and adapting to the ever-evolving needs of businesses and developers. Users of Azure can anticipate improved functionalities, streamlined services, and enriched features as a result of these changes. Stay tuned for more insights as I continue to monitor and report on Azure’s progression in the cloud sphere.

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