Azure IaaS and Azure Stack: announcements and updates (June 2024 – Weeks: 25 and 26)

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.



Upgrade Policies for Virtual Machine Scale Sets with Flexible Orchestration (preview)

Azure has introduced public preview support for upgrade policies in Virtual Machine Scale Sets with Flexible Orchestration. Previously available only for Uniform Orchestration, these policies—Automatic, Manual, and Rolling—now extend to Flexible Orchestration. The Rolling upgrade policy also includes the MaxSurge option to create new instances with the updated scale set model, replacing virtual machines using the old model.

ED25519 SSH Key Support for Linux Virtual Machines (preview)

Azure now supports ED25519 SSH key pairs for Linux virtual machines, enhancing security and performance with a smaller key size compared to RSA encryption. Customers can create ED25519 SSH key pairs directly within the Azure Portal and use them via Azure CLI and PowerShell, simplifying key management while improving security and deployment efficiency.


Azure Cross-Subscription Load Balancer (preview)

Azure announces the public preview of cross-subscription load balancing. This feature allows load balancer components to be located in different subscriptions, enabling the frontend IP address or backend instances to reside in separate subscriptions from the load balancer. Cross-subscription load balancing is available in all Azure public regions, China cloud regions, and Government cloud regions.

ExpressRoute Resiliency Enhancements (preview)

Azure introduces several enhancements to ExpressRoute for improved resiliency. Customers can now create ExpressRoute circuits with three levels of resiliency: maximum, high (ExpressRoute Metro), and standard. Zonal resiliency is also supported, allowing non-zone redundant gateways to migrate to availability zone-enabled gateways. Upcoming features include resiliency validation, insights, and a revised SLA model effective October 1, 2024, with differentiated levels of network availability.

JavaScript (JS) Challenge on Azure WAF Integrated with Azure Application Gateway (preview)

Azure Web Application Firewall (WAF) integrated with Azure Application Gateway now supports JavaScript (JS) challenge. The JavaScript challenge is an invisible web challenge used to distinguish between legitimate users and bots, protecting web applications by causing malicious bots to fail the challenge. This feature, part of the Bot Manager rule set and custom rules, reduces friction for legitimate users as it does not require human intervention.

Azure CDN Standard from Microsoft (Classic) Zero-Downtime Migration to Azure Front Door (preview)

Azure announces the public preview of zero-downtime migration from Azure CDN Standard from Microsoft (classic) to Azure Front Door. Azure Front Door is a modern cloud content delivery network (CDN) and global load balancer service that enhances security, performance, and scalability. The migration capability allows for a seamless transition to Azure Front Door Standard or Premium, offering improved security, flexible routing logic, and enhanced logging and metrics.


Force Detach Zone Redundant Data Disks During Zone Outage (preview)

Azure announces the public preview support for force detaching ZRS data disks from VMs affected by zone outages. This feature allows customers to detach ZRS data disks and attach them to another VM, reducing the Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Zone-redundant storage (ZRS) synchronously replicates Azure managed disks across three availability zones, providing 99.9999999999% (12 9’s) durability annually, and is supported on Premium SSDs and Standard SSDs.


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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