Microsoft Azure | February 2018 Updates

Categories: Cloud Infrastructure Product Updates
Tags: Microsoft Azure

Microsoft have been busy updating Azure over the past few weeks with everything from the search service to cost management seeing improvements. To help you keep up to date with all of them, here are the latest Microsoft Azure updates:

Enhancements to cost management APIs

Following on from December's announcement that the ARM APIs would be released for usage details, Microsoft have continued working on ARM APIs with this latest update. This release is based on the Marketplace Charges API which has been designed specifically for Web Direct customers in mind.

Benefits include improved security posture as well as providing the option to utilise ARM RBAC for authorisation. Support for most Web Direct subscriptions has also been added.

Upgrades to Azure Search Service

All paid service tiers within Azure Search have received performance upgrades. At no extra cost, customers will have access to the upgraded Search Services which have about twice as much power as the previous configuration. Standard tier services have also started using SSD storage, upgrading from the HDD storage used previously.

The upgrades will see document count limits removed from both the standard and basic pricing tiers. This means that storage limits will only come into effect with Azure Search services which are newly created. Users may also experience faster indexing and querying performance, again for the same price they're currently paying.

Those on the Basic tier will see the number of indexes Azure support go up from 5 to 15. Staying in the Basic tier, Azure Search is now comfortably able to support as many as 15 data sources and indexers for each service. The Standard 3 High-Density pricing tier also saw an improvement, with Microsoft successful in their efforts to remove the limit on the number of documents per partition, which previously stood at 200 million. Instead, the only limits in place will be per-index ones.

M/B/V3-series VMs now available

Customers of Azure Virtual Machines will now be able to use the M/B/V3-series of VM sizes. At the same time, Microsoft also announced that Azure is now the first hyperscale cloud provider that is able to offer VMs with as much as 4TB optimised database workloads within the UK.

Azure Redis Cache geo-replication

Geo-replication support for Azure Redis Cache is now available. As a cache service, Redis Cache will enable developers as well as IT professionals to build successful and robust disaster recovery plans. Ultimately it means that mission-critical applications will continue to run on the cloud, even if something unlikely such as a regional failure were to occur. 

OMS Monitoring solution

A full OMS monitoring solution has arrived for Azure backup. The announcement follows on from the previous announcement that customers would be able to generate reports of their own as well as build customisations by using Power BI. Now the same workflow can be leveraged so customers can create their own OMS monitoring solution specifically for Azure Backup. This allows users to do everything from restoring and backing up jobs, to setting up backup alerts. Users can also make use of OMS log analytics should they want to raise further alerts, and the option is also available to open tickets via webhooks or integration with ITSM.

Integration of Azure Security Centre alerts into SIEM solutions previewed

A new feature entitled SIEM export has also been previewed. Users can export alerts within Azure's Security Centre into SIEM solutions such as IBM QRadar. Azure have announced that this is part of an ongoing commitment and that more partners will be on the way, allowing for greater protection of both cloud and on-premises workloads.

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