Microsoft Azure updates tend to come thick and fast. There will no doubt be plenty heading this way in 2018, but for now let’s catch up with the additions, updates and improvements announced and implemented for January
Expansion of Singapore MTCS certification
As you might be aware Azure had previously adopted the Singapore Multi-Tier Cloud Security (MTCS) standard for cloud security. At the start of January Microsoft announced its MTCS Level 3 certification had been renewed, providing the sort of assurance required by government, financial and healthcare agencies.
Azure Monitor update
Until December’s update you could only send resource diagnostic logs to an Event Hubs namespace. You can now set your Azure Monitor diagnostic settings to route your monitoring data to one of three locations. As well as the Event Hubs namespace, the two additional options are Log Analytics or a storage account. This could be useful if you are sending multiple log types to a single endpoint such as a SIEM connector.
Azure Site Recovery Deployment planner
The Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner is now generally available for VMware and Hyper-V. This allows enterprise customers using these hypervisors to explore and understand their networking infrastructure requirements as well as working out the costs that disaster recovery (DR) will add to Azure based on your environment. The planner has three modes of operation, which are profiling, report generation and throughput calculation.
Azure ARM API for consumption usage details
An updated usage details API has been released for the ARM (Azure Resource Manager) model. This can be used to retrieve usage and cost data for a given subscription. It also has some additional options for scope, filter, and details.
Azure Cosmos DB improvements
Microsoft says that unlimited containers in Azure Cosmos DB – the company’s multi-model database service - now have an entry point that is 60% cheaper than previously. It also claims that massive amounts of throughput is now completely frictionless and has announced that the service is now newly available in France.
Azure Financial Services reference architecture
A new Financial Services Blueprint for Regulated Workloads was released in mid-December. This is designed to help customers meet certain compliance requirements and to guide users through the often complex procedures of managing and storing sensitive information such as payment details in Azure.
Budgets APIs preview
A budgets API is now available in preview that is aimed at Azure customers who are managing multiple budgets at a workload level. The API gives a more specific, granular control when it comes to monitoring the spend associated with cloud services. Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (EA) customers already have similar functionality via the department level of the EA portal and this API is designed to give more people this capability.
New connectors in Azure Data Factory V2
Connectors allow users to bring in data from a range and breadth of data sources and Azure Data Factory can now copy data from a number of data sources using Copy Activity in V2. These sources include (but are not limited to):
- Amazon Marketplace Web Service (Beta)
- Azure Database for PostgreSQL
- Google BigQuery (Beta)
- HubSpot (Beta)
- Magento (Beta)
- Paypal (Beta)
- QuickBooks (Beta)
Azure Backup BEK support
Azure Backup now supports the backup and restore of virtual machines (VMs) using Bitlocker Encryption Key (BEK). This allows the backup of both managed and unmanaged disks in encrypted Azure VMs and the backup of those VMs encrypted using BEK-only as well as BEK and KEK both. This feature is designed to increase security as well as simplifying the user experience.