One thing we consistently hear from customers is that keeping up-to-date with the frequent updates and changes in Azure represents one of their core challenges in digital transformation. For organizations with a more traditional technology orientation, cloud platforms like Azure and AWS can feel like continuously moving targets as their services, features, and even pricing evolve on a daily or weekly basis. But the reality is that the majority of new cloud features and enhancements are easily implemented and leveraged in existing cloud environments; however, many organizations continue to miss out on the benefits of these available capabilities because they don't even know they exist.
It was a busy summer for Microsoft, announcing a host of major updates and enhancements across their Azure cloud platform. They used major conferences like Build and Ignite to announce a variety of new core features and services to complement the smaller, more incremental, updates that continue to happen on a weekly basis. Our team here at OpsCompass recently put together a rundown of the top Azure infrastructure updates and announcements that uniquely impact business use cases and adoption.
Network and Security
- Azure Virtual Network Service Endpoints allow you to secure Azure resources like Azure Storage and SQL Database by guaranteeing traffic stays in your VNET and on the Azure backbone network.
- Application Security Groups allow you to tag your NSG rules and put them in groups which can be used in security policies.
- Azure is the world's fastest public cloud - 30 Mbps VM to VM connectivity and 6x VPN performance improvement with 1 Gbps VPN options.
- Azure Confidential Computing encrypts data while in-use, making Azure the first cloud to offer that level of protection.
VM's and PaaS
- B-series burstable VM sizes are the most cost effective VM's yet, slashing the cost of VM workloads that have "bursty" CPU performance.
- Managed Disks abstract away Azure Storage Accounts and are now always encrypted at-rest on Azure.
- Managed Applications Service Catalog lets you create and manage a catalog of approved solutions and applications - enabling centralized management and compliance.
- Availability Zones offer 99.99% uptime SLA compared to 99.95% for Availability Sets or 99.9% for a single VM.
- Azure SQL Database now features a built-in SQL Vulnerability Assessment that can be customized.
Containers, IoT, Compliance, and More
- The next generation of IoT Suite and updates across Microsoft's IoT portfolio.
- Azure Container Instances deliver on-demand containers without the need to manage VM's and billed by the second.
- Azure Container Service and Azure Container Instances both natively support Kubernetes.
- Auditor reviewed, 100% automated PCI-DSS compliant deployment blueprint.