Category Archives : Networking



Announcing Azure Front Door Rules Engine in preview

Starting today, customers of Azure Front Door (AFD) can take advantage of new rules to further customize their AFD behavior to best meet the needs of their customers. These rules bring the specific routing needs of your customers to the forefront of application delivery on Azure Front Door, giving you more control in how you define and enforce what content gets served from where.

Azure Front Door provides Azure customers the ability to deliver content fast and securely using Azure’s best-in-class network. We’ve heard from customers how important it is to have the ability to customize the behavior of your web application service, and we’re excited to announce Rules Engine, a new functionality on Azure Front Door, in preview today. Rules Engine is for all current and new Azure Front Door customers but is particularly important for customers looking to streamline security and content delivery at the edge.

New scenarios in Azure Front Door

Rules Engine allows you to specify how HTTP requests are handled at the edge.

The malleable nature of Rules Engine makes it the ideal solution to address legacy application migrations, where you don’t want to worry about users accessing old applications or not knowing how to




Use Azure Firewall for secure and cost-effective Windows Virtual Desktop protection

This post was co-authored by Pavithra Thiruvengadam, Program Manager, Windows Virtual Desktop

Work from home policies require many IT organizations to address fundamental changes in capacity, network, security, and governance. Many employees aren’t protected by the layered security policies associated with on-premises services while working from home. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) deployments on Azure can help organizations rapidly respond to this changing environment.  However, you need a way to protect inbound or outbound internet access to and from these VDI deployments.

Windows Virtual Desktop is a comprehensive desktop and application virtualization service running in Azure. It’s the only VDI that delivers simplified management, multi-session Windows 10, and optimizations for Office 365. You can deploy and scale your Windows desktops and apps on Azure in minutes and get built-in security and compliance features. In this post, we explore how to use Azure Firewall for secure and cost-effective Windows Virtual Desktop protection.

Windows Virtual Desktop components

The Windows Virtual Desktop service is delivered in a shared responsibility model:

Customer-managed RD clients connect to Windows desktops and applications from their favorite client device from anywhere on the internet. Microsoft-managed Azure service handles connections between RD clients and Windows Virtual Machines in Azure




How Azure VPN helps organizations scale remote work
How Azure VPN helps organizations scale remote work

In the weeks and months we have all been grappling with the global pandemic, there’s no doubt about the impact it has had on the lives of people everywhere. A shift to remote work is one of the widespread effects of the global pandemic, and we heard from organizations around the world who are looking for ways to enable more of their employees to work remotely for their safety and that of the community. With this shift, we’re working to address common infrastructure challenges businesses face when helping employees stay connected at scale.

Common challenges for businesses expanding secure, remote access

One of the major challenges while setting up remote access is providing workers/employees access to key internal resources, which may reside on-premises or Azure, for example, healthcare or government organizations who have sensitive patient or tax information in on-premises datacenters and other sensitive information in Azure.

Another challenge that the businesses around the world now face is how to quickly scale an existing VPN setup, which is typically targeted at a small portion of an organization’s workforce, to now accommodate all or most workers. Even within Microsoft, we’ve seen our typical remote access at 50,000+ employee spike to as




Microsoft partners with the industry to unlock new 5G scenarios with Azure Edge Zones

Cloud, edge computing, and IoT are making strides to transform whole industries and create opportunities that weren’t possible just a few years ago. With the rise of 5G mobile connectivity, there are even more possibilities to deliver immersive, real-time experiences that have demanding, ultra-low latency, and connectivity requirements. 5G opens new frontiers with enhanced mobile broadband up to 10x faster, reliable low-latency communication, and very high device density up to 1 million devices per square kilometer.

Today we’re announcing transformative advances to combine the power of Azure, 5G, carriers, and technology partners around the world to enable new scenarios for developers, customers, and partners, with the preview of Azure Edge Zones.

New 5G customer scenarios with Azure Edge Zones

Azure Edge Zones and Azure Private Edge Zones deliver consistent Azure services, app platform, and management to the edge with 5G unlocking new scenarios by enabling:

Development of distributed applications across cloud, on-premises, and edge using the same Azure Portal, APIs, development, and security tools. Local data processing for latency critical industrial IoT and media services workloads. Acceleration of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and real-time analytics by optimizing, building, and innovating for robotics, automation, and mixed reality. New frontiers for developers




Azure Container Registry Private Link support preview for virtual networks

Azure Container Registry announces preview support for Azure Private Link, a means to limit network traffic of resources within the Azure network.

With Private Link, the registry endpoints are assigned private IP addresses, routing traffic within a customer-defined virtual network. Private network support has been one of the top customer asks, allowing customers to benefit from the Azure management of their registry while benefiting from tightly controlled network ingress and egress.

Private Links are available across a wide range of Azure resources with more coming soon, allowing a wide range of container workloads with the security of a private virtual network.

Private Endpoints and Public Endpoints

Private Link provides private endpoints to be available through private IPs. In the above case, the registry has a private IP of which is only available to resources in contoso-aks-eastus-vnet. This allows the resources in this VNet to securely communicate. The other resources may be restricted to resources only within the VNet.

At the same time, the public endpoint for the registry may still be public for the development team. In a coming release, Azure Container Registry (ACR) Private Link will support disabling the public endpoint, limiting access to




Unified network monitoring with Connection Monitor now in preview

Azure Network Watcher’s new and improved Connection Monitor now provides unified end-to-end connection monitoring capabilities for hybrid and Azure deployments. Users can now use the same solution to monitor connectivity for on-premises, Azure, and multi-cloud setups. In this preview phase, the solution brings together the best of two key capabilities—Network Watcher’s Connection Monitor and Network Performance Monitor’s (NPM) Service Connectivity Monitor. Check out the documentation and start using Connection Monitor to check connectivity in your network.

The monitoring question

Customers have long stressed over the need for unified connection monitoring for hybrid deployments, where complex applications transact across Azure, on-premises, and with other public applications to deliver business-critical functionality. These challenges escalate in multi-cloud environments. Monitoring teams then wrestle with basic challenges including:

Which monitoring solution to use in these complex set-ups? Do I need different monitoring solutions for on-premises and Azure or any other clouds? Where does my data go and how do I correlate data from multiple sources? How do I get the fastest alerts when things go wrong in my network? Connection Monitor in preview

With the new Connection Monitor, you can now configure both Azure and non-Azure virtual machines and hosts for monitoring connectivity to global




ExpressRoute Global Reach: Building your own cloud-based global backbone

Connectivity has gone through a fundamental shift as more workloads and services have moved to the Cloud. Traditional enterprise Wide Area Networks (WAN) have been fixed in nature, without the ability to dynamically scale to meet modern customer demands. For customers seeking to increasingly apply a cloud-first approach as the basis for their app and networking strategy, hybrid cloud enables applications and services to be deployed cross-premises as a fully connected and seamless architecture. The connectivity across premises is moving to utilize a more cloud-first model, with services offered by global hyper-scale networks.

Microsoft global network

Microsoft operates one of the  largest networks on the globe  spanning over 130,000 miles of terrestrial and subsea fiber cable systems across 6 continents. Besides Azure, the global network powers all our cloud services, including Bing, Office 365 and Xbox. The network carries more than 30 billion packets per second at any one time and is accessible for peering, private connectivity and application content delivery through our more than 160 global network PoPs. Microsoft continuously add new network PoPs to optimize the experience for our customers accessing Microsoft services.

The global network is built and operated using intelligent software-defined traffic engineering technologies, that allow Microsoft




Burst 4K encoding on Azure Kubernetes Service

Burst encoding in the cloud with Azure and Media Excel HERO platform.

Content creation has never been as in demand as it is today. Both professional and user-generated content has increased exponentially over the past years. This puts a lot of stress on media encoding and transcoding platforms. Add the upcoming 4K and even 8K to the mix and you need a platform that can scale with these variables. Azure Cloud compute offers a flexible way to grow with your needs. Microsoft offers various tools and products to fully support on-premises, hybrid, or native cloud workloads. Azure Stack offers support to a hybrid scenario for your computing needs and Azure ARC helps you to manage hybrid setups.

Finding a solution

Generally, 4K/UHD live encoding is done on dedicated hardware encoder units, which cannot be hosted in a public cloud like Azure. With such dedicated hardware units hosted on-premise that need to push 4K into the Azure data center the immediate problem we face is a need for high bandwidth network connection between the encoder unit on-premise and Azure data center. In general, it’s a best practice to ingest into multiple regions, increasing the load on the network connected between the




Networking enables the new world of Edge and 5G Computing
Networking enables the new world of Edge and 5G Computing

At the recent Microsoft Ignite 2019 conference, we introduced two new and related perspectives on the future and roadmap of edge computing.

Before getting further into the details of Network Edge Compute (NEC) and Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC), let’s take a look at the key scenarios which are emerging in line with 5G network deployments. For a decade, we have been working with customers to move their workloads from their on-premises locations to Azure to take advantage of the massive economies of scale of the public cloud. We get this scale with the ongoing build-out of new Azure regions and the constant increase of capacity in our existing regions, reducing the overall costs of running data centers.

For most workloads, running in the cloud is the best choice. Our ability to innovate and run Azure as efficiently as possible allows customers to focus on their business instead of managing physical hardware and associated space, power, cooling, and physical security. Now, with the advent of 5G mobile technology promising larger bandwidth and better reliability, we see significant requirements for low latency offerings to enable scenarios such as smart-buildings, factories, and agriculture. The “smart” prefix highlights that there is a compute-intensive workload,




Application Gateway Ingress Controller for Azure Kubernetes Service