Category Archives : Updates



ExpressRoute monitoring with Network Performance Monitor (NPM) is now generally available

We are excited to share the general availability of ExpressRoute monitoring with Network Performance Monitor (NPM). A few months ago, we announced ExpressRoute Monitor with NPM in public preview. Since then, we’ve seen lots of users monitor their Azure ExpressRoute private peering connections, and working with customers we’ve gathered a lot of great feedback. While we’re not done working to make ExpressRoute monitoring best in class, we’re ready and eager for everyone to get their hands on it. In this post, I’ll take you through some of the capabilities that ExpressRoute Monitor provides. To get started, watch a brief demo video explaining ExpressRoute monitoring capability in Network Performance Monitor.

Monitor connectivity to Azure VNETs, over ExpressRoute

NPM can monitor the packet loss and network latency between your on-premises resources (branch offices, datacenters, and office sites) and Azure VNETs connected through an ExpressRoute. You can setup alerts to get proactively notified whenever the loss or latency crosses the threshold. In addition to viewing the near real-time values and historical trends of the performance data, you can use the network state recorder to go back in time to view particular network state in order to investigate the difficult-to-catch transient issues.

Get end-to-end



Protect machines using managed disks between Azure regions using Azure Site Recovery

We are happy to announce that Azure Site Recovery (ASR) now provides you the ability to setup Disaster Recovery (DR) for IaaS VMs using managed disks. With this feature, ASR fulfills an important requirement to become an all-encompassing DR solution for all of your production applications hosted on laaS VMs in Azure, including applications hosted on VMs with managed disks.

Managed disks provide several advantages including simplification of storage management and guaranteeing industry-leading durability and availability for disk storage. 

When you protect virtual machines on managed disks, Azure Site Recovery creates a replica managed disk in the target region corresponding to each managed disk of your production VM in the primary region. This replica disk acts as the data store for the source disk in the primary region, thus eliminating the need to create and manage multiple storage accounts in the target region to store data for your protected machines.

Let us look at an example of protecting a virtual machine with five managed disks. As shown below in Fig 1 and Fig 2,

You can enable protection for the Virtual machine via the virtual machine experience or through the recovery services vault experience.If you plan to use the virtual



Azure Marketplace new offers in January 2018
Azure Marketplace new offers in January 2018

We continue to expand the Azure Marketplace ecosystem. In January 2018, 32 new offers successfully met the onboarding criteria and went live. See details of the new offers below:

Moogsoft AIOps: Moogsoft AIOps gives application owners, developers and site reliability engineering, early warning and situation awareness of service impacting issues before the customer calls. 

FileCatalyst Direct Server (BYOL):  FileCatalyst Direct is a software-only file transfer solution that provides accelerated, secure, reliable delivery and file transfer tracking and management.

FileCatalyst Direct Server (BYOL):  FileCatalyst Direct is a software-only file transfer solution that provides accelerated, secure, reliable delivery and file transfer tracking and management.

RackNap: RackNap enables traditional IT vendors (system integrators, distributors), telcos & CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) to offer cloud services via an unified marketplace.

Stratumn Indigo Node: A Proof-of-process protocol that allows participants to trust a common process by immutably recording who did what, when and in which order. 

UXP Security Server: UXP Security Server acts as a gateway between the organization’s information system and the UXP infrastructure. Supporting SOAP



Application consistent backup for Linux VMs using Azure Backup is generally available

We are excited to announce the general availability (GA) of application consistent backup for Linux VMs running in Azure using Azure Backup. We did a preview of this feature last year and customers are already using this framework for various applications like Oracle, MySQL, Mongo DB, SAP HANA, and PostGreSQL.

What is application consistent backup?

Application consistent backup ensures that the backed-up data is transactionally consistent, and that applications will boot up post VM restore. To ensure transactional consistency, applications need to be quiesced and there should be no unfinished transactions when taking a VM snapshot.

Windows has the Volume Snapshot Service (VSS) framework to ensure application consistent VM backup, but there is no such generic framework for Linux. With greater adoption of Azure Linux VMs, there is an increasing demand to backup critical enterprise applications running inside Azure VMs. We introduced a VSS-like generic framework for ensuring application consistent VM backup for Linux applications running on any Linux distribution. This framework gives you the flexibility to execute custom pre and post scripts as part of the VM backup process. These scripts can be used to quiesce application IOs while taking a VM snapshot that guarantees application consistency.




Azure Redis Cache geo-replication is now generally available

We are very happy to announce the general availability of geo-replication support for Azure Redis Cache. Redis Cache is Microsoft Azure’s Cache-as-a-Service offering, based on the popular open source Redis in-memory key-value store. With geo-replication support, Redis Cache joins a growing list of Azure services that enable developers and IT pros to build disaster recovery plans. This ensures the availability of mission-critical applications running on our cloud, even in the unlikely event of a widespread regional failure. In fact, customers can already design disaster resilient solutions on Azure, using Virtual Machines with Azure Site Recovery, Traffic Manager, and data services such as Cosmos DB, SQL Database, and now Redis Cache.

While announcing the general availability of geo-replication for Redis Cache, we would also like to take the opportunity to express our gratitude to everyone who has participated in the public preview. Your feedback has been invaluable to us and helped validate our implementation. Thank you!

Setting up geo-replication in Redis Cache

Geo-replication is a feature of the premium tier of Azure Redis Cache. You need a pair of premium cache instances before you can use geo-replication. If you already have a premium cache, you just need to add another one



OMS Monitoring solution for Azure Backup using Azure Log analytics

We previously announced the preview of Azure Backup reporting and gave customers the ability to generate their own reports and build customizations using Power BI. Today, we are pleased to let you know that you can leverage the same workflow to build your own Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) monitoring solution for Azure Backup in the upgraded OMS workspace. The OMS monitoring solution allows you to monitor key backup parameters such as backup and restore jobs, backup alerts, and cloud storage usage across Recovery Services vaults and subscriptions. You can then utilize OMS log analytics capabilities to raise further alerts for events that you deem important for the business to be notified of. You could even open tickets through webhooks or ITSM integration using the OMS log analytics capabilities.

Here’s how you do it…

Configuring Diagnostic settings

You can open the diagnostic setting window from the Azure Recovery services vault, or you can open the diagnostic setting window by logging into Azure portal. First, click “Monitor” service followed by “Diagnostic settings” in settings section. You can then specify the relevant Subscription, Resource Group, and Recovery Services Vault. In the Diagnostic settings window, as shown below, you can select “Send data



Microsoft offers SAP HANA supportable VMs in UK with the Azure M/B/V3-series

Microsoft becomes the first hyperscale cloud provider to offer SAP HANA supportable VMs in the UK.

Azure Virtual Machines (VMs) customers can now take advantage of the Azure M/V3/B-series of VM sizes available in the UK South region. We’re also excited to announce that Azure is the first hyperscale cloud provider to offer VMs optimized for large in-memory workloads such as SAP HANA in the UK.

New Azure M series – The Azure M-series is perfectly suited for your large in-memory workloads like SAP HANA and SQL Hekaton. With the M-series, these databases can load large datasets into memory and utilize fast memory access with massive virtual CPU (vCPU) parallel processing to speed up queries and enable real-time analytics.

Learn more about M-Series.


Size vCPU’s Memory (GiB) Local SSD (GiB) Max data disks M64s 64 1024 2048 32 M64ms 64 1792 2048 32 M128s 128 2048 4096 64 M128ms 128 3800 4096 64

New Azure B series – B-series VMs provide the lowest cost option for customers with flexible vCPU requirements. These are useful for workloads like web servers, small databases, and development or test environments where CPU utilization is low most of the time, but spikes for



Azure Search service upgrades: New hardware, unlimited document counts, and more!

Today we are happy to announce performance upgrades to all paid service tiers in Azure Search. For the exact same price, these upgraded Azure Search services have roughly double the compute power of the previous hardware configuration that backed Azure Search. Additionally, services in the Standard tier began using SSD storage under the hood, compared to HDD storage used previously.

What does this mean for Azure Search?

With these service upgrades, we removed the document count limits from the Basic and Standard pricing tiers. This means that only storage limits are enforced in new Azure Search services. Depending on a scenario’s workload, these upgraded services may also benefit from faster indexing and querying performance at the same exact price points.

The Basic tier now supports an increase in the number of indexes from 5 to 15. Also in the Basic tier, Azure Search can now support up to 15 data sources and indexers per service. For the Standard 3 High Density pricing tier (great for multitenant scenarios), we were able to remove the 200 million document per partition limit, only enforcing per-index limits.

Unlimited document counts

These upgrades allow Azure Search to no longer enforce document count limits on Basic



Enhancements to Cost Management APIs
Enhancements to Cost Management APIs

In December we announced the release of ARM APIs for usage details. We continue that transformation to ARM APIs with this release of the Marketplace charges API for Enterprise and Web Direct customers with a few exceptions documented in the limitations and a Price Sheet API for Enterprise customers.

The updated ARM API offers the benefits of:

Migrating from a key based authorization model to ARM based authentication. Resulting in an improved security posture and the ability to utilize ARM RBAC for authorization. Adding support for Web Direct subscriptions, with a few exceptions documented below. Limitations on subscriptions

The following subscription types are currently not supported with the Marketplace Charges API:

MS-AZR-0145P MS-AZR-0 146P MS-AZR-159P MS-AZR-0036P MS-AZR-0143P MS-AZR-0015P MS-AZR-0144P Support for E-Tags

Customers who are heavy users of our APIs have requested a new data indicator. This helps them avoid polling the API and getting a full response back that has not changed since the last call. To address this request, we are releasing an updated version of the legacy usage details API that will use E-Tags to let callers know when data has been refreshed. Each call to the API will return an E-Tag, in subsequent calls to the



Jenkins on Azure: from zero to hero
Jenkins on Azure: from zero to hero

We are excited to announce a refresh for the Microsoft Jenkins offer in Azure Marketplace.

Like the previous version, this offer allows customers to run a Jenkins master on a Linux (Ubuntu 16.04 LTS) VM in Azure. The price is the cost of running the software components and Azure infrastructure deployed by the solution template. If you are looking to run Jenkins in the cloud, you will have full control over the Jenkins master you set up.

So why are we so excited about this refresh? Because now you can go from zero to hero. Just set up the server with the configurations you need and start building in the least amount of time.

Some highlights:

Virtual network: We added support for VNET so that you can provision Jenkins in your own virtual network/subnet.

Azure integration: You can choose to enable Managed Service Identity (MSI) or supply an Azure Service Principal. We add the credential in Jenkins credential store automatically so that you don’t have to do this manually. Choose off if you prefer to set this up later. Build: By enabling VM agent or Azure Container Instances (ACI), you can start building your projects in Azure right away. We create the default