Category Archives : Virtual Machines

23

Aug

Cross-subscription disaster recovery for Azure virtual machines

Today, we are glad to announce cross-subscription disaster recovery (DR) support for Azure virtual machines using Azure Site Recovery (ASR). You can now configure DR for Azure IaaS applications to a different subscription with in the same Azure Active Directory tenant.

An Azure subscription is the basic unit where all Azure resources are contained. It also defines several limits within Azure, such as number of cores, resources, etc. Many organizations use multiple Azure subscriptions in their Azure account for billing or management purposes. For example, some organizations use different subscriptions for production, staging and disaster recovery environments for ease of management and to adhere to the subscription quota limits. With the new capability, you can replicate your virtual machines a different Azure region of your choice within a geographical cluster across subscriptions. This helps you meet the business continuity and disaster recover requirements for your IaaS applications without altering subscription topology of your Azure environment.

Configuring DR across subscriptions is very simple. By default, the target subscription will be same as the source virtual machine’s subscription. You can customize and select the target subscription of your choice and the all the other settings such as resource group and virtual network

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22

Aug

Reduce your exposure to brute force attacks from the virtual machine blade

Attackers commonly target open ports on Internet-facing virtual machines (VMs), spanning from port scanning to brute force and DDoS attacks. In case of a successful brute force attack, an attacker can compromise your VM and establish a foothold into your environment. Once an attacker is in your environment, he can profit from the compute of that machine or use its network access to perform lateral attacks on other networks.

One way to reduce exposure to an attack is to limit the amount of time that a port on your virtual machine is open. Ports only need to be open for a limited amount of time for you to perform management or maintenance tasks. Just-In-Time VM Access helps you control the time that the ports on your virtual machines are open. It leverages network security group (NSG) rules to enforce a secure configuration and access pattern.

Today we are excited to announce the public preview of configuring Just-In-Time VM Access from the virtual machine blade to make it even easier for you to reduce your exposure to threats.

In one simple click, a Just-In-Time VM access policy is applied to a VM. This will configure a policy that locks down

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21

Aug

DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit) for Linux VMs now generally available

Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) in an Azure Linux Virtual Machine (VM) that offers a fast user space packet processing framework for performance intensive applications that bypass the VM’s kernel network stack, is now generally available in all Azure regions!

DPDK provides a key performance differentiation in driving network function virtualization implementations, in the form of network virtual appliances (NVA) such as a virtual router, firewall, VPN, load balancer, evolved packet core, and denial-of-service (DDoS) applications. Customers in Azure can now use DPDK capabilities running in Linux VMs with multiple Linux OS distributions (Ubuntu, RHEL, CentOS and SLES) to achieve higher packets per second (PPS).

The following distributions from the Azure Gallery are supported:

Linux OS

Kernel Version

Ubuntu 16.04

4.15.0-1015-azure

Ubuntu 18.04

4.15.0-1015-azure

SLES 15

4.12.14-5.5-azure

RHEL 7.5

3.10.0-862.9.1.el7

CentOS 7.5

3.10.0-862.3.3.el7

In the case of an Azure Linux VM without DPDK, packet processing is through a kernel network stack which is interrupt driven. Each time the network adapter receives incoming packets, there is a kernel interrupt to process the packet and context switch

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20

Aug

Migrate Windows Server 2008 to Azure with Azure Site Recovery

For close to 10 years now, Windows Server 2008/2008 R2 has been a trusted and preferred server platform for our customers. With millions of instances deployed worldwide, our customers run many of their business applications including their most critical ones on the Windows Server 2008 platform.

With the end of support for Windows Server 2008 in January 2020 fast approaching, now is a great opportunity for customers running Windows Server 2008 to modernize your applications and infrastructure and take advantage of the power of Azure. But we know that the process of digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. There are some great new offers that customers running their business applications on Windows Server 2008 can benefit from as they get started on their digital transformation journey in Azure. One of the options available to customers is the option to migrate servers running Windows Server 2008 to Azure and get extended security updates for three years past the end of support date, and this offer is available at no additional cost. In other words, if you choose to run your applications on Windows Server 2008 on Azure virtual machines, you get extended security updates for free. Further, with Azure Hybrid Benefit you

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14

Aug

Azure Site Recovery powers Veritas Backup Exec Instant Cloud Recovery for DR

Microsoft Azure Site Recovery (ASR) offers Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) for applications running in Azure and on-premises. Using ASR, you can reduce application downtime during IT interruptions, without compromising compliance. ASR provides comprehensive coverage for on-premises applications across Linux, Windows, VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines, and physical servers.

Azure Site Recovery now powers Veritas Backup Exec Instant Cloud Recovery (ICR) with Backup Exec 20.2 release. With ICR, Backup Exec users can easily configure continuous replication for on-premises virtual machines to Azure for a quick failover in case of a disruption on-premises. Backup Exec customers can minimize Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for business-critical applications realizing the benefits of Azure as dynamic disaster recovery platform using ICR.

Instant Cloud Recovery requires an Azure subscription and supports VMware and Hyper-V Virtual Machines. ICR provides a summary view, monitoring, replication health details, and key actions directly from the familiar Backup Exec console. You can go to Azure portal for advanced monitoring and failover operations.

Backup Exec Instant Cloud Recovery to Azure is available in all Azure regions where ASR is available. Get started by downloading the Backup Exec 20.2 trial version.

Related links and additional content

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13

Aug

New customizations in Azure Migrate to support your cloud migration

You can accelerate your cloud migration using intelligent migration assessment services like Azure Migrate. Azure Migrate is a generally available service, offered at no additional charge, that helps you plan your migration to Azure. 

Azure Migrate discovers servers in your on-premises environment and assesses each discovered server’s readiness to run as an IaaS VM in Azure. In addition to Azure readiness, it helps you identify the right VM size in Azure after considering the utilization history of the on-premises VM. Azure Migrate also provides cost analysis for running the on-premises VMs in Azure. Additionally, if you have legacy applications, identifying the servers that constitute your application can become very complex. Azure Migrate helps you visualize dependencies of your on-premises VMs, so you can create high-confidence move groups and ensure that you are not leaving anything behind when you are moving to Azure.

Azure Migrate currently supports discovery and assessment of VMware virtualized Windows and Linux VMs; support for Hyper-V will be enabled in future.

When it comes to migration planning, every organization is unique and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each organization will have its own needs and in this blog post, I am going to talk about some

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03

Aug

General availability of instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances

This blog post was co-authored by Arabinda Mohapatra, Prinicipal Engineering Manager, Microsoft Azure.

We are excited to announce instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, a new feature that makes your reserved instance purchasing and management even simpler by applying reservation discounts to different virtual machine (VM) sizes within the same VM group.

With instance size flexibility, you don’t have to deploy the exact same VM size to get the benefit of your purchased Azure Reserved Instances (RI) as other VM sizes within the same VM group also get the RI discount.

For example, consider the following VM groups:

VM name VM group Ratios

Standard_D2s_v3

DSv3 Series

1

Standard_D4s_v3

DSv3 Series

2

Standard_D8s_v3

DSv3 Series

4

Standard_D16s_v3

DSv3 Series

8

Standard_D32s_v3

DSv3 Series

16

Standard_D64s_v3

DSv3 Series

32

If you have purchased 1 Azure Reserved Instance for a D2s_v3 VM, then the following VM Instances could be covered through your reserved instance purchase if they are in the same region:

1 Standard_D2S_v3 1/2

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03

Aug

General availability of instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances

This blog post was co-authored by Arabinda Mohapatra, Prinicipal Engineering Manager, Microsoft Azure.

We are excited to announce instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, a new feature that makes your reserved instance purchasing and management even simpler by applying reservation discounts to different virtual machine (VM) sizes within the same VM group.

With instance size flexibility, you don’t have to deploy the exact same VM size to get the benefit of your purchased Azure Reserved Instances (RI) as other VM sizes within the same VM group also get the RI discount.

For example, consider the following VM groups:

VM name VM group Ratios

Standard_D2s_v3

DSv3 Series

1

Standard_D4s_v3

DSv3 Series

2

Standard_D8s_v3

DSv3 Series

4

Standard_D16s_v3

DSv3 Series

8

Standard_D32s_v3

DSv3 Series

16

Standard_D64s_v3

DSv3 Series

32

If you have purchased 1 Azure Reserved Instance for a D2s_v3 VM, then the following VM Instances could be covered through your reserved instance purchase if they are in the same region:

1 Standard_D2S_v3 1/2

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02

Aug

Managed Disks migration now available in the Azure Portal

We are excited to announce the capability of converting VMs with unmanaged Disks to Managed Disks in the Azure Portal! Now you can migrate to Managed Disks in single click without requiring PowerShell or CLI scripts.

Our customers love the benefits of using Managed Disks. Many customers have already adopted Managed Disks since we launched it. If you have not started using Managed Disks, here’s a quick recap of all the capabilities to motivate you to use Managed Disks.

Scale your application without worrying about storage account limits. Achieve high-availability across your compute and storage resources with aligned fault domains. Create VM Scale Sets with up to 1,000 instances. Integrate disks, snapshots, images as first-class resources into your architecture. Secure your disks, snapshots, and images through Azure Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

To read more about the benefits of Managed Disks, see Azure Managed Disks Overview.

Migrating to Managed Disks in Azure Portal

Migrating in the Azure Portal is a pretty simple experience. Let’s walk through this process.

If you are using a VM with unmanaged disks, you will see an info banner on the VM overview blade.

Once you click on the banner, it will launch the migration

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31

Jul

Ansible 2.6: What’s new for Azure
Ansible 2.6: What’s new for Azure

Ansible 2.6 was recently released and I am excited to share with you what’s new for Azure in Ansible 2.6. In total, four new Azure modules were added in addition to over 17 enhancements to our existing modules. In 2.6 you now have the ability to natively manage:

Azure Kubernetes Service: Create, update and delete an Azure Kubernetes Service. Resource: Create, update, delete or get facts for any Azure resource using the Azure REST API. You can find further details and a tutorial here: Using Azure REST API in Ansible to automate Azure resources.

We published three new tutorials to the Ansible Developer Hub with this release:

Create and configure AKS clusters: This article shows you how to use Ansible to create and configure an Azure Kubernetes Service cluster. Create and configure VMSS: This article shows you how to use Ansible to create and scale out a virtual machine scale set. Deploy app to VMSS: This article shows you how to deploy a Java application to an Azure virtual machine scale set (VMSS).

We also made a lot of enhancements to our existing modules enabling a greater range of scenarios for the deployment and management of virtual machines and

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