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Azure News August 2021

by Aug 2, 2021

Free extended security updates for Windows Server and SQL Server

Last month Microsoft announced they were offering Extended Security Updates for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2, and SQL Server 2012. The updates are free for those on Azure and can be purchased for a fee for those running Windows Server and SQL Server on-premises. 

Microsoft also announced that customers who need more time to upgrade and modernise their Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/R2 can take advantage of one additional year of free extended security updates for 2008/R2 servers only on Azure. 


Azure SQL enabled by Azure Arc now generally available 

As of 30th July 2021, Azure SQL enabled by Azure Arc is generally available. This includes Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance and SQL Server on Arc-enabled servers but doesn’t yet include Azure Arc-enabled PostgreSQL Hyperscale which remains in preview and will become generally available soon. 

Azure Arc-enabled SQL Managed Instance brings benefits such as automated updates, optimised data workload performance, a cloud billing model consistent with Azure, and much more. 

SQL Server on Arc-enabled servers brings all the management benefits of Arc-enabled servers to your existing SQL Server running on virtual machines and physical servers anywhere. 

To find out more or to get started with Azure hybrid data services click here 


Microsoft launches Inside Azure for IT 

The brand new online technical skilling program is designed for professionals of all skills levels looking to stay current on Azure best practices, connect with Azure experts, and transform their IT operations and infrastructure. Key topics include: 

  • SAP on Azure 
  • Azure VMware Solution 
  • Windows Server on Azure 
  • Linux on Azure 
  • Azure Arc 
  • Azure Stack HCI 

Learn, connect, and achieve with Inside Azure for IT 


Azure Firewall Premium now generally available 

Following the preview release announced in February 2021, Microsoft have now announced the general availability of Microsoft Azure Firewall Premium. The solution is designed to provide advanced threat protection, can seamlessly scale up to 30 Gbps, and integrate with availability zones to support the SLA of 99.99%. 

Key features in this release include: 

  • TLS inspection 
  • Intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS)  
  • Web categories 
  • URL filtering 

Azure Firewall Premium capabilities. Source: Microsoft. 


Introducing disk pool for Azure VMware Solution 

In July Microsoft announced the preview of disk pool for Azure VMware Solution. The solution is designed to help users gain flexibility for their data needs with scalable and cost-effective cloud storage for VMware workloads running on Azure. Perfect for those with storage-intensive workloads, or those looking to use Azure VMware Solution as a disaster recovery site, disk pool is easy to create and connect in just a few simple steps. 

To get started head on over to Microsoft’s step-by-step guide. 


Azure Cost Management and Billing updates  

No matter the size of your business it’s important to know what you’re spending, where, and how you can reduce those costs. This is where Azure Cost Management and Billing comes in. Here are some of the latest improvements and updates based on user feedback:      

  • Confirm billing policy status in Configuration (available in the public portal) 
  • Confidential Computing price reduction on DCsv2 virtual machines now generally available 
  • Quick access to the cost of your resources  
  • Disk pool for Azure VMware Solution in preview 
  • Five more free services are available with an Azure free account 
  • Plus, much more… 

So, grab a drink and have a read of all the latest improvements and updates here. 


Have you seen our 101 series? 

Whether you’re looking to do a deep dive into the world of Azure, or you’re looking for more information on modern database management services we’ve got the guides for you. They’re free, they’re informative, and they’re available to download now. 

Further Insights

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The Emergence and Importance of the Modern Data Platform

Are you considering a modern data platform? Join Julian Boneham as he explores the emergence and importance of the modern data platform in his latest blog.

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Six Business Benefits of Using Microsoft Azure

Have you got 5-minutes to spare? Take a break and watch our short video from Andy Slater to find out six benefits a migration to Microsoft Azure can bring to your organisation.

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Keep updated with the latest Azure News

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