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Azure Updates: Dev Box; SNAT port exhaustion; Intelligent Data Platform

by MSCN Reporter
Staff Writer,
August 26 2022

Microsoft has shared the public preview of Dev Box. The offering provides self-service access for developers so they can access high-performance, cloud-based workstations, preconfigured for coding projects. According to principal group program manager Anthony Cangialosi, hybrid work demands have created a growing need for more secure and flexible coding workstations. Customers will be able to search for “dev box” in Azure portal. He noted that Dev Box supports developer tools like IDE, SDK, and other tools that run on Windows, as well as cross-platform apps with Windows Subsystem and Windows Subsystem for Android.

“Developer leads can instantly deploy the right size dev box for specific roles in a team anywhere in the world, selecting from 4 vCPU / 16GB to 32 vCPU / 128GB SKUs to scale to any size application,” he wrote. “By deploying dev boxes in the closest Azure region and connecting via the Azure Global Network, dev teams ensure a smooth and responsive experience with gigabit connection speeds for developers around the world.” With Active Directory groups, IT admins can grant access to sensitive information for a particular project.

Product manager Aimee Littleton encouraged customers to explore NAT gateway SNAT port behavior. Connections often fail due to SNAT port exhaustion. Source endpoints use ports through the SNAT process (short for source network address translation). NAT helps to bring together the private IPs and VM ports in a subnet.

“NAT gateway solves the problem of SNAT port exhaustion by providing a dynamic pool of SNAT ports, consumable by all virtual machines in its associated subnets. This means that customers don’t need to worry about knowing the traffic patterns of their individual virtual machines since ports are not pool-based in fixed amounts to each virtual machine,” she wrote. As Littleton explained, having SNAT ports on demand reduces the risk of SNAT port exhaustion. The system selects SNAT ports at random based upon its available inventory, with a cooldown timer being used to rotate SNAT ports.

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