Azure Updates: VMworld; Azure Cost Management; Site Recovery; Edge sites; Standard Load Balancer

September 6 2019

The end of August was particularly quiet in the Azure space as tech pros in the Northern Hemisphere marked the waning days of summer.

During the VMworld conference, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger cautioned that the tech industry may split into two camps—one partnered with the US and the other with China—in light of the ongoing trade conflict between the two countries, as reported in ZDNet. For its part, VMware is forging new ties with partner organizations supporting Alibaba Cloud in case other options in the Chinese market, like Azure, become more restricted. Azure VMware Solutions were first announced at Dell Technologies World in the spring (Dell is the leading stockholder in VMware) and Microsoft plans to expand availability to eight regions by the end of year, including the US, Western Europe and Asia Pacific.

The Azure team is working to streamline Azure Cost Management, offering ways to save customized views and share them. Cost Management Contributor access or higher is needed to share views although any user can save private views, pin them or share the URL.

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Azure Data Factory is adding a way to execute custom SQL scripts from a SQL sink transformation in mapping data flows. This supports DDL and DML operations together with disabling indexes and identity inserts.

Due to the growing threat of ransomware attacks, Microsoft is strengthening Azure Backup to safeguard data backups as well. Soft delete shields against accidental or malicious VM deletion, which works for 14 days after the delete and can be rehoused to a different resource. In a similar vein, the team is letting users adjust data retention for Azure Monitor Application Insights from 30 to up to 730 days, with the same pricing as regular retention. Program manager Mayuri Gupta recommends monitoring Azure Site Recovery setups. Unfortunately, many forums are filled with complaints about too many alerts. Luckily, users can send diagnostics from the Site Recovery vault to a Log Analytics workspace to be queried with Kusto Query Language, generating point-in time snapshots and historical trends. Site Recovery also got updated with a new configuration server, site recovery mobility agent and a new services agent.

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