ICYMI: All blogs and updates from Azure last week

Title Summary Link
Continued region expansion: Azure Data Factory just became generally available in two more regions Azure Data Factory is now available in two new regions: Norway East and UAE North https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/continued-region-expansion-azure-data-factory-just-became-available-in-two-more-regions/
General availability: Azure Data Explorer external tables Create an external table located in Azure Blob Storage, Azure Data Lake Store Gen1, or Azure Data Lake Store Gen2 to analyze and query your data. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-data-explorer-external-tables/
Azure Sphere OS version 21.03 is now generally available This quality release of the Azure Sphere OS includes bug fixes and updates to mitigate against the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) mentioned in the article. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-sphere-os-version-2103-is-now-available/
General availability: Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop Azure Monitor for Windows Virtual Desktop provides a centralized view of the health of your Windows Virtual Desktop environment and enables you to optimize your deployment and quickly troubleshoot issues. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/general-availability-azure-monitor-for-windows-virtual-desktop/
Azure Private Link for Azure Cache for Redis in general availability Use Azure Private Link to connect to an Azure Cache for Redis instance from your virtual network via a private endpoint to eliminate data exposure to the public internet. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-private-link-for-azure-cache-for-redis-in-general-availability/
Azure SQL Managed Instance – A performance optimization change to default settings is coming soon Upcoming changes to Azure SQL Managed Instance will improve workload performance and reduce unnecessary resource utilization. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-sql-managed-instance-a-performance-optimization-change-to-default-settings-is-coming-soon/
General availability: Azure Communication Services Now you can use Azure Communication Services to add video, voice, SMS, chat, and telephony capabilities into almost any web, mobile, or desktop application. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/general-availability-azure-communication-services/
Azure Cost Management and Billing updates – March 2021 March is an exciting month! If you need to control costs and avoid projected overages, you'll want to check out changes to Cost Management budgets. You also have a new view optimized for viewing subscription costs as well as more ways to save, learning resources, and documentation updates. Enjoy! https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/azure-cost-management-and-billing-updates-march-2021/
General availability: Changes coming to Azure Pipelines free grants With this update, we are including temporary changes that will impact the process to acquire Azure Pipelines free grants. New users will have to send an email and provide additional information to get free CI/CD. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/changes-to-azure-pipelines-free-grants/
Enabling IBM WebSphere on Azure Kubernetes Service Customers can now leverage guidance jointly developed with IBM to run WebSphere Liberty and Open Liberty on Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/enabling-ibm-websphere-on-azure-kubernetes-service-3/
Microsoft named a Leader in Forrester Wave: Function-as-a-Service Platforms There are some use cases of serverless that need to be stateful—such as long-running workflows, human approved processes, and e-commerce shopping cart applications. Durable Functions, an extension to the Azure Functions runtime that brings stateful and orchestration capabilities to serverless functions. Durable Functions stands alone in the serverless space, providing stateful functions and a way to define serverless workflows programmatically. https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/microsoft-named-a-leader-in-forrester-wave-functionasaservice-platforms/
Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server (public preview) available in new regions With new regions announced for Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server, you can control multiple configuration parameters for fine-grained database tuning with a simpler developer experience to accelerate end-to-end deployment. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-database-for-postgresql-flexible-server-public-preview-available-in-new-regions/
General availability: Virtual machine (VM) level disk bursting available on all Dsv3 and Esv3 families Virtual machine (VM) level disk bursting enables your workloads to handle unforeseen disk traffic spikes smoothly without the need to overprovision your virtual machine. The feature is now enabled on all Dsv3-series and Esv3-series virtual machines. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/general-availability-virtual-machine-vm-level-disk-bursting-available-on-all-dsv3-and-esv3-families/
Encryption scopes in Azure Storage now generally available Encryption scopes enable you to provision multiple encryption keys to manage encryption at the container or blob level.  Customers and ISVs can now use a single storage account for multi-tenancy scenarios by provisioning separate encryption keys for each customer. The key that protects an encryption scope may be either a Microsoft-managed key or a customer-managed key in Azure Key Vault.  https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/encryption-scopes/
Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) now supports node image autoupgrade in public preview You can now opt-in to have your node image auto-upgraded when a new AKS node image becomes available https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-kubernetes-service-aks-now-supports-node-image-autoupgrade-in-public-preview/
Public preview: Backup & restore of Azure VM Scale Sets with uniform and flexible orchestration is now supported Azure virtual machine scale sets provide the management capabilities for applications that run across many VMs, automatic scaling of resources, and load balancing of traffic. Scale set orchestration modes allow you to have greater control over how virtual machine instances are managed by the scale set.

General availability: ExpressRoute monitoring in Azure Monitor network insights Network insights in Azure Monitor now supports monitoring Azure ExpressRoute resources out of the box without any additional configuration or setup. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/general-availability-expressroute-monitoring-in-azure-monitor-network-insights/
General availability: Azure Backup supports backup and restore of Azure Dedicated Host To protect your valuable resources, Azure Backup now supports backup & restore of Azure Virtual Machines with dedicated host.

Azure Security Center: Public preview updates for March 2021 Public preview enhancements and updates released for Azure Security Center in March 2021. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/asc-march2021-2/
Public preview: Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server now connects with Azure CLI Now in public preview, use the 'connect' command for Azure CLI for Azure Database for MySQL – Flexible Server to test connections and run basic queries. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-azure-database-for-mysql-flexible-server-now-connects-with-azure-cli/
General availability: Kubernetes v1.20 support in AKS Benefit from the new features in Kubernetes 1.20, now supported by AKS in general availability. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/general-availability-kubernetes-v120-support-in-aks/
Public preview: Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server now connects with Azure CLI Now in public preview, use the 'connect' command for Azure CLI for Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server to test connections and run basic queries. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-azure-database-for-postgresql-flexible-server-now-connects-with-azure-cli/
Deploy key design principles with enterprise-scale architecture When embarking on any project or new implementation, there are always key design and decision points to be discussed and fully understood. Deploying an enterprise-scale landing zone and subsequent resources to the cloud is no different. The enterprise-scale architecture prescribed in this guidance is based on the design principles that serve as a compass for subsequent design decisions across critical technical domains. https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/deploy-key-design-principles-with-enterprise-scale-architecture/
Discover cloud storage solutions at Azure Storage Day on April 29 Today, I am announcing Azure Storage Day, a free digital event on April 29 where you can explore cloud storage solutions for all your enterprise workloads. Join me to: https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/discover-cloud-storage-solutions-at-azure-storage-day-on-april-29/
Backup for Azure Managed Disk is now generally available Azure Disk Backup offers snapshot lifecycle management to Azure Managed Disk by automating periodic creation of snapshot and retain it for configured duration using Backup policy. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-disk-backup-ga/
General availability: Networking for Key Vault references on Windows in App Service and Azure Functions Key Vault references in App Service and Azure Functions now support accessing vaults with network access controls from Windows apps with virtual network integrations. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/general-availability-networking-for-key-vault-references-on-windows-in-app-service-and-azure-functions/
Public preview: Azure Static Web Apps now supports deployment with Azure DevOps Azure Static Web Apps, currently in public preview, now supports building and deploying apps with Azure DevOps. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-azure-static-web-apps-now-supports-deployment-with-azure-devops/
Azure Security Center: General availability updates for March 2021 New enhancements and updates released for general availability in Azure Security Center in March 2021. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/asc-march2021-1/
General availability: Azure Event Grid now provides support for delivery headers and additional advanced filters among other updates Azure Event Grid now supports additional advanced filters, setting customer headers on requests delivering events, configuring TTL on messages delivered to Azure Storage Queues, and setting system-assigned managed identities on regional System Topics. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/azure-event-grid-now-provides-support-for-delivery-headers-and-additional-advanced-filters-among-other-updates/
Public preview: Zone redundant configuration for Azure SQL Database serverless compute tier Make your serverless Azure SQL databases resilient to a much larger set of failures, including catastrophic datacenter outages, without any changes of the application logic by selecting zone redundancy. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-zone-redundant-configuration-for-azure-sql-database-serverless-compute-tier/
Microsoft Power Fx: The open-source low-code programming language is in public preview Reduce development costs and time using the new public preview features in Microsoft Power Fx. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/microsoft-power-fx-the-opensource-lowcode-programming-language-is-in-public-preview-2/
Public preview: Cognitive Services – Form Recognizer new features Support for 73 languages, prebuilt ID model, invoice line item extraction, tagging as table, and lots more – Now in Azure Form Recognizer public preview, part of Azure Cognitive Services https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-cognitive-services-form-recognizer-new-features/
Public preview of Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) run-command feature You can now invoke commands in an AKS cluster for just-in-time access when you are not on the cluster private network. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-of-azure-kubernetes-service-aks-runcommand-feature/
New solutions for Oracle WebLogic on Azure Virtual Machines We are announcing a major release for Oracle WebLogic Server (WLS) on Azure Virtual Machines. The release is jointly developed with the WebLogic team as part of a broad-ranging partnership between Microsoft and Oracle. https://azure.microsoft.com/blog/new-solutions-for-oracle-weblogic-on-azure-virtual-machines/
Updated App Service Authentication portal experience is now generally available The new Authentication portal experience for App Service and Azure Functions, improving usability, initial setup, and increased security, is now available.” https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/updated-app-service-authentication-portal-experience-is-now-generally-available/
Wire Data 2.0 (preview) will be retired on 31 March 2022 Because Azure Monitor Virtual Machine insights and Service Map both provide network connection data sets in Logs, utilize the Dependency agent, and have connections with Azure Sentinel, we will be retiring Wire Data 2.0 (preview) on 31 March 2022. Please transition to using Azure Monitor Virtual Machine insights or Service Map by that date. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/wire-data-20-preview-will-be-retired-on-31-march-2022/
Public preview: Open Service Mesh (OSM) add-on for AKS Service Mesh capabilities to be natively integrated with AKS via the Open Service Mesh add-on. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/public-preview-open-service-mesh-osm-addon-for-aks/
Insights and workbooks for Azure Cosmos DB now in public preview Now available in preview support, Azure Monitor insights and Azure Monitor workbooks makes it easier to visualize and customize metrics for dynamic monitoring of your Azure Cosmos DB resource. https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/updates/insights-and-workbooks-for-azure-cosmos-db-now-in-public-preview/

Shhhh – this is all automated using Logic Apps, Event Hubs and AI

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