Azure News 2017 – Week 10

Some important Azure milestones with both Azure CLI 2.0 & Azure Stack TP3 that has been released also Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner, Azure SQL Data Sync, 5 new Azure services to Canada, AWS outage, Auto-Shutdown for ARM based VMs.

Lots of Azure News this time around again – as heard on the latest Need to Know podcast episode 143.

Azure CLI 2.0 now generally available

Azure CLI is a command line utility which runs on Mac, Linux and Windows. The Azure CLI 2.0 is open source and on GitHub.

More Info.

Azure Stack TP3 has been released

New features in Azure Stack TP3:

  • Deploy with ADFS for disconnected scenarios
  • Start using Azure Virtual Machine Scale Sets for scale out workloads
  • Syndicate content from the Azure Marketplace to make available in Azure Stack
  • Use Azure D-Series VM sizes
  • Deploy and create templates with Temp Disks that are consistent with Azure
  • Take comfort in the enhanced security of an isolated administrator portal
  • Take advantage of improvements to IaaS and PaaS functionality
  • Use enhanced infrastructure management functionality, such as improved alerting

More Info.

Announcing the Public Preview of the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner

With ASR, it’s critical you need proper deployment planning before a production rollout. Microsoft have announced the Public Preview of the Azure Site Recovery Deployment Planner. This tool that helps people understand on-premises networking requirements, Microsoft Azure compute and storage requirements for successful ASR replication and test failover or failover of applications.

Deployment Planner is completely stand-alone, you don’t need to install any ASR components and it does not impact the performance of production servers.

The ASR Deployment Planner has three main modes of operation:

  • Profiling – over the course of about 30 days, the tool stores various performance counters, R/W IOPS, Write IOPS, data churn and the hardware specification of the virtual machine
  • Report generation – the tool uses the profiled data to generate a deployment planning report in Microsoft Excel format


  • Throughput calculation – helps to determine what additional bandwidth is needed to provision ASR replication

The current public preview the tool only supports a VMware to Azure scenario.

More Info.

Azure SQL Data Sync update

With Azure SQL Data Sync users can easily synchronise data bi-directionally between multiple Azure SQL Databases and/or on-premises SQL Databases. This service is currently in public preview and available only in the old Azure portal.

Azure Data Sync will be available in new Azure portal within the next few months with several improvements to the service, including PowerShell and REST API support, improvements to security and privacy and enhanced monitoring and troubleshooting

The service will now be available in most regions.

More Info.

Microsoft brings 5 new Azure services to Canada

New Azure services that are now available in Canada.

  • HDInsight
  • Azure Functions
  • Managed Disks
  • Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup.

HDInsight is a fully-managed cloud Hadoop offering that provides optimised open source analytic clusters for Spark, Hive, MapReduce, HBase, Storm, Kafka and R Server which is all backed by a 99.9% SLA.

Azure Functions is an event-based serverless compute.

With Managed Disks, you don’t need to mess around with Storage Accounts, just add the number and size of disks

Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup are the leading recovery features of Azure.

More Info.

AWS Outage

An authorised S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.

The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region. This subsystem is necessary to serve all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests. The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate. The placement subsystem is used during PUT requests to allocate storage for new objects

AWS have not completely restarted the index subsystem or the placement subsystem in our larger regions for many years

More Info.

Auto-Shutdown for VMs using Azure Resource Manager

This feature was previously only available in DevTest Labs. However, now VM Auto-Shutdown is available to all the ARM-based Azure VMs in the Azure portal.

Go to your VM blade in Azure portal, then click Auto-shutdown in the resource menu on the left-side.

You will see an auto-shutdown settings page expanded, where you can specify an auto-shutdown time and time zone. You can also configure to send a notification to a webhook URL 15 minutes before auto-shutdown.

More Info.

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