Azure News 2017 – Week 26

Azure News as heard on the Need to Know podcast. New faster VPN Gateways, Larger Azure disks, plus more….

New Azure VPN Gateways now 6x faster

There are a whole bunch of new generation of VPN gateways with better performance, better reliability and backed by an even stricter SLA – at the same price as our older gateways.

We now provide custom IPsec/IKE policy selection giving you more flexibility to choose your encryption policy. You may need higher Diffie-Hellman Group or PFS Group (Perfect Forward Security) than the default, or there are certain cryptographic algorithms that you want to exclude (e.g., SHA1, 3DES, etc.) You can now specify the exact combinations of cryptographic algorithms and key strengths, as shown in the example below:


A total of 4 VPN gateways, with 3 new skews called VpnGw1, VpnGw2 and VpnGw3. The existing Basic VPN gateway is unchanged with the same 80-100 Mbps performance and a 99.9% SLA, in comparison, the new VPN Gateways have a 99.95% SLA. Use the Basic VPN gateway for non-production dev/test scenarios.

VPN Gateway Price
($ per hour)
Throughput Benchmark SLA PS2 Tunnels
Basic $0.04 100 Mbps 99.9% 128
VpnGw1 $0.19 650 Mbps 99.95% 128
VpnGw2 $0.49 1 Gbps 99.95% 128
VpnGw3 $1.25 1.25 Gbps 99.95% 128

Remember, PolicyBased VPNs aka Static Routing and RouteBased VPNs aka Dynamic Routing. A BGP is a RouteBased VPN type.

The previous VPN gateway skews offered Basic, Standard & HighPerformance – as you can see, the new VPN gateway skews are a much greater improvement.

VPN Gateway throughput VPN Gateway max IPsec tunnels VPN Gateway max IPsec tunnels 
Basic SKU 100 Mbps 10
Standard SKU 100 Mbps 10
High Performance SKU 200 Mbps 30

If you have a 1 Gbps ExpressRoute circuit you can now also have a 1 Gbps S2S tunnel on the backup path so if a failover event occurs you still have a performant network connection to your VNets, although via the Internet.

Larger Azure Disk support, 1TB to 4TB

There is now an increase of maximum disk sizes for both Premium and Standard storage. This extends the maximum size of the disks from 1,023 GB to 4,095 GB. You can now provision up to a total of 256 TB disks storage on a GS5 VM using 64 disks with 4 TB capacity. We introduce two new Managed and Un-Managed Premium Disks sizes in P40 (2TB) and P50 (4TB) and Standard Managed Disks, S40 (2TB) and S50 (4TB).

Premium Disks Standard Disks
Managed Disks P40, P50 S40, S50
Unmanaged Disks P40, P50 Max up to 4,095GB

Larger Premium Disks P40 and P50 will support your IO intensive workload, consequently, offers higher provisioned disk performance. The maximum Premium Disk IOPS and bandwidth is increased to 7,500 IOPS and 250 MBps respectively. Standard Disks, of all sizes, will offer up to 500 IOPS and 60 MBps.

P40 P50 S40 S50
Disk Size 2048 GB 4095 GB 2048 GB 4095 GB
Disk IOPS 7,500 IOPS 7,500 IOPS Up to 500 IOPS Up to 500 IOPS
Disk Bandwidth 250 MBps 250 MBps Up to 60 MBps Up to 60 MBps

Smaller Premium Managed Disks (32 GB and 64 GB) for cost efficiency

We will also offer two smaller Premium Managed Disk sizes P4 (32GB) and P6 (64 GB). You can use these new smaller sizes to optimise cost in scenarios in which you require consistent disk performance but with lower disk capacity, such as the OS disks for Linux VMs. We already offer smaller disk sizes for Standard Managed Disks.

P4 P6
Disk Size 32 GB 64 GB
Disk IOPS 120 IOPS 240 IOPS
Disk Bandwidth 25 MBps 50 MBps

More Info.

Microsoft Azure using AMD Epyc server chips by the end of the year

Microsoft is helping AMD make a return to the server chip market by setting up plans for using AMD’s Epyc server chips for Azure.

These new AMD Epyc server chips offer more performance and are much cheaper than those from Intel, ranging from $400 to $4,000 per chip in price. Intel, however, remain the giant in the server chip market as AMD has not really put up much competition. Intel’s data center division sales totaled roughly $18 billion, while AMD’s total revenue only was at $4 billion.

More Info.

Avanade & Huawei to sell Microsoft Azure Stack appliances

You can order either a Dell, HPE, or Lenovo Azure Stack appliance by mid-year. If you want an Azure Stack system on Cisco UCS hardware, it will be out slightly later, Cisco’s target is Q3 or Q4 this year.

Avanade announced earlier this month that it would offer users the choice of running Azure Stack on-premises at client sites, at remote locations or hosted in Avanade’s datacenters.

Avanade will offer Azure Stack through Accenture’s Cloud Platform (ACP) some time in the second half of this year with hardware choices being a space-constrained turnkey Azure Stack with four nodes in 6U (including switching and management host). Or a density/capacity optimised Azure stack with four nodes in in 8U (including switching and management host).    Both are expandable to the full 12 node maximum.

Huawei announced earlier this month plans to sell Azure Stack running on its FusionServer and CloudEngine switches, and to integrate Huawei’s eSight management software with Azure Stack. Huawei plans to start selling the Huawei Hybrid Cloud for Microsoft Azure Stack by the first quarter of calendar 2018.

More Info.

Microsoft Build Tour

Thursday 29th June, 9am – 5:30pm – (Doors open at 8:00am)

International Convention Centre Sydney, Cockle Bay, 14 Darling Drive, Sydney NSW 2000

The Microsoft Build Tour brings the best of Microsoft Build right to you. Developers building Line of Business or consumer applications using Cloud or traditional desktop technologies will hear firsthand from Microsoft experts about the latest technical news and updates from the Microsoft Build conference.

This location features a Day 2 Hackfest. Make sure you register.

More Info.

Develop a new Cloud solution – Step-by-step guidance at your pace

Five on-demand JumpStart programs available to help you build your Azure or EMS practice.

  • Azure Backup & Azure Site Recovery
  • Azure Virtual Machines
  • Creating Virtual Machines with High Availability
  • Enterprise Mobility + Security
  • Hybrid Identity

These on-demand programs include webinar recordings heavy with demos showing you how to implement the technology, as well as step-by-step hands-on independent learning assignments. You can also leverage the members-only Yammer groups where you can consult with the Microsoft team and interact with your peers to get your questions answered.

These on-demand programs are best-suited for companies who are looking to learn the fundamentals and are ready to start an Azure or EMS practice today.

More Info.

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