Azure News 2017 – Week 28

Azure is a leader, Azure Certificate changes, Azure Roadmap, Managed Applications, free PluralSight courses and much more on the Need to Know podcast.

Gartner has recognised Microsoft as a leader

Gartner has recognised Microsoft as a leader in their Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) MQ for the fourth consecutive year.

More than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 use Microsoft’s cloud services today.

A recent study stated that Microsoft Azure is the most used Public Cloud as well as most likely to be renewed or purchased.

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Preview of Azure Service Health

Announcing the preview of Azure Service Health, your new personalised service health dashboard in the Azure portal. It provides guidance and support when issues in Azure services affect you

  • Shows any ongoing issues in Azure services that are impacting your resources.
  • Quickly understand when the issue began and what services and regions are impacted.
  • Get the most recent update to understand what Azure is doing to resolve the issue
  • Planned maintenance and health advisories views, where you’ll find information about upcoming maintenance and recommended actions to prevent downtime.
  • Past events

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Tracking configuration changes for your Azure VM

Currently in private preview – right from within your Azure VM you can quickly assess details of changes that occurred across your system. We currently support tracking Software, Files, Windows Registry, Windows Services and Linux Daemons.

From your VM, you can select Track Changes, under Automation & Control.

You can view the changes that have occurred on your VM. The main set of graphs displays the configuration changes by time and change type. The interactive table shows the changes that occurred during the specified time range. By clicking on the table rows, you can see the details of each change.

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Certificates changes

To give you additional assurance of the authenticity of Azure services, most Azure services get their SSL/TLS certificates from a known set of intermediate certificate authorities (CAs) that Microsoft operates.

The current intermediate CAs used by Azure are due to expire in May 2018. Microsoft published a new set of CAs last year in the July 2016.

We expect that the majority of Azure customers will not be impacted.


  1. If you are using static certificate pinning where have an application, browser or service that calls one or more Azure services and your application explicitly verifies who issued the TLS certificates for those Azure services.
  2. If you have set firewall rules to allow outbound calls to only specific CRL download and/or OCSP verification locations.

Full details for Microsoft’s CA’s can be found in its Certificate Practice Statement (CPS).

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Azure Roadmap site

We are excited to announce that the new Azure Roadmap experience on the Azure public site is now live.

The Azure Public Roadmap is comes with Azure feedback, to enable you to influence the Azure Roadmap.

The Roadmap is also integrated with Azure Updates so that customers can see how we are delivering against our plans.

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Azure SQL Data Sync refresh

We’re happy to announce Azure SQL Data Sync refresh. With SQL Data Sync, you will be able to easily synchronise data bi-directionally among multiple Azure SQL databases and/or on-premises SQL Databases.

This release includes several major improvements to the service including the new Azure portal, PowerShell and REST API support.

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Public Preview of compatibility level 140 for Azure SQL databases


The alignment of this compatibility level of 140 for Azure SQL aligns itself to SQL Server 2017.

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Azure Managed Applications

It enables Managed Service Providers (MSPs), Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), and corporate central IT teams to deliver turnkey solutions through the Azure Marketplace or Service Catalog. The vendors will manage and support these applications. It enables customers to automatically acquire application updates without having to worry about troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with the application.

Azure Managed Applications comes in two flavors. One is called Service Catalog Managed Applications and the other is called Azure Marketplace Managed Applications.

Service Catalog allows organisations to create a catalog of approved solutions for Azure which is helpful specially for central IT teams in enterprises, it enables companies to ensure compliance with certain organisational standards.

Marketplace applications are available in the marketplace on the Azure portal. Once published by the vendor, these are available for everyone inside or outside of your organisation to consume.

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Public Preview Azure AD Domain Services admin UX in the new Azure Portal

We are excited to announce the public preview of Azure AD Domain Services in the new Azure portal. You can now create new managed AD domains and perform administrative tasks like configuring secure LDAP using the Azure portal. Azure AD Domain Services provides managed domain services like domain join, group policy, LDAP, and Kerberos/NTLM authentication, all fully compatible with Windows Server Active Directory.

Over 8000 customers currently use Azure AD Domain Services

Note: This public preview release supports only classic Azure virtual networks. We don’t support Resource Manager-based virtual networks yet, but the team is hard at work making that happen and we hope to preview it soon!

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Azure Site Recovery now supports large disk sizes in Azure

Following the recent general availability of large disk sizes in Azure, we are excited to announce that Azure Site Recovery (ASR) now supports the disaster recovery and migration of on-premises virtual machines and physical servers with disk sizes of up to 4095 GB to Azure.

Azure Site Recovery is available with both standard and premium storage and both managed and unmanaged disks. Depending upon your application requirements, you can choose to replicate your virtual machines to standard or premium storage with ASR.

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Azure Discovery Day

Join us for a full day, deep dive discovery session to learn about the latest features released on the Azure Platform, witness the versatility of Azure first hand via a range of demonstrations and see how you can implement Azure immediately as a new platform or to work seamlessly with your existing tools and infrastructure.

Top agenda topics
  • Azure Overview
  • Security
  • Billing
  • Identity
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Compute (Core)

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Free Azure Pluralsight courses

  • Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines
  • Implementing Microsoft Azure Networking

  • Microsoft Hybrid Identity – Overview

Plus heaps more.

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