In today’s fast-paced cloud landscape, it’s crucial to stay informed about the constant advancements in cloud computing, and Azure is at the forefront of innovation. With its robust services and powerful capabilities, Azure empowers businesses to accelerate their digital transformation, achieve scalability, enhance security, and unlock new opportunities.

My mission here at Azure Centric is to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the latest Azure updates, announcements, and features so that you can make the most of your Azure investments. From new service releases and updates to insightful tips, best practices, and success stories, I strive to deliver valuable content that helps you leverage Azure to its fullest potential.

I am thrilled to bring you the latest and most significant weekly updates from the dynamic world of Microsoft Azure.

Azure Image Builder Portal Functionality now available - Using Azure Image Builder’s new portal functionality, you can now build and validate custom images inside the portal. Now available!

Azure Service Fabric 9.1 Second Refresh Release - This release includes quality improvements.

Azure HDInsight for Apache Kafka 3.2.0 is now available for public preview. - Azure HDInsight for Apache Kafka 3.2.0 now available for public preview and ready for production workloads.

HDInsight - Azure HDInsight for Apache Spark 3.3.0 is under development.

Generally available: Mount Azure Files and ephemeral storage in Azure Container Apps - Persist data in Azure Container Apps via mounted volumes.

Azure Maps is now HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant - Azure Maps ensures HIPAA compliance is achieved for protected health information (PHI), such as geocoding patient home addresses.

Public Preview: Simplified flush operation for caches using active geo-replication - Flush all data from active geo-replicated caches using portal, PowerShell, or CLI

Public Preview: In-place scaling for enterprise caches - Scale enterprise caches up or out without disrupting the operation of the current cache using in-place scaling.

Public preview: AKS support for Kubernetes 1.26 release - You can now try out Kubernetes v1.26 features with Azure Kubernetes Service

Public Preview: Storage in-place sharing in Microsoft Purview in additional regions - Storage in-place data sharing with Microsoft Purview public preview is now supported for Azure Data Lake Gen2 and Blob storage accounts in East US, East US2, North Europe, Southcentral US, West Central US, West Europe, West US, West US2

Public Preview: Connection audit logs for Enterprise tier caches - Log all connections to your cache.

Azure HDInsight for Apache Kafka 3.2.0 is now available for public preview. - Azure HDInsight for Apache Kafka 3.2.0 now available for public preview and ready for production workloads.

Generally Available: Larger SKUs for App Service Environment v3 - Enterprises are now able to operate more securely with large SKUs to support more demanding workloads with App Service Environment v3.

Preview: customer managed key encryption for Enterprise tier caches - Encrypt Redis persistence files using customer managed keys

Azure SQL—General availability updates for late-March 2023 - General availability enhancements and updates released for Azure SQL in late-March 2023

Generally available: Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage in East US 2, North Europe and West US 2 - Now available in East US 2, North Europe and West US 2region, Azure Premium SSD v2 Disk Storage offers the most advanced general-purpose block storage solution with the best price-performance.

Generally available: Azure Monitor Alerts now support duplicating alert rules - Azure Monitor alert rule can now be duplicated via the Azure portal.

Multi-Column Distribution for Dedicated SQL pools is now available! - Multi-Column Distribution (MCD) is highly desirable for easing migrations, promotes faster query performance and reduces data skew.

Public Preview: Azure Migrate - Discover ASP.NET & Java web apps and assess ASP.NET in all environments - Discovery of Java & ASP.NET web apps and assessment of ASP.NET web apps to Azure App Service code (native) on VMware, Hyper-V and Physical servers is now in public preview.

General availability: Microsoft Purview DevOps policies for Azure SQL Database - Purview DevOps policies can be used to assign permissions needed for performance monitoring and security auditing at scale and without direct connection to the database.

Generally available: New Azure Monitor audit logging policy released - Azure Monitor is announcing the release of new Azure Policy built-in policies and initiatives for enabling platform logging of audit events for Azure services.

General availability: Migration feature with Azure Database for PostgreSQL – Flexible Server - Use the new migration tool to migrate workloads from Single Server to Flexible Server on Azure Database for PostgreSQL, a managed service running the open-source Postgres database on Azure.

Public Preview: Azure Cosmos DB for MongoDB vCore - Unlock the full potential of the Azure ecosystem with a MongoDB compatible database that simply works. A new architecture designed to provide seamless integration and unbeatable performance.

Generally available: nconnect support for Azure Files NFS v4.1 shares - Azure Files NFS v4.1 share now support nconnect option.

Generally available: Azure Site Recovery - Migrate Azure Automation account’s authentication from Run As accounts to Managed Identity - This article describes a new feature update for Azure Site Recovery.

Generally available: Resource governance for client applications in Azure Event Hubs - Independently throttle your event streaming workloads using application groups and client applications information at namespace or event hub/Kafka topic level.

Generally available: Simpler way to renaming Network Interface (NIC) and Disks for protected VMs in Azure Site Recovery - This article describes a new feature update for Azure Site Recovery.

Public Preview: Azure Chaos Studio is now available in Brazil South region - Azure Chaos Studio is now available in Brazil South region.

Batch custom image pools using VHD or managed images will be retired on 31 March 2026 - Transition custom image pools use images from Azure Compute Gallery

Docker container runtime retirement for Windows node pools effective May 1, 2023 - Migrate to containers before May 1, 2023

AKS will stop support for Windows Server 2019 on March 1 2026 - Transition your Kubernetes workloads on Windows Server 2019 to Windows Server 2022 by March 1 2026.

Batch Service in select regions will be retired on 31 March 2026 - Migrate your Batch workloads before 31 March 2026 to other regions where Azure Batch will continue to be available.

Azure Automation is retiring Agent-based User Hybrid Runbook Worker (Windows & Linux) on 31 August 2024 - Azure Automation is retiring Agent-based User Hybrid Runbook Worker on 31 August 2024

Azure Maps Elevation APIs and Render V2 DEM tiles will be retired on 5 May 2023 - To avoid service disruption in your applications, please review the following migration options and transition before 5 May 2023.

Generally available: Azure Private Link support for Inbound traffic in Azure API Management - With Azure Private Link support in Azure API Management, you can now integrate clients in a virtual network privately.

Public Preview: Workspaces in Azure API Management - Workspaces for Azure API Management is now in public preview. This new capability enables granular access control in multi-team Azure API Management deployments.


Marcos Nogueira
Azure MVP
Twitter: @mdnoga