AZURE STACK 1807 UPDATE – IT IS LIKE CHRISTMAS FOR SOME OF US!

I will be writing blogs for AzureStack.blog and will try to post them there and also here as well.  If not, I will at least post a link to my other blog site.  So for more recent blogs check AzureStack.blog first.

https://azurestack.blog/2018/08/azure-stack-1807-update-it-is-like-christmas-for-some-of-us/

 

So, today Azure Stack Update 1807 was released.  For some of us, including myself it is sort of like Christmas.  Some of you might be shaking your heads right now wondering what the heck do I mean by this update being like Christmas?  Well, for me there are two major new features released that I have been impatiently or patiently waiting for? First, here is the official documentation about Update 1807.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-update-1807

I want to talk about a few of the features I think that are in my mind something most of us have been waiting for.  These two new features include improvements to the Backups of the Azure Stack Infrastructure and also the ability to expand capacity to an existing stamp.  Yes, I can finally beef up my little four-node stack to a large 12-node!  Hopefully soon we will be able to go up to 16 nodes. Now only if my company will pay for it?

Expand Capacity 

First, the abilltiy to add capacity or “Extend” your existing stamp is very big!  That is one question I get all the time internally and when I am talking about Stack to peers and prospective clients.  Now, I have just started to read the Microsoft Documentation on how to expand capacity so I don’t have a lot to talk about right now.  Here is the link to the documentation about expanding capacity within an existing stack.  I sense another blog coming about the subject?

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-add-scale-node

Backup Feature Improvements

Now, from the list in the release notes there are three new features all surrounding backups.  I am going to include a video from Hector Linares who is a Principle Program Manager at Microsoft.

However, I am very excited to see a pre-defined scheduled now included in Azure Stack for the backing up of Azure Stack Infrastructure.  Here are the new features in 1807 that are related to Infrastructure Backup.

  • Start backups on a pre-defined schedule – As an appliance, Azure Stack can now automatically trigger infrastructure backups periodically to eliminate human intervention. Azure Stack will also automatically clean up the external share for backups that are older than the defined retention period. For more information, see Enable Backup for Azure Stack with PowerShell.
  • Added data transfer time into the total backup time. For more information, see Enable Backup for Azure Stack with PowerShell.
  • Backup external capacity now shows the correct capacity of the external share. (Previously this was hard-code to 10 GB.) For more information, see Enable Backup for Azure Stack with PowerShell.

 

Don’t for get to check out the video below that goes into detail about the new backup features:

 

 

So that is it in a nut shell.  There are a boat load of fixes as well.  One of the biggest fixes is being able to reuse Public IP addresses and many more. The following information was copied from the Microsoft Documentation and can also be found here  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-stack/azure-stack-update-1807.

 

New features

This update includes the following improvements for Azure Stack.

  • Start backups on a pre-defined schedule – As an appliance, Azure Stack can now automatically trigger infrastructure backups periodically to eliminate human intervention. Azure Stack will also automatically clean up the external share for backups that are older than the defined retention period. For more information, see Enable Backup for Azure Stack with PowerShell.
  • Added data transfer time into the total backup time. For more information, see Enable Backup for Azure Stack with PowerShell.
  • Backup external capacity now shows the correct capacity of the external share. (Previously this was hard-code to 10 GB.) For more information, see Enable Backup for Azure Stack with PowerShell.
  • Expand capacity by adding additional scale unit nodes.
  • Azure Resource Manager templates now support the condition element – You can now deploy a resource in an Azure Resource Manger template using a condition. You can design your template to deploy a resource based on a condition, such as evaluating if a parameter value is present. For information about using a template as a condition, see Conditionally deploy a resource and Variables section of Azure Resource Manager templates in the Azure documentation.
  • The Microsoft.Network API resource version support has been updated to include support for API version 2017-10-01 from 2015-06-15 for Azure Stack network resources. Support for resource versions between 2017-10-01 and 2015-06-15 is not included in this release but will be included in a future release. Please refer to Considerations for Azure Stack networking for functionality differences.
  • Azure Stack has added support for reverse DNS lookups for externally facing Azure Stack infrastructure endpoints (that is for portal, adminportal, management, and adminmanagement). This allows Azure Stack external endpoint names to be resolved from an IP address.
  • Azure Stack now supports adding additional network interfaces to an existing VM. This functionality is available by using the portal, PowerShell, and CLI. For more information, see Add or remove network interfaces in the Azure documentation.
  • Improvements in accuracy and resiliency have been made to networking usage meters. Network usage meters are now more accurate and take into account suspended subscriptions, outage periods and race conditions.
  • Update available notification– Connected Azure Stack deployments will now periodically check a secured endpoint and determine if an update is available for your cloud. This notification appears in the Update tile, as it would after manually checking for and importing a new update. Read more about managing updates for Azure Stack.
  • Improvements to the Azure Stack syslog client (preview feature). This client allows the forwarding of audit and logs related to the Azure Stack infrastructure to a syslog server or security information and event management (SIEM) software external to Azure Stack. The syslog client now supports the TCP protocol with plain text or TLS 1.2 encryption, the latter being the default configuration. You can configure the TLS connection with either server-only or mutual authentication.To configure how the syslog client communicates (such as protocol, encryption, and authentication) with the syslog server, use the Set-SyslogServer cmdlet. This cmdlet is available from the privileged endpoint (PEP).To add the client-side certificate for the syslog client TLS 1.2 mutual authentication, use the Set-SyslogClient cmdlet in the PEP.With this preview, you can see a much larger number of audits and alerts.Because this feature is still in preview, don’t rely on it in production environments.For more information, see Azure Stack syslog forwarding.
  • Azure Resource Manager includes the region name. With this release, objects retrieved from the Azure Resource Manager will now include the region name attribute. If an existing PowerShell script directly passes the object to another cmdlet, the script may produce an error and fail. This is Azure Resource Manager compliant behavior, and requires the calling client to subtract the region attribute. For more infomration about the Azure Resource Manager see Azure Resource Manager Documentation.
  • Move subscriptions between Delegated Providers. You can now move subscriptions between new or existing Delegated Provider subscriptions that belong to the same Directory tenant. Subscriptions belonging to the Default Provider Subscription can also be moved to the Delegated Provider Subscriptions in the same Directory-tenant. For more information see Delegate offers in Azure Stack.
  • Improved VM creation time for VMs that are created with images you download from the Azure marketplace.
  • Azure Stack Capacity Planner usability improvements. The Azure Stack Capacity Planner now offers a simplified experience for inputing S2D cache and S2D capacity when defining solution SKUs. The 1000 VM limit has been removed.

 

 

Fixed issues

  • Various improvements were made to the update process to make it more reliable. In addition, fixes have been made to underlying infrastructure, which minimize potential downtime for workloads during the update.
  • We fixed an issue where a modified Quota limit did not apply to existing subscriptions. Now, when you raise a Quota limit for a network resource that is part of an Offer and Plan associated with a tenant subscription, the new limit applies to the pre-existing subscriptions, as well as new subscriptions.
  • You can now successfully query activity logs for systems that are deployed in a UTC+N time zone.
  • Pre-check for backup configuration parameters (Path/Username/Password/Encryption Key) no longer sets incorrect settings to the backup configuration. (Previously, incorrect settings were set into the backup and backup would would then fail when tirggered.)
  • The backup list now refreshes when you manually delete the backup from the external share.
  • Update to this version no longer resets the default owner of the default provider subscription to the built-in CloudAdmin user when deployed with AD FS.
  • When you set up datacenter integration, you no longer access the AD FS metadata file from an Azure file share. For more information, see Setting up AD FS integration by providing federation metadata file.
  • We fixed an issue that prevented users from assigned an existing Public IP Address that had been previously assigned to a Network Interface or Load Balancer to a new Network Interface or Load Balancer.
  • When you select Overview for a storage account in either the admin or user portals, the Essentials pane now displays all the expected information correctly.
  • When you select Tags for a storage account in either the admin or user portals, the information now displays correctly.
  • This version of Azure Stack fixes the issue that prevented the application of driver updates from OEM Extension packages.
  • We fixed an issue that prevented you from deleting VMs from the compute blade when the VM failed to be created.
  • The alert for Low memory capacity no longer appears incorrectly.
  • Various fixes for performance, stability, security, and the operating system that is used by Azure Stack.

 

 

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